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  1. #1
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    55r versus domain 318

    Hi. I'm a big, dumb guy who rides a full rigid kona from decades ago. I'm thinking of turning that ol' thing back into a tourish thing, and i'm considering building up a more modern hardtail, with all the newfangled bells-n-whistles, like a suspension fork and hydro discs. I believe I'm ready to step into the 90's.

    So, I don't wanna spend a lot of cash because I'm really just experimenting and I suspect I'll hate the suspension and i might even hate the hydros b/c I already hate mechanical discs. I wanna build up an on-one 456, and I want to put something big and bouncy up front.

    Jenson has marzocchi 55r's for a mere pittance at $229. But there's rockshox domain 318's about for 400 beans. I'm thinking that the domain might be worth the extra $$$ because it'll be adjustable for travel and the reviews on mtbr are pretty positive, whereas ppl have all sorts of horror stories about the entire 55 series, although the ATA seems the biggest turd of the lot. Still, the 55r looks mean as eff, and i appreciate these aesthetic things. Dumb guy, remember?

    Anyone have any thoughts on the dilemma? A fool and his money are soon parted, and i like to blow cash on bikes alot. However, this 456 is to be a mere fact-finding exercise. If i enjoy such things as a 5" fork and hydro's, I'll drop a lot of cash on something ******bag but similar. If I hate them, I'll get something like a soulcraft option 3 with the rigid fork and v-brakes. I just wanna give suspension a fair shake, and if the zoke is a turd, it wouldn't be fair. (All the other sprung forks I've tried were pure garbage, so that's probably caused my present attitude towards the things.)

    Sorry for the massive post. Any advice is welcome; any heckling is already acknowledged as being well-deserved.
    -rob

    *edit* it's wierd that i can say "turd" but i can't say the 5-letter d-word that almost rhymes with "swoosh". Either way, I'm sorry if I offended anybody.
    Last edited by surreal; 12-03-08 at 01:23 PM. Reason: i messed up?

  2. #2
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Where's Ed? He's riding a 55.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  3. #3
    Too Much Crazy C Law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surreal View Post
    ...snip

    *edit* it's wierd that i can say "turd" but i can't say the 5-letter d-word that almost rhymes with "swoosh". Either way, I'm sorry if I offended anybody.

    My dad is a ******bag you know. So thanks alot for making me feel bad

  4. #4
    ed
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    Quote Originally Posted by surreal View Post
    Hi. I'm a big, dumb guy who rides a full rigid kona from decades ago. I'm thinking of turning that ol' thing back into a tourish thing, and i'm considering building up a more modern hardtail, with all the newfangled bells-n-whistles, like a suspension fork and hydro discs. I believe I'm ready to step into the 90's.

    So, I don't wanna spend a lot of cash because I'm really just experimenting and I suspect I'll hate the suspension and i might even hate the hydros b/c I already hate mechanical discs. I wanna build up an on-one 456, and I want to put something big and bouncy up front.

    Jenson has marzocchi 55r's for a mere pittance at $229. But there's rockshox domain 318's about for 400 beans. I'm thinking that the domain might be worth the extra $$$ because it'll be adjustable for travel and the reviews on mtbr are pretty positive, whereas ppl have all sorts of horror stories about the entire 55 series, although the ATA seems the biggest turd of the lot. Still, the 55r looks mean as eff, and i appreciate these aesthetic things. Dumb guy, remember?


    Anyone have any thoughts on the dilemma? A fool and his money are soon parted, and i like to blow cash on bikes alot. However, this 456 is to be a mere fact-finding exercise. If i enjoy such things as a 5" fork and hydro's, I'll drop a lot of cash on something ******bag but similar. If I hate them, I'll get something like a soulcraft option 3 with the rigid fork and v-brakes. I just wanna give suspension a fair shake, and if the zoke is a turd, it wouldn't be fair. (All the other sprung forks I've tried were pure garbage, so that's probably caused my present attitude towards the things.)

    Sorry for the massive post. Any advice is welcome; any heckling is already acknowledged as being well-deserved.
    -rob

    *edit* it's wierd that i can say "turd" but i can't say the 5-letter d-word that almost rhymes with "swoosh". Either way, I'm sorry if I offended anybody.

    If you "like to blow cash on bikes" and aren't against spending $400 on a Domain...I think you should consider:

    1. Spend the $400 on ebay and get a Rockshox PIKE
    2. Spend $460 at bobs-bicycles.com and buy a Fox Vanilla R with Chris King headset
    3. Buy the Marzocchi 55r




    1. The PIKE is an incredible fork for the 456. Get a coil U-Turn. The adjustable travel is wonderful for someone who doesn't know what they want. Dial it down to 90mm and it won't be as squishy and bouncy while you learn to appreciate the benefits of suspension. The lockout with blow-off are cool for a stand-and-honk type of climber. Then when you get bored with the 90mm you can just spin a knob and push it all the way out to 140mm for some serious comfort and control.

    2. I rode a Fox Vanilla from 2005-2008. It's an awesome fork. It's not a freeride fork like the Domain, but it's a good trail bike fork like the PIKE. The Vanilla "R" is the base model from Fox so it doesn't have all that lockout/blow off stuff that you can get for another bill or so.

    3. If you're just gonna go beat the crap out of it...I'm really loving my Marzocchi 55r. I know it's not a top of the line damper, but it's way smoother than my Vanilla ever thought of being. I haven't done any big drops on it, but 3' to flat and 4-5' to tranny are smooth and the lateral stiffness will kick that Vanilla in the nutz! It's a tall fork...prob. doesn't help that I have a tall headset on it, but I wanted slack when I built the bike. It's a light freeride hardtail / trail bike / urban / whatever. With the 55r set at 140mm, it should be mild mannered enough for some good trail riding. I've considered taking mine apart and changing it to 160mm, but the thing handles so good at 140...I'm just gonna leave it for now.

    If I had my way, I'd be on a Fox 36 Van RC2, but I can't afford it and the 55r was well within my price range.


    I don't wanna steer you away from the Domain b/c it's a nice fork too. I can't imagine it being $180 better than the 55r. The 55r is so dang cheap now it's hard to pass it up. The biggest benefit of choosing the PIKE and Vanilla R over the Domain or 55r IMO would be weight savings. The PIKE having a 20mm TA would be nice and laterally stiff. My decision was between the 55r and Domain. I'm glad I got what I got.

    If you think you're gonna go out and abuse/freeride a bit, I'd lean toward the big 6-pound'ers. If you're just gonna do some aggro trail riding, I think the lighter 32's can handle ya.

    Here's pic's of mine:
    Last edited by ed; 12-03-08 at 08:30 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member yellowjeep's Avatar
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    Ed could you post some more pictures?


    When in doubt, style it out.

    How to post full size pictures

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by yellowjeep View Post
    Ed could you post some more pictures?


    And clean some of the mud off the thing first.

  7. #7
    ed
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    You know I jump at the chance to post pic's of my bike...hahaha.

    It's really isn't even all that "high end". I'm just a proud papa.



    I fixed it for y'all. "PRON-KILLERS!!!" (micro-pic's)
    Last edited by ed; 12-03-08 at 09:17 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    Ed, this is exactly the type of advice I'm looking for. While I do enjoy blowing cash on bikes, I prefer to have a little bit of insight before i blow the big wad. So, i wanna build the one bike on the cheeep with cheapish frame, wheels, fork, etc and a bunch of stuff from my parts bin. It'll still be like a grand, but it's a grand well-spent on empirical research. If I ride the thing for a year, I'll know way more than I could've gleaned by reading magazines or ad-copy online, right?
    If, at the end of the year (I ride year-round), I'm thinking "this thing is dumb and I hate it", I'll sell it and build something like what I used to rock. If, on the other hand, I love the thing, I'll keep riding it while I steadily blow cash on components and some limey makes a similar-but-nicer frame for me. And, the "old" bike that I'm planning now can sit around as a loner for friends without bikes or as a beater when I'm feeling barbaric.
    In terms of the 55r, it sounds really nice. My only question remaining is, how long have you been riding it? I actually kind of enjoy setting up/maintaining/adjusting bike stuff, so i don't mind doing that. But, if the thing straight-up *breaks* in 6 months, I'll have to either go back to rigid, or try a RS or a fox. $230 hangs in the balance here, which ain't much, but I'd rather put the $230 towards a nicer fork if that's what i'm going to have to do really soon anyway.

    to the guy whose dad was a d-bag: I'm sorry. It's cool. My granma was a D-bag. I am 1/4 D-bag. We're practically cousins.

    -rob

  9. #9
    ed
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    That's why I hesitate to review the fork but instead try to steer you toward the PIKE or Vanilla. I've only been riding the 55r since 10/12. I can't report on the durability over time yet. I'm very confident in the chassis. I predict the only weak spot to be the damping unit.

    My thought going into it was...it's a coil spring with only a rebound control...how could they get it wrong?

    Though it's possible, especially when you read the reviews of it on that other site...I still think it to be unlikely. We'll see.

    I wish I could give you more info there, but I do really feel that if you're gonna be using this bike as an all around "trail bike" and not a light freerider...I think the Vanilla and Pike would better suit you. Especially if you can get a Vanilla RLC or a PIKE with Motion Control damping.

  10. #10
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    Ed,

    I'm looking at stuff harder and harder, and the Pike seems to be the thing I really want, from a practicality/functionality standpoint. The 55R is so cheap that it makes me weak in the knees, but I'm thinking that some adjustability will be nice as I try to develope a clue regarding front suspension. Your advice has been extremely helpful, and I appreciate it. I, for one, would be very interested to hear how that 55r is holding up in 10/09.

    Thanks,
    -rob

  11. #11
    ed
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    Coming off a rigid, the 55r will prob be a little too "in your face" suspension.

    The PIKE will give you the option of running low travel with a lot of compression damping to soften your transition to the all out squish that full travel with a more open damper will give you. If you start out running it at 90mm with it locked out and the blow off set fairly light, then it will basically be like running a platform shock and will compress when you hit something fairly harsh. As you thirst for the smoother ride, you may find yourself extending the travel and backing that Motion Control knob off rather quickly.

    Eventually, you'll be running it at 5.5" with just enough damping to keep the excess bobbing under control. Suspension is a gasss.

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