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Old 06-17-09, 06:22 PM   #1
surreal
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help me pick out a suspension fork

After all of this hand-wringing over building a new bike, I'm starting to think I want to just get a cheapish but 1/2 decent suspension fork for my aging hardtail. The thing is an old kona, steel, i think ti came either rigid or with a 80mm travel fork. It has v-brakes, which does me fine. So, I'm thinking I want something with adjustable travel, for fiddling's sake, and the canti-posts'll be mandatory. Still, I want the travel to be reducible enough to keep the geometry as the bike was designed, should i wanna do that.

Here's what I'm looking for:
-cheeep
-v-brake compat
-reasonably non-jenky

Here's what I've found thus far:

http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...n+Fork+07.aspx

I've seen lots of cheeeep marzocchi forks with v-brake posts, but i've heard too many horror stories about the zokes being PANTS these days. Can anyone recommend anything else, sub $300 and meeting the above criteria? Or, anyone want to make a case for a zocchi fork over an 07 RS tora? Anyone see why i shouldn't drop an extra $35 on an 09 RS tora?

thanks in advance,
-rob
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Old 06-17-09, 06:36 PM   #2
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Shoot man...you can find a Tora quite often on ebay brand new for less than 2 bills...often times $150. (not a 289, either)

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Old 06-17-09, 06:51 PM   #3
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On ebay you can find suntour epicon's for $200. Though the brand is a cheapo oem brand here they've been selling them retail in europe and asia for a while and their better forks have a reputation for performing like much more expensive forks from the usual suspects. There's reviews at mtbr and bike radar. Remote lockout is standard and they weigh just about 4lbs.

I almost bought one myself, sometimes I wish I had just because they seem like such a great deal and I like deals. They come 100mm travel but are easily changed to 80-120, there's a video at suntour's website that shows how to do it. But you need spacers to do that which might be a pain to get if there isn't something at the hardware store you could substitute.
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Old 06-18-09, 06:04 PM   #4
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These days, i'm thinking of blowing an extra buckfiddy and getting a magura odur in 100mm. I can still find em here and there; they're making the odur in 09, but no one seems to be selling em stateside. emptybee-yar has a buttload of reviews about toras and comparable forks blowing up and bleeding oil after a few months' use. I don't think i could stand that. The odur is free of much in terms of adjustment, basically having a few spring options and a dynamic lockout. I fear that too much adjstments will end up keeping me tuning more than riding...

Still, 302 tora's are so danged cheap. But, the extra $150 is a small price to pay for sanity...

-rob
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Old 06-18-09, 08:11 PM   #5
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My opinion, surreal.

The peepul that reevyoo crap on emptybee-yar are like this:

Tora gets a bad rap b/c it's an inexpensive fork. It's cheap enough that the little kids who can't afford a whole lot have to get them b/c that's all there is in their price range with damping. The are Dirt Jumpers, hack riders, and wannabe light freeriders...or basically a 13 y.o. who rides from one side of town to the other hitting every staircase in between with no respect to the equipment that was so cheap.

The Magura gets a good rep b/c it's a good fork...but there's also the fact that more people who choose Magura are seasoned, older, more experienced riders with more respect for the pricier equipment that they just bought and don't beat the pissoutofit.


The Tora is a good fork. Ride it on the trail as a trail bike and it will do well. Take it urban/jumping/dropping/basically abuse it...and sure...it will fail.
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Old 06-18-09, 10:07 PM   #6
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These days, i'm thinking of blowing an extra buckfiddy and getting a magura odur in 100mm. I can still find em here and there; they're making the odur in 09, but no one seems to be selling em stateside. emptybee-yar has a buttload of reviews about toras and comparable forks blowing up and bleeding oil after a few months' use. I don't think i could stand that. The odur is free of much in terms of adjustment, basically having a few spring options and a dynamic lockout. I fear that too much adjstments will end up keeping me tuning more than riding...

Still, 302 tora's are so danged cheap. But, the extra $150 is a small price to pay for sanity...

-rob
I just got and Odur and love it. My only other experience w/ forks is a psylo race, an air fork, and the psylo I think was a little "better" in that I was able to fine tune it, but the magura is a great fork. Performance-wise I don't know if I would notice a big diff btwn it and one of the upper-tier toras, but it's great and it's built really, really well. I got it over the epicon mainly because I wanted to make sure I'd have a fork that would last a long time with little maintenence.

Oh yeah- I had to get the soft spring and 2 spacers- just slightly too light for the standard medium spring- and it cost like $70. Kind of a bummer.
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Old 06-19-09, 08:42 AM   #7
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Ed-- I see what you mean about mtbr and the totally unreliable reviews. The guys who spell wrong on purpose. The guys from another land who tell us that "forkses must was got good; much costing 4,800 grocknyets...but then-- is thing to breaking?!?!" The obvious and malicious contradictory posts, with the 5 chilis and comments like "it $uck$". But, it kind of is all we got.

But, as a fat and obsessive guy, i do have my doubts about the "cheep" forks. I mean, i can be hard on stuff. And, i can get really picky about performance and lapses thereof. I can also get weird about tuning and maintenance. I like my project2 because all i have to do to maintain/tune it is not break it, and try to slow the rust. All i have to do to not break it is avoid using sledgehammers and hacksaws on the fork legs, or pouring caustic acid all over it.

If i get a sprung fork, will i bottom it out all day til it breaks? Or will i forever keep it on the stand, playing with travel and damping and what have ya? Will i gasp and snivel anytime some oil is found on the sliders? Will riding become less enjoyable, partly due to the jenkiness of the fork, and partly due to my own madness?

TimJ- thanks for the feedback on the odur. I figure that, for not a lot of cash, i get a lot of quality and durability in a fork, and the cheepness factors in mostly with a lack of trick figures. The stainless dropouts and disc mounts look nice. The simplicity and decent materials seem to spell reliability. But, i remain confused. My own fault, really.

-rob
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Old 06-19-09, 12:23 PM   #8
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Ed-- I see what you mean about mtbr and the totally unreliable reviews. The guys who spell wrong on purpose. The guys from another land who tell us that "forkses must was got good; much costing 4,800 grocknyets...but then-- is thing to breaking?!?!" The obvious and malicious contradictory posts, with the 5 chilis and comments like "it $uck$". But, it kind of is all we got.

But, as a fat and obsessive guy, i do have my doubts about the "cheep" forks. I mean, i can be hard on stuff. And, i can get really picky about performance and lapses thereof. I can also get weird about tuning and maintenance. I like my project2 because all i have to do to maintain/tune it is not break it, and try to slow the rust. All i have to do to not break it is avoid using sledgehammers and hacksaws on the fork legs, or pouring caustic acid all over it.

If i get a sprung fork, will i bottom it out all day til it breaks? Or will i forever keep it on the stand, playing with travel and damping and what have ya? Will i gasp and snivel anytime some oil is found on the sliders? Will riding become less enjoyable, partly due to the jenkiness of the fork, and partly due to my own madness?

TimJ- thanks for the feedback on the odur. I figure that, for not a lot of cash, i get a lot of quality and durability in a fork, and the cheepness factors in mostly with a lack of trick figures. The stainless dropouts and disc mounts look nice. The simplicity and decent materials seem to spell reliability. But, i remain confused. My own fault, really.

-rob
When I was researching the odur it seemed is has a rep for being a very low maintenance fork. Apparently in europe it's targeted toward off-road commuters, the "trekking" crowd, so it's kind of designed to be a 'set it and forget it' fork, apparently. I'm digging it. The only thing I don't like is magura doesn't give info for doing complete overhauls, they consider messing w/ anything but the spring to be something for a shop to do. Probably won't matter for a long while but it's still annoying.
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Old 06-19-09, 12:45 PM   #9
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It's going to be a mental thing that you need to get past if you're going suspended, rob. You will always have this doubt in the back of your mind that seals are leaking, or you're tearing it up in some fashion. I'm an excessive fiddler too. I had that same mental block against air forks...b/c I am also a bigger dude and ride kinda hard...my old rockshox Pilot was coil/air assist and wouldn't hold air. I had sworn never to own an air fork again.

My Marz 55r air assist never leaked. Gave me some confidence. (in the short time I owned it) The Mag 21 never leaked a lb. I actually decided to get the Fox Float RL and I haven't touched the preload since I first set it up. It holds air just fine. My Tora was an air fork and held air fine as well. It's a good fork for the $150-$175 that you can patiently find it for on eBay. Motion Control damping is great.

My mental block carried over to rigid forks. I thought I'd never ride rigid. Too un comfy. Too low in the front...blah, blah, blah. Since I got the longneck P2, I love it.


Maybe you need to find a buddy to loan you a bike for a while before you take the plunge.

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Old 06-19-09, 08:08 PM   #10
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is a tora better than a marz MX pro ???
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Old 06-19-09, 08:16 PM   #11
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09 RST first on my Voodoo is working fine, best I can say is that once I set up I havn't noticed it. I'm no light weight either around the 230 mark and the air/oil/coil system is holding up nicely. Iv'e had another high end RST before and been very happy with longevity and performance. Mines still fairly new so I haven't gone past the initial setup but there is plenty of adjustability there for when I notice room for improvement. Heres one on ebay.

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-09-RST-F1RST...3A1%7C294%3A50
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Old 06-19-09, 08:29 PM   #12
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And heres a pic of my Voodoo and my Haro, both RST equipped just for the hell of it.



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Old 06-19-09, 10:39 PM   #13
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you're brake levers are operating the wrong brakes!
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Old 06-19-09, 10:39 PM   #14
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moto style. I ride mine that way too.
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Old 06-19-09, 10:59 PM   #15
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Me three, I just made the switch last weekend. Every now and then I find myself grabbing the rear brake when I don't want it, but I'm getting used to it
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Old 06-20-09, 05:17 PM   #16
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apparently, everyone in the UK rides moto.

thanks, everyone, for the hand-holding. I'm starting to p!$$ myself off with this worrying and whining. I reckon I ought to just pull the trigger, but i've been stacking parts for a much hotter bike for some time, and a little critter, who lives in my belly, is telling me to get the suspension w/ the new bike. But, that bike may be a year off. 200 beans for a tora might tide me over a bit...

-rob
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Old 06-20-09, 06:40 PM   #17
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You have a critter in your belly? Are you Prego or have you been eating lunch with this guy?
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