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Old 08-15-09, 03:16 AM   #1
b1_
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Advice on new front suspension forks - options inside

Guys, I need a replace my very old 1997 Rockshox Indy C elastin based suspension forks, they are completely shot and liable, at any moment, to throw my over the handle bars with the merest touch of the breaks.

The bike is a Giant ATX 860 19.5 inch frame, 26" wheels. It has 75mm from the tyre to the underside of the crown, and 55mm from the underside of the that u-thingy to the underside of the crown. I assume this means my current suspension forks are about 60mm travel? a2c (Axle to crown) 430mm. Hopefully I won't upset geometry too much?

I use the bike as a go anywhere. I mainly use it on the road for touring but like to jump on to dirt roads too - nothing hardcore. I took this bike to New Zealand for a month touring on the roads mostly but would take day trips into the mountains and it worked well.

So what I'm looking for in the fork is:
- firmness
- shorter travel (like 80mm)
- low weight (2000g max - current fork is 1680g and want as close as I can get to that)
- low maintenance, uncomplicated, set and forget
- 100% coil springs suspension preferred over air suspension I think
- rim break mounts
- lock out that will last
- looking for bang for buck sweet spot - don't need super-awesome for this crappy old bike. I'm thinking once I get this back on the road I'll use it as a bang-around bike and build a proper 700C hybrid bike eg. Scott Sportster frame, Marzocchi TXC LO TK 2009 fork, Shimano XT group set etc.

I've done some research and come up with these choices:
- Suntour SF9-XCR LO 26' (unknown everything, weight???)
- Fox F80 RLT (can't find any info on this fork, but F80 suggests 80mm travel?)
- Fox 32 Vanilla R - coil with spring selection, 140mm travel (too much travel I think)
- SRAM ROCKSHOX Tora SL (302), air/coil, lockout, 2000g/2160g AU$360
- SRAM Rockshox Recon XC (SL no rim break mounts), turnkey lockout, coil, 1980g
- Magura Odur 100mm travel = 2000g = a2c473mm/85mm travel = 1980g = a2c453mm, coil, DLO Dynamic Lockout
- Marzocchi 33 TST2 2009, 80mm 100mm 120mm travel, coil with bumper left, TST2 right, 2300g

I'm leaning toward Tora SL (302) 2009 (2008 Tora leaked oil, is this still a problem?)

Have I missed any forks - what's the equivalent Fox fork to the Rockshox Tora? Is there one? Any other suggestions or advice very welcome - this has been far more complicated than I thought it would be.

Thx
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Old 08-15-09, 06:33 AM   #2
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I would probably buy the Tora 318 over the 302. Most places, it's about $50 more, but it is .4lbs lighter, comes with U-turn (which is travel adjustment from 85-130mm) and Motion Control, which is Rockshox' top end damping adjustment. Has both disc and rim BRAKE mounts. So no matter which BRAKES you choose, you know that your BRAKES will be compatible with your fork.
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Old 08-15-09, 08:07 AM   #3
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How much travel does your bike have now? If it's currently an 80mm, throwing that 140mm Vanilla on is going to stress the headtube.

What's your price range? That F80 is a great fork, but it's a lot more expensive than the Tora. It's an air fork though.

Fox doesn't have an equivalent to the Tora. They have one of each type of fork in their lineup, rather than a few varying in price.
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Old 08-15-09, 11:41 AM   #4
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The Tora 318 (Tora Race, right?) is air only. The Tora SL (302, right?) is coil or air, and has the U-turn feature but not the motion control, which I thought was only applicable to the air forks. I would prefer a coil fork because I'm lazy and don't want to fiddle with it.

My budget is around AU$300 (about US$250) give or take. I don't know what my current fork travel is - can't find any info on it - how do you measure it?

And can someone tell me why there are two weights indicated for each SRAM Rockshox fork over at the SRAM site?

Looks like the Fox forks aren't for me then.
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Old 08-16-09, 08:54 AM   #5
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You're getting confused. Rockshox has two lines of Tora shocks: 1 for trail, and one cross country. The trail forks are the 289, 302 and 318. The 318 comes in either air or coil. This one from JensonUSA is $250, has U-Turn adjustable travel, and Motion Control damping. The reason that there are sometimes multiple weights, is because the forks have different options, like dual air, solo air, or coil.
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Old 08-17-09, 01:56 AM   #6
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Yes, I was getting confused - Rockshox should do something about their branding, or maybe I'm not too bright.

I think for me the Tora SL or the Recon SL will do. The RS Trail range has the u-turn travel adjust but this adds weight, and I don't really need it. The cross country orientated SLs are simpler and lighter, with lockout, but no motion control.

SRAM Rockshox Tora SL, air/coil, 2000g/2160g, lockout,
SRAM Rockshox Recon SL, air/coil, 1855g/2000g, turnkey lockout

Now I just gotta make sure they'll fit, and have rim break mounts.
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