There are two things about the SunTour fork on my bike (2011 TALON 29ER 1) I don't like. I would think that most people would think these issues are minor, and they probably are, I just don't like them. One of things I don't like is the slight bit of play in the fork. The slight bit of movement in the fork I'm talking about is when you straddle the bike and you lock the front brakes and slightly moving it forward and back there's some play, it feels like the headset is loose but I know it’s not. The research that I have done mentions this is common in mid to low grade coil spring forks. The second, when going over little bumps there's a very subtle rattling sound, when putting more force on the front forks there is no sound, I would think it to be the opposite.
Knowing what I dislike, I would like to put a different suspension fork on my bike (not SunTour). Can this be done without replacing any other components on my bike, such is front wheel, Hub, brakes, Etc? Just want a bolt on replacement and I'm going to have a local bike shop do the labor.
And what is a good fork? I don't need anything high-end, something mid-level. Can I get a decent fork for under $500? The specs on my biker below.
SR Raidon 29" (Custom for Giant), Alloy Steerer, 15QR w/ Lockout, 100mm Travel