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Old 02-02-13, 07:40 PM   #1
jowilson
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increasing travel on XC trail fork/suspension

I hope this is the right page to post this question on...

I own a Diamondback Outlook 21-speed MTB and I have XC trail fork/suspension on the front. I have around 50mm of travel (according to the website, anyway) and when I ride over a curb, the spring compresses all the way down and they make a loud *clang* and pop back up. That's normal as far as what the suspension is supposed to do, but the travel just seems so little for such a bike and what I do with it (some MTBing and casual riding around my neighborhood). I read about increasing the travel between the springs and full compression, known simply as travel. I looked at my bike and I can't see anyway to go about increasing this and I'm wondering if it's even possible with my suspension or if I need to get new forks. I'll attach a pic of the bike and see if anyone can show me how to go about this.

I also noticed that when the shocks pop back up, there is a short squeaking noise that seems to be coming from the left shock. I think if I increase the travel, I might as well take apart the shocks and oil them up.

Any advice would be very helpful and appreciated,

Josh
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Old 02-02-13, 10:06 PM   #2
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You'll likely need a different fork.
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Old 02-02-13, 10:11 PM   #3
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There is no way to increase the travel on that fork. If you want more travel, you'll need to buy a new fork but I'd recommend against it. A good quality fork could cost as much as you paid for the bike and it would only highlight that the rest of the components are not trail-worthy. The bike you have is designed for gravel paths, jumping curbs and hitting potholes and not serious trail use.

Don't replace the fork. Save your money and replace the bike.
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Old 02-02-13, 10:35 PM   #4
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when I ride over a curb, the spring compresses all the way down and they make a loud *clang* and pop back up. That's normal as far as what the suspension is supposed to do
Josh
No... It's not normal... What you should look for is a way to create less travel in your front shock. I'm no MTB expert, but don't most shocks come with a dial or knob to adjust compression and rebound? It sounds like the primary function for your MTB is on-road use with some light trails. There's no reason you would need more front travel than you already have for your stated usage.
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Old 02-02-13, 10:36 PM   #5
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You'll likely need a different fork.
Why?
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Old 02-02-13, 10:47 PM   #6
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Because there actually has to be some overlap between the uppers and lowers. Take that overlap away, and you remove the fore to aft rigidity of the fork. You can lower them, but it is a really bad idea to make them longer. Not to mention given that it has 50mm of travel, those uppers are likely 28.6 or smaller.
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Old 02-02-13, 10:52 PM   #7
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Right... I should have replied with more than one word. Why would someone who primarily uses a mid-range XC MTB for on road and light XC have a need for a front fork with more travel?
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Old 02-02-13, 10:58 PM   #8
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You can get a very inexpensive upgrade shock with 100mm of travel for less than $100.00
Im not sure what stem you have thogh.If you have a 1" steerer tube your options are pretty
slim on upgrades but if its 1-1/8" you have all the options in the world for an upgraded shock.

Assuming its 1-1/8" you can get a Rockshoks XC28 shock for $80.00 new with lots more travel.
Its not a pro grade shock but its way better than the one you have. Even 80mm would be an
improvement for your out dated shock.
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Old 02-02-13, 11:02 PM   #9
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You can get a very inexpensive upgrade shock with 100mm of travel for less than $100.00
Im not sure what stem you have thogh.If you have a 1" steerer tube your options are pretty
slim on upgrades but if its 1-1/8" you have all the options in the world for an upgraded shock.

Assuming its 1-1/8" you can get a Rockshoks XC28 shock for $80.00 new with lots more travel.
Its not a pro grade shock but its way better than the one you have. Even 80mm would be an
improvement for your out dated shock.
Why does someone riding around town need 100mm of travel?
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Old 02-02-13, 11:11 PM   #10
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Well depends on how they ride in my opinion..For him to bottom out the fork either hes having fun jumping off curbs or its just a bad fork in general..either way he would need a better fork...or just go with a rigid if he doesnt want a shock/fork at all. Im just assuming i suppose that he wants a better travel fork based on his wanting more travel.
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Old 02-03-13, 12:32 AM   #11
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Well depends on how they ride in my opinion..For him to bottom out the fork either hes having fun jumping off curbs or its just a bad fork in general..either way he would need a better fork...or just go with a rigid if he doesnt want a shock/fork at all. Im just assuming i suppose that he wants a better travel fork based on his wanting more travel.
Just because someone "wants more travel" doesn't mean they should buy a new fork with 80/100mm or more travel. I thought the forum was designed to help people, not just recommend things based off their inexperience's and desires.
The OP stated their use of the bike consists of "some MTBing and casual riding around my neighborhood." They also stated their fork bottoms out and makes a loud "Clang" noise each time the fork compresses. Yet, no one has offered help to adjust the compression of the fork to fix the issue. Maybe, "buy a new fork, dude" is not the right answer in this case.
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Old 02-03-13, 12:57 AM   #12
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This bike looks to low end and worn to spend money on. Just take the caps off the top of the fork and try putting spacer in to hold the front end up higher and compress the spring a bit making stiffer. If you can't do that then just rip the springs out and stretch them a 100mm and reinstall, job done!
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Old 02-03-13, 01:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Just because someone "wants more travel" doesn't mean they should buy a new fork with 80/100mm or more travel. I thought the forum was designed to help people, not just recommend things based off their inexperience's and desires.
The OP stated their use of the bike consists of "some MTBing and casual riding around my neighborhood." They also stated their fork bottoms out and makes a loud "Clang" noise each time the fork compresses. Yet, no one has offered help to adjust the compression of the fork to fix the issue. Maybe, "buy a new fork, dude" is not the right answer in this case.

So whats your recommendation?..he doesnt need a suspension at all if he doesnt want one but he is complaining about the shocks bottoming out...so like i stated its either a bad fork or he NEEDS more travel for what hes doing with it..He may only need 5mm travel..i dont know...im not riding his bike for him..but the standard issue today on bikes are generally 80-100mm of travel. Even walmart bikes have that much travel on some models. Most are 60mm though. The way i see it is he needs a another shock so why not a small upgrade?
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Old 02-03-13, 01:31 AM   #14
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I recommend he/she looks in to fixing the problem - as any shock bottoming out with light use is most likely a mechanical issue - before they consider spending money on replacing a part that may just need an adjustment or rebuild.
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Old 02-03-13, 01:39 AM   #15
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well if he/she can find a shop thats got parts for such an old worn out shock then great...but considering it is as old as it is
i doubt any shop would fix it and cost would be more in labor i would think than just buying a shock. can buy a used
up to date shock on ebay for $35.00 to $50.00 with more travel. But anyhow thats what i would do..to eaches own i suppose.
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Old 02-03-13, 01:51 AM   #16
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50 millimeter = 1.968503935 inches....Less than 2 inches of travel even if it was in working order.
parking curbs are generally taller than that at least where i come from. They would still bottom out.
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Old 02-03-13, 09:14 AM   #17
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Shore, the fork is not broken, nor is it really adjustable. It's probably either an elastomer or a cheap spring, neither of which are going to be worth fiddling with. I also agree the OP doesn't need more travel. What he or she needs is to deal with the clanging (due to a lack of rebound adjustment) while riding around the neighbourhood or buy a new bike that is capable of actual trail use. The bike in the pictures isn't really a mountain bike, it just looks like one.
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Old 02-03-13, 11:00 AM   #18
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I should've posted more info in the first post.

The headset is 1 1/8" so that gives me more options for a replacement fork, yes?

I ride along streets and sidewalks most of the time and if I'm not watching for bumps in the surface and I have my weight at the front, the forks compress all the way and make the clanging sound. The height of the curb or bump in the road need not matter, because my speed compresses it all the way and makes the noise.

I have owned the bike for 2 years now and I recently (since August or so) gained an interest in mechanics, whether it be bike, automotive, or stuff that's broken around the house. I have no problem taking apart my bike and seeing if increasing travel is possible. I did so last night and found that inside the fork tube (if that's the right word) there is a allen screw at the bottom that holds the two parts of the fork together. The only problem, I don't have an 8 inch allen wrench. I plan on getting one, but at the moment, I'm stuck.

But fear not, the newb will always have questions!

I want to get front disc brakes. I currently have front and rear rim brakes but I want to retrofit the front to have disc brakes. I don't have a need for them but I think it's worth a shot at trying. If I can't retrofit them, I'm fine with that but really just want something to do with my time. Is that possible?

Thanks for all the comments,

Josh
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Old 02-03-13, 11:17 AM   #19
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Alright, number one, don't have your weight out in front. Keep it centered over the bottom bracket. No matter what fork you have, your weight shouldn't be out in front. Secondly, I have to second everyone who said that if you want to increase travel, you're going to want to put on a different fork.
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Old 02-03-13, 04:33 PM   #20
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I took apart the fork this afternoon and it turns out that the spring just needed to be cleaned and regreased. I put it all back together and was riding along testing it out. The clanging noise has gone away, but I have a new problem. The bottom part of the fork slops forward when I brake on the front brakes and when I stop, it moves back to the "normal" position. I think I might have put the grommet inside the fork in backwards but I can't know for sure until I have another weekend to take it apart again. Does this sound logical? Or is it a different problem and if so , what may it be?

Josh
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Old 02-03-13, 06:52 PM   #21
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The flex is pretty common in lower end shocks..Even if you upgraded to a better shock youll still find some flex in them.
Common shocks use 28mm stanchions and typically have more flex than say one with a 30mm or 32mm stanchions.
Its not a problem with the shock persay its just how they are.

And regarding your fork having a 1-1/8" steerer tube.Yes its good news for options on fork replacements should you
decide to upgrade to a much better fork even if its got 30mm more travel. I wouldnt suggest more than 100mm at maximum though. Even department store bikes come with 80mm and 100mm of travel on the higher end models..The lower end models
have 60mm of travel and use 1"steerer tubes.
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Old 02-03-13, 06:59 PM   #22
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http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/234...-Fork-2012.htm

If you decide to upgrade this is a wonderful improvement for the money.
Enjoy your biking.
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Old 02-03-13, 07:36 PM   #23
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If your fork is bottoming out and you want to replace it, I'd look on ebay for a used, better grade of fork. Be sure to measure your steer tube and buy a fork that has as long a steer tube or longer than yours.
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Old 02-03-13, 08:48 PM   #24
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I never had flex before I took apart the fork and I have tried everything (almost anyway) to fix it. I have tried compressing the fork and tightening the screws, tightening the screws non-compressed, tightening the screws very little, and I eventually just put it all back together and walked it into my shed.

I believe this type of flex is called fore-aft flex or forward flex or something to that effect.

I think I will do one of three things:

1. Take the bike over to my LBS and have them fix everything, because there are a few more problems than just the fork flex.

2. Buy a spacer that'll fit around the spring and inside the fork tube to prevent the tube from moving back and forth.

3. Deal with it.
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