Old 01-21-13, 01:30 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Troy, MI
Posts: 7

Bikes: '09 Novara Randonee / '99 GT Backwoods

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Inexpensive / lower end (but not terrible) suspension forks?

I have a 1999 GT Backwoods that I picked up locally (craigslist!) a couple years back. At the end of last fall, the fork started getting really funky and I figured I'd go ahead and take it apart during my annual I'm-bored-lets-make-a-mess-in-the-basement cleaning and see if something was obviously wrong. As far as I can tell, it's the stock fork, a Rockshox Jett XC. It looks like it has seen a fair amount of use, as most of the rubber in them is pretty much shot, some of the plastic is looking fairly sketchy (preload knobs falling off...), and the springs are definitely worn (shorter than the specs in the manual I was able to find).

Given that replacement parts from a fork that old seem to be fairly scarce, I'm thinking about replacing it with a newer, low end shock... Now, I'm not a particularly fantastic rider - I ride for fun, not to race - and the limiting factor is definitely myself and not my fork. Another consideration is the travel on the Jett XC seems to be only 60mm - and I've had a heck of a time even finding forks that offer less than 100mm of travel... which would throw the frame geometry off, unless I fail to understand?

The rock bottom seems to be Rockshox XC28TK (which also seems to have a 80mm version available - much closer to the original 60mm), but are there other inexpensive options? I'd like to keep it sub-$200 if possible... I only paid $150 for the bike! Functional and reasonably durable, but not a lot of features is my target. I come from a road touring background, so if there are 'must have' features or particular things to watch out for in general, feel free to educate me!

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