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Old 04-07-15, 11:33 AM
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ColinL
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Wichita
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Bikes: Santa Cruz Blur TR, Cannondale Quick CX dropbar conversion & others

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I searched a bit and found that the axle-to-crown length on your current fork is 530mm. As a rule of thumb, if you make the fork no more than 20mm longer, handling won't be significantly changed.

Many current 150mm and 160mm forks can be lowered to 140mm and should have similar axle-to-crown length at 140mm travel. For example I'm on a Manitou Mattoc Expert which is 525mm a2c at 140mm travel (for my 26" version-- 27.5 would be 535mm). It's actually a 170mm fork with up to 3 travel spacers that can be installed to take it down to 140mm, and comes with 1 of them pre-installed to be 160mm. Some forks do still have to be permanently modified to shorten their travel but a lot have air / travel spacers like this. You might want to ride it at the stock length to start with and only lower it if you feel the handling has been negatively affected.

Figure out what fork you want based on features and price. If you know anyone with such a fork that you can ride, definitely try to get in a test-ride. But you might have to take a leap of faith. Here's the shortlist I'd work with:

Rockshox Pike - has both dual-position or solo air options - revolutionary 3 years ago, competitive today
Manitou Mattoc - easy to service and modify travel, hydraulic bottom-out, cheapest online price
MRP Stage - small company based out of Colorado but the fork has solid reviews, ramp control feature is unique
Fox 36 - expensive and possibly overkill
BOS Deville - heinously expensive and questionable parts / service availability in North America
Wait until late summer / early fall for New Fox 34 - pre-production test reports sound quite favorable
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