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Equipment/Product Review (1989) Mountain Bike Fork Innovation: One-Off and Rockshox

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Equipment/Product Review (1989) Mountain Bike Fork Innovation: One-Off and Rockshox

Old 11-24-23, 08:03 AM
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Equipment/Product Review (1989) Mountain Bike Fork Innovation: One-Off and Rockshox

WTB: Slingshot bicycle promotional documents (catalog, pamphlets, etc).
WTB: American Cycling May - Aug, Oct, Dec 1966.
WTB: Bicycle Guide issues 1984 (any); Jun 1987; Jul, Nov/Dec 1992; Apr 1994; 1996 -1998 (any)
WTB: Bike World issue Jun 1974.

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Old 11-24-23, 08:43 AM
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And so it began.
Richard C. Moeur, PE - Phoenix AZ, USA
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Old 11-25-23, 07:14 PM
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Neat article. I purchased new back when a Trek 8000 ally tubed bonded MTB but were yet to offer any suspended fork. Within 6 months that year, the selling dealer showed me a Trek information new product flier. There was this new fangled air / hyd fork. Rock Shox had already launched. Anyways, I ordered it and apparently was one of the first. Fuzzy memory but was around $250. That first suspended fork supplier to Trek was Showa.

Then I purchased a Kestrel CS-X carbon hardtail with Ritchey rigid fork. Specialized announced their 'Future Shock', so of course I jumped on the bandwagon.

Both had such little travel and stiction blah, blah but what a revolution in riding rugged single tracks!
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Old 11-27-23, 02:58 PM
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I think it was at the end of '94 that Supergo in L.A. blew out a batch of $750, DX-equipped Univega Carbolite bikes having the new Mag21 air fork (with added rebound springs to prevent harsh top-out).

It was a good fork, and was the first MTB I had raced at the time (at Lake Castaic). I took 2nd place in my first race in the beginners class after a first-lap descent crash initiated by a leading rider on the first lap with luckily no one injured (I still recall reconnecting that downed rider with his launched water bottle, and being interviewed by the local newspaper sports editor following the race, with my own race being the subject of the embellished front-page article).

The Mag21 did not respond to small surface irregularities at slower speeds, but seemed stiff enough, and proved surprisingly reliable in the sealing area because of it's rubber-booted upper tubes. I wish that a similar fork were offered today (today's forks being just too darn thick-looking, too expensive for all but the most costly examples). Disc brakes likely have closed the door on any possibility of slender suspension forks ever making it to market again.

The Schwinn Broadway hybrid bike I bought at Goodwill (originally sold out of Costco for perhaps $289), whose slender, all-steel 25mm diameter (with I guess 40mm of travel) SR-Suntour suspension fork seems ~adequately stiff with rim brakes, is easily rebuilt, is fine for light trail riding and probably cost about $35 to make!
I had to add my own fork boots and brake booster after rebuilding the corroded internals, but since it uses grease instead of oil, it's rust-pitted upper tubes seem to allow the loose-fitting "seals" to contain the lube just fine.

Last edited by dddd; 11-27-23 at 03:04 PM.
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