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uber-clyde suspension fork?

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uber-clyde suspension fork?

Old 05-04-14, 07:28 AM
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mtalinm
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uber-clyde suspension fork?

I'm in the 290s and thinking about taking up mountain biking. rode a hardtail last week and went over my handlebars, so i'm curious to try a MTB with a suspension fork. thing is, at my weight will the suspension just "compress" and effectively be like riding a hardtail? that happened to me when I tried a Walmart bike, but I don't know whether that was just a crappy bike and a "real" MTB wouldn't have that problem.
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Old 05-04-14, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
I'm in the 290s and thinking about taking up mountain biking. rode a hardtail last week and went over my handlebars, so i'm curious to try a MTB with a suspension fork.
A suspension fork isn't a substitute for proper riding technique. Mountain biking on technical terrain requires much more technique than riding a road bike, in my experience. If you look at pictures of experienced mountain riders descending on steep terrain, you'll often see that they're off the saddle and their butt is behind the seat. Even with a good suspension fork, a light rider can blow through the entire suspension travel and end up going over the bars if they're not using the proper technique...

In terms of the suspension forks I've used, they were all air sprung and the air pressure vs. weight charts all stopped at around 250lbs. Not sure if it's possible to add more pressure to compensate for a heavier rider or not. You might try poking through the user manuals for some of the larger manufacturers (Fox, Rock Shox, etc) to see what they say.
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Old 05-08-14, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
I'm in the 290s and thinking about taking up mountain biking. rode a hardtail last week and went over my handlebars, so i'm curious to try a MTB with a suspension fork. thing is, at my weight will the suspension just "compress" and effectively be like riding a hardtail? that happened to me when I tried a Walmart bike, but I don't know whether that was just a crappy bike and a "real" MTB wouldn't have that problem.

Depending on the fork the answer is yes. I'm having the issue you're referring to with my 2013 Specialized Rockhopper. The stock fork is from Suntour, and it doesn't like someone of my weight at all. I have the pre-load on it as high as I can go and it just compresses too much when I try to ride the bike. At the moment I just leave the fork locked.

I talked to my LBS about it and they suggested I go for either a steel fork or a good carbon fork. I've already got 2.3" tires on it, so combined with a good carbon fork, although it won't be as "cushy" as a suspension fork, it should still have good vibration dampening abilities. For the type of riding I do a suspension fork is overkill to be honest. :/

Some forks are rated for heavier riders, and some manufacturers have upgrade kits for their forks. Unfortunately Suntour isn't one of those companies. The downside of suspension forks is that you should expect to pay some serious coin for a good one that'll take the abuse we can dish out (someone mentioned a track fork once that's meant for people that do stunts on their bikes). Even a non track fork like a Rock Shox or a Fox Shock is going to run you upwards of $600. Worse still, you'll still need to maintain the shock at least once a year too. For the cost, unless you're really getting into cyclocross, you may want to just consider getting a steel fork or a good carbon one. They'll actually cost you less in the long run and are easier to maintain.
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Old 05-08-14, 10:43 AM
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first to clarify... you rode a "hardtail" or a rigid?... hardtail will have front suspension, a rigid has no suspension front or back.

I've always been a MTBer... back in the late 20-teens I was MTBing a lot and as mentioned there is no substitute for proper technique... if you can learn to ride well rigid things get much easier and faster with a well setup suspension fork... MTBing does require you moving around the bike A LOT and also playing with tire pressure is very important to comfort.


at the time I was riding a 29er and bought a used rockshox tora 318 soloair G2 from a friend, steel stanctions (the internal slider portions of the fork) made it hold up well for even a big rider like me (300-310ish at the time), the soloair thing made it fairly easy to setup as the only adjustment you made was putting in air in one chamber to set the proper sag and tweaking the dampening. I did run it for a while set at 80mm travel but had to run a very high pressure, while the fork never complained about that I moved up to the 100mm travel and it dropped the pressure significantly while giving me a lot more comfort while riding... I know you can get similar forks these days and other lighter options that are even better and stronger...

so in short... yes there are some good forks avl out there for uber clyds, a though axle or maxle or is supposed to make a BIG difference in fork stiffness but does require a different front hub than a typical QR... no biggie if you start from scratch with that fork... but as I understand it its worth it... for more/better info check out the clyd section on MTBR... you can find some great info over there as things are more aimed at MTBing
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