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The New and Improved Fork Buying Guide.

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The New and Improved Fork Buying Guide.

Old 05-08-05, 01:38 AM
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Each company makes something for your need. It's finding the fork that best fits your preferences that is in your comfort zone financially. If you broke the fork on your bike and need a fork and you are low on money, manitou, marzocchi and rockshox make decent entry level forks or you could buy a used fork that is in good shape for cheap. If you want a new fork and you are low on money, save up money for a good fork. If you have alot of money and need/want a new fork, well, the sky is the limit. Just remember to get a fork that will fit your riding style and the type of riding you do. For example, you don't want a Fox 40 RC2 on a Trek Fuel, just like you don't want a Rock Shox Duke on a Kona Stab Supreme. Longer travel forks will put a stress on the headtube of a bike that was designed for xc. RS duke on a stab supreme just looks stupid, and defeats the purpose of a downhill/freeride bike, plus puts a strain on the frame as well. For those of you in between DH/FR and cross country, about any SC fork will do that has 4-7" of travel, some of these SC will either have a 1_1/8" steerer or a 1.5 steerer, sadly for the 1" market the options are dying out quickly. It's just finding a fork that is in your price range. Agressive/heavier riders will be best off with a coil fork, lighter/xc riders will be best off with an air shock. 200lbs riders on air forks have a greater chance to blow a seal. There is though a movement coming around of Air Sprung forks showing up that can take the abuse abuse of lightweight to lighter moderate freeriding and some downhill, but are actually designed for more aggressive trail riding than freeriding. A bike designed around a 3" travel fork can't accept a 5-7" SC or DC, but can accept a 4" fork. A bike designed for a 7-10" DC can handle a 6-7" SC or DC. They can take it, but a coil sprung fork is more ideal for Freeriding and DH, eventually down the line air or nitrogen based shocks* will be the norm.

For those who are craving for a light, fork designed for XC. An air fork is right up your alley. Air forks are starting to show up on 4x rigs as well. Since 2002 the seals on air forks have improved by ten fold. They have no real need for a coil, and the adjustability of these forks are done by air pressure.

Since the first version of the fork buying guide, there has been a movement in the suspension fork industry called the Stable Platform Valve. What is a stable platform valve; it's basically an inertia valve designed to make the fork or rear shock to not respond to pedalling forces(AKA, make it ride like a Rigid) but will reaction to bumps, jumps, rocks, roots. This is big with Manitou, while Fox and Rock Shox have their own variations of it. Marzocchi doesn't but through stratos, you can get a fitting called an ID Cartridge, which is an inertia valve, beware though, this small cartridge is $300USD per cartridge.

Another trend is adjustable travel. All four of the major brands have their own version of travel adjustment, the two that are most known for it however is Rock Shox with their U-turn system and Fox Racing Shox with the Talas system. Manitou and Marzocchi have travel adjustment, it's just that Fox and Rock Shox has it down.

Generally, a short travel fork produces a quicker steering bike, which isn't always a good thing, short forks are great for XC where tracking isn't a big need. A longer travel fork produces a slower steering bike, which osn't good for xc, but for trail riding, freeriding and DH/4X, a long travel fork is a must, a longer travel fork tracks much better than a short travel fork does, tracking is a key element in aggressive situations.

To find a geeral price of this product. Ask your local lbs person or check https://mtbr.com.


Here are links to various companies that make Suspension Forks.

Companies:








Stratos

Companies that refurbish forks/modify them.

Mojo

Romic
Hippie Tech
Push Industries

*None have been made or have been rumored to being around.

Going to leave this open, but if ANY off topic stuff is posted in this, it will be deleted.
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Old 05-08-05, 02:52 AM
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Another thing that should probably be mentioned about air forks is that while some newer designs are being produced to handle heavier riders, the nature of most air based systems produces a progressive feel. While this can be tuned by the manufacturer, in general, if you're approaching the upper range of the amount of pressure needed for that shock, you will have a less than linear behaviour. This is why coil units are better for heavier riders and/or applications that see greater hit loading. So although an air shock may say that it can handle up to a 220 lbs rider weight, things may get a bit stiff and uncomfortable when those things are preloaded past 185lbs.

BTW, great thread and good info.
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Old 05-08-05, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by KonaRider24
you've got an extra https:// in the marzocchi link.

great info. thanks
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Old 05-08-05, 07:32 AM
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You might want to go into a little more depth about air based shocks. They have huge adjustability potentials. Bigger rider = more PSI. Or more PSI if one is looking for a stiffer ride i guess. Also you might discuss the handling characteristics of different forks. ANd that a bike designed for 80mm of travel wont make you happy if you put 150mm of travel on it
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Old 05-08-05, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by phantomcow2
Also you might discuss the handling characteristics of different forks.
I'd be able to do a general thing on that, but it won't be indept enough to do a full on part of it, being that some bikes with a certain fork compared to other bike brands with the same fork.
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Old 05-08-05, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by KonaRider24
I'd be able to do a general thing on that, but it won't be indept enough to do a full on part of it, being that some bikes with a certain fork compared to other bike brands with the same fork.
well yea but just a general overview of it all might be helpful. When i first got into MTB i was under the impression that more travel is better
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Old 05-08-05, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by phantomcow2
well yea but just a general overview of it all might be helpful. When i first got into MTB i was under the impression that more travel is better
That is covered now.
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Old 05-08-05, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by KonaRider24
That is covered now.
I like it, well done
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Old 05-08-05, 02:00 PM
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*feel free to delete this when read*

Wouldn't it be a bit of a good idea to make these sticky threads stand out a little more?

Maybe putting the titles in bold?

After all, thes eare good threads and peoples eyes should really be drawn to them before they reach for the start new thread button.
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Old 05-08-05, 02:02 PM
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On the forks topic I've been hearin very good things about the Rock Shocks Pike line - good all mountain forks at reasonable prices.
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Old 06-03-05, 07:13 PM
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whats a good fork for very very dirt cheap? if such a thing exists?
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Old 06-03-05, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by revmonkey
whats a good fork for very very dirt cheap? if such a thing exists?
rigid surly. They come in QR, and TA.
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Old 06-04-05, 09:09 AM
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huh? forgive my ignorance but I have no clue what you're talking about...
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Old 06-17-05, 03:37 AM
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Sorry I know this is off topic, but could some-one please tell me what Derailleurs are?
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Old 06-19-05, 05:16 PM
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Is a Rock Shox Judy TT for 100$ can a good deal for a starting XCer?
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Old 06-19-05, 05:29 PM
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Derailleurs- the parts at the front and rear of your drivetrain that actually physically move the chain up and down the gears. the front one is generally positioned above your chainrings, while the rear derailleur is that huge thing that hangs just below your casette and moves left/right when you shift. hope this helps a bit.

Thomas.
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Old 07-09-05, 03:45 PM
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How does a fork with longer travel have a tendency to put more stress on the headtube? And how much more travel would I need to accomplish such a thing?

Ex. - the fork on my bike I believe is 75 mm. Would getting a 100mm travel fork be a no-no? Or are you talking about those crazy forks that when put on a regular mountain bike frame make it look like a pedal-style engineless chopper straight out of Orange County Choppers?
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Old 07-09-05, 03:50 PM
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Should be ok if you have a threadless 1_1/8 head tubed bike.
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Old 07-17-05, 10:39 PM
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From your comment about 1-inch steer tubes, I feel I may be in trouble, but...
I have a Bontrager Privateer Comp that I love, but...
It has a 1-inch steer tube. I am still riding the Judy XC that came on the bike, but it is starting to get mushy. Is anyone still making decent 1-inch forks, or made them recently enough that I can still buy?
Thanks!
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Old 07-17-05, 10:48 PM
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Marzocchi still makes one. Would have to special order it. But as of last year they were still available.
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Old 07-18-05, 04:41 AM
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I'm hoping to get a Marzocchi Z1 FR III either this summer or this winter. Would I need to get softer springs for optimal performance? I weigh 95lbs.

Thanks.

PS: Also, do you guys have any reccomendations on other 5" freeride forks?
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Old 07-27-05, 12:46 AM
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Excellent fork guide- and in the nick of time for me. I was going to do something stupid and put a 100/130 on a classic '95 Zaskar frame; now I remember why I'm not supposed to do that. I'll stick with the straight 80mm. We won't see a frame like that again, and I'd be heartbroken if I killed it. And ticked at the weird handling.
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