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Looking for a 1 1/8th reliable low travel fork

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Looking for a 1 1/8th reliable low travel fork

Old 03-12-19, 10:10 AM
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Happy Feet
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Looking for a 1 1/8th reliable low travel fork

I'm experimenting with trekking suspension for an older rigid 26 mtb and am wondering if there is a reliable, simple (low maintenance) low travel fork out there. Coil only? This is for an off road/easy trails bike so nothing too gnarly but some suspension is nice. Also, as an old school build I don't want to break the bank with a too expensive option.

I currently am using an old Suntour SR which I think is equivalent to the M3030 and also see an XCT but they weight about 4-5 lb's.

Are there any old school or new hidden gems out there that might weigh a little less or stand out as super reliable/easy to maintain?
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Old 03-12-19, 10:20 AM
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might check ebay for 80mm travel forks.
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Old 03-12-19, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by carlosponti View Post
might check ebay for 80mm travel forks.
Perhaps. But at the moment I wouldn't know a good one from a bad one. I'm looking for ideas on what might be a strong reliable model. This would be for off road touring and I don't want something that might fall apart or weighs a ton.
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Old 03-12-19, 12:06 PM
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I will be honest the coil forks are going to be heavier no matter the brand. Partly depends on how much you are willing to spend as well. since you are working with a 1 1/8th inch steerer itll be easier to find a fork. although tapered steer tubes are becoming much more common. I have been looking into this recently as well. I have a suntour xct on mine, Ive looked at what Id replace it with if it were to stop working. Ive looked at rockshox recon silver, manitou markhor, suntour epixion all of which are 100mm. id suggest manitou or rockshox. might even find an older fork to match the older suntour m3030.
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Old 03-13-19, 07:00 PM
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IF you are willing to find an old fork and do a rebuild....

If I were looking for a solid, easy to maintain/rebuild, reliable, short travel, fork with a 1-1/8" steerer for 26" wheels, I would be looking at a few of the older (as in mid-2000s through ~2011) Rock Shock forks. I am thinking in particular of a Reba, Recon, or Tora (which came in a coil version). If you are looking for a fork with 100mm or less travel, I think the Reba has the option of using spacers to lower the travel (mine is 80mm), and the U-turn coil versions of the Tora can be dialed down to something like 80-90mm. Recon I have seen in 100mm, not sure if it comes shorter.

If looking at the Tora or Recon, try to find one with Motion Control damper rather than the "Turn Key" (TK) version. The Motion Control that was available in these forks it is not the same Motion Control as came in the Pike/Reba/Sid of that time, but it is still good and can be modded to be better if you are so inclined to tinker.

Some of the mid-late 2000s SID forks might be a good bet as well, and are definitely short travel, but I am less familiar with them.

All of the above mentioned forks are incredibly easy to work and and rebuild to a like-new function for about $50 in (still readily available) parts - $70 if you include a bottle each of 5 Weight shock oil and some oil for the lowers. As long as the bushings and stanchions are still good, you are good to go. Only special tool needed is a pair of snap-ring pliers. A 24mm socket is nice, but not required. I have completely rebuild a 2007 Reba, 2004 Pike, and 2013 Lyrik. All pretty easy to do.

I am a big fan of coil. The only issue (besides weight) is that springs could be hard to come by if you need a different spring rate for your weight.

Good luck
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Old 03-14-19, 08:44 AM
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Thanks Carlo and Kapusta for the help
Having never used a susp fork before I am woefully ignorant of their ins and outs
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Old 03-14-19, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Thanks Carlo and Kapusta for the help
Having never used a susp fork before I am woefully ignorant of their ins and outs
Sure!

I forgot to ask.... disc or rim brakes?
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Old 03-14-19, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Sure!

I forgot to ask.... disc or rim brakes?
For this current build rim but if I do a new build it will be disc. In that case I would look at 29r, tapered etc...

Im thinking of ways to turn an older 26 rigid into an off road touring bike. I find so far the susp fork takes the jolting out of ruts etc... but don't know how dependable a Suntour m3030 would be for extended use.

In the suntour lineup there is just the m3030 and xct for 26 linear pull and I don't know if there is much of a difference.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 03-14-19 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 03-14-19, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
For this current build rim but if I do a new build it will be disc. In that case I would look at 29r, tapered etc...
.
Hmm... I think you can disregard all my recs as I am pretty sure they are all disc-only.

You have to go quite a ways back to find a, high quality, 26Ē, straight steerer fork with rim brake bosses. There are entry level ones out there new, but I donít know much about them, other than entry level now is a lot nicer than it used to be.
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Old 03-15-19, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post


Hmm... I think you can disregard all my recs as I am pretty sure they are all disc-only.

You have to go quite a ways back to find a, high quality, 26Ē, straight steerer fork with rim brake bosses. There are entry level ones out there new, but I donít know much about them, other than entry level now is a lot nicer than it used to be.
No no, it's all still good. I just have rim now but if I found the right fork I have the parts to go mechanical disc. I appreciate the thoughts
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Old 03-17-19, 01:26 PM
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Mr P*****y's WABAC ..

OEM build of my 04 Koga WTR, included a 35mm traver fork by Spinner, they remachined for mounting a Tubus Lowrider pannier rack on it ..
Of course that was 15 years ago.. I bought the bike Used 11 years ago ..

Cannot help your search ... may just have to stick with a rigid fork & play with your front tire pressures..
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Old 03-18-19, 06:07 AM
  #12  
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I have heard good reports about this seller:
https://www.mtbforksbymark.com/ Give him a phone call and tell him your requirements
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Old 03-18-19, 11:19 AM
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Recon Silver TK still comes in 26" and straight steerer. So does Manitou Markhor. The Recon still has canti bosses.

https://www.jensonusa.com/Manitou-Ma...6-Fork-en.aspx
https://www.jensonusa.com/Rockshox-R...K-26-Fork-2018
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Old 03-18-19, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Recon Silver TK still comes in 26" and straight steerer. So does Manitou Markhor. The Recon still has canti bosses.

https://www.jensonusa.com/Manitou-Ma...6-Fork-en.aspx
https://www.jensonusa.com/Rockshox-R...K-26-Fork-2018
I think that Recon may be the ticket for the OP. That is a legit fork.
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Old 03-18-19, 11:31 AM
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^^^And the Recon comes with both disc & (linear pull) canti bosses. Just attach your brake of choice.

Travel is set by way of spacers inside the shock. 100mm is default, but the internal spacers can be re-ordered/reconfigured on reassembly for 80, 100, or 120mm of travel as you see fit...At least that is what the shop service manual says. I have yet to rebuild mine, so I regarded that tid-bit as an intellectual curiosity more than anything. Someone with first hand knowledge can confirm?
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Old 03-18-19, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Recon Silver TK still comes in 26" and straight steerer. So does Manitou Markhor. The Recon still has canti bosses.

https://www.jensonusa.com/Manitou-Ma...6-Fork-en.aspx
https://www.jensonusa.com/Rockshox-R...K-26-Fork-2018
Good to know. I'm looking for a decent replacement 26" shock if the headshock on my Cannondale can't get rebuilt.
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Old 03-18-19, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
Good to know. I'm looking for a decent replacement 26" shock if the headshock on my Cannondale can't get rebuilt.
I recall reading somewhere that a Headshok bike can take a tapered steerer if you can get the right headset.
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Old 03-18-19, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post

I recall reading somewhere that a Headshok bike can take a tapered steerer if you can get the right headset.
The steerer isn’t the issue. It’s a Canti bike (Machine Tech center-pulls) so I need it to have studs. Going to discs would mean new wheels, controls, basically everything but the paint job.

Decent 26" forks that have canti studs are few and far between. Unless you go used, and I already have a used fork.

Last edited by Ironfish653; 03-18-19 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 03-18-19, 09:34 PM
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Thanks all for the replies. Plenty to look through
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Old 03-19-19, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post


The steerer isnít the issue. Itís a Canti bike (Machine Tech center-pulls) so I need it to have studs. Going to discs would mean new wheels, controls, basically everything but the paint job.

Decent 26" forks that have canti studs are few and far between. Unless you go used, and I already have a used fork.
if you went with mechanical disc with a road caliper, all you would need is a new wheel.
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Old 03-19-19, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
if you went with mechanical disc with a road caliper, all you would need is a new wheel.
Good to know. I'm sending the Headshock up to Mendon for an overhaul, since no one around here will touch one. It was one of the main features I bought the bike for. It's got disc and canti mounts, so if the right pair of wheels comes up for the right price, it could make it worthwhile.
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Old 03-19-19, 11:27 AM
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I get what you are trying to do. Looked at say, a new rigid plus bike or used( a few years old)? 3" tires have some nice cush.
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Old 03-19-19, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
I get what you are trying to do. Looked at say, a new rigid plus bike or used( a few years old)? 3" tires have some nice cush.
Yeah, but $250 for a new shock (or $75 +s/h for the rebuild on the Headshok) doesn't get you very far on a new or near-new bike.

Demo'ed a Giant Stance last weekend (F/S, 27.5, dropper post, 1x) Definitely a game changer. But I just can't justify the $1500 price tag for a new trail toy.
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Old 03-20-19, 09:28 AM
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^^^ N+1 in my book. Just saying for the price of a newer, used ( say 3-5 yr old) ride, you would have all modern parts, tubeless with bigger tires. And real front sus. Just something for the OP to consider. $ 800 to 1 K would go far.
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Old 03-22-19, 07:48 PM
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I have a few of them available in my basement.
How long of a steertube do you need? diameter?
I'll take some pictures.
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