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mountain bike fork upgrade question

Old 08-15-22, 11:46 AM
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J_Chickles
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mountain bike fork upgrade question

I have an old 26" Santa Cruz Heckler from the early '00s that is still a viable buddy bike and have used it as a backup bike



the bike is currently wearing a Fox Vanilla air shock and a RS Tora front fork- its air but has the heavy chrome stanchions

I like to tinker and feel this bike will make a viable bike for my girlfriend with some updates ---- plus the all important powder coat to her favorite color

its already 10 speed 1-by , so no changes needed there unless i wanted to go higher end on components - (its Deore now) but i have been toying with the idea of doing a 27.5 conversion which would need a new fork

My "modern" bike is 5 years old now, so i thought of updating the rear shock on mine and re-gifting my old shock to the project bike (eye to eye length is the same )

Guess my only real question is if you fellas know anyone who makes a straight taper 1 1/8" fork anymore thats not entry level --- actually not super easy to find used either
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Old 08-15-22, 11:56 AM
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Rockshox makes the SID RCT3 in a 26" version still as well as the Reba RL and Manitou does the Markhor in 26" and there are probably still a whole lot of dirt jump forks but those are likely 20x100 axles. Not a huge ton of stuff but still some decent options.
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Old 08-15-22, 12:02 PM
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Honestly there are a lot of premium old forks for sale you could try. New forks that meet your criteria are "keep it running" quality.

27.5 and straight steerer might not overlap much.
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Old 08-15-22, 03:28 PM
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You mean you are looking for something for the Heckler? You might do best looking for at forks from around 2010-2013, as after that most companies dropped either 26" or straight steerers from their high end lineups.

When I was looking for a high end 26" straight steerer fork 3 years ago for my 26" 5-Spot, I ended up buying a 2013 Rock Shox Lyrik with the DH damper. I was looking mostly at Rock Shox stuff because they are so easy and cheap to rebuild to a like-new condition (as long as the stanchions and the lower leg bushings are OK). The fork is freaking brilliant.

I rode a Heckler from 2003-2006. It was the bike that really upped my game and transformed my riding. My first "All Mountain" bike. I think that bike more than any other was responsible for the "All Mountain" bike explosion which was really the start of the modern Trail bike as we know it.
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Old 08-16-22, 08:51 AM
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I have Markhors, both 26 & 29 and both are great (for me and my riding in socal).
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Old 08-16-22, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
probably still a whole lot of dirt jump forks but those are likely 20x100 axles. Not a huge ton of stuff but still some decent options.
a thru axle in the front wouldnt be bad as long as i could source the hub -- some of those DJ bikes dont even run front brakes - but you have given me something to think about

Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post

27.5 and straight steerer might not overlap much.
Thats what i was afraid of -- i just did a cursory search for 26" tires and was a bit non-plussed by the selection, but they are likely out there if i look a little harder. The intended user (my GF) is not going to notice the difference as it will likely be a pleasant day bike path cruiser for her anyway



Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I rode a Heckler from 2003-2006. It was the bike that really upped my game and transformed my riding. My first "All Mountain" bike. I think that bike more than any other was responsible for the "All Mountain" bike explosion which was really the start of the modern Trail bike as we know it.
I remember those - mine is from 01 or 02 and is the model that closely resembles the Superlight. Im guessing it can withstand about 120mm of travel but thats likely the limit. I really thought about updating it when my current bike was in the shop, as i used it again for a few rides -- Its still a fun and effective bike for the trails i ride on - Those bikes were really ahead of their time as i cant think of any other 20+ year old design i would want to spend any quality time on



Originally Posted by 2old View Post
I have Markhors, both 26 & 29 and both are great (for me and my riding in socal).
Thanks for the report !
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Old 08-16-22, 10:37 AM
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Did not realize your Heckler was the Pre-2003 version.

I rode a 2000 superlight for 3 years (as you say, same basic bike as the Heckler). I would not go much over 100mm on that. 80-100 is really optimal IMO. In which case there are decent new options available, like the Sid that was mentioned earlier.
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