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Suntour...just how bad are they ?

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Suntour...just how bad are they ?

Old 11-28-06, 06:03 PM
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john65stang
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Suntour...just how bad are they ?

I was looking at a Giant Yucon at my LBS ( which carries only Giant and Trek, in Mtn bikes ), and it looked decent for the $400 price tag, but it had no label on the front forks. I found , by visiting the Giant web site that they are SunTour XCR forks. I have been reading up on them, and it sounds like in this reencarnation, Suntour are not so good. I would prefer to have the bike without the disk brakes and a better fork, if the Suntours are crap, but..that's what Giant has on the bike. Now, being 43 and not intending to go ape on jumps and nasty stuff, I wonder just how bad they are. My intended use is streets, dirt roads, forest service roads, and some trails, if I can find some. I'm about 165lbs.
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Old 11-28-06, 06:59 PM
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well most companies, will put a cheap fork like Suntour or RST on their reasonable bike price so that their bikes will have overall better components like full disc brake, 27 speed driveterrain at a affordable price. From my opinion, if you are not planning to jump with your fork, everything will be fine. My RST Capa T4, is very lousy when there are small jumps. So what I do is try to avoid those nasty jumps if possible.
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Old 11-28-06, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by wheelhot
well most companies, will put a cheap fork like Suntour or RST on their reasonable bike price so that their bikes will have overall better components like full disc brake, 27 speed driveterrain at a affordable price. From my opinion, if you are not planning to jump with your fork, everything will be fine. My RST Capa T4, is very lousy when there are small jumps. So what I do is try to avoid those nasty jumps if possible.
Actually in the price range that those bikes are in (the ones with the suntour or rst) they also come with cheap components and if they come with disc brakes they are very poor quality. Most of the time when buying bikes in that price range you are better off not getting disc brakes. Most bikes in that price range also have a 24 speed drivetrain.
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Old 11-28-06, 07:10 PM
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And here I thought that anybike below the $500-$600 level had 8 speed deraillieurs.
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Old 11-28-06, 07:12 PM
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Suntour

John, the Suntour suspension is just ok...but for what you are spending and with some carefull shopping, you can find some excellent deals on 2006 bikes.
I just picked up a 2006 Iron Horse Expert from Performance on sale at $550., then applied a member coupon for another 20% off to get me at $440...screaming deal and I got lucky as I was ready to buy at the higher amount. The suspension is Marzocchi MZ and it works well for my 215lbs.
Check out http://www.rscycle.com/s.nl/sc.7/category.56/.fthe Iron Horse Warrior (has the Judy shock too). These bikes were also on sale last week at 20% off . Also try Performancebike.com., they frequently offer coupons too.

I am more than pleased about my Iron Horse...feels better than my Rockhopper with a slightly more compact frame.

Happy hunting and let us know what you find.
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Old 11-28-06, 09:43 PM
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Well, I am trying to take the very strong advice, posted here about NOT buying online, if I'm new to bikes. So..I only have ONE bike shop within about 45 miles. I would like to have seen a Trek 4500, but they were out of them, and implied that for 2007, they may not be around. They had me thinking of getting a Gary Fisher Marlin, last year, but now they don't stock them.
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Old 11-28-06, 10:35 PM
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I bought my IH at Performance Bike in Sacramento. I am not a fan of online buying UNLESS I know exactly what I am buying and warranty or exchange information. A friend rides the 4500 Trek, its a good, solid bike. I strongly suggest riding as many different bikes as you can and it will become apparent which feels the best.
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Old 11-29-06, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by jimx200
John, the Suntour suspension is just ok...but for what you are spending and with some carefull shopping, you can find some excellent deals on 2006 bikes.
I just picked up a 2006 Iron Horse Expert from Performance on sale at $550., then applied a member coupon for another 20% off to get me at $440...screaming deal and I got lucky as I was ready to buy at the higher amount. The suspension is Marzocchi MZ and it works well for my 215lbs.
Check out http://www.rscycle.com/s.nl/sc.7/category.56/.fthe Iron Horse Warrior (has the Judy shock too). These bikes were also on sale last week at 20% off . Also try Performancebike.com., they frequently offer coupons too.

I am more than pleased about my Iron Horse...feels better than my Rockhopper with a slightly more compact frame.

Happy hunting and let us know what you find.
Seriously, their sales are scammish. They just upped the price of the bikes like $150, then put up the "20% off discount". What a load of BS.

es
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Old 11-29-06, 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by KonaRider24
And here I thought that anybike below the $500-$600 level had 8 speed deraillieurs.
You'd be right. I own an 06 Giant Yukon and its 8 speed, with a rear deore. It also has Suntour forks as standard. Not to bad for some casual XC IMO.
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Old 11-29-06, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Vertr
Seriously, their sales are scammish. They just upped the price of the bikes like $150, then put up the "20% off discount". What a load of BS.

es
FYI, Performance has some very good deals, especially when they issue a 20% off coupon. They do not raise the price before they offer the discount. The bike I bought had a retail price of 799., reduced to 550., then I applied the 20% coupon to get it to $440. Compare thier prices to other lbs shops or on line sellers...they generally offer great value, no problem return policy, and the bonus dollar amounts to apply on purchases. Bike Forum members are very positive about Performance. I am, however, not a supporter of Bikes Direct...no phone number for contact, no return policy (even on a unridden bike), hyper inflated retail pricing, and poor email communication. I never did hear back from them on a email sent three weeks ago on one of their mt. bikes. Other's have had good luck and like their bikes.
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Old 11-29-06, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jimx200
FYI, Performance has some very good deals, especially when they issue a 20% off coupon. They do not raise the price before they offer the discount. The bike I bought had a retail price of 799., reduced to 550., then I applied the 20% coupon to get it to $440. Compare thier prices to other lbs shops or on line sellers...they generally offer great value, no problem return policy, and the bonus dollar amounts to apply on purchases. Bike Forum members are very positive about Performance. I am, however, not a supporter of Bikes Direct...no phone number for contact, no return policy (even on a unridden bike), hyper inflated retail pricing, and poor email communication. I never did hear back from them on a email sent three weeks ago on one of their mt. bikes. Other's have had good luck and like their bikes.
I was referring to rscycle.com, NOT performance.
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Old 11-29-06, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Wheelchairman
You'd be right. I own an 06 Giant Yukon and its 8 speed, with a rear deore. It also has Suntour forks as standard. Not to bad for some casual XC IMO.
5 years ago A friend of mine wanted to get into Mountain biking. Came to me for a cheap bike to buy. I looked at the chaep bikes available and the Giant Boulder came out as one of the bikes to look at. At that price range- you are not going to get top components, but the Boulder frame in 3 write ups came out as a very good frame. So what do you do? Buy an unknown product in a second hand bike(which was going to be difficult for a 6'6" rider) or buy something that can be worked on and upgraded as parts wear out?

He got the Boulder and the only parts remaining after 5 years are the Frame- the seat post- the bar stem and the bars. My bianchi that I bought at the same time has the frame- the bar stem and the front mech.

If you buy cheap then you will be upgrading earlier than an expensive bike. But onto those Suntour Forks- I do not know of one good one. It will go up and down and take the shock out of the trails but do not expect it to last very long. But then the same can be said for most cheap forks- Even the cheap Rockshox.
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Old 11-29-06, 05:50 PM
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And that's the rub, isn't it ?

If you don't buy above a certain spot in a product line, you get lower cost hardware and lower performance and durability. But, as some one starting out, the rigours you put the bike through and the amount you can come up with to buy the bike is much less than a hard core rider. It's the same with cameras and lenses. I shoot some pictures, and I have all used equipment, but I've tried to buy the good quality equipment. Many of the photo guys, in the Nikon forum, I frequent, often slam the old manual focus stuff and think nothing of dropping $500, $700 or more on a lens. Anything less than f2.8 is consumer quality to them. But does everybody need high end or pro level stuff ?

So, to restate my question...is the Suntour fork no better that a Costco bike would have and will not last long at all, or is it somewhere between department store quality and solid, but not top of the line stuff ?

Just trying to understand just how bad it is for a beginner vs a veteran rider.
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Old 11-29-06, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by john65stang
And that's the rub, isn't it ?

If you don't buy above a certain spot in a product line, you get lower cost hardware and lower performance and durability. But, as some one starting out, the rigours you put the bike through and the amount you can come up with to buy the bike is much less than a hard core rider. It's the same with cameras and lenses. I shoot some pictures, and I have all used equipment, but I've tried to buy the good quality equipment. Many of the photo guys, in the Nikon forum, I frequent, often slam the old manual focus stuff and think nothing of dropping $500, $700 or more on a lens. Anything less than f2.8 is consumer quality to them. But does everybody need high end or pro level stuff ?

So, to restate my question...is the Suntour fork no better that a Costco bike would have and will not last long at all, or is it somewhere between department store quality and solid, but not top of the line stuff ?

Just trying to understand just how bad it is for a beginner vs a veteran rider.
sorry no first hand exp, but i have looked at their website a lot and at their service manuals. everyone is ragging on them. i would be willing to bet you would find them to be more than satisfactory as you get into biking. they should certainly be better than the department store ones.

also, there is a range even in the suntour. some are very bottom end and some are, apparently, very serviceable. this is my conclusion from their website.
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Old 11-29-06, 07:56 PM
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So, to restate my question...is the Suntour fork no better that a Costco bike would have and will not last long at all, or is it somewhere between department store quality and solid, but not top of the line stuff ?

Just trying to understand just how bad it is for a beginner vs a veteran rider.
For what it's worth John, I've been riding a Fuji with Suntour forks approx. 3 times a week for the last two years. I certainly don't ride as hard as the youngsters (I'm 50+), but I've given the bike a pretty thorough pounding. So far I've had no mechanical issues with the forks, or anything else for that matter. Maybe ignorance is bliss, but I'm pretty happy with the Suntours. A young mechanic/racer I know said that in his opinion, the Suntours are underrated.
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Old 11-29-06, 08:01 PM
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i rode a cheap bike with a Suntour Duotrack fork for about 2 years. since then i've ridden a rockshox judy and rockshox reba quite a bit. the difference that i can see is in performance and weight. they all seem very stable, just the performance gets better as you go up. also my suntour fork was not serviceable, i just lifted up the little boot and oiled it every now and then and it was fine. and i weigh 200lbs and put it through a lot.

edit: by "a lot" i mean not hardcore stuff, but a lot of rough trails and 8" to 12" drops.
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Old 11-29-06, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by john65stang
So, to restate my question...is the Suntour fork no better that a Costco bike would have and will not last long at all, or is it somewhere between department store quality and solid, but not top of the line stuff ?

Just trying to understand just how bad it is for a beginner vs a veteran rider.
John, I have an old Nishiki MTB that I converted to suspension using a Suntour SR 3000, an entry level Suntour fork. I rode the bike with that fork on trails for several months before upgrading to a Rockhopper. I had no trouble with the fork. My 200+lb son rode the bike on an advanced trail, no problems. I still ride the bike on paths, no problems with the fork. We don't jump more than the typical log jump, but the Suntour fork has never failed.
Having said that, I would pass on the Giant and travel further to an LBS that has what you want, no discs and better components at your price.
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Old 11-29-06, 08:39 PM
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The Sr Suntours arn't to bad for what most of them were designed for, XC. I'd think you wouldn't have many problems with them, Ive got a sr suntour on one of my older Norco's and she still works fine. Nothing special but then again that just means less to break.
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Old 11-29-06, 10:32 PM
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If I go out of town, to check out other bikes, wouldn't I have to drag it back there for any service or adjustments, during the breakin or warranty period ?
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Old 11-29-06, 10:51 PM
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yeah, be like me, do a research for a year...maybe you can do 6months and they buy it
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Old 11-29-06, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by wheelhot
yeah, be like me, do a research for a year...maybe you can do 6months and they buy it

I like deciding in a day or so on what bikes are in stock, then go and see if they have one in your size in stock. If not, then order it then wait a week for it to come instead of waiting 6+ months for next years model to come.
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Old 11-29-06, 11:14 PM
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good point, well in the states or UK its easier to find components rather then in Malaysia, most components you must order to get it
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Old 11-30-06, 01:49 AM
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Originally Posted by john65stang
And that's the rub, isn't it ?



So, to restate my question...is the Suntour fork no better that a Costco bike would have and will not last long at all, or is it somewhere between department store quality and solid, but not top of the line stuff ?

Just trying to understand just how bad it is for a beginner vs a veteran rider.
Providing the Suntour has a warranty for 1 year then that is fine. Just don't expect it to last much longer than that. It will go up and down and take shock out of the trail but not much more. As to it performing on anything tougher than rough MUP's- It doesn't.

My mate that bought the boulder lasted 8 months with his fork on Smooth offroad trails and smooth singletrack. When they gave up- I put on a shagged pair of rockshox Jett's.(About the lowest grade of rockshox) They were better than the Suntours and they lasted a further year on similar riding.
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Old 11-30-06, 09:09 AM
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I think as long as you don't abuse the hell out of it, it'll last. You're only 165, and it doesnt sound like you'll be doing anything too hard on it.

It's not a great fork, but its a big step above costco bikes and i think it will suffice for what you intend to ride.
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Old 11-30-06, 09:34 AM
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If they deal in Trek, maybe they could do something with Gary fisher? The wahoo is in that price range and has a little better rockshox dart fork. But it is genisis geometry, Some like it. some hate it. I can go from it to another bike with normal geometry, and when going over the bars or taking a high side trip in a corner, I honestly can't tell the difference. The cut's and bruises all heal at about the same rate!
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