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Inexpensive / lower end (but not terrible) suspension forks?

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Inexpensive / lower end (but not terrible) suspension forks?

Old 01-21-13, 01:30 PM
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ThatOtherGuy
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Inexpensive / lower end (but not terrible) suspension forks?

I have a 1999 GT Backwoods that I picked up locally (craigslist!) a couple years back. At the end of last fall, the fork started getting really funky and I figured I'd go ahead and take it apart during my annual I'm-bored-lets-make-a-mess-in-the-basement cleaning and see if something was obviously wrong. As far as I can tell, it's the stock fork, a Rockshox Jett XC. It looks like it has seen a fair amount of use, as most of the rubber in them is pretty much shot, some of the plastic is looking fairly sketchy (preload knobs falling off...), and the springs are definitely worn (shorter than the specs in the manual I was able to find).

Given that replacement parts from a fork that old seem to be fairly scarce, I'm thinking about replacing it with a newer, low end shock... Now, I'm not a particularly fantastic rider - I ride for fun, not to race - and the limiting factor is definitely myself and not my fork. Another consideration is the travel on the Jett XC seems to be only 60mm - and I've had a heck of a time even finding forks that offer less than 100mm of travel... which would throw the frame geometry off, unless I fail to understand?

The rock bottom seems to be Rockshox XC28TK (which also seems to have a 80mm version available - much closer to the original 60mm), but are there other inexpensive options? I'd like to keep it sub-$200 if possible... I only paid $150 for the bike! Functional and reasonably durable, but not a lot of features is my target. I come from a road touring background, so if there are 'must have' features or particular things to watch out for in general, feel free to educate me!

Thanks!
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Old 01-21-13, 02:02 PM
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My old KHS came with a RockShox Indy XC fork, which for the longest time just bottomed out and did nothing whenever I was on it. I recently took it apart and found the elastomer piece on one side had completely disintegrated. I ordered a new pair of elastomers from www.suspensionforkparts.com (probably where you found the manual for yours), along with a new fork crown race ring, and the fork now feels like new!
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Old 01-21-13, 04:05 PM
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Thanks for that link - I hadn't run across those folks at all.

Unfortunately, the '99 Jett XC wasn't an elastomer at all... they called it HydraCoil, I believe. The most worn parts, the caps/preload adjusters, are pretty near to failure.
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Old 01-21-13, 07:43 PM
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http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/RST-First...item2322e310b6

A much better fork than their rep suggests.
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Old 01-21-13, 07:47 PM
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or theis this sort of thing

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/New-MOSSO...item336733324c
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Old 01-22-13, 09:42 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions! Are there any other RST forks which are better than the reputation? Most of the information I found on them was pretty universally terrible reviews.
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Old 01-22-13, 12:25 PM
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^^ That's because most people have only encountered the very lowest of the low end of RST forks on entry level bikes, unfortunately. Cyclops recommendation of the F1RST series is a good one. I installed a F1RST 32 Platform Air on an old Trek hardtail in the past year and have been very pleased with the performance. Any fork out of the F1RST, Titan or (longer travel) Storm series should be decent. F1RST is the trail/XC line, while Titan and Storm are more toward the all-mountain end.

The difference between the F1RST 30 and F1RST 32 is the 30s have 30mm stanchions, where the 32s are stiffer 32mm. The 32 also offers 15mm thru-axle versions.

More info here: http://www.rst.com.tw/ct/product/product.jsp
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Old 01-22-13, 12:37 PM
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How do they compare to the similarly priced XC30/32TK from Rockshox? The specs seem to be pretty similar, but I have a rockshox dealer LBS next door... not sure if they carry RST at all.

For that matter, how much does the stanchion diameter effect things in general? Like I said in the OP, my riding is not nearly fast or aggressive enough that even the basic, worn to hell fork I have right now is holding me back.... I just want to replace it before it outright breaks. Since I doubt I could get a picture right when it happens, the crash wouldn't be worth it.
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Old 01-22-13, 12:59 PM
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I can't tell you that because I have been pretty much exclusively on RST products too long. As far as difference in stanchion diameters, you may not notice unless you're pushing the limits more. But whether you feel it or not, anything that makes a fork stiffer laterally and torsionally will translate to truer tracking and more precise steering.

Any local shop that orders from wholesaler QBP can get RST forks.
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Old 01-22-13, 01:08 PM
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Fair enough regarding the wholesaler - I guess they just aren't stock items. I guess it's time to suck it up and go over there to converse with the local wizards then.

Thanks to everyone with helpful information on these boards!
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Old 01-22-13, 08:58 PM
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I would go with the rst f1rst series over the rockshox xc32.
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Old 01-23-13, 02:00 AM
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What about X-Fusion Slide's for $250 on the bay? They seem to get rave reviews claiming to be as good as Fox/ Rockshox more than double the price. It would be nice to hear some opinions from owners here about them.
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Old 01-23-13, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jbchybridrider View Post
What about X-Fusion Slide's for $250 on the bay? They seem to get rave reviews claiming to be as good as Fox/ Rockshox more than double the price. It would be nice to hear some opinions from owners here about them.
X-fusion is really good as well. There is some good stuff out there, you just have to look outside of the box.
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