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  1. #1
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    Help me decide on a new fork...

    So I have a 2009 Fuji Outland. My dad bought it for me when I went off to college that year, and I rode it a lot those four years. Then I kind of... stopped riding so much. Like once or twice a year.
    Last year I got back into it, and have upgraded it a little bit. I got a new rear shock (the original one bottomed out and got stuck there). I converted it to a 1x drivetrain by just ditching the front derailleur and putting a narrow-wide chainring on it, put a dropper post on, a short stem and then converted to tubeless.
    Now, I know bikes have changed a lot, and I am a believer in new geometry and 27.5 / 29er bikes. But I'm thinking a new bike is a next year investment.
    In the meantime, I was thinking a new air fork with maybe air suspension and a little more travel would help me keep this thing alive for some time? I'll probably never get rid of it, but I figure when I get a new bike this would make a great loaner for when I drag a friend out there. My bike is spec'd for 100mm of travel, straight steerer. It came with a Rockshox Dart 3 which is just kind of ok. Could use a rebuild, the rebound seems to do nothing.

    My choices are:
    Manitou Markhor
    This was my first choice. I'm not a huge weight weenie or anything, but I figure if I'm upgrading, I may as well go lighter. 1656g is a whole pound lighter than the Dart. And I had the option to change the travel to 120mm. But then I read closer and it seems like that option is only there for the 27.5 and 29 version of the fork. Good reviews on manitou, $225

    RAIDON XC-LO-R
    The trade-in option has this fork at $200, but it's out of stock. Idk about suntour, I've heard mixed reviews. Also adjustable to 120mm. Weighs 1995g

    Recon Silver TK
    I've heard good reviews on this one, too. I kinda remember reading that it's also adjustable to 120mm, not too sure if that is or isn't the case. 2166g

    Is going to 120mm a good idea? I'm not well-versed on bike geometries, but it seems like it'd just make the head angle a little more aggressive. Also, the stock stem had a bit of rise, so going to the short one brought my handlebars down a bit. So I figure I'd also solve that issue. Of course, I could just get some riser bars.

    Here's my bike's geometry -- Fuji Bikes | 2009 Outland Comp (US) | Bike Archives. And here it is in 2011, when the updated the bike and went to 120mm - Fuji Bikes | 2011 Outland 1.0 | Bike Archives. Most of the numbers seem the same / similar.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I'm not very serious about it, but wouldn't mind upgrading the coil fork on my hardtail. After minimal effort, I determined that finding a straight-steerer/9mm air fork might be difficult. But maybe not, particularly with that Markhor (potentially brilliant idea from Manitou).

    It is my understanding that the Suntour upgrade/tradein would only work with a Suntour fork. I could be wrong though and maybe you are just using that as guidance on a price.

    I'm intrigued and will follow this post.

  3. #3
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    https://www.srsuntour.com/pages/upgrade

    According to this page, it doesn't have to be a Suntour, you just have to be the original owner of the bike/fork. I actually still have all the receipts and manuals that came with this bike, so it would be doable. I would just need to email them the info and also ask when they'd be back in stock.

    Oh, and for fun I tried to mock up the new geometry with some wood. The white piece of wood is *about* 20mm tall, the 2x4 about 40mm. Not sure how much travel affects overall length. They're just just camera-phone pictures so the angles aren't the same but just trying to visualize it.
    Help me decide on a new fork...-20180810_070828.jpg
    Help me decide on a new fork...-20180810_071004.jpg
    Help me decide on a new fork...-20180810_071040.jpg

  4. #4
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    Ah, good find. Back a few years ago the word on that was "email Nick" or something to that effect. Also, back then, the Raidon was regarded as a pretty good upgrade, if not a fantastic fork on its own, well worth the money. I don't know how much has changed, but I have seen some of the higher end Suntour forks spec'ed on pretty fancy bikes lately.

  5. #5
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    Maybe I should 'email nick' anyways. The 26" Raidon is out of stock, but the site shows that there's a Epixon 120mm fork that'll fit 26", but I can't find it for sale on the site. I can find it on ebay and other sites like it for about $200 or so, but I'd like to buy from somewhere reputable in case the fork acts up I can have some hope of a warranty claim.

  6. #6
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    So I was doing more reading, and found out that the Markhor is actually just an updated M30 with more hub/travel options. So I decided to just get an M30 in 100mm. It was only $170, and weighs around 1650g (over a pound lighter than the dart 3), is an air shock and has good reviews. Since it's got a new steerer tube, I'm going to try adding another spacer or two to bring the stem up a little bit, and not mess with the geometry.
    I'll update this thread once it's arrived /installed.

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