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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Fork help for 29er n00b (not mtb n00b mind you..)

    I've been wanting a Salsa El Mariachi for a while now, and I just picked up a frame! I've been mtbing on my rigid 26er for a few years now, and getting more and more into it. Anyway, the year old SLX group from my 26 is going to the salsa. For the salsa, I have transmission, like I said, stan's wheels, xt brakes, etc...

    At this point, I'm missing just a fork and a headset, which is contingent on the fork. I have three types of forks in minds
    1. Suspension fork - I have mild anxiety about this having never used one, but I also realize that sus forks help you ride harder terrain.
    2. Steel fork - for bikepacking
    3. Rigid carbon fork - for "performance" riding, when I don't want the sus fork

    Basically, I need help narrowing down my choices. Would a carbon fork be sturdy enough for loaded bikepacking? Would a steep fork be noticeably more sluggish than carbon? Would a suspension fork be adequate for loaded bikepacking, and would it help me progress as a rider? Which fork would best satisfy me needs of both XC trail riding and heavy duty bikepacking? Also, fox or rockshox?!

    Any help would be appreciated?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    I think suspension is your best bet if you just get one. A used steel fork will be easy to find used down the rad as well in all likelihood. A far as Fox vs. Rock Shock everyone has their preference mine has been Fox, but would loive to try a SID.

    SIDE NOTE: I do not havce experience backpacking but have been doing some research and want to start some trips this fall with maybe some longer multi-day trips in the next couple years. You will find the setups are varying from full suspension to rigid singel speed. I plan to us a steel rigid bike setup 1x9 or 1x10 with a carbon fork because I have one around. If routes are tougher and think I will neeed a suspension fork I have an extra to throw on as well.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Depends on how technical your regular trails are. I run fatty tires and often feel like my 100mm reba sl is overkill. Yesterday however I found some really gnarly, rocky singletrack with a couple of extreme downhill sections and I'm pretty sure the fork saved my life a couple of times...

    I have them same bike (frame) and love it.

    Fork help for 29er n00b (not mtb n00b mind you..)-salsaspicy.jpg

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