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  1. #1
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    Best Front Suspension Setup

    Greetings. Novice Mt. Biker here. 29er Carbon, Carbon Wheels, Mostly Trails, XCountry, Wilderness Stuff. I'm middle aged, 155-180 depending on what time of year and mojo level for diet. So, nothing crazy like 20% downhills on off camber roots and large boulders is what I'm saying. I'm leaning on getting a 100 mm Fox 100 CTD type of fork or maybe a Rockshox Reba RLT or something. KEep hearing conflicting stories about both. I'm on the fence on this. Any idea's suggestions ? Building up a new bike and this is next component i'm working on now

    Idea's ? I'm a low maintainance type of person. Budget $600-$1000 MSRP although I'm gonna get something just taken off a bike or old new stock or something so I"m thinking about 1/2 above prices.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Neither, Carbon Lefty XLR is what i would pick. I love mine and would never go back to a regular fork after riding a Lefty. This just my opinion..
    '12 Flash 29r C3 with a few mods
    '10 Synapse 5 Carbon with a few mods as well..

  3. #3
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    I prefer the feel of higher end rockshox stuff. When it's setup it's firmer than fox so you have a lot more pedaling efficency. When I was running fox, my fork was super plush but I was only getting 80mm travel. I had to set it up super soft with 35ish percent sag.

    I run my sid 20% sag and get full travel. I also prefer the pedaling efficency.

    Depends on what you want, fox will be easier to find used I bet.

  4. #4
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    Hrmm I'm very interested in this as well... I NEEEEED to replace this low-ball SunTour it is bogging down on the trails, but it holds its own for what it's worth at least for now.... Drives me nuts the dang thing doesn't give you FULL CLAIMED 100mm travel!?! I measured the grease marks; bleh about ~71.1mm-76.2mm

    Seen a LOT of positive praise about LEFTYs, but the price seems excessive vs duals. Worry about the flex and such doing "mild" DH/rocks/roots/mud horse trails; unfounded?

  5. #5
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    I've heard LEFTYs require more maintenance than FOX or RockShox forks.

  6. #6
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    The solo air RockShox Reba and SID need the SID RTC3 damper with actual shims to be usable imo. About $150 list
    FAQLoad - Rockshox RCT3 damper
    A Fox needs the FIT damper. $250.
    Manitou Tower Pro needs a medium helper spring and the platform shim removed. $11.
    Maybe you can go 120mm and if so a Pike would be a good choice. The air rod to convert to 120mm/29" is about $60.
    Check to get 51mm offset.
    ROCKSHOX 2014 Fork PIKE RC Solo Air 29'' 150mm Axle 15mm Tapered Black - ALLTRICKS
    Less than $600 shipped for this fork..
    ROCKSHOX 2014 Fork PIKE RCT3 29'' 140 mm Axle 15 mm Solo Air Tapered Wet Black - ALLTRICKS
    $650 with a RTC3 setup.

    I now consider a 35/30mm wide rim wheel to be part of the front suspension because of the cushion it contributes.
    Same from a WTB 2.8 Trailblazer on a 27.5 wheel.

    If you are low maintenance Fox is high maintenance.
    Last edited by eb1888; 3 Weeks Ago at 07:05 AM.

  7. #7
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    my 2 cents

    If the choices are between Reba and Fox for a regular mtber not looking into bling sliders, I'd go with Reba. I believe the dampers between float 100 CTD (open cartridge, not closed damper like FIT) and Reba RLT should be comparable, and should be priced at the same level.

    Float 100 CTD, if it's a 2012 model, it may have the damper that are known to blow up due to the lack of bleed holes on the damper. Fox somewhat mitigated this issue by drilling out 4 holes on the damper, but still some experience a loss of fluid out of these holes when the bike is parked upside down. So this a crap shoot unless you know exactly the model year and if the damper was replaced or not. I have a remote model, and to be honest can't tell any difference between "trail" and "descent" even though the ports between two settings are unique. You didn't ask for it but here is the Float 100 O/C damper:
    Best Front Suspension Setup-valveposition.jpg

    Reba is easier to set up, but again depending on the model year, you have different dampers. Motion control is easy to set up. But their dual air can be another crap shoot where positive and negative air chambers can be leaking toward each other, resulting in equalizing air pressure and migration of the oil. It can be a matter of replacing o-rings inside, and don't forget to use a glob of grease on the air piston, not the gear oil.

    If I were you, I would try to find Fox FIT cartridge forks as its closed circuit makes damper more reliable than above. Lefty, well you need a new front hub/wheel.

  8. #8
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    Everyone i know who had a 100mm upgraded to a 120mm (or 130mm) after just 1 season of riding on 100mm. Even on mostly smooth trails the differance in comfort is considerable.
    With your aging joints you should seriously think it over.

  9. #9
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    120/130mm Rock Shock Pike RCT3 is first place.
    120mm RS Reba RLT is second place.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TitaniumV12 View Post
    Hrmm I'm very interested in this as well... I NEEEEED to replace this low-ball SunTour it is bogging down on the trails, but it holds its own for what it's worth at least for now.... Drives me nuts the dang thing doesn't give you FULL CLAIMED 100mm travel!?! I measured the grease marks; bleh about ~71.1mm-76.2mm

    Seen a LOT of positive praise about LEFTYs, but the price seems excessive vs duals. Worry about the flex and such doing "mild" DH/rocks/roots/mud horse trails; unfounded?
    Leftys are significantly stiffer than any XC/trail fork you'll find on the market today.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail_Blazer View Post
    Everyone i know who had a 100mm upgraded to a 120mm (or 130mm) after just 1 season of riding on 100mm. Even on mostly smooth trails the differance in comfort is considerable.
    With your aging joints you should seriously think it over.
    Care to explain this? I don't know anyone who rides 120mm on "XC" trails.

  12. #12
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    This thread is awesome. I feel like i'm at work with a bunch of engineers that can't agree on anything. lol But, seriously lets keep this thread rolling. Remember, i'm middle-aged, BUT, I"ve ridden straight hardtails for years and survived fine. i'm not looking to break any records or anything really. So, ya'll thinking go 100mm or 120mm just to have in case ? and it's sounding like rockshox reba is winning for me although I like the CTD system in theory and mostly it will be in trail or climb most of time as I don't do crazy stuff unless I go to pisgah once or twice a year to davidson river. Maybe I should get a 2014 used/new as it looks like alot of improvements happened last couple years. The key for me "LOW MAINTAINANCE" !! OUT!

  13. #13
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    Hey man, I'm relatively new so I can't really say much as far as how different forks feel but if you're looking at REBA forks, I saw some 2014 100mm travel forks for around $350, which, is quite a bit lower than other places I've seen. Link below:

    https://www.blueskycycling.com/cat-f...group-1156/1/n

    Tons of knowledge. I'm learning lots.
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  14. #14
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    I put a recon silver on a trek hardtail ( my first real mtb) and it was infinitely better than the junk entry level suntour. I think I got it for under $300 at pricepoint during a promotion.

    Anything with an air spring will be a huge plus. Also look at getting wider tires. I ran 2.4s on my ht, but prefer 2.2s ony fs.

  15. #15
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    I would consider a SID RCT3 for your riding. If you can get a 2012 model with dual air, even better. Great damper and tons of adjustability. If your frame is XC, a 120mm fork may not be designed for it, put extra stress on the head tube and could void the warranty, if that is a concern. Reba is a great fork for the money and can be had for under $400.
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  16. #16
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    Best Front Suspension Setup

    I'm waiting on delivery of a magura ts6. Got it at a good price off the bay. May be worth looking at. Got some Good reviews. And travel can be changed from 80-100-120mm.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  17. #17
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    The only time HT stress is a concern is on big hits which doesn't fit the xc trends being discussed so far.

    You can put a 120mm suspension fork on any typical bike without worrying about it hurting anything.

  18. #18
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    While this thread is rolling. Does anyone know if all the fox and rockshox can have a remote lever added to handlebars to lockout or go Climb, Trail, Descend on the Fox's ? I'm only seeing the lever on some of the CTD Fox ones but i'm guessing I can adapt a lever on any ? Gotta have a lever

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stonerider View Post
    I've heard LEFTYs require more maintenance than FOX or RockShox forks.

    Nope. Service it once every year or two. Cannondale recommends an annual service, but most of my customers go around 2 years before servicing.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by frdfandc View Post
    Nope. Service it once every year or two. Cannondale recommends an annual service, but most of my customers go around 2 years before servicing.
    This is my experience. I plan on sending mine in this winter, but to be honest it is working just fine and I put in on my bike early '13. I take care of it and I don't do mud rides ever. Bearing reset every so often that doesn't take more then about 10 mins tops. My 100mm carbon XLR is stiffer then most dual forks I have ridden. I will never go back to a regular fork.
    '12 Flash 29r C3 with a few mods
    '10 Synapse 5 Carbon with a few mods as well..

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cletis View Post
    ...remote lever added to handlebars to lockout or go Climb, Trail, Descend on the Fox's?
    Depending on the model year, but you can swap out the non-remote with a remote unit by replacing the knob, look here for 2013 model:
    2013 CTD Fork: Converting to Remote

    There are two types of remote lever - one with a small dial window to show C/T/D and one without (OEM float 29).

  22. #22
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    Thought about this post when I was looking at Bicycle warehouse .com they have a deal right now $100 off any order over $200 so you could get a decent fork for less.
    Thought I would pass this on to you.
    Opps wrong thread
    ​​
    2012 Stump Jumper Comp 29'er H.T.
    1997 Rock Hopper / Manitou TI Bulge Fork / Shimano STX-3 x 7 P.O.S.​

  23. #23
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    a Friend just switched to x fusion trace 100mm , cant get the smile of his face
    im with the manitou tower pro and its great
    there are few are good option other then fox or RS
    if you go for fox take the Performance or factory series ( if you take the evolution replace the dumper to the higher level one)

  24. #24
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    Could be on to something revolutionary

    Quote Originally Posted by Flash29r View Post
    This is my experience.... [I will never go back to a regular fork].
    This is a very powerful statement; one I made once I went to 29er. I instantly KNEW that 29er was IT and my 26er childhood dream bike went to dust in the wind! You have perked my attention about these; always have been very curious. From an engineering standpoint, I can see the benefits; the only weakness(es) I was/am concerned about is:

    (Durability over years)
    1) Frontal impact susceptibility to bending: 1 crown/leg = lesser durability than 2...?
    eg: A large log/deep rut/root/rock impact at speed (~10mph or so), which would endo the rider if not paying attention = fork okay. BUT if ride has time to lean back, no endo = huge weight + velocity = forward momentum = high stress impact = hard on leg/crown. Rider = Okay = bike not!

    2) The ability of the single(?) bearing QR15mm axle to handle high torsional stresses (trying to slow speed twist and power through said rut/root/rocks.
    eg: Eastern forests are wet/leafy/deep roots/rocks; slow speed, high torque, fast twitch/twist steering required to pick a route quickly before losing momentum and getting ground up in rock/roots of doom! Bc if you stop, or cannot pick a safe line via torquing out of danger = fall off into bone snapping terrain.

    Obviously these shocks are "proven," but I'd like to know more of your experiences be4 I spend weeks further researching them. Oh and the decreased weight/sprung mass vs duals!!! It must react noticeably faster?
    Thank you 4 your input.

  25. #25
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    The lefty fork out performs others with ease as there is so much more engineering within it. I have no idea about durability but for most people you just get it serviced as required. The one real problem with a left is what it costs to adapt it to your bike. You will need to change your front hub and you need an adaptor kit to fit the fork to your bike.

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