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  1. #1
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    Need 120mm fork to match new wheels

    Accidentally posted this on the 29er general page, better suited to components.

    Last topic was on wheels, after the recommendations I went with Stan's Arches matched to Hopes. Bike is a steel HT, and the fork being replaced is a 2012 Reba RL dual air with the 9mm QR.

    Now I'm ready for the fork to match it. Stipulations are:

    120 length
    Tapered
    15mm QR or TA
    Easy to maintain, not overly prone to problems (I am a novice at fork maintenance)
    $500ish price

    So the usual suspects seem to be

    2012 Tower Pro off pricepoint for less than $500
    Used Fox Float 32 off ebay
    2012 Revelation/Reba off pricepoint or somewhere else
    2013 Marz 44 micro switch TA 29 (Friend of a friend works for Marz, he said I could get one for cost or near it, so price would be similar to the Manitou)

    Thoughts? The I would most likely prefer the Fox, but I've heard good things about the Manitou reliability and ease of maintenance. The marz is another option since it would be so cheap
    Last edited by Fluidworks; 02-07-2013 at 05:24 PM.

  2. #2
    Trail Ninja
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    Don't discount Manitou, since they aren't big and their prices are low. Their MARS Air/Coil spring is pretty awesome, with the supportive and active feel of coil in the earlier stroke for small bump compliance, and progressive feel and tunability of air for the mid and end strokes, and their weights are respectable at ~1700g. Decent stiffness with their 15QR, but prob not as stiff as the competition. The Tower has a 48mm offset, which helps reduce wheel flop and make the bike's steering tendencies like it has a steeper HA than forks with less offset (and more mechanical trail).

    Speculation on Marz are kind of heavy. They really trimmed their line, despite having quite a few killer models in the 26" range (ex. RC3 Ti versions of the 55 and 66). I wouldn't be surprised if that were 2000g, and I'm not so sure if their reputed feel can be expected from their Micro Switch TA version. Honestly, I may be spoiled by nicer feeling suspension, but I've never been happy with any air spring travel adjust forks (TALAS, 2-step-air, etc.)

    I believe the main difference between the Rev and the Reba is that the Rev has a beefier crown, which accounts for better stiffness (and extra weight); they seem to use the same lower casting. For '13, they made 'em even more different, making Reba a lower price point model and giving the works treatment to the Rev, with new damper options and such. SRAM spends a lot on manuals and makes service super easy for first timers, and now they even include a service kit with their retail forks; a sign that they want you to learn how to maintain it. You have to be okay with RockShox's air springs though. If you've experienced the competition, RockShox may feel a bit unsupportive, with a tendency to bob, dive, and wallow, unless you had their Dual Air spring and knew how to tune it, but to casual riders, it's probably one of the most "plush" forks out there, able to eat square edges (ex. uneven sidewalk blocks) as if they weren't there. Okay okay, I'm not the biggest fan of RockShox, but I do like their Rev RCT3 with BB MoCo (DNA?) damper and wouldn't feel like I'd want to tear it off. They've improved quite a bit since the '08 era for sure.

    Personally, I'm on a Fox 34 Float FIT RLC set to 120mm. Excellent stiffness, great suspension feel, great range of tuning, and just excellent quality all around (ex. seals, knobs/adjusters, finish, etc.). It's just heavy and expensive. I prefer the extra offset (51mm). I think the extra mass is put to good use for stiffness. Would find it hard to go back to anything flimsy after riding it. If I were to upgrade, it'd probably be something even more expensive, like the soon to come Formula 35. That Lefty Super Max sure looks interesting, but I don't think I'd ever go that route.

    Not sure what the offset are on the Marz, RockShox, and other brands are, but I think they're around 44-46mm.

  3. #3
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    ManTP with diy shim tuning.

  4. #4
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    Need 120mm fork to match new wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluidworks View Post
    Accidentally posted this on the 29er general page, better suited to components.

    Last topic was on wheels, after the recommendations I went with Stan's Arches matched to Hopes. Bike is a steel HT, and the fork being replaced is a 2012 Reba RL dual air with the 9mm QR.

    Now I'm ready for the fork to match it. Stipulations are:

    120 length
    Tapered
    15mm QR or TA
    Easy to maintain, not overly prone to problems (I am a novice at fork maintenance)
    $500ish price

    So the usual suspects seem to be

    2012 Tower Pro off pricepoint for less than $500
    Used Fox Float 32 off ebay
    2012 Revelation/Reba off pricepoint or somewhere else
    2013 Marz 44 micro switch TA 29 (Friend of a friend works for Marz, he said I could get one for cost or near it, so price would be similar to the Manitou)

    Thoughts? The I would most likely prefer the Fox, but I've heard good things about the Manitou reliability and ease of maintenance. The marz is another option since it would be so cheap
    I would get the Tower, and it will be my next sussy fork.

    15mm is only through axle. They insist on calling it QR, but is really just tool-free.
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  5. #5
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    Love my 120mm Tower Pro. Clearance for $339

  6. #6
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    I don't like the direction of Fox Forks for '13, with CTD and the linear air spring. Kashima and the new wiper seals are nice and definitely contribute to the premium feel, but I don't think they're worth the cost really, esp after hearing Tower Pro clearance sale for $339... that was a true bargain. The Formula 35 interest me due to hearing good things about their 33 model (26" only), and that they're targeting a ridiculous low weight (1600g?). Stiffness of 35 stanchions at that weight, with a spring similar to MARS Air, and their moto experience? Downside is $1100-1200 MSRP... '10 FIT RLCs without Kashima had stiction issues and the 32 models don't have the 51mm offset that I like, unless you get a G2 (Trek/Gary Fisher exclusive?) version. Forgot to say, travel adjust spring systems do not feel like the non-travel adjust forks...

    Well, not like it matters. I'm pretty sure you are gonna make your mind up on the Manitou Tower Pro. I can't fault that one really at all, especially at its price. Pretty sure you'll be happy with it. You might have to think a bit, if you like a cleanly routed front brake line though.

  7. #7
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    How about the SID rct3? I just got one with your required specs and very impressed. I originally gave up on rockshox years ago due to their lack of quality, durability, fit, and finish...but after hearing good reviews on the newer models, less weight then most comparable forks, and not needing/wanting a remote lockout... I pulled the trigger on a brand new Sid rct3 solo air for about $575 shipped.

    It replaced a float 32 100mm, which I really liked. I basically just wanted a little more travel and originally planned on going with fox again. Ended up having a hard time finding one in my budget range, and was sick of spending countless hours searching for a used fork. Not gonna lie, I was a little worried it would be a downgrade due to past experiences with rockshox. So far I'm very happy. The rct3 damper works very well and the new 3 position dial (DNA?) is definitely superior to fox's CTD system. The only thing I don't like (although not a deal breaker) is their maxle design. It holds the wheel fine but I really liked the simplicity of fox's thru axle...especially when removing the front wheel on a daily basis. Like I said, not a big deal, Just me being picky about small things.

    If weight is no issue...then you can't beat the pricing on the tower pro's. Probably the best bang for the buck, and very tunable. The Reba is also a great value, and only weighs a few grams more then Sid...although they seem to only offer the RL and RLT as aftermarket models. Revelation is another good choice with the rct3 damper if your wheels support a 20mm axle.

  8. #8
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    When you buy SIDs, you are accepting additional flex for lighter weight. They have weaker crowns--you can visually tell the difference from how smaller they are in comparison to the Reba and Revelation. Believe it or not, the carbon crown and steerer results in a flexier fork chassis than the hollow forged crown. They are made specifically for XC race, where that weight can affect your podium status. It does not help keep you as safe and confident when there's exposure on your trail, where poor steering accuracy (AKA tracking) can cost you dearly, especially if you are not some skinny endurance guy that weighs 140 lbs.

    Seeing how has went with an Arch rim with his steel frame, I don't think he's a weight weenie that happily compromises on stiffness or whatever else, for lower weight.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    Well, not like it matters. I'm pretty sure you are gonna make your mind up on the Manitou Tower Pro. I can't fault that one really at all, especially at its price. Pretty sure you'll be happy with it. You might have to think a bit, if you like a cleanly routed front brake line though.
    So where's the problem with a cleanly routed front brake line?
    Need 120mm fork to match new wheels-img_2470.jpg
    Need 120mm fork to match new wheels-img_2467.jpg
    The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.

  10. #10
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    You should post that pic to all the other Manitou owners. I like it. I'll give you credit for your attention to detail on cable routing--you should be proud. I like how it's trapped between the other cables, to control flopping. If my cables were like that, I'd zip-tie 'em together to quiet them down, or use those cable guide thingees (rotating hooks) that SRAM includes with their stuff that allows "piggy-back cable routing", that can act as a spacer.

    I find it hard to not furrow my brows when I see a zip-tie holding the brake line somewhere above the arch (ex. on the head tube or crown), similar to how people get peeved when they see a brake line routed around the front and outside of a "forward arch" fork. There's at least half a dozen different ways I've seen it done, and most just don't look very clean.
    Last edited by Varaxis; 02-09-2013 at 09:01 AM.

  11. #11
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    I've had Manitou forks continuously since about 2004 and I've always routed the brake line around the right side of the head tube like that. It kind of forms a coil and the line compresses like a spring. I also hate seeing brake lines compressed against an arch with a zip tie. I only use these double loop zip ties so that I can tighten it to the arch and there's a separate loop for the line.
    Need 120mm fork to match new wheels-img_2833.jpg

    I've tried tying the cables together but they pull excessively when the steering is turned to extremes. I know the cables look a bit long but I have allowed for full side to side rotation without pulling on them hard against the head tube. I hate cables rubbing against the frame.
    The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.

  12. #12
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    Have you actually seen or ridden a SiD made within the last couple years? Completely the opposite of what you claim. They use lighter weight internals when compared to reba. I think the lowers are exactly the same as reba. Your probably thinking of when they used 28mm stanchions. My brand new Sid is every bit as stiff as any fox 32 I've ever owned. With the tapered steerer, 120mm travel, and 15thru, I've never noticed unwanted flex, and have used it for trail riding...not just for "XC racing". I understand your point, and have always had that same perception of the SID until actually owning a newer model. They are a very worthy trail fork these days...not just for the hardcore weight wheenie.

  13. #13
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    I know the '11 SID had a slimmer crown, a slimmer arch, drop outs (QR) that had less "bracing", and the lower leg overhang of the legs were trimmed a bit (didn't have the flat tube bottom), compared to the Reba. I know they also did some material removal on the inside.

    I swear, the last time I looked at them in the LBS that they still looked like they had a rather slim crown, compared to all the nearby bike's forks. Looks like they share the lowers with the other 29 forks now, looking at the pics and. There's another shop a bit further from me that has forks lined up on the wall side-by-side that I plan on checking out a bit more closely if I'm planning to go around that area.

    I get to ride demos pretty often here in SoCal. SRAM usually comes by to JensonUSA November each year (this year, they did XX1, and the year before was 2x10), and various brands host their own, and don't mind driving out 1 hour to check 'em out. I know for certain I rode the SID when Niner came around, which I think was maybe a year and a half ago. I will admit that they ran some tires which I don't think were the best for the terrain (Conti Mountain Kings), which contributed to the lack of confidence I had on it--I felt more in control on a flexier bike with Small Block 8s and a '11 Reba.

    I'd still wouldn't buy your impression of stiffness between a new SID and new Fox though. One of the more recent demos I've been to was the Diamondback demo, and they had one of the most secure/stiff/confident front ends I've ever experienced, between their two Mason models at least (HT and yet to be released Mason FS) equipped with Fox forks. I could be on the front brake on a steep rocky downslope, and easily pick a snaking line between big rocks and ruts (Slant Six tires). The Mason FS felt like an outright DH bike, not even caring if you went straight over rocks bigger than babyheads. I seriously could just ignore anything on the ground and take the straightest and fastest line as if it were paved. I doubt RockShox could've matched that performance... I kind of like a stiff and supportive fork that offers control at speed, rather than plushness at slow speeds.
    Last edited by Varaxis; 02-09-2013 at 01:13 PM.

  14. #14
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    [QUOTE=Varaxis;10148463]I know the '11 SID had a slimmer crown, a slimmer arch, drop outs (QR) that had less "bracing", and the lower leg overhang of the legs were trimmed a bit (didn't have the flat tube bottom), compared to the Reba. I know they also did some material removal on the inside.

    I swear, the last time I looked at them in the LBS that they still looked like they had a rather slim crown, compared to all the nearby bike's forks. Looks like they share the lowers with the other 29 forks now, looking at the pics and. There's another shop a bit further from me that has forks lined up on the wall side-by-side that I plan on checking out a bit more closely if I'm planning to go around that area.

    I get to ride demos pretty often here in SoCal. SRAM usually comes by to JensonUSA November each year (this year, they did XX1, and the year before was 2x10), and various brands host their own, and don't mind driving out 1 hour to check 'em out. I know for certain I rode the SID when Niner came around, which I think was maybe a year and a half ago. I will admit that they ran some tires which I don't think were the best for the terrain (Conti Mountain Kings), which contributed to the lack of confidence I had on it--I felt more in control on a flexier bike with Small Block 8s and a '11 Reba.

    I'd still wouldn't buy your impression of stiffness between a new SID and new Fox though. One of the more recent demos I've been to was the Diamondback demo, and they had Fox forks, and they had the most secure front ends I've ever experienced, between their two Mason models at least (HT and yet to be released Mason FS).[/QU

    I'm curious about other opinions on the Fox vs. The Sid as well.
    Last edited by bdundee; 02-09-2013 at 05:06 PM.
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  15. #15
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    Wow, lot of info, thanks guys for all the input.

    I should have mentioned I'm not overly concerned with weight. Lateral stiffness with reliability is the most important. That said, it seems like overall the TP is the way to go. I've been hearing too many problems regarding this years Marz to be very psyched.

  16. #16
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    I have a tower on my hardtail and a marz 44 micro Ti on my tracer so I'll just talk about those. The Tower has been great. It was kind of a pain to getting set up perfect, and the rebound adjuster feels like its off of a Walmart bike, but once dialed I haven't touched it since and it is rock solid. The 15 mm QR is a really cool piece and very easy to use. It's the simplest way to get a wheel on and off period.

    The Marzocchi straight up sucks though..... The Ti spring just sits in the open bath and clicks around at the bottom of the chamber every time it's compressed. We have tried all kinds of fixes but the thing is just loud. It is really sticky when its cold and has a lot of fore aft play. That said when it warms up it is super smooth and has full travel unlike some Foxes recently. I'll be looking to replace it with a Magura or Manitou fork sometime this season.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Alberto_ View Post
    Love my 120mm Tower Pro. Clearance for $339


    LBS or online?
    Last edited by Fluidworks; 02-10-2013 at 10:58 PM.

  18. #18
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    Here some good reading from an informative blog to give you idea on the DIY shim tuning.

    The Golden Wrench: Manitou Absolute+ Tuning Awesomeness

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