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  1. #1
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    Smile New Rider w/ 29" Trek Marlin looking for convert to Dual Crown

    Hey guys I'm looking for some insight! I just starting riding XC in fall on my Marlin and I love it, but there are a few things I want to upgrade, first let's start by saying that I'm a big guy, 6'2" 320lbs (I'm using the bike for working out. Way more fun than a gym. Lost 50lbs so far) and I am looking to upgrade to more sturdy dual crown front forks and possible convert the bike to a single front sprocket speed. Just looking at dual crowns I can physically see they will be more rigid and even provide some more height and compression on small jumps, my stock fronts bottom out all the time with me currently, I'm looking to buy a used set and service them, my question is, forgive the noobishness, but what do I all need to convert the bike to a dual crown? I see the dc forks have huge axles that obviously won't fit my quick release axle, some insight here would be much appreciated, id love to get the bike built for spring

  2. #2
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    I don't think you will find a dual crown fork that can be used on this bike as they tend to be long travel forks. If I were you, I would either sell the bike and get an all mountain hard tail with a super burley frame and a Fox 34 or Pike, or just upgrade to a Fox 34 Talas and ride it in the lowered position. A bigger stanchion fork and they axle with wide rims will make a huge difference for you. Going to a 27.5 wheel will add stiffness as well.

    Good luck and hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    The Marlin comes with a Suntour something, right?

    I bet you'd be a lot happier with a nicer XC fork. It will have better rigidity and you can put the spring rate where you want to.

    There are a few choices. I have a RockShox Reba. The Fox Float is very popular. And Manitou has some that are getting good buzz at a lower price. There are more out there, of course, those are just the ones I know.

    Over on Beginner's Corner, there's also a thread concerning a discounted upgrade from Suntour. I haven't ridden their nicer forks, but they're supposed to be competitive with forks like the Reba.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post
    I don't think you will find a dual crown fork that can be used on this bike as they tend to be long travel forks. If I were you, I would either sell the bike and get an all mountain hard tail with a super burley frame and a Fox 34 or Pike, or just upgrade to a Fox 34 Talas and ride it in the lowered position. A bigger stanchion fork and they axle with wide rims will make a huge difference for you. Going to a 27.5 wheel will add stiffness as well
    Good luck and hope this helps.
    But would the long travel for me be a bad thing? With my weight on it it will probably droop a bit down anyway, I do appreciate the input!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    The Marlin comes with a Suntour something, right?

    I bet you'd be a lot happier with a nicer XC fork. It will have better rigidity and you can put the spring rate where you want to.

    There are a few choices. I have a RockShox Reba. The Fox Float is very popular. And Manitou has some that are getting good buzz at a lower price. There are more out there, of course, those are just the ones I know.

    Over on Beginner's Corner, there's also a thread concerning a discounted upgrade from Suntour. I haven't ridden their nicer forks, but they're supposed to be competitive with forks like the Reba.
    What do you mean by XC fork? Please excuse my noobishness

  6. #6
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    Many peoe consider forks that are not long travel "all mountain" or freeride forks as XC forks. Nevermind that.

    The point I was making is that you cannot put a 180mm (the amount of spring travel) fork on the frame that you own. It just was not designed for that. You can get an air fork that will allow you to set the appropriate air pressure (spring weight) for your body weight. It would also probably be torsionally stiffer than your current fork. A thru axle will also help with stiffness.
    Again , I'm not talking about spring stiffness but how flexy the fork will be. To keep your fork from bottoming out, spring stiffness, you will need to go with an air fork. No one that I know of makes a coil spring for your weight.

    You really need to start reading about bike suspension, forks, etc. get educated before you buy anything.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post
    Many peoe consider forks that are not long travel "all mountain" or freeride forks as XC forks. Nevermind that.

    The point I was making is that you cannot put a 180mm (the amount of spring travel) fork on the frame that you own. It just was not designed for that. You can get an air fork that will allow you to set the appropriate air pressure (spring weight) for your body weight. It would also probably be torsionally stiffer than your current fork. A thru axle will also help with stiffness.
    Again , I'm not talking about spring stiffness but how flexy the fork will be. To keep your fork from bottoming out, spring stiffness, you will need to go with an air fork. No one that I know of makes a coil spring for your weight.

    You really need to start reading about bike suspension, forks, etc. get educated before you buy anything.
    Yea I know I plan on doing much more research on the subject, if I can't fit a dual crown on this frame then I will look into upgrading to a different fork, like an air fork. I got the bike for a good deal and it was my size so I couldn't pass it up, maybe I'll sell it and pick up a bike better suited

  8. #8
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    A short-travel hardtail is well-suited to XC. As mnigro is saying, you need to set up the suspension correctly for you. That requires (also in his post) an air fork.

    Depending on your style and budget, a full-suspension bike might be more to your liking. I'd be happy enough to ride XC on anything from 100 to 140 mm of travel. Though for myself, I chose 100.

    Check out the Clydes' forum. I've raced at as low as 135, and didn't think the Manitou R7, notorious for flexiness, was flexy. Well, until I stuck a Bomber on the front and suddenly my wheel tracked better. So my perception that the non-weight weenie XC/trail forks are already stiff enough may not be shared over there.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
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    So essentially, the dual crowns travel is much, it will dip the front end to low to where the frame is still functional as a sturdy unit, and I'm guessing they don't make dual crowns with a lower travel height?

  10. #10
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    A dual crown fork in 120mm is way overkill, even if they were manufactured. Like I said, air fork with a 15mm or 20mm axle and a stiff wheelset is whT you want. Fatty tires would also help.

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    Alright I'm gonna look into the air forks, do you guys have any personal recommendations? And how would I go about making my wheel fit in a 15 or 20 mm hub

  12. #12
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    the hub is the thing in the center of your wheel. if you have a 15mm hub then you can use that with a 15mm fork. or if you have a 9mm fork you could use an adapter to make the 15mm hub fit. the marlin comes with a 5mm quick release axle (definitely weak for your weight) and a 9mm fork. so if you got a different fork and kept the same front wheel you would need and adapter. the best bet would be to buy a 15mm fork and a 15mm wheel at the same time. the stock AT-650s that came on the marlin are weak, and heavy.

  13. #13
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    It seems like for a guy like me I should pass the marlin on to someone better suited for it, I've been looking around and I found this:

    http://www.vitalmtb.com/product/guid...#product-specs

  14. #14
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    Would you be getting that used? Or on clearance? Because what you linked was the 2011 model. I would not recommend that because you are just going for an entry level hard tail to an entry level full suspension bike. It still has mechanical disks. I think the front fork would still be. 9mm and the wheels would be pretty basic.

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  15. #15
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    Definitely not that bike. Like I said, you're going to have to drop a good amount of cash on a bike to get an upgrade. Anything with a coil rear end is something you should stay away from unless you get into a high enough model of coil shock (rear suspension) that they manufacture coils for your weight. I'm not sure anyone does so you'll need to research that.

    You can find an older used Nomad for a good price, maybe around $1200 if you look hard. Hey buying used you will need to make sure that the bike hasn't been trashed.

    It all depends on your budget. I'd say keep the Marlin and look for a used Rockshox Revelation or Reba and a beefy wheelset to match the hub axle to the fork axle, 15mm or 20mm - depending on the fork that you find. Prepare to spend about $500+ For these.

  16. #16
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    If you run a tapered head tube, RockShox Reba Team 29 | eBay

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    Alright guys cool I really really appreciate the help here, if it's gonna be 1200 minimum for a used one that may be out of the question for me financially so I'll just work with what I have, and how do I tell if I have a tapered head tube?

  18. #18
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    I think that it is non tapered

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  19. #19
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    Being somewhat a noob myself not sure about this but, what are some thoughts on him finding a used jump bike on craigslist with their stronger frames and forks?

    A pair of Kona Hoss' are currently on our craigslist for $550 each.
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  20. #20
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    Re: New Rider w/ 29" Trek Marlin looking for convert to Dual Crown

    Quote Originally Posted by 04ep3hatch View Post
    Alright I'm gonna look into the air forks, do you guys have any personal recommendations? And how would I go about making my wheel fit in a 15 or 20 mm hub
    I'm typing with my thumbs so I can't quote myself. Or I would.

    Back in Post #3: RockShox Reba. Fox Float.

    Skip the Haro. It's garbage, it has the same problems as the Marlin, and you'll break components, and maybe the swingarm.

    If your front wheel isn't compatible with the fork you choose, throw it out. Or try to get $10 or $20 out of it if you're really strapped. It's only worth putting a new hub in a wheel if the rim is something special.

    Here's the deal. Bikes that retail between $400 and $1400 are basically a wasteland. As you pay more than $400, you still don't get a real fork, but you end up with less money afterwards.

    So you get two ways to step out of that system. Buy a $1400+ bike for less, which is where used, clearance and catalog bikes can work well to varying degrees.

    Take the budget you have and the bike you have in hand and bolt on a couple choice components to address the biggest problem you have. Yeah it's an uneven build, but it lets you leverage the bike you already have to build up something nice. It probably takes longer and costs more over time than getting something nicer to begin with, but depending on where you are on lump sums vs. COO over time, it's certainly a way to do it. I have an upgradeitised Hardrock that I pieced together basically because I was chewing parts off and wasn't in a place in my life where I could put away money.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  21. #21
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    I just got back into riding after about 15 years for the exercise factor like you said "it's better than the gym". I went out and bought a Trek Mamba and thought that would be plenty of bike. After a few rides I realized how much stuff on the Mamba needed upgraded. The forks bottomed out the wheels bent. I wasn't sure if the bike was shifting on its own or if I had hit the shifter. I came on here an was asking all kinds of questions about upgrading this and that and a lot of people said dont upgrade buy a better bike! I sold the Mamba and bought a Scott Scale 940 with the Fox air fork and better components. I'm so glad I did! It's like night and day! It's waaaayyyy cheaper to buy a better bike than to rebuild yours. The Fox fork is so much better than the Rock Shox was! The only thing I don't like on the Scott is the wheels. I've come to realize unless your buying a top of the line bike you gonna have to upgrade the wheels. So IMHO dont upgrade! Save what you were gonna spend and put towards a better bike! Good luck!

  22. #22
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    I ride a marlin just fine bought it when I was a the same weight as op. 270ish now. Only issue I had was stock forks were ****. New fork doesn't need tapered or have to be 15-20mm axle just a better quality fork. I ride straight steerer 9mm qr and its still 100x better than the suntour junk. At our weight everything I've read puts the manitou tower pro at best bang for buck Clyde fork. I'm buying a set come spring.

    Beyond that most complaints I read about most entry level bikes come from the fact lbs didn't put the time into making sure everything was properly set up. Obviously u pay for quality but lower end stuff was top of the line years ago, so it works just fine when set up correctly. Forks excluded. Cheap suntour forks are about as bad as walmart forks. Anything rockshox (yes even cheaper xc series) is way better. Entry lvl bikes are just that, for beginners/ ppl on a budget. As I know upgrading fully isn't the most cost effective but u build just what u want and u learn alot along the way. Imo makes it more than worth the extra cost cause now I have lifetime knowledge of how to wrench on bikes.
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  23. #23
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    Cheap stuff was always cheap. The old 8-speed XT stuff is a lot nicer than new Acera, let alone Tourney. (Tourney is where I throw my hands up and don't claim to be able to make it work well. That extra wheel thing on the derailleur and the crappy mounting claw.... fuhgeddaboudit.)
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  24. #24
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    Tourney FTL. Buying a used 8 speed XT cassette would not be a bad call if you needed to replace your stock shitty one

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  25. #25
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    Yeah, I like the Reba myself, but I don't think it will be well suited for a 300+ pound rider. It's pretty noodely as it is under my 210 pound self. It was designed as a sub 4 pound light race/xc fork. I might suggest a Recon or one of the other heavier duty 100mm forks. IIRC, the Recon is similar to the Reba but uses steel legs instead of the lightweight thin walled aluminum. Is there a Fox 36 at or under 120mm? That would be better.

    Plus, many frame mfgs won't warranty a frame that had a dual crown fork on it. Dual crown puts a lot of stress on the headtube. The fact that they won't warranty it makes me think that under the extra weight and stress, the head tube is a lot more likely to shear off the frame.

    And I don't agree that low rent bikes are a waste of money to upgrade. You can always move the sweet parts to a new blingier frame. Save the old parts and put it back to stock form to sell it on craigslist. Usually, the low rent stuff is a lot tougher than the blingy stuff just because weight is of almost no concern at the lower rent end of the scale. A major bike mfg isn't going to want to mess with warranty claims over a bike they didn't make much money off of in the first place, so they tend to be overbuilt with no taper walled tubing, etc.

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