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  1. #1
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    Riding suntour xct into the ground

    Ok i see there are at least 2 camps regarding cheap components, ride til they break or upgrading, which can become an addiction

    my question: when using an sr suntour xct fork what will happen when it does break (stays compressed, simply does not move, snaps in two)?

  2. #2
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    It depends on the intensity of the abuse. I suspect it will probably stop moving. That or your wrists will stop moving.

  3. #3
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    Nothing any rougher than these examples. I am assuming that the abuse is on the lower end of the spectrum.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Riding suntour xct into the ground-image.jpg  

    Riding suntour xct into the ground-image.jpg  


  4. #4
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    Fork might be the exception to the ride it til it breaks theory, because apparently a better fork is that much better. Pretty sure that theory definitely applies to brakes, derailleurs, cranks, chainrings, cassettes, seatposts, and things of that nature, where if fit isn't a concern, the returns are pretty marginal on just upgrading.

    I also suspect that what you illustrate doesn't even reveal the suckiness of the fork. I ride that kind of stuff all the time on XCT and it does alright.


    I believe that it is medium displacement, high frequency stuff that makes the undamped coil fork an abomination. Rocks a bit bigger than what you show, whoop-de-do kind of things. I did a small drop on a descent today that I think bottomed it that kind of surprised me a little. Not quite sure what happened, will have to do that one again.

    There is apparently a need to regrease the springs on an annual? basis and that abuse will cause it to lock up.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for reply. I got some more thinking to do

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    I took the upgrade route since I never liked how heavy it is but mostly the springs were too soft for my weight. Even if I could have put in springs that were better suited, there is nothing to be done about the weight or the lack of adjustability.

  7. #7
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    Im in the same boat as OP with a bike that is generally suitable in all respects except that fork. I also have other potentially expensive hobbies where upgradeitis is a pernicious disease. Restrain yourself!

    Here's my plan. The fork isn't inhibiting me right now. It may not ever. If I continue and advance in this hobby where the fork is impeding me, I will upgrade to a Raidon or Epicon. If I continue and it doesn't impede me, then it's going to have to break before I replace it. It is also conceivable that I advance to the point where I want a whole other bike before I need to replace anything on my current bike.

  8. #8
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    Yeah we have a lot in common but what if riding it to the point of breaking means breaking it in two

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwiceHorn View Post
    Here's my plan. The fork isn't inhibiting me right now. It may not ever.
    Or it may, and you may not know it. Once you've reached a plateau in your performance, ride a bike with a much better fork (friend's ride, demo days) and see if it inspires more confidence in your abilities. It's easy to get stuck in thinking you're as good as your gonna get, and no other fork could possibly improve your skill.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  11. #11
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    I switched out a Suntour XCR for a Reba and it transformed the handling of my hardtail. The only other upgrades were pedals and saddle and only because it came with cheap pedals and the stock seat was killing me. In terms of other parts I'm definitely in the ride it till they wear out or break camp. I don't see the point in upgrading drivetrain, brakes etc as long as they are working Ok. But the Reba has transformed the ride quality and made my bike way more fun to ride.

    Just my 2cents.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingtaco View Post
    Or it may, and you may not know it. Once you've reached a plateau in your performance, ride a bike with a much better fork (friend's ride, demo days) and see if it inspires more confidence in your abilities. It's easy to get stuck in thinking you're as good as your gonna get, and no other fork could possibly improve your skill.
    This is true. By impede I mean becomes something noticeably bad. But how will I know.

    Re: Breaking in two. There are two complaints about the XCT fork, the 28.5mm stanchions and the lack of rebound damping. The first is an area of strength and the second one of function. As an engineer, I kind of doubt that it will break in two even with the small/weak stanchions. I suspect that they would begin to deform or spread some or maybe even bend so that the telescoping action is inhibited. And I suspect that by the time you are riding that hard, it will become the proverbial pogo stick, that is, no longer properly cushioning bumps but basically vibrating in an uncomfortable way.

    I started a whole thread on bikes breaking and noone mentioned a fork breaking in a catastrophic way. The most common form of breakage discussed was breaking a rear derailleur by falling on the right or a derailleur hanger bending under similar circumstances. Even frame breaks were few and far between on decent bikes (ie non walmart) and happened as a result of fatigue (age and repeated flexing/shocks).

    In short, I think the big issue is really one of performance.

    And I'm curious if you could explain how the Reba changed the handling of your bike?

  13. #13
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    Reba comment waa from someone else

    Regarding the unlikely case of breaking, your comments guide me to where i want to be: the camp that says ride it until it does not work.

    I am at the year point with my entry level bike and have not fixed or changed any component. I have a drive train creak and am not going to sweat that too much. Wallet really would like to make it two years wothout a change

  14. #14
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    Cool. Glad to help. After a year are you noticing anything that might indicate that your fork needs grease? There are a couple of YouTube vids on it if you feel like taking a whack at it. Im only a month in myself.

  15. #15
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    to be honest. Are there signs it needs grease. I don't know. I think the sag has never worked. It never bottoms out. Appears to never have used its full travel. I doubt it is because it has too stiff a spring because i weigh 185 or more. Does not move at all below 50 degrees outside
    Last edited by Minimaltread; 07-26-2014 at 08:17 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwiceHorn View Post

    And I'm curious if you could explain how the Reba changed the handling of your bike?
    Where to start? From the start it just felt great and the bike handled much more smoothly. The Suntour fork had no effective rebound dampening and in the rough stuff the front end would bounce around all over the place. A bit like a pogo stick. The Reba is way smoother and gave me greater confidence going downhill, cornering and ploughing through rough stuff. The Reba is an air fork and I was able to experiment with different PSI settings according to my weight to get the plushness that suited my style of riding and the terrain versus the one setting of the spring fork. I was also able to play around with the Motion Control damper and rebound adjustments. The Suntour had no effective tunability apart from the lockout. Also the 32mm stanchions make the Reba stiffer than the Suntour fork and it also shaved a few pounds off in terms of weight as the Reba is significantly lighter than the Suntour. This makes it easier lifting the front wheel over obstacles and having a lighter bike is just better overall, especially uphill and on longer rides.

    It transformed my hardtail from a good ride to a great ride. Hope that helps.

  17. #17
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    New models from 2014 that have hydraulic lockout have rebound damping and are rideable.
    But a good fork and dropping 2+ lbs. off the front make a major impact when you ride more difficult terrain.
    In two seasons you will be buying a much better bike. Change the fork now for the better route to skill development.
    You should also choose the correct tires for your terrain.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    You should also choose the correct tires for your terrain.
    This.

    I'd rather have a GOOD set of tires and a poverty fork than poverty tires with a GOOD fork. Hands down biggest difference in the way a bike rides is tires.

  19. #19
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    What kind of terrain were you riding where the Reba made that much difference?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minimaltread View Post
    Ok i see there are at least 2 camps regarding cheap components, ride til they break or upgrading, which can become an addiction

    my question: when using an sr suntour xct fork what will happen when it does break (stays compressed, simply does not move, snaps in two)?
    Ignore that advice when it comes to the fork. The Suntour XTC is a cheap piece of crap that has little to no business being on a mountain bike.

    Either replace it through their upgrade program with the Raidon or find something like a Rockshox Recon or Reba for a good price.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwiceHorn View Post
    If I continue and advance in this hobby where the fork is impeding me, I will upgrade to a Raidon or Epicon. If I continue and it doesn't impede me, then it's going to have to break before I replace it. It is also conceivable that I advance to the point where I want a whole other bike before I need to replace anything on my current bike.
    If you are riding anything but smooth flat straight terrain, it is impeding you more than you think. Personally, I would rather have a rigid fork the the XCT.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  22. #22
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    Thanks for all the suggestions. Have you had time on the Raidon. If i change i want keep it at the 200 mark. Anything more would be too much and making me lean back in the direction of not changing it at all

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwiceHorn View Post
    What kind of terrain were you riding where the Reba made that much difference?
    Nothing too rough just fairly typical XC and single track trail riding. But I think kjlued has put an exclamation mark on the point I was making.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minimaltread View Post
    Thanks for all the suggestions. Have you had time on the Raidon. If i change i want keep it at the 200 mark. Anything more would be too much and making me lean back in the direction of not changing it at all
    I've read nothing but positive reviews of the Raidon. I would have jumped all over that deal but it's only offered in North America and I'm all the way downunder in NZ. It is a great fork compared to the XCT you have now.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minimaltread View Post
    Thanks for all the suggestions. Have you had time on the Raidon. If i change i want keep it at the 200 mark. Anything more would be too much and making me lean back in the direction of not changing it at all
    I have some time with the raidon and it seems every bit as good as my rockshox reba. The travel is very smooth, adjustable, 32mm stanchions, metal bushings, ect. I'd say the only downside to the raidon in comparison to the Reba would be weight, as it is 1lb heavier. You would still drop a bunch of weight going from the XCT to the Raidon.

    If I needed to purchase a fork right now I would probably choose the Raidon (or epicon) over the Reba.

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