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  1. #1
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    Guardian fork swap

    unhappy with the overall XC layout, and the inability for the factory fork to perform under my weight, i decided to swing for a new fork.

    At 270#, i am not cheap fork friendly. the biggest issue being the 28mm stachions are just not happy with me. i feel very noticeable play in the upper to lower connection. not a good feeling while riding down! the other major issue is the fork was just not designed for anyone over 225#.

    Well, i found a deal i was happy with on BlueSky for a Rockshox Recon Silver TK Solo Air 29. also i picked up some other stuff to, but ill focus on the fork. It showed in the mail today, and i had my bike apart within 20 minutes of Fed Ex driving off!

    I planned to take more pics, but was unable to focus on that aspect as my 15 mo daughter was not giving me any freedom for it!

    Teardown. start by securing the bike in a bike work stand, boy i need one of those! pull the front wheel off. remove the brake caliper from old fork. then, pull the little rubber bolt cap at the top of the steerer. loosen the top 5mm hex that secures the fork to the stem, and remove the cap and bolt.



    now slowly loosen the stem bolts, while holding the fork leg up to prevent the fork just falling out. keep holding the fork, and remove the stem with handle bar assembly, lay it forward gently. pull the 5 spacers from the factory. now slide the fork out gently. the top visible piece of the headset will now be loose. dont drop it and lose it. also, there is a small plastic washer inside, it goes cone down incase yours falls out. mine was cracked, but i honestly dont see any performance issues with it.

    here comes the hard part. and if you are not confidant, take it to a shop to have them do it so you dont hurt the parts or yourself. the bottom piece of the headset is "pressed" onto the fok, and bottomed out the lower shoulder. i took a flat head screwdriver, and a hammer, and put the tip in the two slots and gave a good smack. alternating from slot to slot, smack until you get the collar to slide up a bit. then use 2 flat heads 180* from each other, pry up gently with both at the same time and shimmy the collar up. to install the collar on the other fork, i just used a flat head and a hammer and tapped gently in a criss cross pattern to move it down evenly until it bottomed out.

    again sorry for lack of pics, i planned to have all steps in pic so it was easier to understand.

    now, reassembly. the steerer is way to long from the factory. it is this way to allow you to fit the bike to your needs. if you have no desire to change stem height at all, then just copy the steerer length on the old fork to the new, and cut it accordingly. i used a jigsaw, and would recc you use something with a longer blade. a hacksaw i feel would be more than adequate.

    should you not be sure, or plan to change, just stuff the whole thing in! reassemble the spacers and stem the same way they were, as a base for changes, loosely tighten the stem to allow the fork to stay put. install the wheel. put the bike on the floor, tires down to put weight on the assembly. give it a jiggle to make sure the lower head set is in position. push down on the stem and tighten the stem to keep it all tight. install the brake caliper and center it. make double sure it is all tight, and go for a test ride to see how it feels. dont like it? adjust the stem height and or change the stem. once it feels like you are positive the height will not need to go higher, scribe a line or use a sharpie to mark along the top of the stem. disassemble it and cut the fork steerer down.





    here is another unforseen issue i didnt expect. the top cap bolt has an anchor nut inside the steerer of the old fork. it is a pain in the ass to hammer out. then you must tweak the legs of it to be wide enough for the new fork, and beat it in so the top of legs are equal to before, bout a half inch. i think it would be a better practice to use a new nut each time, but im good with it, so no worries.

    now reassemble and go huck that *****!


    !!!!!!MAKE SURE ALL FASTENERS ARE TIGHT!!!!!!

    Plan to ride it tomorrow morning. so i will let you all know what i think. initial impressions after setting the air to 215 psi, my 80% so i can measure sag. well, the stand over is definitely taller! but, the steering feels more right to me. the play in the fork is now gone, and i feel confident with it. cant wait to point it down hill!
    2012 Airborne Guardian.

  2. #2
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    I would like to make a request, if I may. Perhaps it would be more practical for yourself and the others browsing this forum if you started one thread regarding your bike and the upgrades and concerns you may have for it. I make this suggestion with the highest respect towards you.

  3. #3
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    Hey Joe, we came in this morning and got your voicemail you left after hours. Looks like you got it all figured out! Congrats!

    I'd advise that you run up to your local shop and pick up a new 1 1/8" star nut. They mostly are a one-time-use item that doesn't work that great when you bang it out and re-use it on another fork; they tend to slip in the new fork. They are cheap and the shop should have plenty of them laying around.

    Looks great!

    Jeremy
    Airborne Dude.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by aikane View Post
    I would like to make a request, if I may. Perhaps it would be more practical for yourself and the others browsing this forum if you started one thread regarding your bike and the upgrades and concerns you may have for it. I make this suggestion with the highest respect towards you.
    ^ I concur with the single "zukrider Guardian" build/upgrade thread.

  5. #5
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    Sure. I have a "build" thread in the 29er forum. That info is on it as well. I just posted this as a tech for new people. Seems the guardian price point draws a lot of new to bike people that are unsure of doing work themselves. Thought this insight could help with the confidence either way. But by all means, delete if you must.
    Last edited by zukrider; 09-18-2012 at 03:08 PM.
    2012 Airborne Guardian.

  6. #6
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    Thanx Jeremy
    2012 Airborne Guardian.

  7. #7
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    Went on a wicked ride today for 7.8 miles, and i am in love with the fork! match made! a little tuning to go still, but damn it was confident!
    2012 Airborne Guardian.

  8. #8
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    Looks great man, how do you like having the 100mm vs the 80mm? do you feel that the handle bars are much higher up? did this effect handling any?

  9. #9
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    glad you asked, i forgo tto touch on this.

    bone stock, besides having no trust in the front fork, i didnt love the setup the Guardian has. i felt really stretched out. i planned to run a shorter stem to bring my hands back and up a little more. also, the 71.5 HTA was just so twitchy for my liking.

    with the new fork, at this point, im no longer planning a stem change! the head tube angle is just right! the steering is so much more stable. before, it felt to me that you had to work to keep it straight. all this of course due to the fact i cut my mountain biking teeth with a 69* HA. with the 100mm on, you have to work to turn it. that is what i like. and thats not to say that its hard to turn. more to say that if you dont want it to turn, it wont!

    Love it! Fat Kid approved!
    2012 Airborne Guardian.

  10. #10
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    So, if I order a new fork, I need to order a star nut also?
    They call me non-sequitur

  11. #11
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    My Reba Came with a star nut in the box. YMMV

  12. #12
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    Generally new forks (like those from Rockshox) that are in retail packaging come with star nuts.

    However anything that is OE excess inventory that comes from places like Nashbar/Cambria/etc more-than-likely is in OE packaging and therefor won't have the nice box, star nut, extra decal, etc.
    Airborne Dude.

  13. #13
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    How do you like the Recon Silver?

    I am thinking of upgrading and this seems like a good option since I am not ready to drop $$ on a Reba.

  14. #14
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    So far, LOVE IT!!!

    Complete 180* for me. Went from not to happy overall, to love. Now have complete confidence on descents! Still have some timing to find the sweet spot. But I love it
    2012 Airborne Guardian.

  15. #15
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    Original fork travel

    That's awesome, I'm getting excited to ordering a guardian next friday, but just wanted to say that I think you can remove a spacer from the original forks to make it a 100mm travel and posibly even 120 but not sure

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahrice View Post
    That's awesome, I'm getting excited to ordering a guardian next friday, but just wanted to say that I think you can remove a spacer from the original forks to make it a 100mm travel and posibly even 120 but not sure
    I know that you can do that with the Reba that comes on the Goblin models, but I am uncertain if you can with the Guardian fork. My gut reaction says "no you can't", but I can't say for certain until I look at the exploded diagram of the internals. I'm still getting caught up here in the office after being out for over a week so I don't have the time at the moment to check to be certain.

    Jeremy
    Airborne Dude.

  17. #17
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    im not sure about the rockshox xc28 but i know on my xc32 there is an x-firm spring available from rockshox for your weight. if anyone else is unhappy with their fork i would look into upgrading the spring first before completely upgrading the front end.

  18. #18
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    I looked into upgrading the spring, RockShox says they make one, but I couldn't find it online, and the LBS couldn't figure out if they could order one either. Beyond that the flex in the fork was an issue. 28mm stanchions just didn't cut it. Additionally. switching to an air fork makes it easy to adjust for the weight loss that will hopefully come with riding, as opposed to swapping through a series of springs. I think the XC 28 is probably a fine starter fork for an average rider, but heavy guys break weak things, for me it was just a better investment to buy a decent air fork.

  19. #19
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    There is an X firm spring for the 28. It's up to 225 lbs. but past the spring, it's worth the upgrade in rigidity!
    2012 Airborne Guardian.

  20. #20
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    Zuk, Post up a picture of the finished product with the new fork and bigger breaks. im curious to see what it looks like now.

  21. #21
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    here is a side shot of the recon silver and a 203 rotor. this rotor is total garbage! take my advice, buy a good one.



    any way, i will be swapping this to a Voodoo Zombie rigid steel fork as this recon is going on my Yelli. also changing to a 180 rotor in front, simply because i have the parts and wont need to buy anything to do it.




    this is my winter project!

    2012 Airborne Guardian.

  22. #22
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    Could the OP or anyone tell me what the stock steerer tube length is on the Guardian?



    Edit to response: Thanks!
    Last edited by tuskenraider; 10-22-2012 at 11:22 AM.

  23. #23
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    7 11/16" converts to 195.263mm
    2012 Airborne Guardian.

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