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  1. #1
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    How important is lockout on the front shock

    How important is lockout on the front shock? I tried out some FS bikes with the new link systems, which worked great, but the front shock still went down on every hard stroke. Does this rob a lot of energy? Is lockout on the front a significant feature?

  2. #2
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    its almost useless if you have any sort of platform or compression dampening (which all decent forks do these days),

    and almost necessary if you just have a cheap un-dampened fork.

  3. #3
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    does the MKIII have platform or compression dampening

    I am still debating between the MKIII and stumpjumper, which has lockout. One day left to get the 10% off. So any idea if rock shox recon 327 or Marzocchi XC 500R have platform or compression dampening (ie will not go up and down a bunch when I go uphill)?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppew
    I am still debating between the MKIII and stumpjumper, which has lockout. One day left to get the 10% off. So any idea if rock shox recon 327 or Marzocchi XC 500R have platform or compression dampening (ie will not go up and down a bunch when I go uphill)?
    My opinion is not to choose among bikes like we do presidents, i.e. the lesser of two evils. Ok, so it's not as drastic as politics, but why not just get a fork that is at the top of the food chain rather than some sort of compromise like the recon vs xc forks here?
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
    suum quique

  5. #5
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    I use lock out for steep climbs , each make and model has its own different forms but at the end of the day if it restricts the movement it will help, just some do it better than others, I personally think it's a help, th xc500 does have some form of lock out my daughters Commencal 5.5 has that fork, not sure about the Recon 327 seen two adverts one with one without.

  6. #6
    Mojo0115
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    I used to have a fork with lockout (a Pace Fighter) that had a blow off threshold so it was fairly decent, but I really didn't like how it was in-active.

    I think that travel reduction is far more important than lockout. Being able to reduce my Lyrik down to 130mm for steep climbs and still have it fully active is nice.

    To summarize: lockout = worthless, travel reduction = nice.
    Last edited by zzsean; 10-28-2008 at 10:22 AM.

  7. #7
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    Yeah travel adjust is a great feature I have a Lyric and Pike and when the going gets tough I wind them in, usually the lock out to start then as I get tired wind them in :-)

  8. #8
    Praise Bob
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    Since you posted this in the AM forum I will respond by saying it is useless. I cant imaging locking out a 160mm fork for climbs. Travel adjustment maybe, but not lockout. Maybe it is just personal preference but I cant imagine riding with a lockout. I had one on my Marz Bomber and stopped using it. Now I have a Fox36 and dont miss it at all. If you are climbing up some technical terrain having your suspension still active is a Good thing. You want to be able to pedal up through roots and rocks without getting stopped or misdirected.

  9. #9
    EDR
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    I think a lockout is usefull for standing and mashing up smooth trails. For anything technical (standing or seated) the active suspesion is a huge bonus....like SRex said.

    I wouldn't care too much if my Lyrik didn't have a lockout (well, technically it doesn't...but it does) as 90% of my climbs are technical in nature

  10. #10
    trail addict
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppew
    How important is lockout on the front shock? I tried out some FS bikes with the new link systems, which worked great, but the front shock still went down on every hard stroke. Does this rob a lot of energy? Is lockout on the front a significant feature?
    FWIW, I don't like lockout or travel adjust. My forks have both, but I have rarely used them since it seems like a bother.

    What I DO WANT in a fork is tuneable preload, and good damping-compression and rebound.

    Other opinions will obviously vary, but I find that little tweaks on my basic set-up allow me to ride pretty well on a wide variety of terrain-without lockout or travel adjust.
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

  11. #11
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    FWIW, the xc500r that came on my MKIII RS "exclusive" build has only rebound and preload adjusments, no lockout. i can't compare it to any other fork, since my first mtb was crap with crap components, but i have no complaints so far.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by zzsean
    To summarize: lockout = worthless, travel reduction = nice.
    I agree 100%.

    I have a Talas RLC and I use the travel reduction quite a bit, but have not once ever used the lockout for mountain biking. I have played with it on pavement a few times, but I can't say it makes any noticeable difference. Even if you are standing and mashing, the front moving around isn't wasting nearly as much energy as the rear moving around.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustMtnB44
    I agree 100%.

    I have a Talas RLC and I use the travel reduction quite a bit, but have not once ever used the lockout for mountain biking. I have played with it on pavement a few times, but I can't say it makes any noticeable difference.
    I don't think you have it set up right then because it does make a huge difference when it's done right.

    On the RLC it's not so much "lockout" as "Blow Off Valve". With it switched on the fork only moves 10-20mm through it's travel until you hit a bump and then, with a big enough actuating force the fork becomes active.

    I run the fork with lockout "on" and for singletrack, climbs and fast sprints I think it's great to have a nearly rigid fork that doesn't dive and bob with every input it's given.

    As soon as I get to the downhills the fork is getting enough actuating force to become fully active and then the damping and compression / rebound control is awesome.

  14. #14
    MEDBLKANOSCBLT2RP23
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    Front lockout is ok on an under suspended front end or a shorter xc travel bike. But with 5+" travel, sag is your friend, esp climbing, so your front end tracks. I devolved my Nixon for that reason and I can still stand and climb but the smooth stand and spin technique really is tough to do for long and wastes tons of energy.

    If you are riding like 150mm in the rear and 130 fixed up front, you might want some lockout or still better, increasing travel adjustment feature.

    I've noticed some mixing short forks with longer rear travel and not sure why, but hey, that's the beauty of mnt biking!
    RTR

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by driver bob
    I don't think you have it set up right then because it does make a huge difference when it's done right.

    On the RLC it's not so much "lockout" as "Blow Off Valve". With it switched on the fork only moves 10-20mm through it's travel until you hit a bump and then, with a big enough actuating force the fork becomes active.

    I run the fork with lockout "on" and for singletrack, climbs and fast sprints I think it's great to have a nearly rigid fork that doesn't dive and bob with every input it's given.

    As soon as I get to the downhills the fork is getting enough actuating force to become fully active and then the damping and compression / rebound control is awesome.
    Do you have the 'X' version? Because what you described is not how the 'L' version works. Mine is locked out solid until a large enough bump is hit to override the blowoff threshold. It is not at all practical to use the lockout on mtb trails on an All Mountain bike.

    It is much more useful to drop the fork down for climbs than to lock it out at full travel. Actually, the Marzocchi ETA system is nice because it does some of each, where it drops the fork down and makes it really stiff, but not fully locked out.

  16. #16
    plasma donor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartacus Rex
    Since you posted this in the AM forum I will respond by saying it is useless. I cant imaging locking out a 160mm fork for climbs. Travel adjustment maybe, but not lockout. Maybe it is just personal preference but I cant imagine riding with a lockout. I had one on my Marz Bomber and stopped using it. Now I have a Fox36 and dont miss it at all. If you are climbing up some technical terrain having your suspension still active is a Good thing. You want to be able to pedal up through roots and rocks without getting stopped or misdirected.

    I guess it comes down to preference and style. I prefer rigid for all but the biggest hits, or high speed washboard. I REALLY prefer it for climbs. Travel adjust might be a great alternative, but my issue with my AM build is that my front end comes up way too easy. As a result, I generally prefer my rigid XC bike and the punnishment that comes with it over the plushness of 100mm. I also prefer the precision of the steeper fork angle. Being able to adjust travel/angle on the fly might change my opinion, but as it sits, my XC bike gets the majority of the AM duties.
    But I've spent 20+ years developing technique on various rigid bikes, while less than 10 years developing technique with suspension.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustMtnB44
    Do you have the 'X' version? Because what you described is not how the 'L' version works.
    Nope, a 2008 Fox 32 RLC. It took a bit of time to get it set to run like I described but I love the way it works for me.

    If it wasn't out in the garage I'd go and measure the settings I have it at.

  18. #18
    squish is good
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    Lockouts are useless. Whats the point of a suspension fork if you lock it out? I run a 6" fork on my hardtail and it stays in fully active mode 100% of the time, still pedals like a dream too.
    Bike good, work bad.

  19. #19
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by zzsean

    To summarize: lockout = worthless, travel reduction = nice.
    Yes...
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  20. #20
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    long story short, get a motion control fork with adjustable travel

  21. #21
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    Lockout-no, Travel adjust-yes

    I have a TALAS RLC. I only used the lockout once on a pavement climb after first reducing the travel down.

    By itself, the lockout is useless to me. Why would I want my fork locked out at the top of the travel on a climb? I use the travel adjust a lot and like having the active travel with a lowered front end on rocky uphills, although I rarely lower it all the way down.

    If you do lots of fireroad climbs the lockout might be ok, but it still is better with the travel slightly reduced. Mostly for me, the lockout is a gimmick.

  22. #22
    eBiker
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride
    I think a lockout is usefull for standing and mashing up smooth trails. For anything technical (standing or seated) the active suspesion is a huge bonus....like SRex said.
    +1

    One can haul ass up some smooth trail, standing and mashing on a locked out fork.

    That said, compression adjust up top is handy too; adjust for flowy XC, or DH, or uphill rough.

    P

  23. #23
    TLL
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomsmoto
    its almost useless if you have any sort of platform or compression dampening (which all decent forks do these days),
    Most forks have platform? I think you misplaced a comma.

    Lockout is fine on hardtails, but worthless otherwise. I can climb just fine out of the saddle with my Fox 36.
    Hadley rear hub service here and here.

  24. #24
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    When riding off-road, I don't touch it, it stays fully open and active, on the rare occasion on a long smooth fire road climb I may lockout my fork, but a lot of the tracks I ride I have to link with road bits in between, so as soon as I am the grey stuff, front is locked out and the rear is stiffened up, back on the dirt, fully active.

    I would love to have a 36 on my Reign, but for the type of riding I do, I would really miss the lockout feature.

    So in the end it comes down to the riding you do, if your bike rarely sees the grey stuff, I would not bother with a lockout.

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