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  1. #1
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    Who races Super D: Fork with lockout?

    I am considering a fork upgrade for my Santa Cruz Butcher. I'm thinking of all participating in my first Super D races next year. Most of the races around these parts (northern california) involve some form of climbing or another during the race course.

    I am eying a RockShox Lyrik Coil Mission control fork. I have seen a few come up at very reasonable prices, but all of these have come equipped with the MiCo DH damper that does not the have the floodgate/lock out.

    Can I get away with a more downhill oriented fork that doesn't have lock out... or is thissomething I'm going to need? When I find myself charging up the hill now, the lockout on my Fox 32 Talas definitely seems to save a lot of wasted energy.

  2. #2
    usually cranky
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    it seems no matter how much it is said the myth you need lockout for climbing prevails. you dont need or even want lockout for climbing. locking out your fork will make it deflect off trail chatter and actually waste energy. having it open to inputs will let you track straight saving energy. the key is not to mash, be fluid.

  3. #3
    rider of bicycles
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    I race a lot of Super D, and agree with b-kul. I want grip, not lockout.

  4. #4
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    what super D's are you looking to race?

    Sea otter is a fireroad jaunt down easystreet, lockout would be great.

    Chico Super D is a brutal rocky deathfest that makes downieville look like a cakewalk.

  5. #5
    Just roll it......
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    I think an adjustable seatpost (like gravity dropper, KS, Joplin, etc.) is more important than a fork with lockout. A Super D should have 20-30% climbing and that sometimes is mixed throughout the ride....that's where these posts really come in handy.

    That said, I've got a fork that locks out on my SS hardtail and I do use it for extended climbs and sections where I'm mostly out of the saddle. It definitely helps on that bike.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haus Boss
    I am considering a fork upgrade for my Santa Cruz Butcher. I'm thinking of all participating in my first Super D races next year. Most of the races around these parts (northern california) involve some form of climbing or another during the race course.

    I am eying a RockShox Lyrik Coil Mission control fork. I have seen a few come up at very reasonable prices, but all of these have come equipped with the MiCo DH damper that does not the have the floodgate/lock out.

    Can I get away with a more downhill oriented fork that doesn't have lock out... or is thissomething I'm going to need? When I find myself charging up the hill now, the lockout on my Fox 32 Talas definitely seems to save a lot of wasted energy.

    No, you don't need one. I raced a couple of Super D's late last season on my Lyrik 2step that has the floodgate/lockout feature that I never used, even on long steep road climbs to get to the goods. Since then, I removed the floodgate/lockout feature and fork feels better. Go DH damper for sure, but some travel adjust is always nice to have for long climbs and I still use this feature a lot on forks, even though a travel adjustable fork is typically not as reliable or consistent for some reason as non-travel forks (Talas vs Float)
    Ride On!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgusta
    though a travel adjustable fork is typically not as reliable or consistent for some reason as non-travel forks (Talas vs Float)
    That's simple. As a general rule, in most circumstances...the more parts involved, typically the more there is to break. The more complex a mechanism, the more likely it is to break down or require service at some point. Plus the simple things are a lot harder to f*ck up. LOL.
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  8. #8
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    yes, agreed with b-kul and the others. Lockouts are lame on front forks. Marz had a cool thing with that 'compress it and it will stay down some' design because it lowered the front of your bike, placing your center of mass farther forward in relation to the hill. That worked, although it did make it deflect a bit more. But a lockout? nope.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaeckerX1
    That's simple. As a general rule, in most circumstances...the more parts involved, typically the more there is to break. The more complex a mechanism, the more likely it is to break down or require service at some point. Plus the simple things are a lot harder to f*ck up. LOL.
    Makes sense, but why is it commonly known by others that the 36 Float has a tendency to feel and perform somewhat better than the 36 Talas even though they both have the same FIT dampener, chasis, and internals for the most part? Are there some sacrifice in fork performance with a travel adjust feature compared to non-adjust forks? People seem to love the new Floats and most feel like you don't really need a travel adjust feature for AM riding, and I like the idea of not using one, cause less to go wrong in the fork, but I couldn't imagine doing my usual +2k' climbs to bombers without it. But, probably cause I am well over 200lbs and have always ridden heavier trail/AM/FR type bikes and will take any crutch that will get me up the hill easier and more efficiently to conserve energy to rip it back down.
    Ride On!

  10. #10
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    It kind of depends on how serious you want to be with your racing. If your looking to make podiums, having a fork with the ability to tune out the bob for out of the seat climbing and sprinting is really going to help. A pure lockout is a little overkill unless your riding on gravel roads or pure buff singletrack but being able to ramp up the compression on the fly will shave time if your serious about winning. Think about the tiny amount of wasted energy from each time you compress your fork over a two mile climb, if your able to ramp up some compression and get half of that energy saved and put down at the rear wheel your shaving time over the guy who isn't. In everyday riding it doesn't really matter but if your looking to be top three in a timed event, any advantage helps.

  11. #11
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    I've been racing SD for close to ten years now and can tell you that the courses are all over the map regarding which equipment is is best suitable. Two SD races I raced this year were on a full ridgid. For my purpose built SD race bike for courses like Ashland's 12 Mile SD, I run a 'Zoke 44 Ti Coil/oil matched to a Ti coil shock with no lock out.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader
    I've been racing SD for close to ten years now and can tell you that the courses are all over the map regarding which equipment is is best suitable. Two SD races I raced this year were on a full ridgid. For my purpose built SD race bike for courses like Ashland's 12 Mile SD, I run a 'Zoke 44 Ti Coil/oil matched to a Ti coil shock with no lock out.
    How was the Ashland race your you? I always heard great things, I'm planning on doing the Oregon Super D series next season with the Ashland thrown in!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by missoularider
    How was the Ashland race your you? I always heard great things, I'm planning on doing the Oregon Super D series next season with the Ashland thrown in!
    LOL. Damn ADD. This year I forgot my shoes at the hotel room back in Ashland. I was offered flat pedals by a ton of people but I only had flip flops. There was no time to run back and get my cycling shoes, but I was allowed to race the sport class on Sunday. I didn't want to sandbag so I did a solid practice run and got in the top 20. At least I didn't double flat and have to roll the entire course like in '08. I still had a great time.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  14. #14
    Let the good times roll.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haus Boss
    I am considering a fork upgrade for my Santa Cruz Butcher. I'm thinking of all participating in my first Super D races next year. Most of the races around these parts (northern california) involve some form of climbing or another during the race course.

    I am eying a RockShox Lyrik Coil Mission control fork. I have seen a few come up at very reasonable prices, but all of these have come equipped with the MiCo DH damper that does not the have the floodgate/lock out.

    Can I get away with a more downhill oriented fork that doesn't have lock out... or is thissomething I'm going to need? When I find myself charging up the hill now, the lockout on my Fox 32 Talas definitely seems to save a lot of wasted energy.
    I've raced a few super-Ds, all of which had climbing. I never used the Floodgate feature. In fact, I've never found that feature useful even when I'm commuting or riding XC. The DH damper is on my list upgrades in the next couple months.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by charging_rhinos
    yes, agreed with b-kul and the others. Lockouts are lame on front forks. Marz had a cool thing with that 'compress it and it will stay down some' design because it lowered the front of your bike, placing your center of mass farther forward in relation to the hill. That worked, although it did make it deflect a bit more. But a lockout? nope.
    Wotan has a selectable "platform" - I do flip it on on extended climbs, also when lowering the travel to 120 from 160. Seems useful - I find it easier to get front over step-ups when it is less active - and keep rear open for better traction.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebxtreme
    I think an adjustable seatpost (like gravity dropper, KS, Joplin, etc.) is more important than a fork with lockout. A Super D should have 20-30% climbing and that sometimes is mixed throughout the ride....that's where these posts really come in handy
    Having dabbled in super-d (Capitol Forest), I agree with this 100%. If you are happy with your fork other than the lockout, I think you'd be much better off spending some money on a dropping seat post. You'll gain time on the downhills as well as the uphills from not having to compromise saddle position.

  17. #17
    GUIDANCE COUNSELOR
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    Like others have said, not all super-d's venues are the same, so there is not "one" ideal setup. For example, the Moab Ho-down (Porcupine Rim) is worlds apart from virtually anything on the Mountain States Cup circuit (which are usually the downhill segment of the XC course).

    Generally speaking however, I don't think you'd have time to lock-out a fork in a race. From my experience most races are pretty hectic and the second you get off the gas you're getting passed. I do however generally run quite a bit of compression damping, yielding not a comfortable ride but a little snappier feel. I want a setup that I'm not gonna fuss with during the race, but with the adjustability to fine tune for different courses. There are other concessions I make too in regards to comfort, like higher tire pressure (for aggressive cornering and flat protection) and a generally stiffer ride.

    Super-Solid Super-D Setup:

    ~5" bike
    150mm fork w/ thru axle
    Light wheels (ideally with rear thru axle too)
    High volume, fast rolling tires
    Adjustable post
    1x10 (or 9) drivetrain 34-36t front ring
    Wide bars, short stem

    NOAH SEARS
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    TECH QUESTIONS HERE: INFO@MRPBIKE.COM

  18. #18
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    Well, I think I'm going to be purchasing a Lyrik Coil w/ MiCo damper sans floodgate in the next couple of weeks here! I guess if I ever partake in a Super D course with a lot of climbing, I may just ramp up the low speed comp damping.

  19. #19
    Fragglepuss The Chaste
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    If you have the energy/can see straight during a normal Super D, to fiddle with a lockout then you're not trying hard enough. With how XC they all are now, save for a precious few, if you're a beginner and don't cross the finish line with a line of snot hanging out of your nose while you go into a coughing fit like you've just taken a huge bong hit and accidentally laughed, then you shouldn't bother racing.

    Lockouts are for when your mom sends you to the grocery store for a jar of Prego and your sister has the mini-van and you have to take your bike so she can have dinner ready before dad gets home so he won't yell at her when they think you and your sister are sleeping.

    Instead of worrying about a fork choice that will make sense on one course out of thirty, I would save your money for the $60 USA Cycling fee and try and win that chinsey piece of plastic they give you if you take your state championship. Then take that into your LBS and tell them they better start giving you a discount on tubes.

  20. #20
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    Didn't realize the pinkbikers had infiltrated the all mountain forum.

  21. #21
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    Having raced ultra rockey super Ds with a decent amount of climbing, and having a fork with a lockout (tora 318), i never used it in the super D. the climbs are short lived, and never that steep. btw, rockshox motion controll isnt a full lockout, so your wheel can still track a bit with the ground... still, i almost never use the lockout, or the U-turn unless i am on an extended climb. besides that, its VERY easy to forget to turn a lockout OFF... durring the XC race the day after the super D, i began a longer downhill section, forgetting to return my fork to full travel, AND turn the lockout off... in a super D, when you're at nearly a full sprint the entire time, out of the saddle cranking up the hills, a lockout is not what you're thinking about.
    i agree that an adjustable seatpost would be really really good for super D racing. check out X-fusion, they just released a new drop post which is pretty affordable, and i hear its better than the joplin.

  22. #22
    usually cranky
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iridethedirt
    and i hear its better than the joplin.
    not to put the x fusion down but what isnt?

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