1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Bike upgrade - New Frame/New fork

    So after cracking my RST Gila fork (left arch snapped) I've decided to upgrade to something a bit better.

    My current frame is an Apollo Ascent 2008 model (http://goo.gl/E3z0a) in small.

    I found this Rockshox Tora 302 U-Turn. (RockShox Tora 302 | Trade Me) Due to that fork being 130mm max travel, my current frame could get damaged because the current fork is 100mm.

    I could pickup a GT Chucker 1.0 (2005) Frame for $55 (GT Chucker 1.0 Frame (Medium) | Trade Me), then transfer everything over to the Chucker frame.

    Will this combination work well? Will the steerer tube need to be cut? What about the headset/bearings?

    I guess I could just shorten the travel on the fork to 100mm-120mm and just use my current frame.

    I will use it for mostly cross country, and *some* downhill.


    Specs: Apollo Ascent 2008 frame, Avid BB5 brakes, XT shifters, LX rear der, RST Gila(broken), Truvativ cranks, Alex Ace 17 rims, Easton bars, Cane Creek headset.

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Weird spec. They don't give you much of a fork.

    I'd just throw the Tora in there. People go +/- 20 mm pretty frequently. You're doing more than that, but you also have the U-turn knob.

    I think you'll run into funky handling before you actually damage the head tube. And if you do, you can look for a new frame then.

    I don't know the answer to your compatibility questions. Or rather, I'm pretty sure you're fine for head tube diameter/steerer diameter/headset. But the seller doesn't say anything about how long the fork's steerer tube is and neither do you. So it would be good to find out how much steerer tube that Tora has, and figure out how much you need it to have.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    Yea, alot of forks for sale have too short of a steerer, so it's useless. Check your old forks to see the min. length you need before you buy a set.
    Don't buy them if you don't know the length of it.

  4. #4
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    The RockShox Tora 302's steerer length is 240mm. I'll have to check my current forks, but it seems like it should be fine.

    I don't think the GT Chucker has a headset installed.. Would I just transfer the headset somehow out of my current frame?

    Thanks for the input!

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Headsets have a million different standards lately. If your bike and the GT frame have matching headsets, you can move it over. If they don't, you need a new headset. There are only a few standards for steerer tube diameter, though, so at least that's still not too hard.

    I don't think a frame swap is a good way forward here. In order for that to work, you also need matching seat tube sizing, matching routing and clamp placement for the front derailleur, and matching bottom bracket standards. You're almost guaranteed to run into some extra costs. You're also rolling the dice on frame sizing.

    If you're really worried about the fork, why not just get one that's the spec travel?

    What's "*some* downhill?" Do you mean shuttle days, or just that you like it when trails go back down the mountain?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    I'll probably just get the forks then, if I get a decent price. I'll ride them at 120mm.

    By some downhill I mean just taking the shuttle up.

  7. #7
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    Just checked the steerer of my forks ; they are 185mm. The Tora are 240mm, so would I just use some spacers or would I just get it cut off?

  8. #8
    Flow like water
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeman1 View Post
    Just checked the steerer of my forks ; they are 185mm. The Tora are 240mm, so would I just use some spacers or would I just get it cut off?
    If you keep the stem you have now, and if you don't want another 55mm of height adjustability, cut it off. I would likely cut it down some. Make sure you have assembled everything before marking to cut the excess off. It is hard to add it back.

  9. #9
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    Thanks. Another question, At what height should the handle bars be placed once I've got the new forks installed?

  10. #10
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    Steerer tubes don't have to be cut, spacers can be added in at the top of the stem if the are too long.

    Quote Originally Posted by bikeman1 View Post
    Thanks. Another question, At what height should the handle bars be placed once I've got the new forks installed?
    Depends on where you are comfortable with them.

    BTW, never post your auction finds.

  11. #11
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    Are the Rockshox Recon Sliver TK's better than the Rockshox Tora 302's? Recon's have 100mm travel and are air forks.

  12. #12
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    I like air personally, and are lighter. So I like the Recon. With the stem, I normally cut my forks with 40mm spacers added to the stem (20mm/10mm/10mm) so I can always have the option to adjust them up or down. If you cut to stem length thats all you got and your
    stuck with only that hieght.

  13. #13
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    This may be common sense but remember to add an additional 40mm on top of the combined height of the spacers to fit the average stem. :P

    -S

  14. #14
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    I toss on all the spacers and the stem, then mark it. I tried the caliper way of doing it, and it was a waste of time. But yea, it seems most stems are also 40 mm tall if you want to go the caliper route.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeman1 View Post
    Are the Rockshox Recon Sliver TK's better than the Rockshox Tora 302's? Recon's have 100mm travel and are air forks.
    Make sure it's the Recon Silver TK Single Air before you buy it. The Tora is fine but is a little bit heavier.

    -S

  16. #16
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    Yep, it is. Lol I didn't realize solo and single were the same
    Last edited by bikeman1; 11-20-2012 at 08:53 PM.

  17. #17
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Read some reviews on the damping systems before you spend your money.

    Last time I researched it, I decided I'd want to go with the Recon Gold. It comes out of the box with a much better-regarded and more tunable damper.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  18. #18
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    Both Recons are better than Tora for sure. Depends whats on sale if you like a bargain, or if money
    grows on trees just get a Reba/Sidd etc. or Fox

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Read some reviews on the damping systems before you spend your money.

    Last time I researched it, I decided I'd want to go with the Recon Gold. It comes out of the box with a much better-regarded and more tunable damper.
    I believe it is a budgetary issue for the OP at this point.... :P

  20. #20
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    Haha, yep, I'll try and get a deal on the Tora's tomorrow, if not, I'll get the Recon's.

    What do you guys think is a good offer for the Tora 302's? - just been serviced, seals dampers replaced.
    And what about the Recon Silver TK Air Solos? - had about 6 hours use.

    Thanks for the input

  21. #21
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    OH DAMN! The Recon was sold for $200NZ. Oh well. I'll try get the Tora's i guess.

  22. #22
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    Wait till thursday...er... friday... (or is it saturday for you guys) and pick it up from a thanksgiving sale in the states?

    -S

  23. #23
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    Could do, would be expensive shipping I guess.

  24. #24
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    Unfortunately I didn't win the auction on the Tora's. Oh well.. What do you guys think of the Rockshox XC30? Will it be better than my RST Gila RL's (2007). How do they compare to Recon/Tora?

    Wiggle | RockShox XC30 Turnkey Coil 100mm Suspension Fork - 2012 | Forks

  25. #25
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Probably better than what you've got, IMO still a waste of your time.

    Historically, at least, the Turnkey damper was a plastic thing that could be damaged a lot more easily than the Motion Control damper, which is the one in their more serious forks. You need to research it yourself, of course, but my understanding was that this will drop into any of the 32 mm stanchion forks, and not something smaller, like the XC30.

    Even if going straight to the fork with the "real" damper is too expensive for now, you can future-proof yourself a bit by making sure to buy a fork that will accept it if you kill the Turnkey (or whatever) damper.

    Another thing to think about is just sticking a rigid fork on there and calling it a day.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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