Fellow newbs, it can be done! DIY fork install upgrade
Im relatively new to mountain biking, and biking in general. Almost 2 months ago I bought a brand new 2013 Scott Aspect 940 hard tail from a LBS. Ive been riding it non stop and put just over 200 mi on it so far. As my skills have improved, I noticed that my fork was seriously lacking. I have done a lot of reading on this forum, and its full of information if you just take the time to look for it. I have zero biking specific mechanical knowledge (only what I've learned on here), but do have above average basic mechanical skills.
The aspect comes stock with a sr suntour XCM coil spring fork. I was having a serious hard time at my local trail, coming out of a fast root section, immediately going into a turn and the front tire still bouncing . Well needless to say its hard to turn when the front tire isnt on the ground. This began my search for a better fork at an affordable price. I was seriously considering taking advantage of the $175 suntour upgrade program, but decided the hold out for a bit to see if something better came along. Info on that can be found here
If you want to upgrade your Suntour fork
While I was looking around on ebay, I found a local ad for a slightly used 2012 Rock Shox Recon Silver TK Solo-Air 29 100mm travel fork (phew thats a long name), so I sent an inquiry to the owner. I verified the steerer tube size (1 1/8") and the axle size (9mm). Two days later Im the proud owner of a new (to me) fork, and for the price of the suntour upgrade promotion. I got busy with the install!
I took on this task with basic tools. I started with removing the wheel, then the brake caliper, moved on to the stem and before i knew it, the suntour XCM was in my hand. Initially I noticed the weight difference. The RS has to be a pound lighter, at the very least!
The install was very straight forward, as I just reversed my steps from dis-assembly. I did have to reference MTBR to figure out how to preload the head tube bearings, and that was that!
I went for a little ride in around the house, and let me say that the difference is literally night and day! Im super excited to try this out on the trail tomorrow. It should be a whole different experience!
Heres some pics
Heres the Aspect 940, all stock.
Star nut bolt? Not sure what its called. It preloads the headtube bearings
Stem off, showing spacers
Bottom bearing placement
I hope this is helpful to other newbs in the community. Thanks for looking
I thought you actually were able to fix the Suntour fork. I HATE the top out "clunk" when going over bumps, rocks, small jumps. I put a funky external dampener (works ok) on mine to relieve the clunking until i figure out what fork to put on my bike and save some cash to do it.
I think this is the only known solution for the suntour, lol
Fellow newbs, it can be done! DIY fork install upgrade
Hey, now that the mechanic bug has bitten, if you've got a birthday coming up, or just $25 you'd like to spend, pick up a copy of the Park Blue Book. Enjoy!
Nice job on that upgrade! A word of caution to others though when buying used....make sure that the steerer tube on the donor bike was not shorter than you need. You can always cut off, (or add spacers), if the fork tube is too long, but if it was already cut and is too short, well...........
Thanks for the kind words guys!
Yes i forgot to mention the length of the steerer tube. Its pretty important.
I finally got out for a ride to test out the new fork. Let me tell you, its a huge difference. I didnt know my bike could ride so well! Very much a worth wile investment for someone thats going to keep their bike awhile. Even when i eventually go full suspenson, im going to keep this one for a backup bike.
I had to play a little bit on the air settings to get the sag i wanted. Im 165 lbs and right around 95psi worked perfect for me. This weekend im going to hit one of the more serious trails in my area, and see how it performs. Im super excited!
Your next upgrade should be a set of pedals, some studded flats or clipless. I prefer clipless, but some of the flats you can get with studs are amazing and just about as good as clipless. You will be amazed how a good pair of flats can make your ride that much better.
Nice fork upgrade, btw. The Recon is way better than the Suntour. Nice choice.
Thanks, yes the recon is light years better than the suntour. Its pretty amazing how much better it is.
Originally Posted by mevadus
I plan on getting a good set of flats next, as well as a decent saddle.
It looks like your new fork already had an appropriate crown race installed. If it had not, that's a key step worth mentioning.
I actually pulled it from the stock suntour fork, and it worked like a champ.
Originally Posted by Berkley
If more people did what you did bike shops would get a lot less business. Most stuff ain't that hard if you're motivated.
Re: Fellow newbs, it can be done! DIY fork install upgrade
Great job on the upgrade!!
I do the same things upgrading my bike but what I do is go into the bike shop for him to check my work. They still get a few bucks for their beer fund and the best part is they don't do any work. He's also pretty good about teaching me how to do other things like bb's. He's the only bike shop for 40 miles or so and there is only two of them.
Originally Posted by Pollution Warrior
Beamed from my dumbphone
I just swapped the same crappy Suntour for a Surly 1x1, and could not figure out why I still had play in the fork. Must have taken it apart a dozen times. Finally got frustrated, took it to LBS, and realized I had kept the crown race that came on the Surly instead of swapping over the one on the Suntour. Dumb mistake, totally overlooked on my part.
Originally Posted by A DuB
Definitely a good point to remember.
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