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Thread: Fork Help

  1. #1
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    Fork Help

    I'm looking to eventually upgrade the stock fork on my Talon 29er 2. I feel like the one on the bike is going to break every time I go out riding. I was looking for some help with some of the measurements I'll need to look for. (tapered vs straight, length, diameter etc...). I want to try and find something that will work from eBay, but I'm not really sure where to start. I would also like to keep the price around $150 or less if I could. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!!

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    Why do you feel like it is going to break? In what way?
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  3. #3
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    Just feel like it's not very... Sturdy. Plus every time i come off the ground it slams wide open because there's no damping on it. I'm going to take my time looking for a deal on CL or eBay, just don't want to be out of commission if it does break.

  4. #4
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    I have ridden a Talon and like you said, the fork leaves something to be desired. I don't think it is going to break, but there's nothing wrong with wanting a fork that will perform better. The thing I would do is start by taking your old fork off, measuring the length, and seeing if it's tapered.

    Then I would buy another fork that has the same dimensions. You can find some very good deals on craigslist or ebay. Just realize that it may need rebuild soon. If that happens it could cost anywhere from 100-300 dollars depending on how bad it is. Most rebuilds are around 120 dollars.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

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    Meh, arguably, $150 won't get you much better. If you go used, you might quickly be facing a $75-$100 rebuild (unless you can do it yourself). Plus, the XC30 is 30mm chassis and comes with rebound, right?

    Eb will probably chime in soon, but I disagree with going from the XC30 to a similar fork. Look to spend in the $350-$750 range for a useful upgrade. At that point, you might as well sell the Talon and get something else.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

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    If you look in the Giant section on this board, as I recall there are a few threads on this very subject. On more thing to consider when swapping out the fork is the front hub. My Talon 1 has a 15mm thru axle hub. You may want to check yours. This is something you need to consider as well.

    Good luck!

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    I'm also of the thought that 150 won't do much better for you. You'll have to double that. Check out Ebay, and look for a RockShok Reba or something along those lines.

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    OP, you're probably right, but it won't be catastrophic. And $150 is way too low for a retail fork that will be an improvement.

    You've got a few main choices.
    1) Live with the fork you've got. Obviously you don't want to do this or you wouldn't have posted, but it bears mentioning. What fork is it anyway? The bike has a few different models and they reshuffle things every year...

    2) Go rigid. Seriously. Rigid forks retail around $75, can be found used or on closeout for a lot less, and track better than a crappy suspension fork. Until you've ridden off-road on a rigid fork, you don't realize how much and also how little a suspension fork does for the ride.

    3) Used is certainly an option. I'm on my second used fork on my own bike, actually. However, it can be a huge pain in the butt - unlike a lot of parts of a bike that can be assessed by sight in someone's crappy EBay picture, with a fork, you have to either trust that it's in good shape internally, or pay to have it rebuilt.

    4) Save more money. For me, to be an improvement over a rigid fork, a suspension fork must be reasonably stiff, have tunable spring rate, whether that's by changing the spring and with a preload adjustment or by changing air pressure, and a tunable rebound damper. Also, I don't want the thing to break. I decided if I had to buy something at retail, it was Recon Gold or rigid. Looks like for this year, they're diluting the "Recon Gold" name with a TurnKey option. Don't get that one. Do the R or the RL. At retail, this is about a $400 fork. On EBay, looks like about $300, but you never know with EBay. Or don't screw around with intermediate upgrades, and get a Reba, Fox Float, etc. Someone else can come in with the offerings from the other serious brands.

    5) Get a new bike. (Seriously.) The elephant in the room is that the Talon 29er 2 is a $650 bike with disposable everything. Granted, I have a $650 bike too and I ended up bolting pretty serviceable everything to it. It did get me to a bike I like a lot, but if I'd had a job when I started racing, it would probably have cost less over the longer term to cut my losses on that bike and buy one of the ones my shop carried. I also kick myself every time I tell one of my friends to take their $600 (or whatever) and buy a used bike. So far, 3/3 friends of mine who've decided to get into MTB with a used bike have done quite well. Dammit!

    Give a little thought to what you want to do with this bike long-term. In general, bikes drop a ton of value when one wheels them out of the shop. So it can often make more sense to hold onto an entry-level hardtail as some kind of 'B' bike - spare, loaner, commuter, errand bike, whatever - than to try to get money back out of it. Because that's just depressing. In that case, you may decide it makes sense to make a couple of choice component swaps - like get a rigid fork that you'll be able to live with for the life of the bike, and get some nice tires to ride now, and move to the next bike when you get it. Actually still hard to do for $150, but maybe you already have the tires.

    All that aside (and now that I've had enough of my morning coffee to get to a point) I'm pretty confident that you have a 1-1/8" straight gauge steer tube. Your bike is a 29er, it has a 9 mm quick release axle, and the fork has a nominal travel of 100 mm. Axle-crown height is right around 500 mm - if you go rigid, you'll want to land fairly close to this. But don't type in that credit card number until you think about what you really want, and what your expectations are.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    Depending on how much you plan to ride and "invest" into your current bike you may consider trading in and jumping into an XTC 29er, lighter frame, better air sprung forks, better components all around.

    If your just looking to upgrade your fork i would look into a rockshox Reba or Recon maybe, i would still lean towards upgrading the bike as a whole.
    2012 Giant Reign 1

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    A 2010-12 Reba is the one to look for on ebay. A Manitou Tower Pro will come up less often, but would be even more tuneable.
    Here's a complete Reba rebuild kit on ebay for $19.
    Brand New 2009 11 Reba Service Kit DualAir Motion Control | eBay

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    you may actually be able to find a good price on a marzoochi 44 tst, or Micro Ti. The micro will be more expenses but the TST2 was a good shock for my xtc. I would take a guess a used one should be around the $200 mark.
    2012 Giant Reign 1

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    If you're looking for new, a Rock Shox Recon 29er with Solo Air is pretty decent.

    Here's one.
    BlueSkyCycling.com - 2011 Rock Shox Recon Gold TK Solo Air 29er Fork

    You'll can find a better fork off ebay (i.e. used) but it takes patience and also the knowledge to differentiate between a worn out fork or a new one. Yes, the better ones can be rebuilt but that'll add to the pricetag.

    Also, bear in mind that you'll be paying a small premium in price because of all the hype 29'ers are getting these days.

    -S

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    Quote Originally Posted by shibiwan View Post
    If you're looking for new, a Rock Shox Recon 29er with Solo Air is pretty decent.

    Here's one.
    BlueSkyCycling.com - 2011 Rock Shox Recon Gold TK Solo Air 29er Fork

    You'll can find a better fork off ebay (i.e. used) but it takes patience and also the knowledge to differentiate between a worn out fork or a new one. Yes, the better ones can be rebuilt but that'll add to the pricetag.

    Also, bear in mind that you'll be paying a small premium in price because of all the hype 29'ers are getting these days.

    -S
    29ers are far past the point of "hype," especially with regards to cross-country riding. Pretty soon, you'll be hard pressed to find a new 26" cross-country bike.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the replies/help. I found a Tora 318 Solo for $30 +/-...seems like it's definitely one that will need rebuilding or it's probably garbage at that price. I might buy it just because it's so cheap and take a chance, but more than likely I'll end up getting a new one from Blue Sky...like the one Shibi posted. That seems like a pretty good price for a NEW fork. Thanks!!

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    So, if you owned a used Ford Focus worth $5,000, that had shocks that were working fine, would you spend $2,000 to upgrade the shocks to give a marginally better ride and performance?
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  16. #16
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    I know what you're getting at...and like I originally said, I just want to have something lined up so that if the stock fork does break, or I "outgrow" it, I won't be off the bike for long and I know what I'll be getting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    So, if you owned a used Ford Focus worth $5,000, that had shocks that were working fine, would you spend $2,000 to upgrade the shocks to give a marginally better ride and performance?
    Hey, perish that thought. That mentality is what drives the performance aftermarket automotive segment, which in turn pays my bills, which I fund my bike addiction with. LOL

    (Yes a good part of the manufacturing my company does is for this segment.)

    -S

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    Okay, you've been warned. What you've got is a properly spec'd fork for that bike. It has a 30mm chassis and a steel steerer tube. It is very strong. Stronger than the 9mm QR you have. Unless I'm missing something, the XC30 has a rebound adjustment that would get rid of that slamming you described. Maybe it's just not tuned to your riding preferences.

    The Recon gold chassis is 2mm bigger (which is stiffer, not that you'd be able to notice) and an aluminum steerer tube (which may not be as strong as the steel one you have now)

    What you are proposing is an insurance policy that costs 30% of the total value of the bike in order to avoid missing 5-days worth of riding. I'm not familiar with the XC30 breaking all that often. If it does, it is under warranty. The shop you bought the bike from should be able to fix or replace it pretty quickly IF it ever breaks.

    My most sincere advice: Start saving now for a better bike. This is a slippery slope and will dump you at the bottom of a money pit. You want to be faster? Spend the $200 on a cyclometer with a heartrate monitor. Your bike is awesome! Your head is the only thing holding you back
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  19. #19
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    i too was in the same boat as you, but with the talon 1. i just picked up a tower pro from pinkbike for 200. i was going to get one from jenson at 320 but they had just sold out. anyhow as it was mentioned before, its def worth saving for the bike that has most of everything you want. i rolled out of the LBS with my bike in july for 925 and now im up to 2000. bike parts are like crack, but im an addict and dont mind it. i enjoy tearing it down to build it up as much as i love railing the trails. im also getting a rigid for it to build up a "chubby" front end (krampus fork with a 3" knard on a 29" rabbit hole). that will be eventually transfered to my misfit psycle diSSent. thats another thread. so hopefully you have enough info for a decision. man sorry for the rant. i need to stop smoking my lunch

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishwrinkle View Post
    i too was in the same boat as you, but with the talon 1. i just picked up a tower pro from pinkbike for 200. i was going to get one from jenson at 320 but they had just sold out. anyhow as it was mentioned before, its def worth saving for the bike that has most of everything you want. i rolled out of the LBS with my bike in july for 925 and now im up to 2000. bike parts are like crack, but im an addict and dont mind it. i enjoy tearing it down to build it up as much as i love railing the trails. im also getting a rigid for it to build up a "chubby" front end (krampus fork with a 3" knard on a 29" rabbit hole). that will be eventually transfered to my misfit psycle diSSent. thats another thread. so hopefully you have enough info for a decision. man sorry for the rant. i need to stop smoking my lunch
    Heh.. join the club. We've all caught the bike bug. LOL.

    -S

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    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GelatiCruiser View Post
    I know what you're getting at...and like I originally said, I just want to have something lined up so that if the stock fork does break, or I "outgrow" it, I won't be off the bike for long and I know what I'll be getting.
    The following parts on your bike are going to break or wear out over the next 5 years if you ride decent volume:

    fork, saddle, pedals, shifters, front derailleur, rear derailleur, brake calipers, brake levers, cassette, chain, chainrings (which will require you to replace the whole crankset), bottom bracket, hubs, tires, freehub, brake pads.

    In other words, most of them.

    Your forks really no more likely than a lot of the other things to go first.

    Stocking wear parts isn't a terrible idea. I keep brake pads, chains and cassettes for all my bikes around, and I try to pick up tires for the road bikes. But if you're going to be concerned about the larger, non-wear parts, you really need a whole 'B' bike. Choosing one thing to keep a backup of and then hoping that's what quits first is begging Murphy to come and break your freehub first instead. I do try to buy things that I'd buy on purpose when I'm backed into replacing something, though.

    What fork do you have, anyway? wmac keeps talking about the RS XC30, but if I Google the bike it has one of the Suntours. You know these things are different for every model year and level...
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    You're right Andrew, my mistake - 2013 has XC30 - 2012 has SR XCT fork. Regardless, my point remains: the Giant Talon is a bike designed for "Recreational Trail Riding" and is spec'd accordingly. The XCT is not designed for intermediate to advanced trails. IF it breaks, it is under warranty.

    My advice also still stands: Ride that bike and replace parts as they break or get a bike more appropriate for the trails and riding style desired. Or, do whatever you want. It's your money and your hobby. Whatever makes you happy.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

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    I haven't been on the XC30, but would have a little more faith in it than the Suntour fork. While Suntour does make some "real" forks, they don't seem to make it to US models.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    This post has convinced me that it is time I get my hands on a bike with an XCT fork and do a lap at my favorite trail and see how "bad" it is.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  26. #26
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    It has the xct fork from Suntour. Just doesn't feel as cush as some of the nicer forks I've played around with. I guess I'll just ride it until something breaks... It's really the only part of the bike in not totally happy with at this point. When I first got the bike a few months back it felt fine... But after riding some other bikes with nicer forks, it just feels kinda cheap. But, you get what you pay for it guess.

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    what it boils down to is two schools of thought. upgrading the bike as a whole, or doing it in a piecemeal fashion which will be more expensive and take time, but yields a much better (custom) bike in the long run. a fork is good start as handling and control (condfidence) are important. imo this isn't a place to skimp. you can find some leftover/takeoff '12 reba's starting for $400, sid's $500, and fox's will be a little more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    This post has convinced me that it is time I get my hands on a bike with an XCT fork and do a lap at my favorite trail and see how "bad" it is.
    I await your review.
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    "The SR Suntour XCT fork definitely held the Giant Talon 29er 1 back with its poorly controlled rebound."

    That is what the testers at Bike Radar said about that fork. I don't think you need to wait for it to break to benefit from a replacement. Put a used Reba and a light front wheel and tire on this bike and you would feel like you're on a completely different bike-- one you wouldn't think about changing. And no limits on trail difficulty.




    .

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    Quote Originally Posted by GelatiCruiser View Post
    It has the xct fork from Suntour. Just doesn't feel as cush as some of the nicer forks I've played around with. I guess I'll just ride it until something breaks... It's really the only part of the bike in not totally happy with at this point. When I first got the bike a few months back it felt fine... But after riding some other bikes with nicer forks, it just feels kinda cheap. But, you get what you pay for it guess.
    Yeah, the expensive forks are really nice. They are also about 30% lighter (~ 3.75 lbs or less) and 3x as much

    Sorry to burst your enthusiasm. You have a fantastic bike. It really is awesome. Save your money for things you can carry over to your next bike: a nice work stand (Feedback Sports Classic), a really nice set of bibs (Canari Evolution), cyclometer (sigma 2209), lightweight shoes and pedals (your pick), a good floor pump (Joe Blow), a good tool kit (Park), saddle (very lightweight and fits your sit bones), a hitch mount and upright rack (Kuat). That's at least $1,500 right there. Any and all of those come before a new fork if you ask me.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  31. #31
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    No worries. I appreciate everyone's candor here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    no offense but that thing is ugly and has parts on it i still wouldnt want. 2000 and im almost to where i want it to be. plus i know the ins and outs of my bike.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    "The SR Suntour XCT fork definitely held the Giant Talon 29er 1 back with its poorly controlled rebound."
    yes this is very true along with the easy to bottom out, preload dont work, & torsional flex is ridiculous in hard cornering. cant wait to bolt up that tower pro w/ 20mm axle. i foresee much higher speeds in corners

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishwrinkle View Post
    no offense but that thing is ugly and has parts on it i still wouldnt want. 2000 and im almost to where i want it to be. plus i know the ins and outs of my bike.
    I'm not offended. Glad you have the bike you want!
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  35. #35
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    the suntours on the revels and talons are pushing the "pogo stick of death", at least as a bigger rider. I loved my revel, made me want to ride everyday. But the fork was trying to kill me, so i jumped to a XTC 29er.... then my ass got tired and i ended up with my reign... damn, i have spent way to much money on bikes.

    anyways long story short, the suntours are not great. You can look at getting a stiffer spring for them and this will help, shouldnt cost to much. But i would save up and upgrade the whole bike before putting 2-300.00 into a new fork, if your in a situation where your riding aggressive enough trails. If you ride light XC without to much steep and/or technical and your not trying to break any land speed records im sure the Talon will be a great bike for years with a few tweaks.
    2012 Giant Reign 1

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    Hi All,

    I just wanted to chime in here briefly about our product. We understand that not all bikes come with a fork that meets a riders style, terrain or expectations. SR Suntour makes forks at every level to meet a riders needs. Now I realize we are fighting a bit of a battle to get consumers to try our higher end product so we have launched a new program.

    We are happy to provide a customer loyalty upgrade program that allows end users to upgrade to a fork of their choice from SR Suntour. Forks start at the Raidon level with an air cartridge, adjustable rebound and hydraulic lockout. Pricing starts at $150-$175 depending on the wheel size.

    Best regards,

    Nick
    SR Suntour warranty/technical advisor

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    OP, if I were in your shoes, I'd be reading some reviews and investigating the above post. Could be a real game-changer for a lot of riders.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  38. #38
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    Thanks for the info Nick. This is awesome and should also be posted in the Giant thread for Talon owners. (in the Giant subforum).

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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    So, if you owned a used Ford Focus worth $5,000, that had shocks that were working fine, would you spend $2,000 to upgrade the shocks to give a marginally better ride and performance?
    That's a stupid question, of course not. You spend $2,000 on 20 inch wheels and low profile tires to make it ride worse
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRvancouver13 View Post
    Hi All,

    I just wanted to chime in here briefly about our product. We understand that not all bikes come with a fork that meets a riders style, terrain or expectations. SR Suntour makes forks at every level to meet a riders needs. Now I realize we are fighting a bit of a battle to get consumers to try our higher end product so we have launched a new program.

    We are happy to provide a customer loyalty upgrade program that allows end users to upgrade to a fork of their choice from SR Suntour. Forks start at the Raidon level with an air cartridge, adjustable rebound and hydraulic lockout. Pricing starts at $150-$175 depending on the wheel size.

    Best regards,

    Nick
    Can you please PM me with information about this? How much is credited for what fork. What forks qualify to exchange? Only Suntour forks or will you accept other brands? Where are they sent? I am interested in your better offerings.

  41. #41
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    Its 175 for swap to a raidon and I think nick told me 250 and 350 for the next mod up which is the epicon, depending on what version u do
    Last edited by fishwrinkle; 12-27-2012 at 03:31 PM.

  42. #42
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    Re: Fork Help

    Am I reading it correctly that the Epicon doesn't have a 9mm qr option? Because I recently came into some extra money and my budget has been increased. I don't want to have to upgrade my axle to get a new fork... I'm currently looking at the Cross Lake Sales deal on the Recon Gold tk for $249. Am I going in the right direction or should I consider the Epicon with the loyalty upgrade for around the same price if it has the 9mm qr option or something else?

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    I'm in the same boat as you with a bike worth upgrading and a crappy fork. I thought about the Suntour upgrade and like you really didn't have the extra cash to upgrade the wheels to the 15mm through axle so I bought the Recon Gold from Random Bike Parts which is a sister company of Cross Lake sales for $238.00 I am worried that maybe I should have saved a bit more cash and got a Reba, Tower Pro, or Rigid but that would put me back in the argument of wanting a 15mm axle as well. The Recon Gold seems like a lot of fork for the money and if it doesn't do what I want it to I'll just dump it on Craigslist or E-bay to get back what I can and move on. Some sites are still getting $400+ for the Recon Gold and being lighter and a lot stiffer than what came on our bikes for $240??? Sounds Good To Me!!!

    P.S. If Suntour is listening??? I really considered the upgrade program but the Raidon is heavy and only accepts a 185mm rotor which speaks of its flex so no go there, the Epicon sounds good/Looks Good but only having the 15mm option is a killer for us guys not ready or willing to buy new wheels at this time. Your product has a bad rap throughout the mtb community due to the overuse of entry level forks on decent bikes and while the Upgrade Program seems to be a good starting point to get the word out on your better offerings, you should have more options such as Epicons w/9mm qr's? You make them overseas? Have them shipped over? I would have bought one and probably the OP as well?

  44. #44
    mtbr member
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    Feb 2013
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    I did the upgrade to the raidon. I absolutely love it so far and feel like I have so much more control on the trails. It only cost me about $186 with shipping. Definitely something you should consider. Suntour was extremely helpful and nice to deal with as well.

  45. #45
    Kitty! Kitty! Kitty!
    Reputation: GelatiCruiser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    1,080

    Re: Fork Help

    I went with the Recon Gold because it was fairly cheap and it was 2.2lbs lighter than the Suntour.

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