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.
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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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    New Fork needed for 2001 Hoo Koo E Koo

    In 2001, I bought a Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo (26er):

    http://www.mtbr.com/cat/bikes/bike-h...598_96crx.aspx

    The bike has performed well for over 10,000 miles, but it is time to replace worn parts (drivetrain, fork, possibly wheels). I am looking for suggestions/ideas for a new suspension fork. I am willing to spend about $500 - $700 for upgrading/replacing parts; hence my budget for a new fork is $150 - $250. While I could just get a new bike at Bikes Direct for this price, I think I can get a better ride tailored to my exact needs by just upgrading my existing bike. Also note that my GF frame has lifetime warranty. Finally, in the next year, I will be getting a Motobecane Ti 29er for $1500 to $2500 (spec'd to my needs) that will be my primary mountain bike. The new 29er coupled with the availability of nice 29ers and 26ers in the $1000 - $1500 range (bikes direct) caps my upgrade budget at $700. But I am a serious rider so I want a decent backup bike---I will now be riding 3000 miles a year---and my wife (takes same frame size) may also use the bike for trail riding. Besides the need for a backup, the bike will also be delegated to "mud" duty to reduce wear and tear on my new 29er.

    The bike will be used for XC riding on roads like these in the Flint hills of Kansas:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lr5cEVeZdEw

    So I am looking for the best XC fork (80 mm - 100 mm travel) in my price range that can handle thousands of miles of Flint Hills riding: rough gravel and cobblestone roads, very steep hills, no jumps. (I currently have V brakes and QR axle, but could upgrade my front end to disc if necessary).

    Here is what I have come up with so far as the best bang for my buck:

    (1) 2009 Rock Shox Dart 3 ($135 in silver)

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...3+Fork+09.aspx

    (2) 2009 Manitou Drake Comp Suspension Fork ($153.99)

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...n+Fork+09.aspx

    (3) 2010 Marzocchi 22 Rlo Fork ($169)

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...o+Fork+10.aspx

    (4) 2009 Marzocchi 44 TST2 Fork ($199)

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...2+Fork+09.aspx

    (5) 2007 Marzocchi XC 700, TST2, Eta ($239). This fork gets mixed review on mtbr.com, but I called Marzocchi and they say some of the problems with this fork come from people using it for AM/DH. For my XC application, they think it will be fine.

    (6) 2009 Marzocchi 33 TST2 ($239)

    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/183...-TST2-2009.htm

    I realize that most of these are from Jenson, but they seem to have many of the best deals in my price range. Any suggestions/comments would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Don't forget this bike uses G2 geometry. You can use a non G2 fork, but it will change the handling characteristics(mostly low speed manuverabilty) that the G2 was designed to deliver.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPark
    Don't forget this bike uses G2 geometry. You can use a non G2 fork, but it will change the handling characteristics(mostly low speed manuverabilty) that the G2 was designed to deliver.
    Actually the 2001 Hoo Koo E Koo is Genesis 1 geometry. It came with a Manitou Magnum R shock, which is quite similar to the Manitou Drake that I list above.

  5. #5
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    No G2 in 2001 for GF Bikes

    They used Genesis geometry but that did not involve a custom fork offset.

    I recommend a Rock Shox Tora or Recon 100mm fork. Here is a great deal on one
    http://wheelworld.com/product/rocksh...04.htm#reviews

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by clutch_08
    Yes, this Rock Shox Recon also looks like a sweet fork. I didn't list this particular fork above because my preliminary measurements (e.g. without removing the fork) suggest that the cut steering tube on this fork is too short for my bike. But I will do some more research to confirm whether or not it will or will not work. Cheers!
    Last edited by Hard Rain; 02-07-2010 at 03:15 PM.

  7. #7
    Can't feel my legs
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72
    No G2 in 2001 for GF Bikes

    They used Genesis geometry but that did not involve a custom fork offset.

    I recommend a Rock Shox Tora or Recon 100mm fork. Here is a great deal on one
    http://wheelworld.com/product/rocksh...04.htm#reviews
    My bad Missed the 2001 part

  8. #8
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72
    No G2 in 2001 for GF Bikes

    They used Genesis geometry but that did not involve a custom fork offset.

    I recommend a Rock Shox Tora or Recon 100mm fork. Here is a great deal on one
    http://wheelworld.com/product/rocksh...04.htm#reviews
    Thanks very much! That Recon is now at or near the top of my list!

    Edit: The Recon SL comes with the 2010 Hoo Koo E Koo, albeit with an offset with for the Genesis 2 frame! So...that is a great choice!
    Last edited by Hard Rain; 02-07-2010 at 03:41 PM.

  9. #9
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    And the winner is....

    The 2010 Manitou R7 Super (80 mm travel, V-brake compatible)!

    As a final check before I made my decision, I called Manitou to see what it would cost to service my 2001 Manitou Magnum R fork that has about 10,000 miles on it. They said that they don't service these old forks anymore, but they offered to give me a trade-in on the above mentioned air fork for $170. (My LBS, which will be installing the fork, confirmed that my frame is designed for an 80mm fork.) Sold!! The MSRP of the R7 Super is over $500. This will be a great upgrade to my bike!

    http://www.manitoumtb.com/index.php?...discipline=all


  10. #10
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    Go for the Recon, those other forks are practically disposable. They can be serviced to a point, but the Recon can be properly rebuilt if needed. It is worth the extra price.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Rain
    The 2010 Manitou R7 Super (80 mm travel, V-brake compatible)!

    As a final check before I made my decision, I called Manitou to see what it would cost to service my 2001 Manitou Magnum R fork that has about 10,000 miles on it. They said that they don't service these old forks anymore, but they offered to give me a trade-in on the above mentioned air fork for $170. (My LBS, which will be installing the fork, confirmed that my frame is designed for an 80mm fork.) Sold!! The MSRP of the R7 Super is over $500. This will be a great upgrade to my bike!

    http://www.manitoumtb.com/index.php?...discipline=all

    Wow! Nice deal. That's one hell of a nice trade-in program.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailville
    Wow! Nice deal. That's one hell of a nice trade-in program.
    Hopefully some other people can take advantage of the program. The trade-in program is not well advertised and one needs to work through any LBS to take advantage of the program.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum
    Go for the Recon, those other forks are practically disposable. They can be serviced to a point, but the Recon can be properly rebuilt if needed. It is worth the extra price.
    While I respect your preference for the excellent RS Recon, I beg to differ that the Manitou R7 Super cannot be rebuilt. Check out the 29-page service manual for the 2009 fork (they don't have the 2010 service manual posted yet):

    http://www.manitoumtb.com/index.php?...service-guides

    Anyway, the above-mentioned Recon is not an option for me because my 2001 frame supports an 80 mm travel fork and the Recon has 100 mm of travel. See comment from the Gary Fisher company:

    "The max travel fork with recommend for the '01 HKEK would be an 80mm travel. Putting a larger fork on this would void the warranty and possibly damage the frame. I hope this helps, thanks and have a great day."

  14. #14
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    I was going to say go for the Recon - great fork for the money - but you can't beat the deal you got on the manitou. Nice purchase!

  15. #15
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    Well the Recon is easily reduced to 80mm so travel would not have been a reason not to get it.

    That said, nothing wrong with the Manitou, I've owned several and they are quite serviceable. Sounds like you got a great deal

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by apat13
    ...but you can't beat the deal you got on the manitou. Nice purchase!
    Quite an amazing deal really, especially in a day and age when some forks might require the buyer to take out a second mortgage on his/her house!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Rain
    While I respect your preference for the excellent RS Recon, I beg to differ that the Manitou R7 Super cannot be rebuilt. Check out the 29-page service manual for the 2009 fork (they don't have the 2010 service manual posted yet):
    My fault, I had it confused with another fork. My reading isn't so good with beer I guess.

  18. #18
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    i would take the r7 and ride it like you stole it

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum
    My fault, I had it confused with another fork. My reading isn't so good with beer I guess.

    No problem. BTW, my primary ride (see above) will be spec'd with a RS Reba so I am also a fan of the RS line of forks.

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