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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    Noob Question Here: Front Fork Translation

    Bonjourno.

    I have a Spec Hardrock Comp Disc that I recently purchase. Thus far it rides great and does what I mainly need it to do (urban rides to work and mild play on weekends). However, I find that the front fork/shock set up isn't quite what I had hoped. It has decent travel but has a real mushy feel. When on uphill pavements, I can feel a lot of potential power being lost due to the bike bouncing up the hill. Simply put, I would like to upgrade it but I need a quick tutorial on what I need to be looking for, various features, or a Tech Spec translation. Any help you guys (or girls) can provide will be extremely appreciated.

    Straight from Specialized:
    SR Suntour SF7-XCM, 100mm travel, 12": 80mm, 30mm Hi-Ten stanchions and steerer, one piece alloy lower, coils spring mcu w/ preload adj., spring assisted seals, custom paint/graphic, disc only

  2. #2
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    I rode a low-end Trek last week with a Suntour fork. It (the fork) was awful. It was on the bumpy downhill sections where I most noticed the lack of performance. I actually gave up trying to launch off bumps, and began slowing down for them instead.

    By contrast, another bike that I rode had an RST Gila, and that fork, still considered low-end, performed well-enough for me to get a bit of air and hit the roots and bumps aggressively. I actually came away with some respect for the Gila.

    If you want to upgrade, you might look at the low-end Rockshox offerings. That's what I would do. You can pick up a Dart 3 these days for around $150. I'd probably look one level up at the various Tora models. Be wary of spending much more than $250. You don't want one component to be out-of-balance with all the other components on the bike.

  3. #3
    Ride the dream
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    Firstly - you need to get the AtC (Axle to Crown) measurement for it, and make sure the new fork is no more than 20mm longer AtC (thats if you want to choose a fork with more travel, as some people do when upgrading forks).

    Like Jonathon said, your gonna want to look at the bigger brands (Rockshox, Manitou, Marzocchi) - generally, the more you spend, the more you will get.

    Without a budget its hard to make any real recommendations, however, blowing big money on a Fox Fseries or a Sid (etc) for a hardrock is silly to say the least - it can be done, but its pointless.

    Closeouts are (as always) good deals if you can find them...
    Last edited by EnglishT; 07-31-2008 at 08:04 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardRockCop
    Bonjourno.

    When on uphill pavements, I can feel a lot of potential power being lost due to the bike bouncing up the hill.
    If that is one of your major concerns, i would also look for a fork with a lockout feature

  5. #5
    Hoosier
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raleto
    If that is one of your major concerns, i would also look for a fork with a lockout feature
    +1 that will get rid of that power loss while climbing
    SS is like beer...its an acquired taste.

  6. #6
    bi-winning
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick
    You don't want one component to be out-of-balance with all the other components on the bike.
    Other than the financial aspect of it, there is nothing wrong with putting a Fox F100RLC on a Hardrock.

    My typical suggestion for the newb fork upgrade is the Rock Shox Tora 318. Air adjustability allows you to tune it to your weight, so it is not super squishy.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  7. #7
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    Watch eBay for good deals on Toras, there seems to be a reasonable number of OEM pulls on there.

    -james
    [SIZE="1"]2000 Trek 6500 HT
    2008 Ibex Asta Comp X7 FS[/SIZE]

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__
    My typical suggestion for the newb fork upgrade is the Rock Shox Tora 318. Air adjustability allows you to tune it to your weight, so it is not super squishy.
    +1 from me. The 318 is a solid fork, and good value for the money.

  9. #9
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    so what does the 12":80mm mean? Does it reference the Steerer tube length? Overall length?

  10. #10
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    I don't think it means much, from what I gather, the 12'' frame size has an 80mm fork whereas other frame sizes have 100mm travel.

  11. #11
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    I would specifically look at the lower end manitous, you can get a good deal at various models for them. Just do a little research before you buy. Check out the reviews on the forks you are interested in, and go to the manufactureres website and check out the specs
    Buy My 2010 Mint COndition Transition Covert LARGE 150mm Full suspension. 2000 firm see classified add

  12. #12
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    the tora 308 is on sale at jenson i think right around 200, and its a u turn so you can crank it down rom 85mm and have up to 130mm

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...n+Fork+07.aspx

  13. #13
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    Could get a used Fox 32 vanilla for around 220-300
    Lean back, Hit both brakes, And ask yourself, Do you feel lucky today?

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