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  1. #1
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    Suntour Raidon vs Rockshox XC 30 TK

    Would it be better to do the sr suntour upgrade program to get a Raidon LO for $150 or get the RS XC 30 tk for 160?

  2. #2
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    Re: Suntour Raidon vs Rockshox XC 30 TK

    I believe the raidon is an air fork and pretty decent one at that. XC30 tk is an entry lvl fork, not bad but best I can tell raidon is a bit better.

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  3. #3
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    I have a trek Marlin and am considering the Suntour upgrade program, any feedback on the raidon upgrade out there?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobbes7869 View Post
    I have a trek Marlin and am considering the Suntour upgrade program, any feedback on the raidon upgrade out there?
    Switching from grease to oil on a Raidon due to stiction
    46mm offset will very slightly slow steering. Trek uses 51mm.

  5. #5
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    I have gotten the "coupon code" that Is needed to get the Raidon fork and plan to get it for my Trek Marlin 5. Once that is installed my entry level bike should be a pretty good bike for me. Having used the the Marlin for a little over a month, I think the weakest points of the bike are the fork (not bad when new), the seat, and the pedals, which are good enough right now.

  6. #6
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    I have a suntour XCM on my new bike. I fully intend to utilize the upgrade to the Raidon once I beat this stock fork up. Wish more companies did this.

  7. #7
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    I know it is like putting lipstick on a pig but after reading the link above Switching from grease to oil on a Raidon due to stiction , I thought why not try that on my XCM? So I did that today and it made a big difference. I had some Amsoil 10 wt synthetic fork oil from my motorcycle on hand so that is what I used. I put 15cc in each leg. I didn't bother cleaning the grease off especially since the forks only have about 50 miles on them. They now actually work. Before there was so much stiction that they hardly moved. They reminded me of my old Scott uni-crown suspension forks from way back in the day. They too used grease instead of oil and I had to clean them almost after every off road ride. They had so much stiction they would hardly move.
    Anyway my observations so far is they actually slide up and down now. I didn't put the foam rings in yet but I think it will need them. After sitting for a while they don't move as freely as they should. If I lift the front wheel up so that the forks are inverted so that some of the oil coats the top of the sliders it makes a difference. So probably having the foam ring saturated with fork oil should help.
    I too will probably do the upgrade at the end of the year, but in the meantime this makes the forks tolerable.

  8. #8
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    I did the Raidon upgrade a few months back it it was a really good bang for buck upgrade. The fork cost $204 shipped, I installed it myself. I didn't notice any difference in the offset change.
    2015 Trek Stache 7
    2013 Trek Marlin 29er stock (Raidon fork)
    2010 Giant TCX 2 Cross stock

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobbes7869 View Post
    I have a trek Marlin and am considering the Suntour upgrade program, any feedback on the raidon upgrade out there?
    The Raidon is a very good fork. I just upgraded mine and I love it. Took it for a ride Tuesday and was impressed. Very smooth.

  10. #10
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    Raidon.

    Rockshox forks in general are more servicable, and parts are more readily available for servicing. However, the raidon is a much better fork to start with, even if it's not as servicable, it's still better. Plus suntour is really stepping up their effort on getting service parts available in the states, but you pretty much need to get them straight from suntour

  11. #11
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    I did the Raidon upgrade on my 29er HT, Was a fantastic fork, no complaints
    BUT coming off the Suntour sr anything would be fantastic right ?,,
    NOT Kidding !

    The Raidon transformed my Hard Tail. It made my $650 bike ride like a $1,000 bike..

    Then I got a year end closeout deal on a full suspension,, I took it,
    It has the RockShox XC 30 tk..

    It works perfectly, again I have no complaints at all and I see no reason for any future fork upgrades..

    My Full squish is a 27.5" so handling comparison's with the 29er and the Raidon are beyond me.
    I was so glad to get off the wagon wheel hoops,,,just sayin.
    “I seek only the Flow”, "27.5+ Hard Tails Rock"

  12. #12
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    It depends on what XC30 as there is one that is coil, and one that is air. I have both, and there is a noticeable difference between the two. I bought two bikes in 2014, a Kona Cinder Cone hardtail and a Haro FLC Carbon hardtail. The Kona came with the TK Gold Solo Air without remote lockout, and the Haro came with XC 30 Tk Coil with Poplock remote lockout. The coil fork is very bouncy, but overall feels heavier. In a word it feels cheap. If you go Rockshox I would go with the Solo Air version, as that fork is about as good as you can get in that price range. As for the Raidon, it also is a very good fork. My girlfriend has a Suntour XCR Air, and the Raidon is lighter, and more responsive than that, and her fork isn't even that bad for the price. I have heard nothing but good things about the Raidon and with Suntours upgrade program, you really can't beat the deal if you take that option.
    Last edited by VideoboyMatt; 03-16-2015 at 02:24 PM. Reason: spelling

  13. #13
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    I to have a Trek Marlin 5 and it came with a SR Suntour M3030. The fork was okay for the first couple outings but start making some clanking noise recently as I'm getting more into single track and small drops, jumps.
    I order a Raidon XC LO R through the upgrade program and it should be here tuesday. 👍
    I'll be back to write a review after a couple weeks of riding on the Raidon.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattyoooch View Post
    I to have a Trek Marlin 5 and it came with a SR Suntour M3030. The fork was okay for the first couple outings but start making some clanking noise recently as I'm getting more into single track and small drops, jumps.
    I order a Raidon XC LO R through the upgrade program and it should be here tuesday. 
    I'll be back to write a review after a couple weeks of riding on the Raidon.
    I as well have a Marlin 5 with fork trouble. The M3030 seems like it would be a good road fork, but is not up to the task for a bike of this type. I too have noises coming from the fork now and the bike is just now 1 month old. I have a RockShox XC 30 coil on order for it.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_W View Post
    I as well have a Marlin 5 with fork trouble. The M3030 seems like it would be a good road fork, but is not up to the task for a bike of this type. I too have noises coming from the fork now and the bike is just now 1 month old. I have a RockShox XC 30 coil on order for it.
    For what you pay for thos bike Im extremely happy withmy marlin 5 other than the fork. The setup definitely needed at the least a suntour XCT fork. Your right about the M3030 being a good road fork and THATS IT. I hope you enjoy your new upgrade! Can't wait to get my Raidon setup😆

    I'd like to know what made you go with the RS XC 30 instead of the Raidon?

  16. #16
    K_W
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattyoooch View Post
    For what you pay for thos bike Im extremely happy withmy marlin 5 other than the fork. The setup definitely needed at the least a suntour XCT fork. Your right about the M3030 being a good road fork and THATS IT. I hope you enjoy your new upgrade! Can't wait to get my Raidon setup😆

    I'd like to know what made you go with the RS XC 30 instead of the Raidon?
    The same reason I bought a Marlin 5 over a 6 or 7... Simplicity, consistency, reliability, low cost of repairs, and ease of maintenance. The Marlin 6 and 7 have hydraulic brakes which I am not familiar with maintaining (on a bicycle) & I don't yet want the maintenance that goes along with an air shock. If I end up not getting heavy into trail riding, the Marlin 5 will still give me many years of solid riding with minimal maintaining. If I do get heavier into the sport, I will get a better bike.

  17. #17
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    I was forced to get a new fork before my 100km race and went with the raidon. Is one heck of an upgrade from the XCM forks i had before (bushings were dead and the lowers wobbled on the uppers). Cant speak to the XC30, but i imagine stiffness would be the biggest difference between those two forks (raidon being a bit stiffer). I've put about 400km on them so far and still quite satisfied.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_W View Post
    The same reason I bought a Marlin 5 over a 6 or 7... Simplicity, consistency, reliability, low cost of repairs, and ease of maintenance. The Marlin 6 and 7 have hydraulic brakes which I am not familiar with maintaining (on a bicycle) & I don't yet want the maintenance that goes along with an air shock. If I end up not getting heavy into trail riding, the Marlin 5 will still give me many years of solid riding with minimal maintaining. If I do get heavier into the sport, I will get a better bike.
    The Raidon is built with a fully sealed oil damper like a car shock. There is no maintenance like a RockShox or Fox air fork with an open oil damper circuit. The most done is to replace the grease on the air side with oil for a little less stiction. Choose it over a coil RS. Pay once and pay less.

  19. #19
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    The Raidon is a great fork. It's smooth...what else do you need? All the bells and whistles from a fox? I just ride and I'm happy.

    Sometimes people focus on what the bike has instead of enjoying the ride.

  20. #20
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    I think the main difference between the raidon and the rockshox/fox fork is ease of maintenance and different type of maintenance. The raidon has a self contained cartridge that you can't repair. When it goes out, you have to replace it. A couple years ago, it was difficult to find anybody in north america who could do the cartridge swap, but suntour is really stepping up their game on service. It works as well as a comparable rockshox, but when the rockshox one starts going south, you can fix it. Cost comparison in the long run, they both are probably very similar, they just take completely different ways of getting there. The rockshox costs more but has lower maintenance costs (oil change, o-ring, foam wipers, and labor), the suntour costs less but has a higher maintenance cost (full cartridge swap).

  21. #21
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    I'm extremely happy with my SR Suntour Raidon LO R 29er fork. Did the install myself two days ago. Its really smooth and rebounding adjustment works great. Mine is set for 100mm with 18-20mm sag. I'm 5'11” 175lbs. I couldn't ask for a better fork at this price point. SR suntour makes a great product!!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattyoooch View Post
    I'm extremely happy with my SR Suntour Raidon LO R 29er fork. Did the install myself two days ago. Its really smooth and rebounding adjustment works great. Mine is set for 100mm with 18-20mm sag. I'm 5'11” 175lbs. I couldn't ask for a better fork at this price point. SR suntour makes a great product!!
    I am curious as I am thinking about getting the same fork to upgrade my Marlin 7. The only thing really stopping me is the difference in steering going to a fork that doesn't support Trek's G2 geometry.

    Did you notice any real difference in steering or handling of the bike after the swap?

  23. #23
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    no negative difference on my rockhopper. there is a positive difference in that the santions are stiffer than most lower quality forks. they can be adjusted to 80, 100 and 120mm which could help maintain the geo, or alter if needed.

    I slammed the front with -17deg stem and considered going 120mm travel. In the end it would provide similar geo to 6deg stem and 100mm travel. but after sinking the front l found out that the lower front really helps keep the front wheel planted while doing technical climbs, and didnt convert the travel.

  24. #24
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    I love my Radion. Can't compare to a Rox, but it was leaps and bounds better than the XCT I had on there.!!!!

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    You didn't notice any difference in the off-set?

  26. #26
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    Most riders really won't have a problem with the shorter fork offset. After about 30 minutes of riding, someone who only rode a G2 offset wouldn't notice. All my 29er riding is on a standard fork short offset leftover from the ole 26" wheel days. Never rode a G2 fork other than a parking lot, and when I did that, couldn't feel a difference. Turn the handlebar, wheel turns.
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  27. #27
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    on my bike, I have a 70HTA, and 100mm XCT fork. I extended the Raidon to 120mm and love it. Between the slight slacker HTA and the much stiffer forks. Its a different bike. This is on my Kona Lava Dome Its no AM king by no means, but feels much more solid and precice in the rough stuff

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