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  1. #1
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    Help picking a replacement for Manitou SX-E fork

    The family is getting ready for a week-long cross-country MTB trip (pulling BOB trailers) and I just realized that my daughter's hand-me-down bike (my wife's old bike) needs a new fork. It has a '99 Manitou SX-E fork on it, and it obviously needs oil, new elasomers, and probably seal replacements. I doubt this fork is worth the effort to rebuild, so I'm looking around for a replacement. Its an 80mm fork, and it will be mounted on a hard tail Schwinn Moab II, so anything more than 100mm or so of travel would probably be overkill. Don't need disc mounts either.

    Any suggestions on a good, solid (but old school) fork that I can find inexpensively on eBay or maybe lying around a bike shop?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Depending on how seriously the bike will be used, the SX-E might do just fine even with the old elastomers. Getting a new fork for a bike that might not be ridden for another 11 years doesn't seem worth it.

    If you guys have your hearts set on a new fork, be sure to know the size of the steer tube as there were still 1 inch steers made in 1999 as opposed to the 1.125 inch steers tubes commonly found in today's bikes, also be sure to find out if it uses a threaded headset or no-thread aheadset as that'll affect which new fork you choose. I've never owned a SX-E, but I doubt it'll need oil as Manitou forks of that vintage did not use an oil bath and an elastomer fork doesn't need damping oil.

    As for a budget fork, a Marzocchi 22 or Rock Shox Dart should do just fine. Most bike shops will let you test ride the bikes on display to get a sense of how the forks feel if you give them a glimmer of hope of making a sale.

    Have a safe (and mechanical-free) biking trip with the family.
    Go on ahead, I'm gonna take a breather.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Winter. I ended up getting a nice Dart 2 100mm with lock-out on CL for $50 and it works great. A bit heavy at 5.3 lbs (!) but my daughter is just stoked to have a shock that works. She's pulling a 60 lb B.O.B. trailer with camping gear, so the weight really doesn't matter that much.

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