ETSX and Talas, which travel setting?
My new ETSX-70 2004 is (hopefully) on it's way and it will have a Fox Talas RLC (2004) fork. I have a question to those of you who use Talas on ETSX: Which travel setting do you normally use? Do you use full 125 mm or some other shorter setting?
I leave mine in the long travel mode on both ends and it rides perfectly for me. It climbs better than any bike I have ever road and I have road quite a few over the years. I find shortening the travel negetivly efects the climbing on this particular design. I have even replaced the quick release on the rear end with a standard bolt because after the first week I never used it.
I just got my ETSX70 a few weeks ago. My prefered setup is to use max travel setting on front and rear for downhill, and reduce the front travel (3 or 4 turns of the travel knob) for climbing. It gives me a much better position and control on long or technical climbs.
Both ends of travel
I had a 2002 ETSX-50 with a TALAS and used both settings all the time. I left the rear shock on the middle setting, dropped the fork to short-travel for climbs, and cranked it up to long-travel for downhill stuff. I found the short-travel on climbs to be more stable and I could stay seated longer without having to lean forward as much.
Now I have a 2005 ETSX-70 frame and I'm eager to see if it rides the same (finally got it back after a broken seat-tube warranty issue that took 3-1/2 months!).
TALAS travel settings
I've been running my ETSX-70 in the 4" travel settings for most rides, I have switched down to 3.5" if the rides are smoother and I don't need the BB clearance, just to lower the CG. Then it rides very similar to the RM Instinct it replaced. The 4.5" travel setting is handy for really rough stuff, or where BB clearance is really important (in fact it would be nice to have a 150mm travel fork setting for those times to slacken the head angle a bit).
But you definitely want to play with the fork travel for climbing, I was pleasantly surprised how much easier it was when you crank it down to 85mm travel, less wheel flop. Take advantage of the easy TALAS adjustment for those uphills. I leave it unlocked when climbing to get bump absorption, just the steeper head tube angle is enough of a benefit.