Suspension fork ugrade
My current ride is an '07 Giant Yukon with a (crappy) Rock Shox dart 1. I'm looking to upgrade this fork for under $250. I ride singletrack and some downhill (!) with this bike. It was a good buy, and is a good bike. When I get on the bike, right off the bat the fork squats a good 2". Off road, it's metal to metal all the way, and jumps are scary.
So, my question to all you "experts" is should I go air or coil?
Oh, by the way, my dimensions are 6' 6", ~350 pounds.
I have searched this forum, but a lot of guys with my same question are under 300.
Thanks for the help. From what i've read, it looks like you guys have a good time on here
I'd get a sprung Marzocchi fork thats got air assist. I run a Dirt Jumper 1at 130mm on my all mountain hardtail and a 66 RC2X on my all mountain dually. You can use the air assist to get the sag right and you can adjust the oil levels in the legs to get the fork to ramp up as its nears the end of its stroke.
Given your weight go for a fork with a 20mm thru axle, also allows you to be able to run 203mm front brake and less flex under braking and steering.
I'm not an expert though. Just my opinion on what's working for me
At the risk of sounding like a jerk, i think a marz with air assist is a terrible idea. The air assist on most marzocchis is just a cop-out so marz doesn't have to offer change spring options. They don't have negative air chambers and so when you run the pressure up they feel like crap. If you can spring for a new wheel, get a 20mm, if not, a tora 318 coil with an x-firm coil is going to be your best bet. The steel stanchions and big heavy crown make for a very perceptibly stiffer fork than the higher end RS xc forks. The xc700 would be the other obvious choice, and the tst2 damping doesnt really compare. Marz and fox options are too expensive/flimsy for you. I would also consider converting your 9mm hub to a bolt-on. The kit is like 15$ and the difference is easy to feel. Manitou used to use little helper springs in some of their forks. If you can order one of those that is approx the right length you can slip it inside almost any fork's coil.
"converting your 9mm hub to a bolt-on", if i google that will something come up? I've always loved mtbkng, but this is a new world since riding 15 years ago. I'm a little slow at this point. Just so i'm clear, basically, an inexpensive air fork is worthless for someone of my stature.
Oh, and, there's no way i can afford converting to a thru axle.
Thanks for the help, i was thinking about a tora 318 too
umm, i'm not exactly sure what you would search for, i would go to the LBS and ask them to order you a 9mm x 150mm? hollow through bolt and some track nuts. Wheels Manufacturing makes them. You or the lbs would have to replace the axle, which is fairly straight forward, provided you pay attention to how it came apart and can adjust hub cones. It's probably best just to chat with one of the techs. The downside is that you need a 15mm wrench to take the wheels off, but the stiffness is really wonderful.
An inexpensive air fork isn't necessarily bad, although i personally don't care much for them, but those marz 'air assist' forks are missing half the air spring, so they feel like crap if you use more than a couple psi in them, and marz doesn't make different rate springs for the lower end air assist stuff, so far as i'm aware.
The tora 318 is heavy, but that weight largely comes from a really overbuilt-for-xc upper assembly, which i thing is a blessing. It also has the best damping at the price point.
You're quite a bit heavier than i am, but that's what i would do in your situation... tora 318, x-firm spring, manitou helper spring, and bolt-on hub conversion. Hopefully someone who is closer to your weight can chime in.