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  1. #1
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    Trail/AM Fork Question

    Let me start by saying Iím a noob, and would have posted this in the beginner forum if I werenít specifically looking for input based on my weight (225).

    Iím trying to decide on a hardtail for trail/all mountain use. Iím on the taller side (6í3Ē) so a 29er sounds appealing. Iíve largely narrowed it down to the Trek Stache or the (as yet unrealeased) variant of the Airborne Goblin that will be a bit beefier and slacker than the standard model. Other popular choices (ROS9, Paradox, Yelli Screamy) would be out of my price range when built up with X7/SLX quality components.

    For a little further background, I rode mountain bikes a lot as a kid in high school and college, but havenít been riding in over 10 years. I know Iím not going to be riding off huge drops immediately, but Iím also the type to maintain my equipment and keep it for a long time (I only recently got rid of the first car I bought after 14 years) so I want to get something I wonít need to upgrade immediately once I develop/relearn some skills.

    The last bike I had was a little too lightweight for what I used it for and I was constantly breaking things on it. I donít want to repeat that experience. Iím looking to get something fairly heavy duty so I donít feel like Iím abusing it by riding it over anything Iím capable of handling. Iím not much concerned about component weight - the best place for me to shed grams would be between my ribs and my belt.

    Iíve tried to do as much research as I can on other aspects of the bikes, but Iím struggling on the fork.

    The Airborne will reportedly come with a RockShox Revelation, which seems like a good choice for what Iím looking to do (or maybe not, thoughts?).

    The Stache comes with either a RockShox Recon Silver or a Fox Evolution 32 Float CTD. From what I can tell, the Recon is a mid-level XC fork and would probably not be up to a clyde using it for trail riding duties. I canít seem to find much about what the Fox is designed for. It seems to be a high end fork, but Iím worried itís a high end XC fork and wouldnít necessarily work for me. RockShox has a very helpful Ďproduct matrixí that shows how their forks relate to each other, but I couldnít find the equivalent for Fox.

    Can someone point me in the right direction? I like the idea of having LBS support, but Iíd be paying a substantial premium over the price of the Airborne to get it, and Iím not willing to do that if Iím not getting the right bike to begin with. I asked the shop if they could work with me on switching out the fork, but they explained that since the forks that come with the bikes are pre-cut they couldnít give me much of a credit for a take-off fork. So if I want a different fork Iím basically on the hook for the full price, not just the difference in MSRP. Given my budget, that basically means that I either take the fork on the Trek as is, or find another bike thatís more to my liking.

    Also, the current ETA on the Airborne is early next year, but there hasnít been an official announcement so that could potentially slip further back if stuff hits the fan in production (apparently it has done so already since the original estimate was for it to be out this fall). I can deal with waiting, but not needing to wait for the Trek is points in that direction.

    Sorry for the long post, I just wasnít sure what information you all would need to make a decent recommendation. Thank you.

  2. #2
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    You'd be fine with pretty much any fork. You are within their design weight. I'd say just get a Stache and upgrade as parts wear out. You are overthinking this.

  3. #3
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    no way! 32 mm stanchion forks are gonna be noodly under 225. 34mm minimum!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirsam84 View Post
    no way! 32 mm stanchion forks are gonna be noodly under 225. 34mm minimum!
    wow. if anyone ever doubted the effectiveness of marketing... 2 years ago there wasn't anything over 32mm available in a 29er, now it's 34 MINIMUM because a increase of <6% will make all the difference in the world.

    And the OP isn't even all that heavy... I have a 32mm reba, 35mm boxxer and a 40mm totem on bikes I ride regularly; I don't find the reba 'noodly' at all compared to the others.

    IMO the revelation is a better fork than the F32, and definitely better than the Recon. BUT, if one has a thru axle and another not, that makes the decision. I would not get a fork with a QR.

    Regarding the ETA, how much do you really expect to be riding in the next few months? Between cold and no daylight before or after work, if I had to pick a time to be without bike, winter would obviously be it.

  5. #5
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    Thank you for the feedback, I appreciate the different perspectives. I do plan to do a fair bit of riding during the winter. The daylight issue will keep me from riding on weekdays, but I live in MD and it just doesn't get cold enough here that I can't be comfortable outddors if I'm dressed reasonably and doing some sort of aerobic activity.

    I went ahead and ordered the Trek from my LBS so I'm hoping it will work out. All things being equal, I would have gone with a bigger fork, but I think the benefits of working with a local shop will outweigh any drawbacks there might be to the bike.

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