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  1. #1
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    Need help with front suspension

    I am looking into new front suspension. This will be going onto a hardtail 26er. I am 280lbs roughly and a bit hard on my bikes. I have had great luck with Marzocchi in the past and the more basic the better for me it seems. I was looking at the dirt jumper series

    Marzocchi Dirt Jumper 3 Fork 2012 at Price Point

    What are your thoughts? I am also limited on budget and this fits that aspect nice.

  2. #2
    Kaj
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    I have a DJ1 on my dirt jumper. so I did chose Mz for one of my bikes.

    The forks are reliable, but feel like they have less travel than advertised. The DJ3 is spring only so, it may not adjust to your weight either. Most sub $1300 DJ bikes have the DJ3 on it (we have a few in stock), so if you want to feel it, just stop in a shop that has DJ bike and give them a push.

    also they are about 6lbs, so it's not for the feint of weight ... but overall there's nothing wrong with the forks.

    another aside is that Mz fork division is having some hard times financially now, but there are some rumors they will be sold off to another fork vendor.
    Helping folks shred in Boulder & Colorado since 1982 www.fullcyclebikes.com

  3. #3
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    Manitou

    Tree Fort Bikes has Manitou Minute Expert Black QR which would give you air and coil for just a little more than the DJ3.

  4. #4
    Kaj
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    The Manitou expert would be a great choice better than the marz
    Helping folks shred in Boulder & Colorado since 1982 www.fullcyclebikes.com

  5. #5
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    Forget that dirt jumper nonsense. Check these forks out. All are internally travel adjustable.

    Marzocchi from Hucknroll.com

    I just bought the 66 RC3 Evo Ti for my Yeti 7. Loved the feel of the 888 on a DH rental, and am expecting the same from it. Check out the 44 Micro Air TST for your HT. Prices are very good for top of the line stuff. Although for my money, it you don't need a lock out go for the 44 RC3.
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live. ~Mark Twain, "Taming the Bicycle"


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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by claystrick View Post
    Tree Fort Bikes has Manitou Minute Expert Black QR which would give you air and coil for just a little more than the DJ3.
    Thanks for the heads up! That will be the absolute max of what I may be able to get price wise. How is Manitou holding up? I have had their suspension before but it's been awhile.

    Tree Fort Bikes - Online Bicycle Parts and Accessories, Bicycle Tools and Maintenance

    It seems like a great fork, I have never run an air front suspension.

  7. #7
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    To pile on, don't get a DJ fork for an XC bike.

    DJ forks aren't really set up to be plush rather they are valved to absorb the really big hits and be pretty stiff over all the small stuff.

  8. #8
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    My brother fluctuates between 250#-270# & does the same balancing acts that you like to do.

    He's had a DJ1 (on a KONA Cowan SS) for about 10yrs & it's still rocking fine.
    I've ridden it a few times: it is heavy, but when you're hauling extra (m)ass, who cares!
    He's ridden the Pixburgh/WV area XC trails, as well as 7Springs DH on it & enjoyed it all.

    Being big & riding hard, you'll bottom out a pure XC fork, whereas the DJ will better take the hits, small or large.
    Les grimpées, je m'en fou!

  9. #9
    rr
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    Quote Originally Posted by Funrover View Post

    What are your thoughts? I am also limited on budget and this fits that aspect nice.
    My thought would be go a diff route, skip the cheap new fork with QR and v-brakes and look for something used with thru axle. You could score a fork, disc front wheel and cable discs like the Avids pretty cheap if you go used, probably damn close to what your spending on that new fork. And the diff will be dramatic.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rroeder View Post
    My thought would be go a diff route, skip the cheap new fork with QR and v-brakes and look for something used with thru axle. You could score a fork, disc front wheel and cable discs like the Avids pretty cheap if you go used, probably damn close to what your spending on that new fork. And the diff will be dramatic.
    I like that idea, I will look into it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crit Rat View Post
    To pile on, don't get a DJ fork for an XC bike.

    DJ forks aren't really set up to be plush rather they are valved to absorb the really big hits and be pretty stiff over all the small stuff.
    A lot of XC specific shocks don't last with me. I don't mind if it is stiff as long as it can hold up, honestly I would like it to be more stiff.

    Quote Originally Posted by lubes17319 View Post
    My brother fluctuates between 250#-270# & does the same balancing acts that you like to do.

    He's had a DJ1 (on a KONA Cowan SS) for about 10yrs & it's still rocking fine.
    I've ridden it a few times: it is heavy, but when you're hauling extra (m)ass, who cares!
    He's ridden the Pixburgh/WV area XC trails, as well as 7Springs DH on it & enjoyed it all.

    Being big & riding hard, you'll bottom out a pure XC fork, whereas the DJ will better take the hits, small or large.
    My favorite fork is my 2003 Marz. No air, no adjustments. It just works and works great!



    Thanks for all of the help, I will keep looking into all the options. I have been out of the aftermarket realm for a little bit now.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Funrover View Post
    A lot of XC specific shocks don't last with me. I don't mind if it is stiff as long as it can hold up, honestly I would like it to be more stiff.
    Yeah I saw your weight after I posted that. That does change things a bit.

    Your best suggestion is to get a good used fork with a 20mm thru axle. If I were I'd try to make sure it has a coil springs at the correct rate and 36mm stanchions (ballpark).

    Only problem is that when you get that kind of a fork you can easily overpower the headtube junctions and break the frame if it isn't built for it. What frame is this going on?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rroeder View Post
    My thought would be go a diff route, skip the cheap new fork with QR and v-brakes and look for something used with thru axle. You could score a fork, disc front wheel and cable discs like the Avids pretty cheap if you go used, probably damn close to what your spending on that new fork. And the diff will be dramatic.
    This . . . At 230 - 240 lbs I can make my Marz AM1 with a standard QR squirm a bit.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rroeder View Post
    My thought would be go a diff route, skip the cheap new fork with QR and v-brakes and look for something used with thru axle. You could score a fork, disc front wheel and cable discs like the Avids pretty cheap if you go used, probably damn close to what your spending on that new fork. And the diff will be dramatic.
    +3

    I made sure to even get a thru axle fork for my wife's trail bike. And, at your size, I would just cross a QR skewer off the list. Also, as others have mentioned, I wouldn't put a DJ fork on a trail bike- they are designed for hitting big jumps, not riding trails. Hence, ride quality is real bad.

    And, another vote for the Manitou stuff- it's cheap, you can get trail forks with 20mm axles, and they actually work pretty well. Of course, I'm pretty sure you can only get up to a 32mm stanchion, but the thru axle itself is a big improvement over a QR.

  14. #14
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    I will look more seriously at the thru axle style, from what I have read in many places this really is the best route for me. Not sure on the frame yet, a great guy here on the forums is helping me out and would like me to have a shock for the front first.

    This bike will be an all around bike, XC rides, DJ, bike paths, and bikepacking. Is there such a thing as to much travel if you have a hardtail? I know different frames allow different suspension, but if I have a large slopeing frame made for a longer shock how much will that change the ride?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Funrover View Post
    I will look more seriously at the thru axle style, from what I have read in many places this really is the best route for me. Not sure on the frame yet, a great guy here on the forums is helping me out and would like me to have a fork for the front first.

    This bike will be an all around bike, XC rides, DJ, bike paths, and bikepacking. Is there such a thing as too much travel if you have a hardtail? I know different frames allow different suspension, but if I have a large sloping frame made for a longer shock how much will that change the ride?
    Somehow "DJ, bike paths" seem a little mis-matched to be in the same requirement list for one bike for a 280 lb rider.

    Too bad money is an object!
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  16. #16
    Kaj
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    if you are considering a thru axel--I can feel a good bit a difference between a 15mm and a 20mm. At 200#'s I like 20mm much better.

    it's one of those things you don't notice until you go from stiffer to less stiff. for example if you ride standard QR for years, you likely think all is fine. Then you ride a 20mm, and you're like hmm that's better. But try it the other way; ride a 20mm for a few years then try a QR, and you're like wow QR's are flexy.

    oh, i recall my manitou expert comment, I was meaning to refer to the manitou circus. I had DJ forks on my mind. the manitou circus has been a solid fork. no real experience on the expert to say one way or another.
    Helping folks shred in Boulder & Colorado since 1982 www.fullcyclebikes.com

  17. #17
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    One thing to consider is Marzocchi may be shutting it's MTB department doors (Marzocchi Facing Financial Troubles, May Close - News Blogs - Vital MTB). I've also known a few people (and heard of many others) that have had terrible customer service from them (maybe a good reason they're losing the game). So...combine them both...now if something happens to your fork. GFL.

    Stick with Rock Shox IMHO. They are quite a bit cheaper than fox (still not cheap), easier to maintain, work just as well if not better (IMO as well), and their warranty is more than just a warranty...it's bordering on the lines of a total satisfaction guarantee.They are also very common and may be able to score one fairly easily used for a good price. I'm not sure what model to recommend to you though.

    Now...I do have a Marzocchi DJ2 on my dirt jumper. It's 80mm and it has pretty stiff suspension. It works fine DJ, but I can't imagine it doing anything worthwhile for XC riding. I'd rather just go rigid.

    I have no experience with Manitou other than an older dual crown Sherman Slider. I actually have 2 of them and haven't really had any problems with them other than user error. I have a newer 170mm that's going strong and an older 150mm that I broke an internal part when changing seals. The part costs ~$40-50 from Manitou (last time I called they still had the part in stock). I know it may not be what you're looking for...but if you want this for free to just buy the part on your own and put it back together...it's yours. It's 1 1/8", Dual Crown, 20mm, 150mm. Keep in mind, you may want a stiffer spring too, but I'm not sure...so possibly add that to the cause...assuming those are available too. But in all...you would be at less than $100 for parts I bet. I'd also give you the new enduro fork seals I was planning on putting in when I broke it. You can even take it, mull it over, and not use it...won't bother me one bit. It's just been sitting around in parts for 2 years now.

  18. #18
    Ka-coo-ka-cha!
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    RE: Marz goob. From the same website...

    RaceCo Dispels Marzocchi Rumors - News Blogs - Vital MTB

    ...don't believe everything you read. Especially when it says: "We've contacted Marzocchi and are waiting for an official comment. Stay tuned..."

    So, buy away apparently.
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live. ~Mark Twain, "Taming the Bicycle"


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by snigs View Post
    RE: Marz goob. From the same website...

    RaceCo Dispels Marzocchi Rumors - News Blogs - Vital MTB

    ...don't believe everything you read. Especially when it says: "We've contacted Marzocchi and are waiting for an official comment. Stay tuned..."

    So, buy away apparently.
    Well to be the devil's advocate...don't believe what you're reading there either! Especially when your link also states the same no-comment from Marzocchi at the bottom. I would still not buy away...but that may just be me.

  20. #20
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    Ok, I guess I'll ad one more, more toward choices.
    Stay away from older RS psylos, they typically had seal issues and several models were rated to 175# or so, very weak.
    I would suggest an older Marzocchi all mountain or Z-1 freeride fork.
    I'm not sure if either one ever came in 20mil, pretty sure they did not.
    But.. they had very thick and reinforced dropouts, that helped stiffen the area.
    They can be run with more air pressure and still have small bump sensitivity.
    If you look on ebay, there is a seller, blimpuss who sells nothing but older Marzocchis, he rebuilds and tunes them to your needs, he may be a valuable link to getting a good used fork for your needs.
    And yes parts and seals are readily available for those forks, and they ROCK!!

  21. #21
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    of course right after i left last post, I see a z150 on ebay with 20mil dropouts, included wheel, it may have ended, but saw no bids.
    But to correct myself it seems they did come in 20 mil.

  22. #22
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    A quick look at the Marzocchi manual all their forks are only rated to 232# rider weight.

    They're pricey, but look into a Magura fork. The air forks from Magura are rated up to 287# rider weight. Also, they have a 5 year leakproof warranty. I've ride a 2009 Wotan and the large diameter stanchions and the dual arch lowers make for a nice stiff fork with 120-160mm travel. Then again, I'm 60% of your size.

    Also, do you LBS a favor and buy that fork from them. Buying online often voids factory warranties.

    Maybe you can get some more info in the Clydesdale forum?

  23. #23
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    Wow, thanks for all of the great information, there is more to this then I initially realized. I have not heard of magura shocks.

    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy View Post
    Somehow "DJ, bike paths" seem a little mis-matched to be in the same requirement list for one bike for a 280 lb rider.

    Too bad money is an object!
    I don't do big air/big lines. I am the sissy on the medium stuff! I do love rocks and narrows though!

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