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  1. #1
    jjs
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    80-100 vs. 100-120 Black elite for 2002 NRS1?

    Hey all,

    I've been reading through the archives of messages and have gotten the bug to upgrade my 2002 NRS 1. It's essentially stock (riser bars, egg beaters, vertical pro's) and I want to make more of a "trail" bike. From reading the posts, I'm planning on replacing the sid SL with probably a black elite (as they are dirt cheap...) and getting the 4.5 rocker arm.

    I'm 6'0" and weigh 185 lbs. I just moved to Phoenix, so the trails are rocky/technical which I like, I'm getting more into the technical stuff with some small drops (~2 ft). I also adventure race which involves long periods on the bike (~4-6 hrs) so still somewhat concerned about weight, but figure that the increased comfort will pay dividends in 24 hr + races.

    So the question is should I get the 80-100 mm fork or the 100-120 mm. I'm leaning towards the 80-100 as I can still lower the front for extended climbing / fireroad climbs and have still have a geometry similar to what I'm used to. However, the idea of up to 120 mm front travel is very tempting.

    I was also looking at the Marathon S 105, but can't seem to find one that's not at least $100-$150 more than the Black Elite...so in the end it all comes down to the allmight dollar.

    Thanks in advance.

    Jeff

  2. #2
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    Reputation: mtnbikerdude87's Avatar
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    I would say stick with the 80-100 mm fork. The NRS is a XC bike and putting a 120mm fork on it might a little overkill. I am too looking at the Black models and getting a 80-100mm travel range. I think 100mm will be fine for the tech stuff but ok for the small drops. As I said the NRS is a XC bike, its not meant for drops. Ive heard some good reviews on the marathon if you can fork over the money. But the Black is a pretty decent fork if your on a money budget.
    Keep Pedaling

  3. #3
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    A little update. I've got an '03 NRS 2 with an 80-100 Black Elite. I ridne in GA and NC and am about your size.
    I used to flip between 80-100 quite a bit depending on if I was climbing or descending anything steep one way or the other. You can definitely feel the geometry change as well as the pre-load put on the springs when you drop into 80 which does stiffen the fork.
    More recently I have been leaving it in 100 mode which matches the Cloud 9 on my rear for plushness. I've also been riding more agressively and appreciate the longer travel sucking things up on downhills. Since I noticed that I'd been leaving the fork in 100 I flipped one of my larger spacers and dropped the stem so that it's now just a smidge higher than stock in 80 mode. I've been liking this setup for geometry and travel. At times I'll up the compression which will stiffen up the fork for harder peddaling.
    The net of this for you is that you can tweak the geometry of your bike to match the height gain you'll get with the rockers. I think 120mm is a lot of fork for this bike and may make the front too tall for you though. I'm sure you'd use the extra travel where you ride but the bike is really meant more to be a 4-ish inch bike rather than a 5 inch bike.

    My $.02
    Big hoopy.
    Turner Sultan / On One Inbred

  4. #4
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    I rode my '01 NRS with a 105mm Manítou and it was a touch light on the front end on steeper stuff, but do-able. I wouldn't have minded having the 80mm for some help on the steeps, but for the most part the 100mm setting wasn't a huge liability.

    I'd suggest you look at your needs. If you want to focus on trail bike use you may actually gain some benefit from the 120mm setting for gnarlier downhill runs and whatever dropoffs you feel comfortable subjecting your frame to. The 100mm setting can be used for climbs and doesn't overly hinder the bike. Just keep in mind that the frame is the limiting factor with this bike, and as the others have pointed out is more on the race/efficiency side of the xc spectrum, and the 120 probably is overkill for most uses.

  5. #5
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    Agree

    I do not race, but I find the the 100 front (Atom Race) with the 4" rockers with a Cloud 9 makes for a very good ride for long distances and endurance runs. I have tried the 125 from my VT on the NRS and it is a over kill. The NRS is a great XT bike. I have been riding one since 2001 and really like it. I got the VT so that my old body doesn't take such a beating on rougher rides and it is a really plush ride. Sid

  6. #6
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    just my opinion

    Jeff,

    I have been following up and reading the discussions on mtbr.com for a while. I haven't really posted anything yet but here is my .02 cents. I am not a bike mechanic or an engineer. And I haven't raced at any professional level. This is just my honest input on my NRS setup.

    I'm 5' 7" and 165 pounds. I am riding a 03 NRS with the 4.5 inch rockers and the manitou black elite 100/120 up front. I bought the NRS because I was planning on doing some racing. I have raced a few times in the stock setup, though I am not a racer. I've decided that I loved mountain biking on my own accord and that racing wasn't for me. I probably should've gone for something with more travel. So, I decided to make several upgrades to make it more like a trail bike. I was a little weary with this much travel in the front at first but have read that these rockers work best with 100 mm travel. I figured that I'll keep it in the 100 setting until I really need the extra travel. I rode it in 100 at first which semed like a lot. I was used to riding with 80 mm up front with the 4.5 rockers so this was a drastic change. The 4.5 rockers raises the rear a little so it changes the geometry in that alone with the 80 mm fork. The 100 mm setting raises the front up to even it out with the rear. What this does is raise your bike a little bit higher off the ground. I thought that this gave it an awkward feel in the geometry at first, especially on the climbs but quickly got used to it. I just had a problem with keeping the front tire down until I got used to it. I rode it in 100 mm for a while but now I ride it primarily in 120 mm. I can still climb just as well in the 120 mm setting. It definitely took a little getting used to though. It's almost like riding a new bike. It feels plush and can handle pretty much anything, except for large drops. I think the only thing that it really effects is the high speed cornering. I still feel that I am quicker than most of my friends hammering through technical and even up climbs. I love the way the bike is set up now. In my opinion, this combination is awesome.

    I hope this bit of info helped.

  7. #7
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by FAT NINJA
    I got the VT so that my old body doesn't take such a beating on rougher rides and it is a really plush ride. Sid
    I checked out your profile to see if I qualified for "old" too. Fortunately I'm somewhere in the middle between young punk and over the hill Seriously - Big round of applause to you for going at it!

    I like the 100mm/Cloud 9 setup as well, it takes everything I need to throw at it!

    Ride on!
    Eric
    Big hoopy.
    Turner Sultan / On One Inbred

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