Fork for New Tracer, advice needed!
I just took delivery of my new Tracer VP and I need to make a fork decision. My original plan was to buy a slightly used Pike Air U-Turn from a friend for $325 since I am on a budget. The shop where I got the frame offered me a 2009 Fox 36 Talas RC2 for $600 which seems like a great deal.
The Fox is a budget buster but I think I might just go for it. My theory is that with the adjustable linkage on the bike and the option of running 140 or 160 on the fork that I would have an incredibly versatile bike. I'm pretty sure that the weight is pretty close between the two forks. My riding style is aggressive cross country and never really do huge drops on the trails that I typically ride.
Would the Fox be overkill for my type of riding? I don't really think so since the Talas is light for such a big fork. Hpw does the Pike compare to the Talas? The maximum travel on the Pike is only 140 so it would be more limited in use than the Talas.
Any advice would be greatlt appreciated. I need to make a decision very quickly.
The Tracer frame looks incredible by the way.
That is a decision that only you can make. My statements below can be construed as captain obvious but it is the only answer I can give you.
The biggest difference is going to be the geometry (obviously slacker with the 36 but with the ability to reduce the travel). The cost of having this ability to go slacker is a slight weight disadvantage and the obvious incremental cost to the fork. The weight disadvantage is negligible in my opinion so it comes down to cost and personal preference. Are there enough times that you would want your bike to have a slacker head angle to justify the extra price? For a person like me who likes slacker bikes the answer was heck yeah as I bought a 36 for my tracer (and a standard headset) and it rides great for my terrain and personal preferences. I ride it in 160mm mode at all times except for steep climbs. I donít know where you ride (Florida (pike) vs Colorado (36) for example), your bike handling preferences (quicker vs slower handling), or your financial position for the absorbing the incremental cost to tell you which way to go.
Good luck with your decision!
go with the 36, its a new fork, updated damping, travel adjust and its just a solid fork. Plus it won't hold you back if you ride or will start riding more technical/steep trails in the future.
I'd have to say go with the Talas. It may be a bit overkill for what you ride, but it will be stiffer and its not heavier. Besides, if you ever do decided to get super gnarly you'll be all set!
My friend rides a 575 and prefers his Talas 36 at 140mm travel. But doesn't want to get the 140mm 32 version because he likes the stiffer feel of the 36 with the 20mm axel.
You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.
Thanks for all the good feedback. I live in the Atlanta area so I mostly ride classic southeast singletrack which is twisty, rooty, rocky trails with a good mix of climbing and descending. I am leaning toward the 36. I think it would give the frame more versatility and I can always dial it down for long climbs. I love the idea of being able to switch to 160 before some of the long downhills that we have here in the north Georgia mountains. Plus, the price on the Talas seems very good since they retail for about $975.
Yep. TALAS, TALAS, TALAS.
The Tracer climbs like crazy with a Talas in 130 mode and descends even better in the 160 mode. A very versatile fork, almost as light as the Pike, brand new, and stiffer......not to mention an awesome price. It won't feel as plush as the Pike over the roots and rocks at first but it should after some break-in. The bushings seem to be a bit more tight this year.
No brainer, imo.