i'm still riding (and loving) my helius fr from 2004. it started life as a 37# freeride oriented frame, but i did a rebuild a few years ago to bring it to the low 30s, and last year i did another rebuild to bring it to around 25.5#.
the truth of the matter is that my freeride days are behind me. these days i enjoy climbing and fast XC / trail riding. i occasionally catch a little air, but it's smooth and not far off the ground. i don't only ride buff singletrack, but i tend to pick good lines through rocky areas rather than just point it.
so....in recent times i've used a fox float 36 (150mm) w/ 20mm axle, and last year i rode on a fox TALAS 32 (150mm) w/ 15mm axle. many variables changes, but i found that the fork just seemed less "sure" and also less smooth -- perhaps more flexy. i'm no huge guy (150# w/o gear), and i'm not sure if the difference i felt was a function of (a) going from 20 to 15mm axle, (b) going from 36mm to 32mm stanchion, and/or (c) going from a float to a TALAS.
i felt like i would use the travel adjuster more often than i did. the truth is that i often forgot to drop it down for long ascents....and when i did drop it down i sometimes forgot to return it to full travel. i'm feeling like it may unnecessarily complicate things, so if i get a new fork i don't think i need it. perhaps i'm also used to ascending everything with a fork in 150mm mode.
here's my latest dilemma:
i saw that the 2012 rockshox SID WC (dual air, not dual position) forks are 120mm travel and over a pound lighter than my TALAS (~1350g v 1800g). this really caught my eye; i knew they were lighter, but i didn't realize they were THAT much lighter -- and i figured those forks were short travel.
has anyone ridden float 36, talas 32 and/or the SID world cup series (120mm)?
i've got a couple of questions:
a) for the type of riding i described (fast XC/trail, wheels mainly on the ground, lighter rider, occasional racer), is the SID suited?
b) the SID has 32mm stanchions. is a large part of my problem with the TALAS the fact that it's longer travel (150mm) and the 32mm stanchions? would the shorter travel fork be fine w/ 32mm stanchions?
c) the SID has a tapered steerer and 15mm axle. the axle will stay the same for me -- will the tapered aspect of the steerer contribute to better performance?
d) the SID XX WC has a remote lockout; the SID WC lacks the remote but supposedly has a better blow-off valve feature. both are very similar in weight. is one a better choice?
the downside for me is that i like a more slack front end (67-68*), and there's a 26mm difference in a2c for SID vs the TALAS. i run an angleset (zero stack) with the TALAS @ -1.5* and could switch to an external cup for the SID. this would reduce that gap a bit, though i'd still have a front end that is steeper by 1-1.5*. not sure if i can solve that.
i welcome your opinions and comments.
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