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  1. #1
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    I just switched from a Z1 FR to a TALAS on my Heckler

    I posted this in the Shocks forum, but I thought it might interest those considering what fork to buy for their Heckler.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx

    I've got a few rides on my new TALAS R, so I though I'd post my impressions. Mostly I am just comparing how the fork rides on my Heckler as compared to the `03 Z1 FR I used since last fall.

    First thing I noticed out of the box is the difference in the crowns. The ZI crown is clearly more massive than the TALAS. The other is the weight, but that was expected.

    As far as stiffness, I really have not been able to tell any difference.

    The TALAS is not as smooth as the Z1, and it is not in the same league as far as it's freeride capabilities. The Z1 is buttery smooth and the travel feels bottomless under anything I have thrown at it. However, the TALAS feels more controlled than the ZI. It dives less under braking. It also feels more efficient than the Z1 (less bobbing). I also like the sharper head angle. I feel like my bike is more controlled and nimble with this fork.

    I am surprised at how linear the fork feels. I am actually wondering if there is some way to ramp it up at the very end like I could on the Z1. I have not yet hit the worst of what I sometimes ride, so I can't comment on how this fork compares under the hardest of hits. I know with the Z1 there were times when I hit something thinking "oh sh!t, Jeff, you're really fu#ked now" and then rolled over or through it like it was nothing. We'll see with the TALAS.

    I think that in the end the Z1 was just more fork than I needed. The rear end of the Heckler is nowhere near as smooth as the Z1 on the small stuff, and has far less wallow and bob than the Z1. The TALAS just feels like a better match.

    The last ride I did on my Z1 was my first real attemt at freeriding. I started doing some drops of about 3 feet to flat and hiting some 3 foot jumps that landed on a downhill. I had a blast. I think that is where I will miss the fork, and having a slack head angle, though I have done some 2-1/2" drops on the TALAS and it feels just as good so far. I think the Heckler would hold me back before the Z1 would.

    With some fiddling with stems, I got the handlebar back up where it was, and it is just as easy to lift the front end with the TALAS as it was with the Z1.

    Travel. I get 121mm. Oh, well.

    On to the travel adjustment. I liked the idea of the eta on the Z1, but I found that it was not always that usefull. The fork by itself was too tall for my tastes for any real climbing, but the eta is rather severe. Once it gets the fork down in it's travel, it's WAY down there and the super stiff, undamped travel can be squrilly. It is unridable except for steep climbing (which it is fantastic for) I like the fact that the TALAS is totally usable at any travel, and that I can set the travel where I want it. On a long climb I often do there is some short down sections as well as some technical stuff to get through. I dropped the fork about 15mm and did it all. I notice that with the stem I have on there right now, the balance for general singletrack riding is perfect at about 112mm (in other words, cranked down 9mm). At first I figured I would just lower the stem about 10mm so it would be perfect at full hieght, but now I think I may leave it like this so that I have a little extra height for when I want to play rough. It is certainly easier to lift the front end at full height right now, but the bars are just tad high for carving singletrack and normal climbing (moderate or short climbs where I am not going to bother messing with travel)

    I could go on with more, but I gotta go catch happy hour.

    Kapusta

  2. #2
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    Great Report

    Thanks. That was great. I was thinking about getting a Z1 after I've been riding a Vanilla for almost a year. I like the Vanilla a lot but am getting into more aggressive trail riding. I dont know if the Z1 is an overkill, though. It sounds like I do the same kind of riding as you. From the sound of it, the Z1 is an overkill... That helps my decision making

  3. #3
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    Z1 FR to Z1 150 ETA

    I rode a Z1 FR all last summer on my 03 Heckler. I came off a Psylo SL on a Turner 02. The plush small hit ride and bottomless travel of the Z1 was very impressive. And the ETA was spot on for my tastes. I too have experienced the "OH Sh*t you've screwed up now" phenomenon and the zoke just sucked it up. Over the winter I stared lusting for a Z150 FR and after an evening of adult beverages I won one on e-bay! Hmmmmm, as I was waiting for the fork to be delivered I thought I just may have made a mistake.

    No freaking way! This fork is all the Z1 was and more. It has the 20mm axle and maybe that makes a difference but as I rode today the phase, "Hell for strong" kept going through my head. (dunno where that came from). I began charging rocks I would have avoided before. On my favorite downgrade / suspension test, I took a large babyhead straight on and it REALLY did't even jolt the bars. This same rock broke my Jamis frame 2 years ago. Yes, it's heavier, but that's all relative for a recreational biker. I weigh 220 and a full water pack weighs 5 lbs. My Heckler weighed 32 lbs with the Z1 and now with the Z150, a different front tire and pedals it weighs 33 lbs. My Turner 5 Spot weighs 30 lbs with the Firefly and I enjoy both of 'em. Neither feels "heavy" to me.

    In the final analysis it's about what "you" like and I like my Z150, a lot!

  4. #4
    what a joke
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikerx
    I rode a Z1 FR all last summer on my 03 Heckler. I came off a Psylo SL on a Turner 02. The plush small hit ride and bottomless travel of the Z1 was very impressive. And the ETA was spot on for my tastes. I too have experienced the "OH Sh*t you've screwed up now" phenomenon and the zoke just sucked it up. Over the winter I stared lusting for a Z150 FR and after an evening of adult beverages I won one on e-bay! Hmmmmm, as I was waiting for the fork to be delivered I thought I just may have made a mistake.

    No freaking way! This fork is all the Z1 was and more. It has the 20mm axle and maybe that makes a difference but as I rode today the phase, "Hell for strong" kept going through my head. (dunno where that came from). I began charging rocks I would have avoided before. On my favorite downgrade / suspension test, I took a large babyhead straight on and it REALLY did't even jolt the bars. This same rock broke my Jamis frame 2 years ago. Yes, it's heavier, but that's all relative for a recreational biker. I weigh 220 and a full water pack weighs 5 lbs. My Heckler weighed 32 lbs with the Z1 and now with the Z150, a different front tire and pedals it weighs 33 lbs. My Turner 5 Spot weighs 30 lbs with the Firefly and I enjoy both of 'em. Neither feels "heavy" to me.

    In the final analysis it's about what "you" like and I like my Z150, a lot!
    Can you tell me why you got the Firefly over the Z1FR for your 5 spot? Strength, stiffness, small bump / big hit differences? I had a Z1 mcr for 2 years.
    Thanks
    blah blah blah

  5. #5
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    Well, it may have been impluse. I wanted a "big hit" 5" fork that was light and stiff. After reading the mtbr reviews with all the positive reviews of the Firefly I checked ebay and found a NIB, black firefly and got it for $320. I've been riding it all winter (Maine) and only now had a chance to ride technical dirt (not snow). I find that I don't like it as well as my Z1! The small bump compliance is better on Z1 and I find I have trouble keeping the front wheel on the ground through technical sections with the Firefly. I dampened the rebound but it's still a problem. (the fork is light!) I'm going to try a longer stem, I have an 80mm on the 5 Spot now. One telling event happened this weekend. I rode the Spot/Firefly down a gradual pitch with the normal assortment of rocks and bumps and I had trouble "seeing" the route because my eyeballs were bouncing / vibrating so much! Sunday I rode the Heckler Z150 down a much steeper pitch MUCH faster and it was way smoother. That event got me thinking about swapping the Z1 back on to the 5 Spot.

    I still have my Z1 and I'm thinking I may put that on the 5 Spot and sell the Firefly. I'm going to swap them next weekend and see which one works best for me.

  6. #6
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    Your firefly symptoms sound like you have adjusted the rebound damping too slow and the fork is packing up (making your eyeballs bounce). Try making the rebound faster, which will help the fork track over the ground better and increase small bump sensitivity.

    -Ryan

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikerx
    Well, it may have been impluse. I wanted a "big hit" 5" fork that was light and stiff. After reading the mtbr reviews with all the positive reviews of the Firefly I checked ebay and found a NIB, black firefly and got it for $320. I've been riding it all winter (Maine) and only now had a chance to ride technical dirt (not snow). I find that I don't like it as well as my Z1! The small bump compliance is better on Z1 and I find I have trouble keeping the front wheel on the ground through technical sections with the Firefly. I dampened the rebound but it's still a problem. (the fork is light!) I'm going to try a longer stem, I have an 80mm on the 5 Spot now. One telling event happened this weekend. I rode the Spot/Firefly down a gradual pitch with the normal assortment of rocks and bumps and I had trouble "seeing" the route because my eyeballs were bouncing / vibrating so much! Sunday I rode the Heckler Z150 down a much steeper pitch MUCH faster and it was way smoother. That event got me thinking about swapping the Z1 back on to the 5 Spot.

    I still have my Z1 and I'm thinking I may put that on the 5 Spot and sell the Firefly. I'm going to swap them next weekend and see which one works best for me.
    I stopped driving my bike into my garage - I'm now protected with Roof Rack Ranger app for my iPhone.

  7. #7
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    Yep, you are right sir. I checked the rebound setting and found I had turned it all the way to full. I was trying this to negate the "bouncy" feel of the fork and forgot to turn it back! I'm sure my next ride on the Firefly will be more compliant. Thanks for noticing.

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