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  1. #1
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    Best fork for my son's Kona Manomano

    My 10 year old son has a Kona Manomano (about 2001). It's in great shape, had hardly been ridden before we bought it...full XT, Race Face cranks, Fox Float shock, but the fork is a Manitou SX-R,and it's a bit long in the tooth. He's about 85 lbs, and likes to ride this bike more as a FR than an XC, which it's kind of meant for I guess...He likes to do some drops and jumps.

    Can anyone recommend a good replacement fork that may be a bit better suited to this, or should he look to upgrade to a burlier frame?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    My suggestion would be...

    not to worry about the frame just yet. At 85lbs he's not really going to cause the frame any problems with the way he's riding. Now as he grows and gets heavier it'd be a good idea. It's one of those things, a light rider can push an XC bike allot farther out of it's intended role than an average or heavier rider can and get away with it. So he should be good for a few more years.

    As for a fork, the same thing applies, at his weight he could almost get away with a Rock Shox SID for his riding style. But I'd tend to go a little "heavier duty" than a super light XC race fork like the SID. At his weight I would highly recommend and air sprung fork. The reason being it is almost impossible to find a coil sprung fork with springs light enough to accomodate his light weight. Air sprung forks on the other hand can be set as low as needed as long as the air pressure is above 0. This allows you to set up the fork for a much wider weight range of riders.

    The key to selecting a fork is to get one that has the same length or a little more than the stock fork. Start out by measuring the axle to crown height of his current fork. This is measured from the center of the drop out where the axel of the wheel rests to the top of the crown of the fork at the bottom of the frame head tube. Once you have that measurement try to find a fork that has an AC height measurement as close as possible to the oringinal. If you have to go a bit bigger try to stay within 20 to 25mm+ of the original AC height. This will preserve as closely as possible the original handling and ride characteristics of the bike. Not all manufacturers give AC height specs of their forks. Manitou does for some of their forks on their website but not all. Fox can be down right hard to find the ac spec for. But Rock Shox does have a section in their "service" section called user specs and standards. This gives working drawings of every model of fork they produce and in the drawing the AC height is given for any given travel setting that the fork is capable of. You'll likely be looking a cross country forks specifically to stay within the AC height range mentioned above, so probably an 80 to 100mm travel fork. The lowest end air srpung Rock Shox fork would be the Tora 302. If you are looking for something a little lighter (also read more expensive) the Recon would also work. And the price goes up from there. Just be cautious as these forks are also available in coil sprung versions that likely wouldn't work to well.

    From there it's all depenant on your budget. Rock Shox currently offers some of the least expensive quality air sprung forks. Manitou is still undergoing changes from last years buy out by HR products and quality control is a bit spotty with them. Fox is just insanely expensive. Marzocchi is alos a viable option, though it can be tough to find a model with air only in their lower to mid range offerings. But there are some air only zocchs out there. And I am assuming that you aren't looking to drop a ton of cash on a bike that will likely be out grown in a year or two. I would recommend sticking with Rock Shox or Marzocchi unless you can find a really good deal on a used Fox.

    So take some measurements and start shopping!

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squash
    not to worry about the frame just yet. At 85lbs he's not really going to cause the frame any problems with the way he's riding. Now as he grows and gets heavier it'd be a good idea. It's one of those things, a light rider can push an XC bike allot farther out of it's intended role than an average or heavier rider can and get away with it. So he should be good for a few more years.

    As for a fork, the same thing applies, at his weight he could almost get away with a Rock Shox SID for his riding style. But I'd tend to go a little "heavier duty" than a super light XC race fork like the SID. At his weight I would highly recommend and air sprung fork. The reason being it is almost impossible to find a coil sprung fork with springs light enough to accomodate his light weight. Air sprung forks on the other hand can be set as low as needed as long as the air pressure is above 0. This allows you to set up the fork for a much wider weight range of riders.

    The key to selecting a fork is to get one that has the same length or a little more than the stock fork. Start out by measuring the axle to crown height of his current fork. This is measured from the center of the drop out where the axel of the wheel rests to the top of the crown of the fork at the bottom of the frame head tube. Once you have that measurement try to find a fork that has an AC height measurement as close as possible to the oringinal. If you have to go a bit bigger try to stay within 20 to 25mm+ of the original AC height. This will preserve as closely as possible the original handling and ride characteristics of the bike. Not all manufacturers give AC height specs of their forks. Manitou does for some of their forks on their website but not all. Fox can be down right hard to find the ac spec for. But Rock Shox does have a section in their "service" section called user specs and standards. This gives working drawings of every model of fork they produce and in the drawing the AC height is given for any given travel setting that the fork is capable of. You'll likely be looking a cross country forks specifically to stay within the AC height range mentioned above, so probably an 80 to 100mm travel fork. The lowest end air srpung Rock Shox fork would be the Tora 302. If you are looking for something a little lighter (also read more expensive) the Recon would also work. And the price goes up from there. Just be cautious as these forks are also available in coil sprung versions that likely wouldn't work to well.

    From there it's all depenant on your budget. Rock Shox currently offers some of the least expensive quality air sprung forks. Manitou is still undergoing changes from last years buy out by HR products and quality control is a bit spotty with them. Fox is just insanely expensive. Marzocchi is alos a viable option, though it can be tough to find a model with air only in their lower to mid range offerings. But there are some air only zocchs out there. And I am assuming that you aren't looking to drop a ton of cash on a bike that will likely be out grown in a year or two. I would recommend sticking with Rock Shox or Marzocchi unless you can find a really good deal on a used Fox.

    So take some measurements and start shopping!

    Good Dirt
    The Tora 302 is not Air Sprung, the 318 is

  4. #4
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    Check again....

    Quote Originally Posted by cashishift
    The Tora 302 is not Air Sprung, the 318 is

    The 08 302 is available as solo air.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

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