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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Front Shock Fork Problem

    Hey guys I am new to this forum and about 1 month into Mountain Biking so yes I am a newbie...I purchased a Trek 3500 (not the best bike I know but good for beginner) and now after about a month the front fork sounds like a pogo stick when I pop up the front tire....What could be the problem?

    Any help guys?

    THANK YOU!
    PETER_THE_BOSS

  2. #2
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    Having never used a pogo-stick what does one sound like?

    A quick search shows the fork is an SR Suntour M-3030 which, according to the exploded parts diagram on the manufacturer's website most likely has some sort of orifice damper in one of the legs.

  3. #3
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    Sorry for being a noob but I don't know what that means???? Orifice dampener?

    And for the sound it sounds like a springy pop when I lift the front wheel off the ground...almost as if the suspension is topping out...not bottoming out

  4. #4
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    It's impossible to say without hearing/seeing it. Might be normal. Does the fork seem to work ok?

  5. #5
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    The reason it sounds like a pogo stick is because it IS a pogo stick.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-one1 View Post
    The reason it sounds like a pogo stick is because it IS a pogo stick.
    Give the guy a break. We all need to start somewhere, my first MTB was worse than that!

    Ride it and enjoy it Peter. Sure, it's not the best bike in the world but any bike is better than no bike :0) And you are right, you could've done a lot worse.

  7. #7
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    ^I wasn't giving him flack, I was telling him what it was.

  8. #8
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    Yea I mean it works fine its just that when I bought the bike it didn't do it but I guess since it isn't the best fork or anywhere near it is is gonna do some weird things....and as for it being a pogo stick I just didn't wanan drop $600, $700 dollars into a hardtail without knowing if I would even like Mt. biking...SO FAR I DO SO YAY!

    But thanks guys its probably fine just wanted to make sure!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-one1 View Post
    I wasn't giving him flack, I was telling him what it was.
    I know, but you could've been a bit gentler ;0)

    Peter, yeah, it kinda is a pogo stick. That's what people call spring forks with no damping whatsoever. They effectively are pogo sticks with a wheel on the end. I just Googled it and it looks like your fork does have elastomer damping, primitive but better than nothing at all, so strictly speaking it is not a pogo stick after all ;0)

  10. #10
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    What exactly does dampening mean? I know I sound like a noob and thats because I am, but I would like to learn about the hobby/sport

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PETER_THE_BOSS View Post
    What exactly does dampening mean?
    The suspension on a bike is basically the same as the suspension on a car. It has two main active parts, the springs and the dampers.

    The springs carry the weight and weight partially compresses the spring. The spring is not fully compressed. If more weight/force is applied it compresses further, allowing the wheel to move up, if the wheel hits a bump for instance. So the spring lets the wheel follow the ground without transmitting all of that up and down movement to the rest of the bike.

    Imagine you take a small spring and squeeze it between your fingers. What would happen if you suddenly let it ping free? It'll fly off across the room as the stored energy you put into it is suddenly released. What a damper does is exactly as the name suggests, it 'damps' or slows the rate at which the spring can bounce back again after it has been squashed.

    On a bike fork with no damping, when you hit a big bump which compresses the fork it will kick back as it releases all that energy. A damper will slow that kick so that the fork feels more stable and less jumpy.

    Damper quality is one of the main differences between poor forks and better ones. At the bottom of the tree you have no damper at all. Next you have your fork with a rubber block slowing the movement of the fork.

    After that you move onto oil dampers which work in exactly the same way as the dampers on a car. A cheaper fork might have a simple oil damper while better forks can have very sophisticated oil dampers which have multiple user adjustments and are able to respond to different types of impact in different ways. The quality of the damper is one of the most important factors in determining how well the fork will work. A good fork, which means a good damper, will keep the wheel in contact with the ground more effectively while keeping the front of the bike feeling stable and composed. A poor suspension fork is worse than no suspension at all!

  12. #12
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    Re: Front Shock Fork Problem

    Dampers also control the rate of compression. So you hit a bump and you can set your damper to very firm and really slow the springs compression to very soft and allow the damper to do almost nothing. The spring compresses very fast and this can lead to suspension bottom out . Too firm of damping and it can be rough too.

  13. #13
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    Hope

    Wow thanks guys that really helps!

    DO you guys recommend me buying a better fork?
    Or just riding the bike until it begins to fail and break a lot and then just buy a better bike?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by PETER_THE_BOSS View Post
    Do you guys recommend me buying a better fork?
    There's no correct answer, it's up to you. If the bike is a low-rent job then many of the parts will be basic so upgrading the whole bike makes sense. However, if you really like the fit and feel of the bike then upgrading some of the parts can make sense too. Even entry-level shifters work perfectly so not everything needs to be changed on a basic bike to turn it into a great bike. The frames on cheaper bikes tend to be good these days too.

    As for the fork specifically, again, it depends. The rougher the ground you ride on and the faster you ride on it the more benefit you'll get from a better fork. Tip: If you do buy a new fork try to leave the steerer tube a good length, don't cut it too short. Even if you have to put spacers on top of the stem, try to leave the tube at 200mm or as close to it as possible. If you want to swap the fork over to another bike later you might need the length and if you want to sell it you'll have more buyers.

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