Suntour Epicon, RST F1RST Air 30 Platinum, Other cheap forks
I'm looking for a cheap fork to replace my POS RST Capa fork. It is so stiff (in the travel) that I hardly feel it moving, even though the preload is as low as it will go. I'd honestly be better off with a rigid fork, at least it's lighter than the capa brick. It says '80mm travel' on the side, but I think that's a typo. It's more like 8mm travel. No dampener either. bumps send the wheel in the air. It forces me to ride the brakes downhill, if I go to fast I will crash into a tree that I couldn't turn away from because the front wheel was busy learning to fly. My brother was wondering why I was going so slow on the rough trail, we traded bikes and his POS walmart fork was much better simply because it moved. his response- "I'll give you one thing, the suspension is terrible."
Lately I've been looking at two forks-
the rst first air platinum (100mm travel, 30mm stanchions, 1658g)-
Amazon.com : 2014-15 RST FIRST 30 Platium RLC Air MTB Bike Fork (26", 100 mm, 1 1/8 Straight, V+Disc Brake, QR 9, Remote Lockout, Black) : Sports & Outdoors
and the suntour epicon(120mm travel, 32mm stanchions, 1668g)-
The suntour one looks a lot better because it has more travel and bigger stanchions with similar overall weight. Anyone have thoughts on these? I have nothing to compare my experiences to (just started mountain biking), but I'd call what I mainly ride XC/AM. I weigh 130-150lbs.
If you have any other <$200 forks to suggest, feel free. I want the following-
air spring (adjustabilty, yay)
<1800g (I pedal uphill a lot. if it's heavier, it better have more travel or more refinement.)
rebound adjustment would be great
dampener (must have)
Thank you for any help
I have no experience with those fork's but you may want to keep the travel between 80-100 to maintain geometry.
I forgot to mention something important...
Originally Posted by keen
I just got a new frame. It's in great shape, bought it from craigslist for $75 (+other goodies, including a 203mm brake rotor). It's a 2005 kona coiler. It came with a 150mm travel fork, but the guy I bought it from only had the frame. Can't I just add spacers to the steerer to raise the bars to the right height? or will the angle be off? I don't see how 5cm less A2C could be a huge issue. Unfourtunately 150mm travel forks are out of my budget.
It is a HUGE issue. They say average geometry change for head angle is about 1 degree per 20mm. So, going from a 150mm travel trail bike to 100mm XC fork will steepen the head angle about 2.5-3 degrees. Whether or not it will steer and track like a XC bike is the big question. I doubt it will be optimum, but, you may be able to make it work. You also may have toe overlap issues since you will pull the front wheel back. Overall wheelbase will shorten too which might make it overly twitchy.
Originally Posted by mrawesome234100
Long story short (haha, see what i did there?), going from 6in travel fork to a 4in is a massive change.
There are some people on here that have adjusted their 100mm epicons to 140mm. I am not sure if all of them can do this, or only some models can, but it would be worth looking into.
I love my Epicon. When I first road with it, I felt like it wasn't even working because it was super smooth. I purchased the cheaper 100mm x2 with remote lockout. I was between that, a Rockshox Relevation 140, or a Fox F140, but for half the price and a slightly lighter weight than the Fox, the Suntour was a no brainer. Before I even put it on the bike I opened it up and adjusted the travel straight to 140mm. It can be set at 80, 100, 120, or 140. Buttery smooth still after 500 miles. Only issue is the lower brake bolt sheared off in the lowest post mount. Probably a flaw in the bolt, but I am in need of new lowers once I take my front brake off....it is a long story, but the brake is attached rather permanently until I take the front brake off. Worst case scenario is buying a new fork, but I would still have less into that than a Fox.
Originally Posted by theboomboomcars
Last edited by SQUIRRELSHOOTR; 08-22-2014 at 08:09 AM.
thanks for the input! the flaw with post mount is that the threads are in the expensive piece, as opposed to a 51mm, where the threads are in the adapter. It's good to hear you like that fork. I looked up how to change the travel, and it looks fairly simple. 140mm is closer to the travel I want.
@jetboy23- is it possible to put a steerer spacer under the headtube to raise the headtube? or would this cause extra stress on the headset? I think if I buy an epicon, set it to 140mm, the headtube would be downward .5 degrees. thats a lot less than 3 degrees! if adding a spacer is possible, I can fix the .5 degrees.
I didn't worry about spacers. My bike was originally spec'd with 110 up front. 140 felt a little raked out at first, but I've gotten used to it. No problems, creaks, or cracks in the head tube.
Only photo I have of it on my phone. Taken right before the downhill portion of Hog's Back.
thanks, I should be fine with 10mm change then. nice bike by the way. is that a cantilever with multiple mounting points? that mountain looks like the perfect place to ride!
If you want to maintain the correct geometry use a fork w/a similar axle to crown height. 150mm Marzocchi's were 538mm - Marzocchi fork's were always on the tall side. You can't run spacers under the lower headset. Running spacers above the upper headset only changes the bar height. Find the right fork or the ride will SUFFER.
I recently got my new epicon, and the first thing I tried to do was change the travel. Unfortunately, the new 2014 model doesn't allow you to change the travel. after opening it while looking at pictures of how to do it, I was like WTF? It was all different. The I went the suntour website and looked at exploded views. looks like my travel is stuck at 120mm.
Other than the bars being a little low (higher rise bars in mail now), the fork is, well, epic. The adjustability of air is perfect for setting the rate, the dampener functions nicely, and its much easier to pedal it uphill (well over 1 lb lighter). I'm very satisfied, my only gripe being the lower a2c.
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