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  1. #1
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    Trek 4300 WSD fork question

    To my excitement, I recently purchased my wife a new 08' Trek 4300. She seems to be really enjoying it so far. We haven't really rode too many places but around the house and the back yard... but she is still getting used to it. My main concern right now is the front fork. My wife is 5' 4'' and weighs in around 108lbs. It seems that with her weight on the bike, the forks do not even begin to show any sort of travel when going over big bumps. Hell, even when I get on the bike (I weigh about 160lbs) the fork hardly budges more than 1/4 of an inch. I was wondering if this was something that other people have found with this fork and maybe it just needs to be broken in, or if it might be somehow defective. I have taken the adjustments on the forks all the way to the softest setting it can possibly go, but it still doesn't even budge an inch when she rides. I realize that this isn't a super performer and is targeted for beginner riders, which is my wife, but this thing seems way stiffer than my old Manitou SX forks. Thanks for your thoughts on this matter.

  2. #2
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    Something wrong with the fork if it only moves 1/4inch. You should be able to get it to go through all of its travel with you on it and the preload set at it's softest setting. I guess I would bring it in and have it looked at. Jesse.

  3. #3
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    Sorry for the bad post. I can get it to go through all of its travel, but it's really hard to do. I have yet to see it travel at all with my riding it. Do they make softer springs for this shock? It also has a lot of stiction it seems. I think that I may need to lube the stantions with some fork oil. Do you think that would help?

  4. #4
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    Not likely...

    the RST Gila T8 is a pretty low end fork. It has no damping system other than the springs. Break in will help, but not much. The problem you have is a combination of two things, the quality (or lack thereof) of the fork, and your wife's weight. The Gila uses a coil spring and elastomer spring stack. It is likely too high of a rate for her weight. At 108 lbs it is VERY difficult to find a coil sprung fork that will work well for her. If it were correctly sprung for her weight, you'd be able to almost fully compress the fork just pushing down on the bars while standing in front of the bike!

    You have two options to remedy this problem. The first is to go back to the shop that you bought the bike at and see if they can track down the lightest spring stack available for that fork. This is going to be an "iffy" option as RST parts are not easy to find. But being a dealer they may be able to track something down for you. The other is a new fork, preferably air sprung. The for the air spring is obvious, at your wife's light weight it would be realatively simple to set up for her. An expensive option to be sure, but also the surest way to get a fork that will perform as it should. There is a thrid option of course, just riding it and seeing if it'll break in and become more supple. However from what you describe the fork is way over sprung for her weight. A fork has to be able to move in order to break in. Not much of that going on with that fork under her. So it likely won't get much better with time.

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

  5. #5
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    Wow, that's about as good an answer that I could have asked for! Thank you so much. I guess that maybe I will just hold out and try to get her newer inexpensive air fork. That would be the best thing for her since I wouldn't have to worry about trying to find the right spring rate for her. Now, if I replace the factory fork with an different one, would this void the lifetime frame warranty? Does anyone have any suggestions for an entry level air fork for my wife? Thank you!!!

  6. #6
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    Shouldn't matter if you put another 100mm fork on. I would think a Rock shox 318 or 351 Solo air would be alright if you can find them for V-brakes. I consider these to be entry level Air sprung forks. You can get cheaper ones that use a coil spring that will work alot better than the POS gila that is on there. Hope this helps you, Jesse.

  7. #7
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    Nope won't matter a bit....

    unless you get crazy with fork travel or go to a dual crown or something silly like that. A fork of the same travel won't void the wrannty as long as it's properly installed.

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

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