How bad are Suntour forks with yellow sticker on them?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How bad are Suntour forks with yellow sticker on them?

    I wonder how bad are Suntour forks with yellow sticker on them? I mean the mtb forks that have a sticker on them with some text like: “do not use them on mountain, only on country roads”.
    So you buy a mtb with such a fork and you a not allowed to use it on mountain, and using them on mountain voids the warranty, than why they name them mtb, shouldn’t be named countrybike?
    The only bikes that I can afford as new ($300-$450) have forks with yellow sticker.
    Are these forks so bad that is impossible to be used on hills, or is only the manufacturer that tries to offer a limited warranty by discouraging the heavy use of the forks?
    Any of you tried to use them on moderate hills? How they work? I can’t afford more expensive fork brands like Rockshock or Fox but I am scared of the warning on the yellow sticker. Are they useless on anything than country gravel roads?

  2. #2
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    Sometimes color of the sticker is to match the frame, you need to find out what series is, sometimes it says on the sticker like xcr, xc, etc. No expensive bikes can comes with coil fork not air.
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  3. #3
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    The models suntour xct, or xcm or xcr all have the yellow sticker. The sticker doesn’t show the model, the sticker is only with a text of warning do not use on mountain ride because you void the warranty. Here is the image of the scary sticker:
    https://www.pinkbike.com/photo/12104272/
    Are they serious?

  4. #4
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    You can use them on moderate hills as long as they are smooth paths. They won't hold up to riding over chunky rocks, roots, logs, ruts, etc. I would consider a used bike if I were you.

    Ah, I see you are in Romania so it may be difficult to find a good used bike. Sorry, I don't know what is available to you. If you are wanting to ride on some rougher trails, you'd probably be better off with a rigid (no suspension at all) bike but again, I don't know what you have available or what your trails are like.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by regiobike View Post
    Sometimes color of the sticker is to match the frame, you need to find out what series is, sometimes it says on the sticker like xcr, xc, etc. No expensive bikes can comes with coil fork not air.
    He's not talking about the decals. That yellow sticker...probably something like the one below warning not to use for offroad/mtb/rough stuff (several variations around) means just what it says. Luckily for OP, freeride and dirt jumping aren't where beginner riders start.

    How bad are Suntour forks with yellow sticker on them?-warningsticker.jpg

    OP, if you want to ride that type of fork on rough trails it'll sort of work for a while, but not all that well and it'll die an early death. Luckily, Suntour has an upgrade program for people who buy bikes with their forks on them. Look up "Suntour upgrade program". Around $200 to upgrade to a decent one IIRC. Not sure it's available worldwide, so check it out. The other route is getting something used that's been well maintained. You usually get about twice the bike but obviously no warranty or LBS support if something goes wrong.
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  6. #6
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    Ahh, OP was posting the link to the sticker as I was posting. As per noapathy, it should be ok to start riding as long as you're not pounding it really hard. If it says something more like your original post, “do not use them on mountain, only on country roads”, then you'll need to stick to smoother surfaces or it will get trashed really quick.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    He's not talking about the decals. That yellow sticker...probably something like the one below warning not to use for offroad/mtb/rough stuff (several variations around) means just what it says. Luckily for OP, freeride and dirt jumping aren't where beginner riders start.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    OP, if you want to ride that type of fork on rough trails it'll sort of work for a while, but not all that well and it'll die an early death. Luckily, Suntour has an upgrade program for people who buy bikes with their forks on them. Look up "Suntour upgrade program". Around $200 to upgrade to a decent one IIRC. Not sure it's available worldwide, so check it out. The other route is getting something used that's been well maintained. You usually get about twice the bike but obviously no warranty or LBS support if something goes wrong.
    Do they have the upgrade program when the previous Suntour fork is new (the one with yellow sticker)? I mean do I have to trade in the new fork and an extra $200 in order to upgrade the fork, or can upgrade with $200 after the end of life of the previous fork?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Ahh, OP was posting the link to the sticker as I was posting. As per noapathy, it should be ok to start riding as long as you're not pounding it really hard. If it says something more like your original post, “do not use them on mountain, only on country roads”, then you'll need to stick to smoother surfaces or it will get trashed really quick.
    I don’t want to buy a mtb for smooth roads, for those roads are road bikes. I mean it doesn’t make sense.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by adenew View Post
    I don’t want to buy a mtb for smooth roads, for those roads are road bikes. I mean it doesn’t make sense.
    What's the bike make and model? Very low-end forks aren't exactly constructed for mountain bike trails. You are better off searching Pink Bike or Craigslist for a used bike in your budget. You can find some good ones with better forks.
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  10. #10
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    All the brands, even the famous brands for models under $500, all have suntour forks and the bikes are sold as mtb not as road bikes

  11. #11
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    All the brands, even the famous brands for models under $500, all have suntour forks and the bikes are sold as mtb not as road bikes

  12. #12
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    The sticker says it's for leisure cross country and that's pretty accurate. You can take it on cross country style mtb trails that are relatively tame (as in no real jumps or drops, don't try to plow through a rock garden at 20 mph, etc).

  13. #13
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    I wonder for tame trails is there any need of suspension fork or rigid fork would be way better?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by adenew View Post
    I wonder for tame trails is there any need of suspension fork or rigid fork would be way better?
    Yeah, good question. No suspension is better than poor suspension, that is true.

  15. #15
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    ^^Fully agree with rigid vs. crappy fork. I rode on of those Suntour forks when I started, I wish I had known, rigid would have been much better.

    The $200.00 upgrade you don't have to ship the original fork. You pay for the new one and they ship it. Not sure how world wide that is though.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    ^^Fully agree with rigid vs. crappy fork. I rode on of those Suntour forks when I started, I wish I had known, rigid would have been much better.

    The $200.00 upgrade you don't have to ship the original fork. You pay for the new one and they ship it. Not sure how world wide that is though.
    Thank you. Is nice to have an upgrade program for a decent upgrade price but I haven’t find anything like that for Europe, it seems that Suntour Upgrade Program is only for US.

  17. #17
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    Those forks don't have adjustable rebound damping. This means they can pogo when you go over closely spaced rocks and roots at speed. This can make it hard to hold on to the bars and can make you more likely to lose control and crash.
    Inside the fork these have plastic bushings instead of metal. If you run them hard over multiple rocks/roots/bumps the bushings will start to quickly fail. You'll see black grease rings around the stanchions. They aren't rebuildable. The grease is lube for the spring.
    If you stay on smooth trails and bike paths the forks can last for awhile no problem.
    That's why Suntour tells you to stay off mt bike trails. They make other forks that work fine on trails.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Ah, I see you are in Romania so it may be difficult to find a good used bike.
    Romania is not a third world country or the end of the civilised world.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by HollyBoni View Post
    Romania is not a third world country or the end of the civilised world.
    Hence why I said "may be difficult" and "I don't know what is available to you."
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  20. #20
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    I tried using a SR Suntour XCT, and hated it. Everyone has a different experience, and I had a friend who loved suntours. The bike I got, was a Santa Cruz Chameleon, and it was a gift, so someone put on the fork. It had not been used before. It said that it had 100mm of travel, however it only had 50. At least the lockout worked well. To say the least, it was not good. On the other side, suntour advertises their new XCT as “Entry level mountain bike fork for casual recreational use. Great replacement option for short travel forks. “. so it could be partly my fault, but not all. At one point it just stopped working, and I took it apart, and found quite a bit of black oil, just floating around. I don’t know why, but I can guess that this was a result of a poor seal, or a leak. I continue to steer clear of suntour forks (pun intended) (sorry) and probably continue unless things change. But then again, every product has flaws.

  21. #21
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    All Suntour forks are garbage. Burn them....burn them with fire. Never buy anything with a Suntour....ever. The only thing they are good for is making the boutique bike renters feel like they are riding a cool bike when, in fact, they are riding a turd.
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  22. #22
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    My wife has an hybrid bike with one of those forks with the yellow sticker. That bike would be bad at trails. Dangerously bad, actually. The fork itself has springs and no damping or adjustment, an fully collapses with my weight.

    But along with the fork comes a bike. The bike does not have geometry or components for a safe ride. If somehow the OP catches speed, won't corner. If corners, won't stop. I know it's frustrating not to have a good market for used gear, but that would be your safest bet.

  23. #23
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    I've been looking at my used fork options on FB marketplace, CL, & others. Seen for about $150 one can get a Rockshox Recon RL, 30, & in one case a Marzocchi that needed to be sealed as it was leaking. It could be worth going with a $350 bike & swapping in a better suspension fork. Then just sell the Suntour one for like $25-50 to recoup some of the cost.

  24. #24
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    It's quite obvious that they are XC only forks like there are XC only rims and frames. They are lighter weight and their damping is not as instantaneous. They're not meant to take the full weight of a rider going downhill fast. It doesn't mean they are not good for riding on rough forest trails.
    I've got a Suntour XCR32 and it does a pretty decent job at small drops and jumps but I would never throw it at a fast downhill rocky trail.
    Trust me on all these bikes the first thing that a rider will notice is the chain coming off and maybe getting wrapped up in the cassette and derailleur.

  25. #25
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    There's no damping. It's just a spring in a tube.

  26. #26
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    My suntour on my marlin (xcr?) was 3000 grams and had no damper at all.

    I rode it around the block once and removed it. Its impressively bad! Im 210lb, and it was oversprung for me. Since its coil, there's no adjusting it either.

    These forks often have plastic bushings in the lowers, so while they're 3000 gram monsters, they also wear out past their useful life very very rapidly.

    I put in a raidon, and the raidon is an actual mountain biking fork with some damping. I dont think the damping is high quality, but its an actual functional suspension fork.

  27. #27
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    How are the higher end Suntour forks, like the one on the base Salsa Rangefinder?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Funoutside View Post
    How are the higher end Suntour forks, like the one on the base Salsa Rangefinder?
    From what I understand the better suntour offer good value.
    There also is an upgrade program where trade in your boat anchor for one of their nicer forks for pretty cheap.

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