Is this budget fork worth trying?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Is this budget fork worth trying?

    Hey y'all

    So I'm doing a budget ($400) hardtail build, and I need a suspension fork for it. I'm mainly gonna be commuting on it on decent roads and gravel/grass and occasional single track. I won't be jumping it big or taking drops much. I'm looking at a fork on Amazon from the brand Bolany, for just over $100 and was wondering what y'all think? Here's a link to it:

    https://www.amazon.com/BOLANY-Bicycl.../dp/B07JNTCLM5

    You might need to copy and past that.
    Also the frame I'm using has a straight steerer tube.

    Thanks
    Gunnar

  2. #2
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    To me if you are going to use the bike occasionally on single track, then why bother with a fork that is likely heavy and not responsive
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  3. #3
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    "The outer tube of the fork tube is more stable and stronger, effectively preventing the circulation of the traveling tube from being polluted by dust.Surface polishing plus hard fat oxidation"

    What's not to like? It has hard fat oxidation!

  4. #4
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    I'll take that as a hard no?

    Is there any straight tube sub $180 suspension fork y'all would recommend? I'm not doing anything crazy on it, and in the meantime I'm on a rigid department store bike, so almost anything would be an improvement

  5. #5
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    If you are not taking jumps and drops at all and your singletracks are blue ratings, I will seriously recommend a rigid fork. Not only will it keep your trails fun, but there will be absolutely no fork maintenance. If you are going the rigid route, you can also get plus tires to have a wee bit suspension instead.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Dragonslayer View Post
    I'll take that as a hard no?

    Is there any straight tube sub $180 suspension fork y'all would recommend? I'm not doing anything crazy on it, and in the meantime I'm on a rigid department store bike, so almost anything would be an improvement
    Nope.

    A rigid fork is way better than a poor performing suspension fork, and any suspension fork in that price-range will be poor-performing. Get a rigid fork and some nice fat(er) tires. That's your best bet. Forks at those cheap price points are for suckers. They'll quickly self destruct.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by duberdeedu View Post
    If you are not taking jumps and drops at all and your singletracks are blue ratings, I will seriously recommend a rigid fork. Not only will it keep your trails fun, but there will be absolutely no fork maintenance. If you are going the rigid route, you can also get plus tires to have a wee bit suspension instead.
    Even if you are taking jumps and drops.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Dragonslayer View Post
    Hey y'all

    So I'm doing a budget ($400) hardtail build, and I need a suspension fork for it. I'm mainly gonna be commuting on it on decent roads and gravel/grass and occasional single track. I won't be jumping it big or taking drops much. I'm looking at a fork on Amazon from the brand Bolany, for just over $100 and was wondering what y'all think? Here's a link to it:

    https://www.amazon.com/BOLANY-Bicycl.../dp/B07JNTCLM5

    You might need to copy and past that.
    Also the frame I'm using has a straight steerer tube.

    Thanks
    Gunnar
    Rigid fork or some used "normal" fork in that price range. These cheap forks will do ... nothing...

  9. #9
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    I'll second finding a good used fork vs. option #1. Check Pinkbike sales. Shoot for $200 or less and see what you find. You might end up with a mid-range performing fork that's a few years old but it will actually work and not just be a source of frustration, or at the very least, pretty much useless.

  10. #10
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    Ok I'll keep a lookout for a used one. Someone had recommended the rockshox recon silver, is that one pretty good?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Dragonslayer View Post
    Ok I'll keep a lookout for a used one. Someone had recommended the rockshox recon silver, is that one pretty good?
    It's a far better option than that what you linked to. The Recon silver RL is the preffered version vs. the TK simply b/c it has a better damper with more adjustability, however for your intended use I'd get the TK if it's cheaper for sure. Problem you are getting into is that now you are looking at spending $250 or so on a component you don't really need. For paved roads/grass general commuting why bother when on a $400 budget? But that's your call and if you do ride trails with this bike you will appreciate a working suspension fork.

    BTW, WTH happened to the AM forum???? Time to 'delete' maybe.

  12. #12
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    Someone ought to try building a whole real bike out of all these counterfeit or just weird Amazon brands

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    It's a far better option than that what you linked to. The Recon silver RL is the preffered version vs. the TK simply b/c it has a better damper with more adjustability, however for your intended use I'd get the TK if it's cheaper for sure. Problem you are getting into is that now you are looking at spending $250 or so on a component you don't really need. For paved roads/grass general commuting why bother when on a $400 budget? But that's your call and if you do ride trails with this bike you will appreciate a working suspension fork.

    BTW, WTH happened to the AM forum???? Time to 'delete' maybe.
    Oops I checked prices on that and it's too steep, got two other recommendations for forks on Facebook this one:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BF5H7FP..._oS-YEbBP8FFKF
    And the X-factor Enix RL2.

    And I've ridden enough bikes with suspension vs rigid to know that for my riding I really appreciate having it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    Someone ought to try building a whole real bike out of all these counterfeit or just weird Amazon brands
    Honestly, if I had somsome spare money laying around I'd totally do that, cuz while most of it probably is garbage, a couple of the things might be great

  15. #15
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    Rigid forks are a different kind of a nightmare compared to crappy undamped suspension forks. I wouldn't want either of them, they're both terrible.

    Rigid singlespeed riders wear gimp masks and get caned in their free time for giggles. They're just trying to convince you to get beat half to death too!

    Suntours higher end forks are $135-$175 right now on ebay. They're not great, but they are real forks with real hydraulic damping. Id rank them somewhere around rockshox's motion controls level. Plenty for real mountain biking on rough trails.

  16. #16
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    I'd find a ~nicer Suntour or rockshox... with a straight steerer for a bit more ..

    No way on earth I'd trust my face / etc body to some made up name chineseium $130~ fork... if that thing breaks while you are riding it is going to mess you up...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Rigid forks are a different kind of a nightmare compared to crappy undamped suspension forks. I wouldn't want either of them, they're both terrible.

    Rigid singlespeed riders wear gimp masks and get caned in their free time for giggles. They're just trying to convince you to get beat half to death too!

    Suntours higher end forks are $135-$175 right now on ebay. They're not great, but they are real forks with real hydraulic damping. Id rank them somewhere around rockshox's motion controls level. Plenty for real mountain biking on rough trails.
    Having previously had a single speed rigid, I know that to be true. It's not a very pleasant ride.
    What model suntour should I look for? Something like the XCT?

  18. #18
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    Raidon or epixion. Id also look for a straight steerer xusion enix. Skip the XCM/XCT lineup, they're really bad.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    Someone ought to try building a whole real bike out of all these counterfeit or just weird Amazon brands
    I did. $2830 total, Chinese carbon frame was $340, Chinese 11-52t cassette was $138, Chinese carbon wheelset $400, but the fork is Canadian (you can guess), rest is pretty much Chinese or Shimano. The fork was bought from Cycling deal, almost everything else was from Amazon. Total weight right now 23.8 lbs. Later I'll put on a Kenda Saber 2.4 in back and Fall Line 9 dropper and that should get it just below 23 lbs total. So far so good, several hundred miles on it and zero problems.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Rigid forks are a different kind of a nightmare compared to crappy undamped suspension forks. I wouldn't want either of them, they're both terrible.

    Rigid singlespeed riders wear gimp masks and get caned in their free time for giggles. They're just trying to convince you to get beat half to death too!

    Suntours higher end forks are $135-$175 right now on ebay. They're not great, but they are real forks with real hydraulic damping. Id rank them somewhere around rockshox's motion controls level. Plenty for real mountain biking on rough trails.

    Yes, I still have a Raidon that was $200 with the trade-in and the air spring is pretty nice actually. The one problem is that it has no compression, and I really, really like compression for lesser graded descents. Compression to me now is way more important than rebound, and the Raidon just has rebound, so it's basically on/off but the air spring itself is good. I swear on smaller drops and off sidewalks it feels just as good or better as more expensive air forks.

    I bought an off-brand $130 fork from Amazon, similar to that Bolany one. It sucked. Hey it was worth a try and it was only 3.7 lbs, so locked out it was basically a rigid fork that weighed 3.7 lbs. Something was wrong with the negative spring: if the psi was a bit too low, like under 50, on a decline it just sagged 1/2 way down and would never come back up until I got off the bike. More psi and then it didn't travel more than about 30-40mm. So the design was pretty bad. Other than that, it 'worked', I could see multiple dust rings at the bottom of the hill, but it didn't feel any better than a $60 coil XCT. You can tell the Raidon has a much better design, but again, compression on an XC fork is extremely helpful, don't underestimate how nice it can be on normal/XC trails. This $130 one had compression but it was the same deal as the XCT preload, adjust it any way you want and it's still bad.

    As for singlespeeds, the one thing I worry about is what those guys' knees are going to become in about 10 years. Seems like a great way to get knee arthritis. But hey, they did it being macho, that's the only thing that counts in broville.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Rigid forks are a different kind of a nightmare compared to crappy undamped suspension forks. I wouldn't want either of them, they're both terrible.
    The steering precision and ability to pick your way through tech with a rigid fork is pretty much un-matched. Although I love suspension, I've spent a lot of time riding rigid, both back in AZ on steel bikes and later on fatbikes. In fact, an ill-performing RS Reba is one big reason I was running a rigid on a Surly. Yeah, you have to become the "shock absorber", but cheap suspension forks (and even some expensive ones) get harsher and spike more the faster you go in rough terrain, so you end up having crappy suspension and steering, vs. at least having one of these parameters with a rigid fork.

    Would I recommend it for everyone? No, but I sure as heck would take it over a crappy suspension fork.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    It's a far better option than that what you linked to. The Recon silver RL is the preffered version vs. the TK simply b/c it has a better damper with more adjustability, however for your intended use I'd get the TK if it's cheaper for sure. Problem you are getting into is that now you are looking at spending $250 or so on a component you don't really need. For paved roads/grass general commuting why bother when on a $400 budget? But that's your call and if you do ride trails with this bike you will appreciate a working suspension fork.

    BTW, WTH happened to the AM forum???? Time to 'delete' maybe.
    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    I did. $2830 total, Chinese carbon frame was $340, Chinese 11-52t cassette was $138, Chinese carbon wheelset $400, but the fork is Canadian (you can guess), rest is pretty much Chinese or Shimano. The fork was bought from Cycling deal, almost everything else was from Amazon. Total weight right now 23.8 lbs. Later I'll put on a Kenda Saber 2.4 in back and Fall Line 9 dropper and that should get it just below 23 lbs total. So far so good, several hundred miles on it and zero problems.
    For this amount you can get reputable brand bike with decent components in after-or-before season sales. But i value your effort. Might have problem if selling it regarding brand name

  23. #23
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    This question is probably better suited to the suspension subforum than the all mountain subforum.

    https://forums.mtbr.com/shocks-suspension/

  24. #24
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    Oh yep you're totally right. I didn't know there was such a sub forum at the time of posting this thread

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