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  1. #1
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    How do I know if a fork is safe for my type of riding?

    My riding is no where near extreme as downhill, but it isn't XC type either. There are little jumps on the trails, roots, logs, and many other obstacles but it isn't trials either. I'd say a enduro or trail bike will be best fit.

    I see some forks even with 100mm of travel will come with a sticker saying for leisure xc only or some sort. What specs should I look for on a fork? I do like the new air shocks, and how there are settings such as rebound and lockout.

  2. #2
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    *34mm+ stanchions
    *130mm+ travel (bigger wheels = less travel, smaller wheels = more...)
    *15mm+ thru axle
    *Boost is better/stiffer, normal width (15x100) is ok though
    *Air -=or=- Coil
    *Some sort of rebound adjustment, compression adjustment also desirable
    *Tuneable i.e. adding/subtracting of compression aides

    **Cool decals ^^

    Hear endeth the lesson ;-)



    'We'll all make it to the top... Some of us, might not make it to the bottom'
    "Mountain biking: the under-rated and drug-free antidepressant"

  3. #3
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    Without knowing more about your trails, that still sounds like XC riding. If you're seeing forks with stickers saying "leisure xc only" or some sort, then you're looking at very low end bikes, not made for even basic XC. Sorry to disagree with targnik but you more than likely do not need all that he listed other than the adjustability, unless you are riding some really rough trails with big rocks that you would ride over.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Without knowing more about your trails, that still sounds like XC riding. If you're seeing forks with stickers saying "leisure xc only" or some sort, then you're looking at very low end bikes, not made for even basic XC. Sorry to disagree with targnik but you more than likely do not need all that he listed other than the adjustability, unless you are riding some really rough trails with big rocks that you would ride over.
    You can't ride XC with a 34mm stanchioned fork!?

    Now I've heard everything ;-P

    'We'll all make it to the top... Some of us, might not make it to the bottom'
    "Mountain biking: the under-rated and drug-free antidepressant"

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    You can't ride XC with a 34mm stanchioned fork!?

    Now I've heard everything ;-P

    'We'll all make it to the top... Some of us, might not make it to the bottom'
    Sure you can. You can also ride it with less than a 34mm stanchioned fork, I do it all the time. You can ride XC on a downhill bike if you like. OP comes across to me as someone on a lower budget.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Sure you can. You can also ride it with less than a 34mm stanchioned fork, I do it all the time. You can ride XC on a downhill bike if you like. OP comes across to me as someone on a lower budget.
    X-Fusion make some nice gear that don't cost the earth...

    @OP stay away from 32mm diameter forks...

    They'll only hold you back, as you progress ;-)

    'We'll all make it to the top... Some of us, might not make it to the bottom'
    "Mountain biking: the under-rated and drug-free antidepressant"

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    X-Fusion make some nice gear that don't cost the earth...

    @OP stay away from 32mm diameter forks...

    They'll only hold you back, as you progress ;-)

    'We'll all make it to the top... Some of us, might not make it to the bottom'
    Whatever. I've never had any problem keeping up with or leading other riders with my "scrawny" 32mms. Maybe because I am only around 140 lbs and run 100mm travel.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  8. #8
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    I regularly go off stuff like this with my 32mm fork (Raidon). If you have the budget though I'd recommend something better. I have to run mine overly stiff to avoid bottoming out hard.
    How do I know if a fork is safe for my type of riding?-20170930_105105.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    I regularly go off stuff like this with my 32mm fork (Raidon). If you have the budget though I'd recommend something better. I have to run mine overly stiff to avoid bottoming out hard.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I can't see a 32 mm stanchion and 100 mm travel fork doing very well for drops like that.

    I'm not so sure that a XC hardtail like that will hold up to such riding for very long. That looks to be beyond its intended use.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  10. #10
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    If the fork manufacturer states that the product is not suitable for mountain biking I would be inclined to believe that. Even if it would be safe, the fork would not ride well or last very long.

    As a hint for OP, Chainreactioncycles.com now has various builds of Vitus Nucleus hardtails in stock. All of them have acceptable forks and a proper Trail geometry - and they should fit his budget.

  11. #11
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    It's 120mm travel but you're right, the bike and fork are not ideal for this. It's held up surprisingly well though. It sounds like it would be fine for what OP described.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by John445 View Post
    My riding is no where near extreme as downhill, but it isn't XC type either. There are little jumps on the trails, roots, logs, and many other obstacles but it isn't trials either. I'd say a enduro or trail bike will be best fit.

    I see some forks even with 100mm of travel will come with a sticker saying for leisure xc only or some sort. What specs should I look for on a fork? I do like the new air shocks, and how there are settings such as rebound and lockout.
    What bike and fork are you on now?
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimoA View Post
    If the fork manufacturer states that the product is not suitable for mountain biking I would be inclined to believe that. Even if it would be safe, the fork would not ride well or last very long.

    As a hint for OP, Chainreactioncycles.com now has various builds of Vitus Nucleus hardtails in stock. All of them have acceptable forks and a proper Trail geometry - and they should fit his budget.
    What budget?
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    What budget?
    He said max $700 on another thread.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by John445 View Post
    My riding is no where near extreme as downhill, but it isn't XC type either. There are little jumps on the trails, roots, logs, and many other obstacles but it isn't trials either. I'd say a enduro or trail bike will be best fit.

    I see some forks even with 100mm of travel will come with a sticker saying for leisure xc only or some sort. What specs should I look for on a fork? I do like the new air shocks, and how there are settings such as rebound and lockout.
    How much do you weigh? Without knowing that, any recommendations aren't going to be very useful. For the same type of riding/trail, what is appropriate for a 14 year old that weighs 100 lbs are going to be vastly different than for a guy who is 6'6" and 320 lbs.

    Also, how smooth of a rider are you? Are you a bull in a china shop kinda rider who is constantly breaking equipment, or do you finesse your way through stuff and rarely break things?

  16. #16
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    I'm borrowing a friends bike to try out which is a 2015 Diamondback Overdrive. My budget has lowered to $400-$500 since my parents won't let me buy a bike that is anymore expensive than that price range. I was actually planning on buying that Giant TimoA recommended, but they don't seem to understand why I need to spend that much and even then they don't understand why I have to spend more than $300.

    Maybe my best bet is to find a good used deal on ebay or something? I did find a diamondback hook for $421 thats open box

    To answer twd question, I weigh 130 pounds in terms of riding I'm not too sure I could be prone to crashing a bike since I'm not as experienced in mountain biking but I am gaining it overtime. I know the basics I'd say at this point.

    Also there is a drop similar to Jeremy's picture off a ledge but you land at an angle while going downhill. The drop is taller than me , and if you can pick up some speed you can easily be 6ft in the air. I haven't tried it, I've only done little 3 feet hops max with this bike which I feel comfortable doing.

  17. #17
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    I'm sorry to hear that your budget has become so restricted. Riding a $300 bike on trails could lead to some rather expensive reconstructive dental surgery.

    For that price range, I'd suggest a used hardtail and have someone knowledgeable check it over carefully. I wish I could offer better suggestions.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by John445 View Post
    There are little jumps on the trails.
    Quote Originally Posted by John445 View Post
    Also there is a drop similar to Jeremy's picture off a ledge but you land at an angle while going downhill. The drop is taller than me , and if you can pick up some speed you can easily be 6ft in the air. I haven't tried it, I've only done little 3 feet hops max with this bike which I feel comfortable doing.
    lol, ok, I didn't take "little jumps" to be that big!
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  19. #19
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    Should I get the diamondback hook for $421? I've looked for used around my area, and online but I can't seem to find any better deals.
    Last edited by John445; 01-10-2018 at 05:45 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by John445 View Post
    To answer twd question, I weigh 130 pounds in terms of riding I'm not too sure I could be prone to crashing a bike since I'm not as experienced in mountain biking but I am gaining it overtime. I know the basics I'd say at this point.
    At 130 lbs you are on the lower end of the weight range, so you can get away with lighter duty equipment for the same type of riding than someone that is 200+ lbs.

    Back to your original question of what fork is appropriate, nowdays fork manufacturers are pretty good about matching the amount of travel a fork has to the intended use.

    The amount of travel and fork stanchion diameter are the best indicators of a forks intended use (well, that and the manufacturer's website will tell you what each fork is intended for).

    Forks with 32mm stanchions and 120mm or less travel are generally more XC oriented, but higher quality forks in this class can still perform well and take some abuse under a lighter rider. There are also some dirt jumping forks in this travel range that are designed to be very stiff and take a ton of abuse.

    Forks with 34mm stanchions and say 120-150 mm travel are more "trail" oriented, and will be able to take more all around use and abuse.

    Forks with 35 or 36mm stanchions and 150mm up to 180mm travel are generally intended to cover more aggressive all mountain/enduro and on the higher travel end freeride type riding.

    Downhill forks will be in the 180-200mm travel range with fork stanchions in the 35-40 mm range and usually will be dual crown.

    For your weight and described use and price range, the quality of fork is probably more important than the amount of travel or stanchion diameter.

    If your are only able to spend $400-500 on a bike, I would definitely recommend going with a used bike over new, as you aren't going to find much new in that price range that will stand up to jumping or more aggressive trail riding.

    Also, for that price range, I would recommend sticking with a hard tail, as once again, your aren't going to find a lot of options for good quality or good condition full suspension bikes in that price range. For $500, you can probably find a decent, well maintained higher quality hardtail that is a few years old that would be a good starter bike for you.

    The other suggestion I would have (as a parent) is that if you parents don't want you to spend more than$500, put together a plan as to how you can earn some extra money to afford a better bike. They may not understand why a good bike costs more, but if you show them you are doing good research on it, have thought it through thoroughly, and are willing to earn some extra money to pay for it, I would hope they would support that.

    Or you could explain to them that a cheap bike is going to fall apart and break, and you'll likely end up hurt, and they'll be paying a lot more than $500 in medical bills to reconstruct your face! Of course, that could backfire and your mom could just say she doesn't want you mountain biking!

    Best of luck

  21. #21
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    I found this in used, looks to be a specialized stuntjumper m4. I think it has a fox suspension fork, but just has the stickers taken off it.

    https://offerup.com/item/detail/321099656/?ref=Search

    Its going to be a 30 mile drive.

  22. #22
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    That ad does not inspire confidence... What sites are you following for bike listings?

    It just seems weird that there would be so little on offer on Chicago area.

  23. #23
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    I mainly use an app called offerup, and thats pretty much it. I think I should start using ebay and craigslist more.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by John445 View Post
    I found this in used, looks to be a specialized stuntjumper m4. I think it has a fox suspension fork, but just has the stickers taken off it.

    https://offerup.com/item/detail/321099656/?ref=Search

    Its going to be a 30 mile drive.
    That's a Manitou fork and the bike is worth about $200. I'd pass.

    The DB Hook is sort of a cool bike, but the fork on it is pretty crappy. Keep in mind that the bottom-end Suntour forks are garbage, but they get much better in the mid price range upwards.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by John445 View Post
    I mainly use an app called offerup, and thats pretty much it. I think I should start using ebay and craigslist more.
    Pinkbike also has a buy/sell page that you can search by location.

    https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by John445 View Post
    I see some forks even with 100mm of travel will come with a sticker saying for leisure xc only or some sort.
    Any bike that comes with such a sticker will fail pretty quickly with just about any type of off road use.

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    I think you should explain the problem you're having with getting a good fork on a bike in the price range your parents are at. Explain it as a safety issue. The cheap forks look like mtb forks but they are looks only. Inside is one spring and plastic not metal bushings. The cheap forks have no rebound damping. They react like pogo sticks going over multiple bumps. They try and buck your hands off the bars. The plastic bushings inside wear quickly on trail terrain with rocks and roots. The stanchions get black grease rings around them as they wear. You'll be replacing it in no time.

    Ask the guy if that fork used to be white. If it was it was a Manitou Tower Pro air fork and way better than anything else you'll get for your money. Buy the bike if it fits. Manitou has vids on maintaining the fork. I'd pull the compression damper. It uses stacked shims to control damping. I've removed the 19mm platform shim for very smooth operation.
    Last edited by eb1888; 01-15-2018 at 03:55 PM.

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