Fork Upgrade Help for my Trail SL3 26''- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Fork Upgrade Help for my Trail SL3 26''

    Hi All,

    I've decided it is time to upgrade my fork - The rest of my bike works great, gears, breaks etc. (so far) and I love the fit plus not ready for a full bike upgrade just yet.. (Tax season hopefully)

    Any suggestions on a fork that will fit my bike? and with a budget of about $300.00 that would be worth the change? Currently have a RockShox XC30 on it.

    I did some search in the forums but found info on forks for 29ers - Also, is it very hard to do the change myself? This is one area I will NEED to improve is working on my bike, I'm not the most mechanically inclined dude.

    As always your expertise is much appreciated. JC
    Surly Krampus
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  2. #2
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    Lots of forks out there. rockshox recon silver, recon gold, Reba, Revelation; just about anything with FOX on it or manitou. the hardest part will be the 1.5" straight steer tube. You'll probably have a difficult time finding a straight 1.5" steer tube without paying full retail price (there goes that $300 budget). Other options include getting a readucing upper headset that'll allow you to use a tapered fork in your frame. You'll also have to get one that uses QR dropouts, or plan on buying a new front wheel that uses a 15mm thru-axle.

    Anything wrong with the XC30 fork? is the spring good for your weight?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    Lots of forks out there. rockshox recon silver, recon gold, Reba, Revelation; just about anything with FOX on it or manitou. the hardest part will be the 1.5" straight steer tube. You'll probably have a difficult time finding a straight 1.5" steer tube without paying full retail price (there goes that $300 budget). Other options include getting a readucing upper headset that'll allow you to use a tapered fork in your frame. You'll also have to get one that uses QR dropouts, or plan on buying a new front wheel that uses a 15mm thru-axle.

    Anything wrong with the XC30 fork? is the spring good for your weight?
    Thanks for the reply watts88. There is really nothing wrong with the fork, other than rough on rocky descents. I'm an ultra-light guy @ 165 - 5'11'' so I think as far as the weight I'm good. I think with your answer, I'm best to wait 6-8 months, ride out the XC30 and then do the bike upgrade I'm planning to eventually do. I'm thinking that's where your questions were heading? - Thanks again!
    Surly Krampus
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  4. #4
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    pretty much where I was heading. If your a light guy, might be worth checking on getting a weaker spring.

    I'll assume you've played with your rebound settings?

  5. #5
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    I actually have not man, like I said I'm also learning mechanics as I go along here, never been much a wrench guy but I have no problem learning to be one.

    And this might a dumb question, but how do I go about that?

    Thanks
    Surly Krampus
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  6. #6
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    Adjusting rebound is super easy. On the bottom of your fork there is a lever (should be red) that you can turn about a quarter turn with a rabbit at one end and a turlte at the other. The rebound controls how quickly the fork goes back to normal. Rabbit goes back quick, good for a lot of small rocks. turtle goes back slow, good for big hits so it doesn't buck you off. Usually you're somewhere in between, but you can quickly adjust it based on trail conditions. If you have it on turtle, you'll hear a "woosh" sound after the fork is compressed. supposed to do it, not broken.

    In addition, compression lockout onthe top of the fork (blue lever) should always be in the full non-locked position. If you push on your bike and the fork doesn't lower, you're locked out. Never ride with the fork locked out unless you're on smooth road. There's a picture and an arrow. Easy to figure out.

    The spring swap is easy. remove a cap, remove a spring, put in new spring, put back cap. If it's a newer fork, you might need to do a litle bit more, but not much.

    finding the right spring is the hard part. spring weight you want (soft) fork size (26"), and travel (100mm?) SRAM has parts manuals on their website that show the different springs that are available. Once you get the part number, do an online search for it.

  7. #7
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    Awesome and easy info to follow - Will check it out before my ride this afternoon - I do have it always unlocked, I really never ride on smooth road. I'll see if adjusting my rebound helps. If needed I'll look into the spring (yes 100mm) -

    Thanks and +1 for the help.
    Surly Krampus
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  8. #8
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    Fork SL3 upgrade follow up

    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    .....
    finding the right spring is the hard part. spring weight you want (soft) fork size (26"), and travel (100mm?) SRAM has parts manuals on their website that show the different springs that are available. Once you get the part number, do an online search for it.

    I am having also a SL 3 trail xc28 100mm travel fork for 26" wheel, 9mm QR dropout. I am thinking of two ways of upgrading.

    1. A less costly alternative to change the spring. I am 75kg. I wish to change to a softer spring so that I could utilize more fork travel. Where can I get those spring?

    2. I am looking at Rockshox TK air fork in Chainreactioncycles. Some fork offer options either 1 1/8 or 1 1/8-1.5 tapered. As my bike is using 1.5" headtube and 1.5" original fork, am I good with 1 1/8-1.5 tapered?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by d_chew View Post
    I am having also a SL 3 trail xc28 100mm travel fork for 26" wheel, 9mm QR dropout. I am thinking of two ways of upgrading.

    1. A less costly alternative to change the spring. I am 75kg. I wish to change to a softer spring so that I could utilize more fork travel. Where can I get those spring?

    2. I am looking at Rockshox TK air fork in Chainreactioncycles. Some fork offer options either 1 1/8 or 1 1/8-1.5 tapered. As my bike is using 1.5" headtube and 1.5" original fork, am I good with 1 1/8-1.5 tapered?
    #2 first. Yes, you can use a tapered fork if your bike's fork currently uses a 1.5" straight steertube. You'll need a new top cap adapter, which you're LBS can help you find. Of course, the cost of the adapter may outweight the cost of finding a better fork that uses a 1.5" straight steer tube.

    #1. The XC28 and the old rockshox darts used the same size main spring for the same travel. It just comes packaged differently. The XC28 comes with the various plastic bits and second metal rod and the older dart kit just came as a single spring. Either work, based on how much you want to swap. Only really need the main spring though. When I upgraded the spring on an old dart2 fork I had, I bought the XC28 spring and it dropped in no problem. YMMV because you have an XC28. I've heard they are a bit more difficult to get the spring out, but I don't see how. It's a pretty simple design

    RockShox Dart Coil Spring Soft Black
    https://www.benscycle.com/p-10759-ro...FZU1aQodNVUP6A
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    Hi All,

    I've decided it is time to upgrade my fork - The rest of my bike works great, gears, breaks etc. (so far) and I love the fit plus not ready for a full bike upgrade just yet.. (Tax season hopefully)

    Any suggestions on a fork that will fit my bike? and with a budget of about $300.00 that would be worth the change? Currently have a RockShox XC30 on it.

    I did some search in the forums but found info on forks for 29ers - Also, is it very hard to do the change myself? This is one area I will NEED to improve is working on my bike, I'm not the most mechanically inclined dude.

    As always your expertise is much appreciated. JC
    X-Fusion Velvet. There's a listing on ebay for a Velvet with a 1.5 steerer and 9mm qr. Should fit your bike fine as long as it's not cut too short..seems like a decent length, though. This is a really good fork for the money..they're asking $199. I would consider jumping on that if I were in your shoes. I used to have a trail sl4 and upgraded to the x-fusion-and it was a great decision.. Much better fork than that xc30. Good luck..

  11. #11
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    Oops I just replied and didn't realize the thread is a few months old. Well anyway- if you're still in the same position ....

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post

    #1. The XC28 and the old rockshox darts used the same size main spring for the same travel. It just comes packaged differently. The XC28 comes with the various plastic bits and second metal rod and the older dart kit just came as a single spring. Either work, based on how much you want to swap. Only really need the main spring though. When I upgraded the spring on an old dart2 fork I had, I bought the XC28 spring and it dropped in no problem. YMMV because you have an XC28. I've heard they are a bit more difficult to get the spring out, but I don't see how. It's a pretty simple design

    RockShox Dart Coil Spring Soft Black
    https://www.benscycle.com/p-10759-ro...FZU1aQodNVUP6A

    Thank you watts888! That's very helpful. If I swap with a less stiff coil that is meant for lower weight ie. softer-stiff coil, it will pose a hazard or damage the fork? I do normal trail, small dropout usual stuff?

  13. #13
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    Are you sure the fork on that bike is a 1.5 steerer? Yeah they headtube may be gig enough but I was unaware that Rockshox ever made those TK forks with a straight 1.5. Have you actually measured the steertube? I have no first hand experience with that model but it seems wrong.

    Either way you should have no problem finding a good 26" fork for a deal since most people are moving away from them. If you find one you want for the right price you might just need to change the headset. With a 1.5" HT you can run any fork out there with the right headset.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by d_chew View Post
    Thank you watts888! That's very helpful. If I swap with a less stiff coil that is meant for lower weight ie. softer-stiff coil, it will pose a hazard or damage the fork? I do normal trail, small dropout usual stuff?
    Swapping springs is the same concept as adding/reducing pressure in an air fork. Just tuning the suspension for your weight and riding style. The only risk is the increased possibility of bottoming out the fork, but that shouldn't hurt the fork anyway. At least, it better not. That's the purpose of those plastic bits that are inside the spring, kind of like bump-stops.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mannyfnz View Post
    X-Fusion Velvet. There's a listing on ebay for a Velvet with a 1.5 steerer and 9mm qr. Should fit your bike fine as long as it's not cut too short..seems like a decent length, though. This is a really good fork for the money..they're asking $199. I would consider jumping on that if I were in your shoes. I used to have a trail sl4 and upgraded to the x-fusion-and it was a great decision.. Much better fork than that xc30. Good luck..
    Thanks! I decided not to do the fork upgrade and saving my money for a better bike, but helpful to others that are in the same boat.
    Surly Krampus
    All City MMD
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