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  1. #1
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    SR Suntour Abuse

    Hi all.
    I'll be probably buying a X Caliber with probably a XCM Suntour fork.
    This won't happen this year, but i really want to build up my knowledge in this stuff about forks and what's better.
    But whatever i get, i'm sure it's gonna b a entry level HT, Suntour fork.

    My question is about how much abuse can these forks take.
    I'm a little bit concerned about how bad everyone says they are, but i tested a X Cal 6 last week and i felt it so damn solid and...nice.

    I ride an off brand walmart bike, around 10 years old, super basic design. It had a 50mm travel fork, the most basic suspension you can find. It never broke, never stopped moving, but it is just so...heavy.
    So i changed it to a chinese made "ECA" fork, 60mm.
    Still no lockouts, no adjustments, no nothing.
    A little bit lighter, costed me $30
    It feel just as strong, i have beated it really hard so far, i have bent two sets of wheels, and it's still going strong.
    That is 6 months of riding, like 20 days a month.
    Maybe i don't abuse them as hard as you may think but...they are just fine for the kind of riding i do.
    And i know i won't be doing harder stuff anyway, so far i just want to improve techniques so i avoid abusing my bike too much.
    But i won't be start going faster on harder stuff.

    So considering that, is Suntour really so bad that even my chinese fork can take more abuse?
    That can't be possible, lol. Is a Suntour XCM better than mine?
    it has to be, c'mon. When i rode the X Cal, the Suntour looked so nice, so solid, so well built compared to what i ride.
    This is what i ride. Man, it hurts just by looking at it, but it WORKS for me.

    alloy front fork ECA-9515V, View bicycle front fork, SUNTEK Product Details from Suzhou Suntek Cycle Co., Ltd. on Alibaba.com

    Please be honest about this. I know a lot of buddies that keep using these kind of forks, and it also works for them. Suntour can't be worse, it seems so false, they got to be better.
    It makes it really confusing since everyone on the internet says i better pay medic insurance before riding those forks. Seems bs to me.
    Maybe it's just that the people that say Suntour sucks, are just too advanced that they expect waaay too much from these forks.
    If you compare it to a Rockshox then yeah, they really suck, but c'mon.
    Maybe it's that they can't understand that these forks are just as entry level as the people who buy them. I am a entry level guy.

    So yeah....thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    I wouldn't worry about the fork holding up....the coil spring versions just tend to be boat anchors.

  3. #3
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    It'll work fine and you'll be able to ride it for a long time. The only major drawbacks to it will be its weight, its lack of adjustability, and its lack of serviceability. It will be a ton better than what you have experience with so far, so that's nice.

    To be fair, RockShox makes cheap stuff, too, that's not much better than the Suntour cheap stuff. And Suntour makes nicer suspension, too.

  4. #4
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    dledinger is correct. They work but they are really heavy. I replaced mine with a RS SID, and it shaved 1.86lbs.
    Yes! Whenever bicycles are broken, or menaced by International Communism, Bicycle Repair Man is ready!

  5. #5
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    My Suntour SR drove me crazy till I used that customer loyalty Upgrade deal, to the Raidon for $189.

    SR Suntour North America

    The SR flexed too much, It bottomed out too much, The rebound was awful....
    When I needed control I'd lock it out.
    It has this label down low on the inside of one leg that sez, "For Light Trail Use Only"

    So for riding with the kids or mom on the fire roads It's fine,
    Going to fill your back pack with beer at the quickie store,,It's fine,
    Flat trail rides that are not too fast It will hold up,,,
    That's about it.
    “I seek only the Flow”,
    Climbing Is Supposed To Be Hard,
    Shut Up Legs :P

  6. #6
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    I'd say keep trying to polish the Walmart turd.
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  7. #7
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    The XCM will hold up like others have said, although I wouldn't go doing any drops or jumps on it. It will feel a ton better than the walmart bike forks, but it's still not in the same league as a decent air fork.

    If you're looking to get an entry level HT, look for used bikes first and then closeout new HT bikes.

  8. #8
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    Most entry level bikes have Suntour X series forks. They work but they're heavy with minimal adjustment. But they won't just fall apart or turn to dust like what some would have you believe.

    The bike I got was a Schwinn and it came with an XCM. Again, very heavy but I took it to all my routes and it handled them sufficiently - meaning, I'd rather ride with the XCM than going full rigid.

    I upgraded to an Epicon and it's miles better though, and saved me almost 2 pounds.

  9. #9
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    Suntour has added rebound damping to some of their entry forks. If it has hydraulic lockout, it has fixed or adjustable rebound damping. Still weighs 6.2+lbs. You really feel this on climbs over rocks and roots. But you can ride it on trails.

  10. #10
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    So it will hold up right?
    Well, i have riden low speed downhill with my walmart turd, and it's quite hard, sometimes i'm surprised my bike can take it. Hence why i bend so many rims.
    So if the XCM will hold up even better than mine, it probably will be better too, and the lockout feature is quite a big improvement, since the only races i will be able to participate these years will be 3 on pavement (making separate categories for mtbs) and just 2 on actual trails. At least i will stop loosing energy. (YASSS!)

    So yeah, i'll probably get the X Cal 6, if it's still available and hasn't change its price too much. I won't get a used bike, just no. Here, getting used bikes is a danger, i'll probably get a crooked frame or something worse.
    And i want something that i can take to the dealer and have a warranty with them.
    I'm not only considering Trek's anyway, but i really like the X Cal. I mean, i REALLY DO.
    It's so sexy.

  11. #11
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    Come have a look.
    If you go to the forks section, you can find the forks we usually ride.
    www.bacinibike.com
    By "WE" i mean most of the riders i met back at home. I'm in the capital city now, so now i see Treks and Speshs everywhere. I even saw a Nomad 2015, matte black, being riden by a woman. Without helmet. Around the park..
    I wanted to shot myself right there.
    But yeah, my home is different. There you are just gonna find a s**tload of bacinis.
    I have met bikers riding full rigid bacini bikes, on real trails. Most of them got injured by the end of the year, i wonder why....

  12. #12
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    Ya Xcal with XCM fork will be tons better than the cheap walmart crap. XCM is also 32mm stancion, so its stiff and tough (for what it is), just avoid the MLO version, get HLO version as rebound and compression/lockout are much better, its actually adjustable. Heavy, but do their job well to start out with. Anything lower than XCM HLO for suntour cheap forks are safe but total crap. Then later you can use upgrade program and get new forks cheaply that are comparable to forks many of us ride now.

  13. #13
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    SR Suntour Abuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Deartist7 View Post
    Come have a look.
    If you go to the forks section, you can find the forks we usually ride.
    www.bacinibike.com
    By "WE" i mean most of the riders i met back at home. I'm in the capital city now, so now i see Treks and Speshs everywhere. I even saw a Nomad 2015, matte black, being riden by a woman. Without helmet. Around the park..
    I wanted to shot myself right there.
    But yeah, my home is different. There you are just gonna find a s**tload of bacinis.
    I have met bikers riding full rigid bacini bikes, on real trails. Most of them got injured by the end of the year, i wonder why....
    Interesting. Never heard of Bacini. But I guess it's good they even have a website. The common chinese brands in my country don't have websites and usually use known names that they somehow were able to use for their bikes. For ex: Ryder, Cole.

  14. #14
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    I have been riding a Suntour XCT fork (even cheaper than the XCM) for over 2 years and it has served me fine. Coming off of the cheap brand you have been riding, yes it will feel amazing at first. However, I have found that as my riding has progressed my fork really can't keep up with my riding demands. Don't get me wrong, it is a solid fork and will last for years (don't worry, it won't wall apart after a few rides like what some people say). It's just heavy and lacking in the performance department. But you probably will find yourself wanting to upgrade after a few years just like I have.
    Keep the rubber side down

  15. #15
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    My younger kid rides a '11 Fuji with an XCMv2. It's not too bad, honestly. Good damping, especially at his weight.

    My older kid had a parts-bin special with an RST, now THAT was a frickin joke and a half. Just riding around the driveway it bottomed so hard I thought I broke something (on me, not the bike).

    Replaced it with a sub-$100 used RS Duke (air). Night and day difference, easily set for body weight, and he's using more travel more confidently and having more fun.

    As others have said, I don't think you'll die in a fire riding it, but you may find room for improvement as your skills pick up.

    Then you either upgrade the fork or get a whole bike since by then you'll have learned all sorts of tech stuff and have figured out a way to justify 2K+ for an AM monster.
    2016 SC 5010
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  16. #16
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    Dude, I have a 2008 Trek 4500 with a Dart and it is just fine. You don't need an air suspension. Just try the X-cal out. I'm sure you'll find that it's worth every penny. You can buy a nicer fork in the future when you're ready.

  17. #17
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    The XCM will work fine for normal trail riding (at least for the trails I ride). The problems mentioned here: weight, lack of rebound damping are the biggies. You also can't (or it's hard to) adjust the fork to your weight and/or trail conditions. You can change the spring but it's not the easiest thing in the world to get a hold of. Some new XCMs apparently have rebound damping now - that will help.

    I switched from an XCM to a Reba and man what a difference. Lighter, great damping in compression and rebound and you can adjust it to your weight. It transformed my riding.

  18. #18
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    Okay, so my friends still have the Suntour XC line on their entry level bikes (XCT, XCM, XCR) and they work fine for the first couple of weeks while still weighing as much as a container ship on a van (Huge exaggeration) but after about 3-4 months they tend to start dying pretty quick, the biggest no-no I find is how flexy they are, second, how heavy, third, how abrupt they are, and fourth, how little adjustments they have causing the fork to pogo as everyone says, even with me a pretty light weight rider (160 lbs) still makes it pogo quite a bit. The worst thing that the fork flexes in hard corners visible right now and they pretty much have little to no small bump compliance in my book. Still though! with programs like the suntour upgrade program and just the price of the bikes they come on, no biggy. (Also, me and my friends are really really really hard on bikes, I mean REALLY hard, my friends practically never maintain their bikes and beat the crap out of them just on a regular ride but the forks they have still hold up.) Have fun!

  19. #19
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    Actually, my two friends have X-cailbers a 7 and a 5 to be precise, pretty nice bikes I recommend some snazzy brakes and a clutch derailleur as first upgrades if you want trail readiness.

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