Inexpesive forks with remote lockouts?- Mtbr.com
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    Inexpesive forks with remote lockouts?

    I'm looking into replacing my front fork on my hardtail. For commuting I would like to have a lockout (preferably remote controlled), but don't want to spend more than $200. Any advice?

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    don't do it.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    don't do it.
    I mean, I will be replacing the fork. So what should I not do? Get one with lockout?

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    Do you need a suspension fork at all? If you also use it for MTB'g it makes sense, but if it's for commuting and light trails, a rigid fork is lighter and super reliable, especially if your budget is $200.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    Do you need a suspension fork at all? If you also use it for MTB'g it makes sense, but if it's for commuting and light trails, a rigid fork is lighter and super reliable, especially if your budget is $200.
    Yeah the idea is to have a bike that I can commute with during the week and swap out wheelsets to use on the trail as well. It's a decent bike, I just don't have a lot of money right now to pour into a fork, as I'm replacing some other parts as well.

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    Do the trails you ride really need suspension? You can get a new rigid fork for <$100 and will be light. A new suspension fork for $200 will be heavy and mediocre. Save up another $100 and you could get a Recon Gold?

  7. #7
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    There is no such thing as a dual duty bike, either it goes in the woods or goes commuting, and if it goes commuting it wants a rigid, no lockout is actually gonna lock out very good, especially not at 200. and if it goes in the woods you definitely want to up the dollars. I had some crap in that region and the fork immidiately started leaking oil, it was repaided and did the same crap shortly after, gave it away and got a salsa cromoto, no leaked oil since then and no loss of efficiency either.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    There is no such thing as a dual duty bike.
    Thanks to everyone for the advice, I do appreciate it. But this tidbit of wisdom doesn't necessarily fit my current situation. For those who have the money and/or enthusiasm for multiple bikes, this is true. In my ideal world, I would have multiple bikes.

    I, however, am a very recently returned Peace Corps volunteer who is in transition. Yes I will hopefully have a job soon, and will hope to have an exclusive trail bike by next summer, but am trying to figure out how to get around and maybe hit some trails before snowfall.

    I managed to pull off a "dual duty bike" for years as a student. Was I cruising at 30mph on my way to work? No. Did I win any XC races? No. But I managed to enjoy myself, and knew people who also managed to enjoy themselves on trails with less than what I had.

    But the fork is old (and I mean old ) and needs replacing. I am conditioned to riding with front suspension, so a low(er) end suspension fork would be (for me personally) a better option than rigid. I understand preferences vary.

    That said, I have been out of the country for a couple years, and not up to speed on what is out there in the market in terms of brands, models, and prices, so ay advice on specific forks that would be good for my described situation would be helpful. I'm happy to shop ebay instead of paying retail.

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    What you are asking for does not exist. I had a low grade rock shox and it was total crap. dont get a cheap rock shox. I heard manitou makes great functional forks that works very well. If I was getting a suspension fork today, which i'm not. It would be a manitou. no rock shox not fox crap no nothing of those.

    You have to think about how much time you spend at the road and how much time you spend in the woods, and that will deciede for you. They ran rigids up to 1994 or so. It worked great. and it works great today too. and you automatically become more badass, much more badass, only way to get more badass is to ride a womens spcific bike with cantis in sandals. but thats over the top.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    only way to get more badass is to ride a womens spcific bike with cantis in sandals..
    done.

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    It was a joke. but seriously a rigid is not that bad if learn how to use it, and the money you save can go into the next bike or a really good fork when you can dole out some dollars. I got a rigid thinking it would be used until i got a better suspension fork but it worked so well I just forgot about that better fork, Haven't looked back since.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

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    Swap out wheels?

    Quote Originally Posted by kendobari View Post
    Yeah the idea is to have a bike that I can commute with during the week and swap out wheelsets to use on the trail as well. It's a decent bike, I just don't have a lot of money right now to pour into a fork, as I'm replacing some other parts as well.
    Just buy some slicks and swap out the tires instead. You cold always jack with the fork adjustments to make it ride firmer.I dont know if a new fork would be worth it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kendobari View Post
    I'm looking into replacing my front fork on my hardtail. For commuting I would like to have a lockout (preferably remote controlled), but don't want to spend more than $200. Any advice?
    Any more details on the bike? It has 26" wheels I assume? It's a threadless headset (one would assume but..)? What's the axel to crown length on your current fork?

    One option (as I find Craigslist etc a crapshoot) is to hit up the LBS and see if they have anything that other people have upgraded from and left behind. Something like a Dart2 (have lockout iirc) that came with a bike that the buyer wanted to upgrade immediately. Should be well below your budget then. Gets you a working fork in good condition.

    I'd steer clear from the entry level suntour stuff that comes on a lot of entry level bikes. Wife has an XCT V3 or V4 (and I just threw away a v2 or v3 that came with a frame I bought). It's basically a heavy pogo stick. For her current riding level it's fine (saves the wrists, I guess). If/when I upgrade she'll get my fork and I'll toss that or give it away (we'll see how it's doing by then, I think the preload knobs may break by then).

    Price point has the RS recon silver tk for just over $200 before shipping. I can't vouch for it as I've never ridden one (most people say go for recon gold or a reba as a min) but the reviews seems ok. It's air sprung and lighter than other stuff in the price range from what I've seen (5lb instead of 5.5-6). Of course for <$70 a rigid surly 1x1 fork will weigh ~1.28lbs and will take a lot more abuse than an entry level shock.

    I'm pro rigid. A frame I bought cheap is turning into a rigid SS. As a teen getting into mtbiking my friends and I all started on rigid. Lot's of project 2 forks (even on non-Konas, as they were the cool fork to have). I think the first shocks I remember (at least the name and model) were RockShox Quadras which came on some Rocky Mountain iirc. I have a set of Quadra 5s (pretty sure they aren't the Mag 21.. and I'm too lazy to check) laying around. They are only around 3lbs, not the monstrous 5+ lbs you find now on entry to mid bikes. Of course they have/had ~40mm travel compared to all the 80mm+ forks now. No one was complaining about them not having enough travel back then though.

    There seems to be a big push for marketing bullet points. Gotta have front suspension min 80mm forks, preferably 100mm or 120mm (bigger is better!!), disc brakes (regardless of how poor those bottom of the line mechs like promax are) etc etc. In reality a rigid fork with more money put into other components would make a better bike.

    Anyhow, went a little off topic. I'd check the LBS for sure. My experience is they often have a selection of cast off parts they are glad to offload. If you have a local biking forum for your area you could check it's used section or post a wanted, "Anyone have a cheap fork to spare to use onroad and off?" Since local forums are more of a community there is less chance someone is going to take you for a ride and my bet is you could get something that will do the job cheap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    There is no such thing as a dual duty bike, either it goes in the woods or goes commuting, and if it goes commuting it wants a rigid, no lockout is actually gonna lock out very good, especially not at 200. and if it goes in the woods you definitely want to up the dollars. I had some crap in that region and the fork immidiately started leaking oil, it was repaided and did the same crap shortly after, gave it away and got a salsa cromoto, no leaked oil since then and no loss of efficiency either.
    I have run a "dual " duty bike for the last seven years and 40,000 plus kms commuting and Eastern Slope Rockies riding.....works just fine...

    I rode the Trans Rockies on the bike as well.

    I have three wheelsets...one for knobbies, one for slicks and one for studs...

    It has a Talas X shock (auto lockout) and a RP3 on the back...

    The bike weighs 27 lbs (set up light)...

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    Quote Originally Posted by kendobari View Post
    I'm looking into replacing my front fork on my hardtail. For commuting I would like to have a lockout (preferably remote controlled), but don't want to spend more than $200. Any advice?
    Many forks have compression damping screwing in the compression damping provides a relatively good lockout...

    I got used to reaching down to the top crown of the fork really not a problem.

    Rockshox XC30TK Fork '12 > Components > Forks > Suspension Forks | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    I have run a "dual " duty bike for the last seven years and 40,000 plus kms commuting and Eastern Slope Rockies riding.....works just fine...

    I rode the Trans Rockies on the bike as well.

    I have three wheelsets...one for knobbies, one for slicks and one for studs...

    It has a Talas X shock (auto lockout) and a RP3 on the back...

    The bike weighs 27 lbs (set up light)...
    Nice specs and all, but how does that help the OP? You have something that works for you as a dual duty bike but the fork is way out of the OP's price range.

    I understand you were trying to counter the "no such thing as a dual duty" but it would have been better to counter the "no lockout is actually gonna lock out very good, especially not at 200" with a fork that is good in that price range.

    I don't commute (work at home). Does lockout make that much of a difference for commuting? I don't have lockout, but the only time I notice bob is when I'm set to longest travel and out of the seat. When I crank it down to 85mm (increases spring rate), it's more than livable imho. Depending on the fork if you crank up preload, compressions damping or have the spring rate high enough.. do you really need lockout to be efficient on the street?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dubbreak View Post

    I understand you were trying to counter the "no such thing as a dual duty" but it would have been better to counter the "no lockout is actually gonna lock out very good, especially not at 200" with a fork that is good in that price range. Nope a lockout can be had for lower cost

    I don't commute (work at home). Does lockout make that much of a difference for commuting? I don't have lockout, but the only time I notice bob is when I'm set to longest travel and out of the seat. When I crank it down to 85mm (increases spring rate), it's more than livable imho. Depending on the fork if you crank up preload, compressions damping or have the spring rate high enough.. do you really need lockout to be efficient on the street?
    If you like, want, need to stand and hammer than a front lockout becomes important...

    Some hilly commutes really benefit from a lockout. Mine is an example.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    If you like, want, need to stand and hammer than a front lockout becomes important...

    Some hilly commutes really benefit from a lockout. Mine is an example.
    Good to know.

    So since you claim "Nope a lockout can be had for lower cost", and the other poster claims that forks in the >$200 price range don't have effective lockout.. care to name a fork that does? Without a example it's just a claim.

  19. #19
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    I agree that a rigid fork is a much better option for commuting than a suspension fork with a lockout.

    I can't speak to recent low end forks with a lockout, but I can say that I do not like to use the lockout on my mtb when riding pavement to get to the trails. I have Fox Float RL's front and rear and neither goes completely rigid. There is still a small amount of movement in the suspension travel before the lockout fully engages. And those are not cheap shocks. My current commuter has a rigid steel fork on it that works great.

    I would personally set the bike up the way I plan to use it most of the time. If most miles will be commute miles and I would use it for the occasional mtb ride, then I'd set it up rigid. Maybe with a carbon fork if I want a bit higher performance/lighter weight.

    If this bike will primarily be a trail mtb, then I'd buy a suspension fork for it and just get the best fork my budget allows (going used if I have to) and playing with the available settings to find what works best for my situation.

    To have a good dual duty bike, you're going to have to be picky and/or spend a lot of money to get the bike set up how you like.

  20. #20
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    OP, for me, this would be an easy decision.

    Suspension forks that provide an improvement in my enjoyment of riding my bike relative to a rigid fork cost more than $200. At least, retail. EBay, Craig's List and whining on Facebook can all yield decent forks for less. Last time I killed a suspension fork, I was on the point of going rigid on my MTB when a friend sold me his old Marzocchi. I get trail time on my cyclocross bike pretty frequently.

    Rigid forks are awesome. They already track well, they already don't kick, and they already don't pogo. Just getting back to that standard with a suspension fork is relatively difficult.

    You can get a road bike for less than the cost of a new wheelset. So give that a little thought too. I find it much more convenient to have a bike set up for commuting full-time. I can have Fred stuff on it like fenders and a rack, and I don't have to swap stuff around whenever I ride off-road.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    Quote Originally Posted by dubbreak View Post
    Good to know.

    So since you claim "Nope a lockout can be had for lower cost", and the other poster claims that forks in the >$200 price range don't have effective lockout.. care to name a fork that does? Without a example it's just a claim.
    I attached a fork with a lock out for some $216 dollars new...so you should be able to get it for less...

    It will definately last for several years of commuting...It will also provide the same time of trail riding...

    So it ain't the greatest...that is what he wants fine...

    and it will work.

    Just cause everyone keeps telling him that ridgid is they way to go doesn't mean he is going that way....

    Or even should go that way.

    I commuted for three years on a ridgid MTB back in the early ninties...I like my fork and the rigid fork would only reduce the weight of the bike....not really help my riding out....cause I have tried it and I know.

  22. #22
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    How about $170? XC32TK I've got no experience with this shock but it gets three 5 star reviews and is under $200. I think remote lockout is out of the question. It's not like you are racing and switching back and forth for climbs. I can easily reach down and lock mine during a ride.

    Wow, I'd never priced suspension forks. I was pretty surprised to see that the one on my bike (Fox Float 32 RL) sells for $650 or so! I got the whole bike (GT Sensor 1.0) for $1600

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    Quote Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    How about $170? XC32TK I've got no experience with this shock but it gets three 5 star reviews and is under $200. I think remote lockout is out of the question. It's not like you are racing and switching back and forth for climbs. I can easily reach down and lock mine during a ride.
    I don't think the XCs have external rebound. Should be possible to find a Recon silver for about the same price with turnkey lockout but also with rebound adjust.

  24. #24
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    I definitely would not worry about remote lockouts. They are designed for racer boys and the gadget geeks. I like lockouts myself, but I am fully capable of reaching down to my fork crown.

    I just rebuilt a Rockshox Recon and it is embarrassing how simple the lockout mechanism, simply a plastic cartridge that minimizes the oil flow.

    I would probably just get an air fork and pump it up.

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    Spend the $200 on a used hybrid or road bike?

    Just throwing a random idea out there for a cheap commuter.

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