Upgrade to Front Suspension or New Bike?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Upgrade to Front Suspension or New Bike?

    So Iím making a decision with my Specialized Hellga pretty soon that I needed input on. I decided that for using this as a trail bike in the summer I want to get a suspension fork. Ideally I would run the Manitou Mastodon Standard with 120mm of travel. Iíd be running it with 29 x 2.6 tires as that would give clearance to run the STD fork and not the EXT for the sake of wanting more travel. The major issue is that itíd change the geometry with the stock 467mm fork from 70.5/73.5 degree headtube/seat tube angles to ~67.5/70.5 degrees. I wanted a slacker front end, however I donít know how much of an issue the STA would be, as Iím only seeing trail bikes with 73-74 degree STAs (except for the Trek Farley 7).

    If somehow the geometry changes are not the biggest dealbreaker, Iím looking at around $800 to getting the fork, new hub, new tire, etc. at that point I donít know if itíll be better off getting a new bike, however Iím not sure if at that price point Iíd be able to find a good 29er trail hardtail with the same type of tire clearances.

    What would be my best option:

    - Buying/converting for the suspension fork on my current bike
    - Trying to find a good trail 29er on a budget (give recommendations)
    - Stick to rigid

  2. #2
    blood in / blood out
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    Put the suspension on and be done with it.

    You will find nothing in that price range that will be worth riding. So I would put a sus fork on and continue to ride the Helga.
    RICOH for LIFE
    Pain is Weakness

  3. #3
    rth009
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    What if you went with 100mm travel suspension fork? You could get a 100mm bluto for way less than $800. Some people say they're flexy, but Im 205lb without gear and Ive beat on a bluto pretty hard for 4 years with no issues. Is it as stiff as my Pike, no, but its fine. If you weigh less than 205, you'll notice it even less. Ive used 29 x 3 50mm rims tubeless as well as 26 x 4.8 with my Bluto on 90mm rims tubeless.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rth009 View Post
    What if you went with 100mm travel suspension fork? You could get a 100mm bluto for way less than $800. Some people say they're flexy, but Im 205lb without gear and Ive beat on a bluto pretty hard for 4 years with no issues. Is it as stiff as my Pike, no, but its fine. If you weigh less than 205, you'll notice it even less. Ive used 29 x 3 50mm rims tubeless as well as 26 x 4.8 with my Bluto on 90mm rims tubeless.
    Thatís good to know. Iím running Minion 3.0s on Mulefut 50s but I would have been able to drop down to a 2.6 like I have with my rear tire. I actually decided on the Bluetooth RCT3 80mm since it was around $560 with tax included. I also went with the Hope convertible hub in case I wanted to go back to my old fork.

    BTW since my fork is a rigid aluminum fork as opposed to carbon, would the weight increase be minor going to the Bluto?

  5. #5
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    ya, the bluto is around 4lbs i believe, so a pound or two additional.

  6. #6
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    Just get the 120mm fork and do the Manitou shock pump trick to experiment with 100-120mm to figure out what works best for you.

    The std will clear 29X3.0 no problem.

    I've had both forks and the Mastodon is far better than the bluto.

    Worldwide cycle has 15% off this weekend.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rangie View Post
    Just get the 120mm fork and do the Manitou shock pump trick to experiment with 100-120mm to figure out what works best for you.

    The std will clear 29X3.0 no problem.

    I've had both forks and the Mastodon is far better than the bluto.

    Worldwide cycle has 15% off this weekend.
    Did you have the RL version or the RCT3 version of the Bluto? Also what did you like more about the Manitou? I know the stanchions are wider but I wasn't sure if there was anything more. The reason I ultimately went with the Bluto was because I knew the 80mm version would work with the Hellga without drastically screwing with the geometry. I was moreso worried about how going to such a longer fork would mess with the seat-tube angle and BB-Height.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarKris View Post
    Did you have the RL version or the RCT3 version of the Bluto? Also what did you like more about the Manitou?
    RCT3. Other than weight, the Mastodon wins in every way possible. It's stiffer, smother, better small bump, better progression, better damper, easier to adjust, needs less frequent rebuilds...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rangie View Post
    RCT3. Other than weight, the Mastodon wins in every way possible. It's stiffer, smother, better small bump, better progression, better damper, easier to adjust, needs less frequent rebuilds...
    Ok. You mentioned a "shock pump trick" to change the 120mm to 100mm. How exactly does that work? Also you mentioned the STD would clear a 29 x 3.0. Do you know how much clearance it has when fully compressed? I'm about 360lbs so I'm expecting to bottom out at least a couple of times when riding lol. Otherwise I was also slightly worried that the reversed arch on the Manitou would end up hitting my downtube as well after second thoughts.

    EDIT: Just found out how to do it via the thread on the Mastodon fork. Still unsure about how tire clearance will look with 29 x 3.0s or the downtube clearance.
    Last edited by DarKris; 1 Week Ago at 09:47 PM.

  10. #10
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    Get a suspension fork.

    I've been running hardtail 26 X 4.9 (fun), 29 X 3.0 (awesome) and B+ (meh) on my fat bikes and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to keep their quiver small.

    Front suspension is usually well worth any penalty involved in it's use.

  11. #11
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    So I ordered the Manitou fork on Sunday. It shipped earlier today and arrives tomorrow, and I didnít have to pay for expedited shipping. Looks like I might be riding this much sooner

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