Fork with a "soft" lockout?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Fork with a "soft" lockout?

    Hello, people

    I am looking for a fork with a lockout feature where it still has a small amount of plush travel when the fork is in the locked out mode. In other words, if I add a small amount of weight, the fork should dip down a tiny bit more. That way, I can stand up and pedal sloppily without too much bob, yet still have a small amount of suspension travel so it's not so jarring on the wrists. I'm thinking something like ~1/4 - 1/2" or so. The forks I have looked at so far are:

    Marzocchi with ETA: I like how the ETA causes the fork to lock down in a lower position so the front end of the bike is lower for uphill climbs. However, the ETA is a "hard" lock-out in the sense that it feels like you added way too much preload on the fork. Since the fork is "preloaded" by the lockout mechanism, if you hit a small bump, the fork will not absorb the shock at all. And then if you turn off ETA, the fork shoots up at you. Based on this, I think I will rule out forks with ETA.

    Fox forks: I like how the lockout mechanism has a threshold adjustment. However, I am not sure how compliant the fork is during lockout. On one fork (I forgot which), it seemed like when I activated the lockout, the fork still had a few millimeters of travel. That's what I wanted. However, on another model, the fork became really stiff while lock-ed out. I don't know how much the threshold adjustment has to do with this since it is only supposed to determine when the fork comes out of lock-out. I might end up running a fairly high threshold so I can pedal really sloppily on the uphills and not bob the fork. So is there any way I can adjust a Fox fork to have this softness during lockout?

    Rock Shox Reba: I haven't tried one in person, but I did read from the manual that even when it is locked out, it still allows some movement. That sounds about right. Can any owners confirm?

    Also, when neither forks are locked out, which is plusher, a Fox air fork, or a Reba? I don't do racing, but mainly puttering around at a leisurely pace, so comfort is important.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    TM1
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    Rock shox's Motion-Control ...

    seems to be the most logical "stable-platform" to me.

    when "locked" you still have a fork that can work.
    I find myself starting to go down on technical single-tracks with the fork "locked" and it works just fine.

    you have to dial it in to your style and it ROCKS.

    the flood-gate allows you to set the "amount of lockout" you want.

    it's kind of hard to explain but works great.

  3. #3
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    Tried a Reba today

    Maybe the lockout is a bit too soft. I think there is about 1" of travel. Another thing I don't like is that the floodgate determines how much compression damping there is even if you blow thru the lockout. If you set the floodgate kind of high, the fork will have too much compression damping if you blow thru. On the Fox forks, once you blow through the lockout, it is soft again. Overall, I still like the Reba a lot

  4. #4
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    Fox's threashold adjustment works well.

    I have an '04 Vanilla RLC. The threashold adjustment works very well. You can make it completely rigid or just about as plush (squishy) as you want. I am very pleased with this function depending on the type of trail I'm riding. I think the Fox RL or RLC models would be a good choice.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtn_man2
    I have an '04 Vanilla RLC. The threashold adjustment works very well. You can make it completely rigid or just about as plush (squishy) as you want. I am very pleased with this function depending on the type of trail I'm riding. I think the Fox RL or RLC models would be a good choice.
    How do you get it to have a lockout and still be plush?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag
    How do you get it to have a lockout and still be plush?

    What you want is that Float RLC Pushed.

    The lockout is removed with the treatment, but now you set the level of platform, so your forces are filtered out, but the fork will respond to the terrain.
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  7. #7
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    You're right that the Fox lockout/threshold does not do what you're looking for. But other features on the Talas RLC might get you close. What you may want to try is minimize the travel with the knob on the left fork (I think it goes down to 80 or 90 millimeters), and stiffen the travel with the blue wheel on the right fork. It doesn't completely lock it out, but it stiffens the fork enough so that bob is pretty minimal, but it will still react to large bumps in the trail. With that said, I still think the lockout/threshold feature is the best. It allows you to completely lockout the fork while you are mashing the pedals, and allows you to adjust the blowout threshold with the blue knob on the bottom of the right fork so that bumps in the road will activate the suspension.

  8. #8
    The Ancient One
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    I've recently switched from a PUSHed TALAS RLC to a RockShox Revelation with Motion Control.

    For the effect you're seeking I would choose the Revelation hands down. You can set a firmer platform and still get a more compliant response when the threshold is exceeded.and the Floodgate opens.

    PUSH is going to start working on Motion Control dampers soon. I think they well concentrate on improving the rebound damping.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve from JH
    I've recently switched from a PUSHed TALAS RLC to a RockShox Revelation with Motion Control.

    For the effect you're seeking I would choose the Revelation hands down. You can set a firmer platform and still get a more compliant response when the threshold is exceeded.and the Floodgate opens.

    PUSH is going to start working on Motion Control dampers soon. I think they well concentrate on improving the rebound damping.
    compression damper too!

  10. #10
    The Ancient One
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robot Chicken
    compression damper too!
    You're the one that got me to forget my RockShox loathing and spend money on a new fork I didn't even need.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve from JH
    You're the one that got me to forget my RockShox loathing and spend money on a new fork I didn't even need.
    Is that a bad thing?

  12. #12
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    Uh, listen to yourself.

    You want a fork "lockout" that also provides "plush travel?" Isnt that like wanting a wife with balls?

    Go with the ETA.

  13. #13
    The Ancient One
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robot Chicken
    Is that a bad thing?
    Yes, and it's all your fault! If you hadn't explained the motion control so clearly but just mouthed superlatives like most posters do, I would have ignored you.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robot Chicken
    compression damper too!
    Yeah... some shims on compression and rebound would be desirable. Zoke's TST damped forks would benefit too.

    I gotta admit that by all the good rap all those forks have received, both systems (Motion Control and TST) are so finely tuned for trail riding that you don't miss the shims.
    Check my Site

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve from JH

    For the effect you're seeking I would choose the Revelation hands down. You can set a firmer platform and still get a more compliant response when the threshold is exceeded.and the Floodgate opens.
    Do you mean that you can set the fork to have less travel in the "locked" position? How is this done? The Reba at the store seemed to have about 1" of travel in the lock position, no matter what I set the Floodgate at. And when I set the Floodgate high, the fork seemed to have too much damping if I blow through the lockout.

  16. #16
    TM1
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    The motion-control DOES allow 20mm of travel in "lockout" no meter what floodgate is dialed to.
    As to damping, once the floodgate is blowen I could NOT notice any higher dumping. In fact, I got into a technical trail with the fork "locked" and it worked just fine. I noticed it was locked only when I went to lock it going up-hill ...

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag
    Do you mean that you can set the fork to have less travel in the "locked" position? How is this done? The Reba at the store seemed to have about 1" of travel in the lock position, no matter what I set the Floodgate at. And when I set the Floodgate high, the fork seemed to have too much damping if I blow through the lockout.
    Why do so many people think they need a rigid fork type of lockout? It sucks!

    Many people make the mistake of setting up thier fork by standing there and pushing up and down on the fork. This is the worst possible way to setup a fork for anything other than standing in one place doing push ups on the fork!

    What many people don't realize is that it doesn't take much floodgate at all to create a platform effect that resists bobing and brake dive.


    That 20mm of travel when the fork is locked out is to allow for a good transition from lockout to open when you hit something. It is also there to provide small bump compliance while still resisting bobing. THE main complaint of SPV forks is the lack of small bump compliance, Motion Control Fixes this. If 20mm of bobbing is too much for you, then I think you've picked the wrong sport and should check out ballet!

  18. #18
    The Ancient One
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robot Chicken
    Why do so many people think they need a rigid fork type of lockout? It sucks!

    Many people make the mistake of setting up thier fork by standing there and pushing up and down on the fork. This is the worst possible way to setup a fork for anything other than standing in one place doing push ups on the fork!

    What many people don't realize is that it doesn't take much floodgate at all to create a platform effect that resists bobing and brake dive.


    That 20mm of travel when the fork is locked out is to allow for a good transition from lockout to open when you hit something. It is also there to provide small bump compliance while still resisting bobing. THE main complaint of SPV forks is the lack of small bump compliance, Motion Control Fixes this. If 20mm of bobbing is too much for you, then I think you've picked the wrong sport and should check out ballet!
    I've been running my fork with the floodgate at 1.5 turns in from full open and, when not locked out, with the compression lever a little more than half closed. Does that sound about right?

  19. #19
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    It sounds like the Talas XTT is what you are looking for. The manager at our shop rides one on his blur. Its basically the TALAS fork, with the Terralogic damper(X), but its not as firm, hence trail tune (TT). Its just a bunch of low speed compression damping, so that you can still push on it, but its real firm. When it hits a bump, it becomes fully open compression damping and can absorb bumps well. Its like the F100X/F80X series, but not nearly as harsh. He likes it, I like it, other people like it. Schweeetness.
    Quote Originally Posted by offtheedge
    when I showed it to her she said..."Are you serious" refering to the size...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarzocchiFork
    He likes it, I like it, other people like it. Schweeetness.
    You forgot to mention that you can pick one up....real cheap.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker1973
    You forgot to mention that you can pick one up....real cheap.
    800 bucks for a fork IS cheap!!

    Too bad you can't buy a Vanilla for 400 (or less if used) and put in an ID Cart for 250 more. Those patent trolls of the Big S... may they burn in hell....
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  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve from JH
    I've been running my fork with the floodgate at 1.5 turns in from full open and, when not locked out, with the compression lever a little more than half closed. Does that sound about right?
    It's really hard to say, because it's all determined by rider weight, spring rate, sag, front rear bias, personal preference, etc.

    If you've done your tuning while riding, then you have what you want!

    I was just commenting on how people setup the fork all wrong in their garage and then complain about it feeling harsh on the trails.


    I personally like the feel of the fork with the compression closed and the floodgate full open. For general riding, it provides for a near perfectly linear oil blowoff rate through out the whole range of fork speeds.

    The way you have it set will make for very little low speed damping (good for wet traction! not always bad!) but then level off on harder hits instead of spiking. You may be riding higher in the travel on harder hits, but the way you have it set is not ideal for low speed damping.

    I've found the floodgate is much more precise too, where as the compression is a little more of an off on switch. Use the floodgate to fine tune your ride with the compression in lockout position. You will find that running a light floodgate with compression closed will actually transform the floodgate from a high speed valve to both high and low speed valve. Since the floodgate is linear and has no virtual limit to how much oil pressure it can blow off, it works at all frequencies.

    How does the revelation ride? Never even seen one...

  23. #23
    The Ancient One
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robot Chicken
    It's really hard to say, because it's all determined by rider weight, spring rate, sag, front rear bias, personal preference, etc.

    If you've done your tuning while riding, then you have what you want!

    I was just commenting on how people setup the fork all wrong in their garage and then complain about it feeling harsh on the trails.


    I personally like the feel of the fork with the compression closed and the floodgate full open. For general riding, it provides for a near perfectly linear oil blowoff rate through out the whole range of fork speeds.

    The way you have it set will make for very little low speed damping (good for wet traction! not always bad!) but then level off on harder hits instead of spiking. You may be riding higher in the travel on harder hits, but the way you have it set is not ideal for low speed damping.

    I've found the floodgate is much more precise too, where as the compression is a little more of an off on switch. Use the floodgate to fine tune your ride with the compression in lockout position. You will find that running a light floodgate with compression closed will actually transform the floodgate from a high speed valve to both high and low speed valve. Since the floodgate is linear and has no virtual limit to how much oil pressure it can blow off, it works at all frequencies.

    How does the revelation ride? Never even seen one...
    Well I've been riding on snow, ice, slush, and icy mud, so a wet traction setting makes sense.

    I'll give the compression closed, floodgate open setting a try.

    Thanks.

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