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  1. #1
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    Fork Tube 30 32 35

    I am pretty new at this sport. I bought a hardtail 29 last fall, and this winter I am building a carbon frame bike with 120 front and 110 rear travel. I bought a Rockshox Judy Gold fork a few months ago because it is light and low cost. Have not been able to test since it is winter, so now I am wondering if I made the right choice. I am an older guy, 6'-2 and weight 250. I plan on riding trails and hitting some jumps at Timberline (ski lift, Oregon) and Whistler (lift) with this new bike.
    The Judy fork has 30 mm aluminum tubes, so it is light, but is it strong? With my 250 lbs, should I buy a Reba with 32mm legs, or a Rockshox 35? The big tube forks weigh more (?) and the top of the line forks use 35 mm tubes. Is it worth adding the weight of a 32 or 35 to the bike, and having a stronger front end that will absorb hits and be more stable for braking. Will I notice the difference?

  2. #2
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    As you understand, bigger stanchion diameter equals more stiffness. Combine this with wheelsize, amount of travel and rider weight and you can guesstimate how stiff or flexy the fork would be. Steerer tube shape (tapered or straight 1 1/8) and whether it has a thru axle or qr skewer also plays an important part.

    At your weight and the use you mention I would suggest something with no less than 35mm stanchions, tapered steerer and with a thru axle. You may need to change the front hub as well if the current one is made for 9mm QR. However if you're going to upgrade, might as well avoid the entry level stuff like the Rockshox 35 and go straight to a better fork like a Pike or similar offering from other brands. Yes, it will be more expensive, but it's a step you're going to take anyway later when your riding progresses. So better do it in one move instead of two, comes out cheaper in the long run.

    The Judy is certainly not made with bikepark jumping in mind.

    You seem a bit worried about weight, just bear in mind that some stuff need the added materials to be able to withstand the abuse. Bigger or stronger riders can't really afford to make serious compromises when it comes to weight vs durability.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, what he said. Get a Pike or 34 or 36 or something you can charge on. That Judy might not be the best for ya.

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  4. #4
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    No, it is not strong and it is totally inappropriate for bike parks.
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  5. #5
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    Mate you're 250lbs. Do you really think structural components of your bike are the right place to skimp? You won't notice the pound or so weight difference between a Judy and a Lyric but you will notice that you can actually steer straight with the Lyric.


    I also think a 110mm frame is inappropriate for almost anyone other than a child to use at a bike park.

  6. #6
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    Wow, thanks Guys. Since I have very little experience, that is exactly what I wanted to hear. I really didn't know what tube size would work for my weight. Great advice and it gives me a new direction to search.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhillipJ View Post
    I also think a 110mm frame is inappropriate for almost anyone other than a child to use at a bike park.
    With a 250 lb rider, how much rear travel do I need for jumps. I am not going real big, but I do want to catch some air. I do love to use the brakes also. I raced sports cars for years. The reward for going fast is that you get to slam on the brakes and stop hard.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racecar View Post
    With a 250 lb rider, how much rear travel do I need for jumps. I am not going real big, but I do want to catch some air. I do love to use the brakes also. I raced sports cars for years. The reward for going fast is that you get to slam on the brakes and stop hard.
    What do mean by “jumps”?

    And no, a 120/110mm bike with a 30mm stanchion fork is not appropriate for you to use at Whistler. You will get carted off on a stretcher.


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racecar View Post
    With a 250 lb rider, how much rear travel do I need for jumps.
    It's not really about the travel, it's that a ~110mm travel bike (with a few very specific exceptions, Process 111 & GT distortion come to mind) is not intended for park riding and it'll break. A bike that's going to hold up to park laps under a big guy isn't going to be lightweight and isn't going to be short travel.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    What do mean by “jumps”?

    And no, a 120/110mm bike with a 30mm stanchion fork is not appropriate for you to use at Whistler. You will get carted off on a stretcher.


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    I just want to get some air, flying off jumps looks like great fun. I'm not a downhill racer, or a big air jumper. I am seeing that a fork with 35mm tubes is a requirement, and 110 rear travel may bottom out? It may take a coil spring rear shock to deal with that. I appreciate the input from everyone. What I am learning here is that this is not an average bike, for a 250 lb guy, it needs to be heavy duty.

  11. #11
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    PS, I live I n Oregon, and have been to Whistler skiing and snowboarding several times. What a great place to vacation. It is one of the best in the world. I can't wait to try mtn biking there in the summer, that's why I am building this suspension bike.

  12. #12
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    At 250 lbs, you should probably be looking at an enduro bike at least for park riding/jumps. Might even be a good idea to rent a downhill sled at Whistler.

  13. #13
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    Yeah, rent, to minimize damage to your own bike and ride something appropriate for the park that you won’t be fighting down each run. You didn’t travel all the way to whistler to fight the bike.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  14. #14
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    Is Whistler really brutal on bikes? I am building a Trek Superfly carbon frame bike. I am thinking of a RockShox35 fork, since it is heavy duty and low cost. I should probably look at a coil spring rear shock to hold my weight. What else does an Enduro or Downhill bike have that makes them so strong. What part of my bike is going to get damaged at Whistler, or what part of the bike am I going to fight. Am I really under estimating how strong a bike needs to be for Whistler.

  15. #15
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    A coil spring vs an air spring won’t better support your weight. Not sure where you got that idea.

    It has a different feel and a more linear in its ramping up under compression.

    An XC bike is not designed to have a 250lb person riding the Whistler bike park on it. If you don’t get that by now, we can’t help you.


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  16. #16
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    I'm going to tell you right now as a bigger rider, dont worry about weight. I'm about your height and weigh just a tad more when in shape (on my way back down to weight) Stay away from XC frames, especially full suspension. If you plan to jump, you need to be building or buying an enduro/trail bike. Carbon frame etc, ya NOPE.

    Coil vs air, has nothing to do with weight. If your too big for the frame suspension design your screwed if an air shock that takes up to 350psi isnt enough. Need a different suspension design.

    I'm not into jumps and such at the level your talking for good reason, the bike I would need would suck to do long rides with plenty of climbing or I would be paying a small fortune for it.

    You need to take a step back, forget anything you think you know and research everything under "clydesdale" for mountain biking

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhillipJ View Post
    Mate you're 250lbs. Do you really think structural components of your bike are the right place to skimp? You won't notice the pound or so weight difference between a Judy and a Lyric but you will notice that you can actually steer straight with the Lyric.


    I also think a 110mm frame is inappropriate for almost anyone other than a child to use at a bike park.
    Nevermind, missed the Whistler post.
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  18. #18
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    Sorry to be so dense, but why is a XC frame bad, and an enduro good. Is an enduro frame typically stronger, more suspension travel, different geometry, what features do I need.
    I plan to ride the trails at Whistler, not a set of big park jumps. Ride the Lift up, trail down, not long uphill climbs. Sorry I don't know all of the bike language, that's why I am here, trying to learn. That's what is great about forums, you get real world experiences and opinions. Remember, I'm new, I'm learning.

  19. #19
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    Its not, just when you mention jumps and Whistler people are assuming you're running the flow/jump lines, not the back trails.

    Just search youtube for Whistler jump lines and watch the videos- that will give you an idea of where the advice is coming from.

    I'm not familiar with Whistler, but I assume it has a bunch of natural trials like other parks I've been to that don't have huge jumps on them, 110mm rear travel will be fine for that.
    But definitely get yourself a fork with 34mm + stanchions.
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  20. #20
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    Thanks Two Tone, You are right about jumps. I am not planning on going over 10 foot drops, or getting big air anytime. I am not going to ride the big jump trails, or black diamonds downhills. Just want to be able to go over some trail jumps and not have to avoid them. I just got back from the bike stores, bought a Rockshox35 fork, at a price you would not believe.
    Also looked at a Specialized Enduro Comp 29. The rear suspension arms do look big and sturdy. Sweet, if only I had money.

  21. #21
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    OK, I think I am getting the Enduro mindset here. Forget about light weight, go for max strength. I am looking at rims now. I want to have a backup set for when I go to Whistler for 4 days. Need to get the strongest rims with the strongest hubs I can buy, right?

  22. #22
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    Ok, in your 1st post you say hitting the 'jumps and lift trails'. In your last post, you say 10 foot drops. If I was planning on going to Whistler, I'd rent a bike instead of beating my Fuel (150/140mm travel) to death. A XC frame just isn't designed to handle 10' drops. A flyweight finesse expert rider might get away with it...a 250 lb noob? You're asking for trouble. If you don't have any experience hitting jumps/drops (maybe you've done moto-x?) I'd suggest you start out on the blue trails and maybe ride with someone who's been there to 'tow you around' so you don't under/over shoot the jumps.
    Not trying to be harsh, just don't want you to get hurt.
    And yes, there's a lot of difference between a XC and an enduro bike.

  23. #23
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    One more thing, I've never been to Whistler, but trail ratings vary quite a bit from place to place. A blue trail at Whistler would probably be a black at a lot of other places. Check your ego until you get some mojo going! Have fun...I'm jealous.

  24. #24
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    Lift trails; yes. Small jumps on blue trails; yes. Black trails: no.
    In the last post I said I am NOT going off 10 foot drops. I do appreciate your input, that is what forums are for, to learn from others. Rentals are way too much money. I am building a bike so I can go and ride, not to leave it at home.
    I keep hearing that XC bikes are not the same as Enduro, but what is the difference. Enduro bikes have more suspension travel, and heavy duty hubs, wheels, suspension arms. Is that the idea of an Enduro bike?
    Last edited by Racecar; 1 Week Ago at 05:59 AM.

  25. #25
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    My bad, I thought you said you were going to do 10' drops! An enduro bike would be fine then for what you want to do. They have slacker head angles, stronger frames, more (and better) suspension travel, stronger wheels and components than xc bikes. All being suited to going downhill fast on rough terrain much better than a xc bike.

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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by not2shabby View Post
    My bad, I thought you said you were going to do 10' drops! An enduro bike would be fine then for what you want to do. They have slacker head angles, stronger frames, more (and better) suspension travel, stronger wheels and components than xc bikes. All being suited to going downhill fast on rough terrain much better than a xc bike.

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    Thanks. Enduro bike = strong wheels, strong suspension arms, more travel, etc. OK, now I know what to look for. I still have a lot of options in this bike build. I have the frame and all parts modeled on the CAD system, so I can try different components and see how it all fits together. I started out planning 100/100, but now I see I can actually use a 150mm fork, and get 130mm travel on the rear. More would be better, but for the kind of trails and (small) jumps I am going for, this should work fine. I appreciate your input. You nailed it. I have a big decade birthday coming up in September. That will be the perfect time to be in the Whistler mountains on this bike to celebrate.

  27. #27
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    Just keep in mind the trails you'll be riding most of the time. If there's quite a bit of climbing involved a medium travel 'all mountain' or 'trail' bike (130-140mm) might suit you better and still handle the blue trails at Whistler. IMHO, it's better to be a little 'over biked'; it could save your but if you get in over your head and should hold up longer than a light XC frame. Others may not agree...depends on where/how you ride.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by not2shabby View Post
    Just keep in mind the trails you'll be riding most of the time. If there's quite a bit of climbing involved a medium travel 'all mountain' or 'trail' bike (130-140mm) might suit you better and still handle the blue trails at Whistler. IMHO, it's better to be a little 'over biked'; it could save your but if you get in over your head and should hold up longer than a light XC frame. Others may not agree...depends on where/how you ride.
    Agreed. I am not looking for those big hit trails, plan on cruising the blue ones and working up to the jumps there. My priorities have changed from what I have learned here.
    I was planning a lightweight bike with 100/100 travel. Now I am looking for strong components, and 150/130 travel.
    Looking for new heavy duty rims next. Better to be over-biked than bent. Thanks for your objective input.

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