How much travel does your fork really get?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Demon Cleaner
    Reputation: Structure's Avatar
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    How much travel does your fork really get?

    I recently purchased a new bike. One of the reasons for my choice (an '04 Enduro Expert) was the highly recommended TALAS fork. So far its been great. However, I've noticed that I don't seem to get anywhere near 125mm of travel from the fork. I've tried lowering the air pressure and that seems to help a bit, but I still don't see how it could ever get a full 125mm. The whole slider, from crown-bottom to the top of the shock bushing is only 125mm! Given the need for tire clearance, I don't see how my fork could possibly give more than about 100mm of travel. Is this normal?

    About the obvious stuff. Yes, I do have the travel adjustment all the way out and have given it time to adjust (I've ridden the bike for hours with the travel all the way out...) Yes, I've experimented with different air pressure. And, no, I'm not measuring while the forks are weighted.

    I wouldn't mind so much if this is just typical sales hype, and Fox "fudged" the numbers a bit, by say claiming an extra 10mm of travel, but it looks like (and I may just be confused abou this whole issue!!) I've lost a full 25mm of travel someplace.

    Any opinions, experiences, or "doh" advice?
    Bicycling is politics by other means.

  2. #2
    just along for the ride
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    ... and if we just ... Travel is imporant

    Quote Originally Posted by Structure
    I recently purchased a new bike. One of the reasons for my choice (an '04 Enduro Expert) was the highly recommended TALAS fork. So far its been great. However, I've noticed that I don't seem to get anywhere near 125mm of travel from the fork. I've tried lowering the air pressure and that seems to help a bit, but I still don't see how it could ever get a full 125mm. The whole slider, from crown-bottom to the top of the shock bushing is only 125mm! Given the need for tire clearance, I don't see how my fork could possibly give more than about 100mm of travel. Is this normal?

    About the obvious stuff. Yes, I do have the travel adjustment all the way out and have given it time to adjust (I've ridden the bike for hours with the travel all the way out...) Yes, I've experimented with different air pressure. And, no, I'm not measuring while the forks are weighted.

    I wouldn't mind so much if this is just typical sales hype, and Fox "fudged" the numbers a bit, by say claiming an extra 10mm of travel, but it looks like (and I may just be confused abou this whole issue!!) I've lost a full 25mm of travel someplace.

    Any opinions, experiences, or "doh" advice?
    Better to not bottom at any time, so get use to it cause there is no sin in flying over junk and still having travel to waste. Especially when you come into the spot you need it all and then you are happy you never had it all

  3. #3

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    The tire-clearance arguement...

    is a non-issue. Theoretically, the largest tire that will fit through the slider-arch will still clear the fork crown at maximum compression. This is only NOT applicable on some race-type forks, notably the RS SID series, and I think some Manitou Blacks used to fit larger tires than the crown would clear. Whatever the case, it's entirely applicable in your case--the tire will NEVER contact the crown. That said, if your stanchion, from the crown to the wiper, measures 125 mm, there's enough space for 125 mm of travel to be achieved. No less, no more.

    The distance between the crown and wiper is changed by your travel adjust, so having it out doesn't have an effect on what you're percieving. Your only possibility is air pressure (less air will yield more sensitivity), and maybe too much oil in the fork--BUT IT IS NOT THE LATTER. I'm sure that, even though oil has an effect on total achieved travel, your fork has the right amount of oil. Lastly, if Fox 'fudged' the numbers, you would not have heard any of the good things you heard about the 'highly recommended Talas fork', so thats obviously not the case, either.

    Here's my recommendation: set the fork to the manufacturer's recommended specs per your weight, and go ride. When the break in period is over, go do a three or four foot drop. YOUR FORK WILL BOTTOM OUT. It's designed to be able to handle lots of different situations--only one of which (the highly scientific drive way-bouncy test) you can accurately emulate in your driveway. Your problem is not your equipment; it's the variety of situations your equipment was designed to excel in, and the number of those you've actually fared in. Go ride, and surprise yourself.

  4. #4
    Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
    Reputation: DeeEight's Avatar
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    with my megaairs...

    I'm always getting in the low 90s (out of a max 100mm) with I think my record bottom out producing 99mm to date. Now considering the number of people who are coming 10-20mm short on rated travel for SIDs, which cost more and aren't as stiff, I'm not complaining.

  5. #5
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    125mm

    I have had 125mm of travel a few times with my TALUS R. I have heard that lighter riders have problems with setup.
    Formerly Travis Bickle

    Team Robot. "modulation is code for “I suck at brake control.” Here’s a free tip: get better."

  6. #6
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    I've always been able to get the claimed travel from my manitous, but it'd take a decent hit to get it from a stock fork. I've put softer bottomout bumpers in some of them to give them more travel more often.

    The only accurate way to test travel is either a dirt/oil ring or a ziptie. Another thing to beware of is the negative spring. Sometimes less pressure to get more travel results in the fork not being fully extended and losing travel at the top. I'd also get your oil levels checked in your fork.

  7. #7
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    thanks for the tips

    It sounds like I'm just not using the thing hard enough. But I'm sure it will be fun to try!

    At 6' 1" and 165lbs I probably am at the low end of the fork's design limits. I also ride fairly light.

    With my previous forks--Rock Shocks+Cannondale--I'd always found it was easy to bottom the forks. Usually a bad line, bad drop, or whatever was enough, but with the TALAS, so far, I've only seen at the most 4" of travel.

    Sure love the forks otherwise.
    Bicycling is politics by other means.

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