Why is this Air Fork so Cheap?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Why is this Air Fork so Cheap?

    another member suggested that i upgraded my coil sprung 100mm fork to an air "sprung" 120mm fork.

    So i looked on Amazon and i found this.
    it seems like a deal for $150. where would buying this bite me in the ass?

    https://www.amazon.com/Suspension-Re...8-7&th=1&psc=1

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Granny_Gear View Post
    another member suggested that i upgraded my coil sprung 100mm fork to an air "sprung" 120mm fork.

    So i looked on Amazon and i found this.
    it seems like a deal for $150. where would buying this bite me in the ass?

    https://www.amazon.com/Suspension-Re...8-7&th=1&psc=1
    Well, for one, at that price, it's going to have a very simple damping system, one that gets harsher and more out of control the faster you go.

    For two, there will be no parts available to fix anything that breaks, like a damper seal or top-cap or rod.

    There are likely no instructions for servicing and it may not even be possible to service the cartridge, so it'll slowly self-destruct.

    Basically, you have no idea what the internals of this fork are, the company has no reputation, no engineering drawings, no diagrams, no real specs, no support, etc. At this pricepoint, the chances of getting something that ticks the boxes to be a viable and reliable suspension component are not worth it, you'd be better off taking $150 down to the local casino and gambling it there. At that pricepoint, rigid forks are better. A rigid fork is always better than a poor suspension fork.
    "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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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Well, for one, at that price, it's going to have a very simple damping system, one that gets harsher and more out of control the faster you go.

    For two, there will be no parts available to fix anything that breaks, like a damper seal or top-cap or rod.

    There are likely no instructions for servicing and it may not even be possible to service the cartridge, so it'll slowly self-destruct.

    Basically, you have no idea what the internals of this fork are, the company has no reputation, no engineering drawings, no diagrams, no real specs, no support, etc. At this pricepoint, the chances of getting something that ticks the boxes to be a viable and reliable suspension component are not worth it, you'd be better off taking $150 down to the local casino and gambling it there. At that pricepoint, rigid forks are better. A rigid fork is always better than a poor suspension fork.
    alright, thanks for letting me know. what would you recommend for a low price point?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Granny_Gear View Post
    alright, thanks for letting me know. what would you recommend for a low price point?
    A good used one that was well-kept, or a rigid fork. The issue with the low end pricepoint stuff is it gets worse the faster you go and is never as precise as a rigid fork, so I'd always go with a rigid fork over a low-end suspension fork. At this pricepoint, these are generally just suspension-fork-looking-objects. As far as the used fork or even "great deals" are concerned, this takes a certain amount of mechanical knowledge, both to the innards and damper theory, as well as servicing and maintaining. So that stacks the cards even more against you. Usually, the quality stuff that you'd want to keep on your bike that actually provides a benefit and allows you to grow as a rider is around $500-600. The stuff below that is often not worth it. Again, it's hard to make any hard rules here and there is too much to attempt to teach. Better for you to start doing some research on these ideas. At $800-1000, you will usually be getting something high quality that performs well for a variety of riders and conditions. This is usually better because of the potential and ability to keep up with your riding. Sometimes you'll find last years 800-1000 fork for 499-599 online. When you start "scrounging" for lower cost solutions, you generally need to know a lot of ins and outs of compatibility, servicing, design, etc...
    "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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  5. #5
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    Jeezus. Kashima.
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  6. #6
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    A lot of high-end bikes are moving from air to coil.

    The cheaper the fork the bigger boost you get from moving from air to coil.

    Even ultra high end 3 chamber air springs are not as smooth as a coil.

    So why are you moving to air?
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaveGiant View Post
    A lot of high-end bikes are moving from air to coil.
    They're really not, at least for forks. I'm sure there are some but I can't think of any decent bikes that are being sold with coil forks.

  8. #8
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    He is asking for really low price point, at this level reliable damping would be far more important than coil/air spring feel.

    If I were you I'd keep an eye on ebay/craigslist and similar resale pages for reliable entry level fork like manitou machete, sr suntour axon or rockshox 30/judy. You might not be able to find one today but the biking season is almost over and now the bike rebuild/upgrade season will be starting so there will be options. Few years ago I managed to get pretty decent used Manitou Minute for like $60 on ebay

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaveGiant View Post
    A lot of high-end bikes are moving from air to coil.

    The cheaper the fork the bigger boost you get from moving from air to coil.

    Even ultra high end 3 chamber air springs are not as smooth as a coil.

    So why are you moving to air?
    Coils are good when you're descending enough that the change in altitude can effect how the fork feels at each end of the run. They're also great when you have a personal mechanic and a collection of springs so you can change them as you see fit. For the average Joe I'd say air is better. All you need to dial in an air shock to the right setting is a shock pump. If you gain or lose weight it's just a matter of adding or removing air, rather than buying a new spring. You can adjust an air spring one pound at a time too, I'm yet to see springs that are available in such small intervals.
    . . . . . . . .

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Granny_Gear View Post
    another member suggested that i upgraded my coil sprung 100mm fork to an air "sprung" 120mm fork.

    So i looked on Amazon and i found this.
    it seems like a deal for $150. where would buying this bite me in the ass?

    https://www.amazon.com/Suspension-Re...8-7&th=1&psc=1
    That doesn't even look like it has a tapered steerer tube. It's a cheap chinese knock off of a Fox fork on the outside, and WallyWorld level bits on the inside. Does your bike have a straight 1 1/8" headtube and quick release front axle?
    .
    .
    You should check out e-bay to see if you can pick up a used Fox 32. I'm seeing used Fox 32s in 120mm travel from $140 to $320 right now.
    . . . . . . . .

  11. #11
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    For a reliable inexpensive air with service parts available I suggest using the Suntour upgrade program and get a Raidon fork . https://www.srsuntour.us/pages/upgrade-program
    Change begins by doing something different.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by scatterbrained View Post
    Coils are good when you're descending enough that the change in altitude can effect how the fork feels at each end of the run. They're also great when you have a personal mechanic and a collection of springs so you can change them as you see fit. For the average Joe I'd say air is better. All you need to dial in an air shock to the right setting is a shock pump. If you gain or lose weight it's just a matter of adding or removing air, rather than buying a new spring. You can adjust an air spring one pound at a time too, I'm yet to see springs that are available in such small intervals.
    Coil springs work over a WAY bigger range, you don't need to change them unless you gain or lose a crazy amount of weight. The fact that you dont need to adjust them 1psi at a time is a big benefit in itself.

    They also require way less maintenance. Forget zip tie burping, that's over forever with a coil. It's odd to suggest someone needs a personal mechanic for something that significantly reduces maintenance.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Coil springs work over a WAY bigger range, you don't need to change them unless you gain or lose a crazy amount of weight. The fact that you dont need to adjust them 1psi at a time is a big benefit in itself.
    "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

    You're turning black metallic.

  14. #14
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    If it's a Suntour fork you have, Suntour offers upgrades at a reduced price.

    They also can sometimes be upgraded with a damping cartridge, but it depends which version you have.

    Or yeah, look out for used. Make sure which kind of steerer you have (tapered or not)

  15. #15
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    I saw this piece of shit fork at my local shop. Some idiot bought it and brought it in because it wasn't "working" right. My mechanic was being really nice to the guy saying he bought a dud. I checked it out and it is shit. There is no damping, zero!!! No compression and no rebound. There is a lock out though. Stay away!!!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    If it's a Suntour fork you have, Suntour offers upgrades at a reduced price.

    They also can sometimes be upgraded with a damping cartridge, but it depends which version you have.

    Or yeah, look out for used. Make sure which kind of steerer you have (tapered or not)
    unfortunately i have a non tapered steerer tube, but i'll look into suntours upgrade program

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    If it's a Suntour fork you have, Suntour offers upgrades at a reduced price.

    They also can sometimes be upgraded with a damping cartridge, but it depends which version you have.

    Or yeah, look out for used. Make sure which kind of steerer you have (tapered or not)
    Actually, I believe Suntour will upgrade from any fork, as long as it's OEM and you are the original purchaser.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Coil springs work over a WAY bigger range, you don't need to change them unless you gain or lose a crazy amount of weight. The fact that you dont need to adjust them 1psi at a time is a big benefit in itself.

    They also require way less maintenance. Forget zip tie burping, that's over forever with a coil. It's odd to suggest someone needs a personal mechanic for something that significantly reduces maintenance.
    They work over a "way bigger range" in the way a pair of shoes labels "size 8-10" works over a bigger range than a pair of size 10 shoes.
    . . . . . . . .

  19. #19
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    I don't think discussing the pros and cons of high end suspension springs is much help to the OP. I don't think (s)he is in the market for an Ohlins...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaveGiant View Post
    A lot of high-end bikes are moving from air to coil.

    The cheaper the fork the bigger boost you get from moving from air to coil.

    Even ultra high end 3 chamber air springs are not as smooth as a coil.

    So why are you moving to air?
    Yeah? How many $2000+ coil fork bikes are there on the market right now as completes? I would submit that there is no such trend as you describe.

    The fork in question has a straight steerer and 9mm quick release along with the utter lack of any support as discussed above. It is obsolete and doesn't fit any new bikes, so that also explains the low price.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwiceHorn View Post
    Actually, I believe Suntour will upgrade from any fork, as long as it's OEM and you are the original purchaser.
    my fork came with my bike, so i'll see what i can do.
    If You didn't start on a Hardtail you're doing it Wrong

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Marz didn't even make different weights for some forks. RS typically did 4 or 5.

    You know this though. Whatsup with that? fox springs notoriously varies hugely between the same weight because it generally worked anyway.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I don't think discussing the pros and cons of high end suspension springs is much help to the OP. I don't think (s)he is in the market for an Ohlins...
    truth...

  24. #24
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    On a cheaper build I had going for a hardtail that came with a bad budget coil fork. I put on a Suntour raidon. It's a good fork, good for what im using the bike for, but in no way matches a 36 Fox Factory. The Fox just performs 20x better than the suntour and just plain gets me where I want to be on the trails. So in a sense, the fork you buy is going to matter a whole lot on what you plan on riding. So if you're going down the streets in people's lawn, or nearby walking trails. Some cheap budget forks may be what you'll want. But If you had some bigger trails with interesting tech to bounce over, you may want to invest in something a bit more 'made for the job'.

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  25. #25
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    It's cheap so that you have some bucks left over to put toward your dentist bill.
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  26. #26
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    I just put this fork on my inexpensive 29er and found it to be a HUGE improvement over what it had. Like a HUGE difference. That doesn't mean it is great or will win many races, but it rides way nicer than the crap fork that was on the bike when I got it.

    I am not going to put a $2000 fork on a $500 bike....nor should anybody.

  27. #27
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    ...as for the safety, I have watched dozens of guys on $5000 bikes smash their faces into the ground because they didn't have the skills to match the bike.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy 8s View Post
    I just put this fork on my inexpensive 29er and found it to be a HUGE improvement over what it had. Like a HUGE difference. That doesn't mean it is great or will win many races, but it rides way nicer than the crap fork that was on the bike when I got it.

    I am not going to put a $2000 fork on a $500 bike....nor should anybody.
    I'm sure it is an upgrade over the pogo stick of a fork that you previously had but did they give you a source for where to buy service parts like seals, etc. ? All forks require service after 50 hours of use.
    Change begins by doing something different.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by huckleberry hound View Post
    I'm sure it is an upgrade over the pogo stick of a fork that you previously had but did they give you a source for where to buy service parts like seals, etc. ? All forks require service after 50 hours of use.
    Fox charges $175 for a fork service, recommended after 125 hours of service. That is for 70cc of oil, a couple sponge seals and a few minutes of labor.

    They have endorsees and advertisements to pay for.


    I will likely ride this thing until it blows up and then buy a new one for $150...or maybe a carbon rigid fork because I am mostly just commuting with the bike.

    There has always been a great deal of irrationality in cycling...and no shortage of people that exploit it.

  30. #30
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    You can get a new Manitou Markhor for about $200 on ebay, so that would be my preference over a noname.

    I would guess that some of the noname stuff is probably pretty good, but unless someone qualified buys one and reviews it, I'm not interested...

  31. #31
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    About color difference and After sale Service:
    Different screens can cause the color of the item in the image to be a little different from the actual one. The allowed measurement error is +/- 1-3 cm


    This disclaimer would be enough for me to stay away. I hate it when my colors are off more than 1cm.

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