Forks - Don't read if this newbie type of post offends-
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  1. #1
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    Aug 2005

    Forks - Don't read if this newbie type of post offends

    Apologies for lowering the tone of this forum, but hopefully most of you still don't mind answering this type of question - again. (I've tried the search function but keep getting an error message).

    Placed the order for my first Turner - 5-Spot. Due end of October.
    Going through the process of speccing the build and am struggling on the most expensive bit (after the frame) - The Forks.

    I don't have a long history of mountain biking and therefore no experience of different types of forks, so was going for Fox Float TALAS or RLC as I thought they were the 'the best'. (Type of riding - English Lakes, 7 Stanes, Coed-y-Brenin, etc. Not 5 foot drops).

    But, doing a bit of research on the web, I've found a lot of negative comments concerning leaking oil, bushing knock, creaking steerers, needing a lot of servicing, and not the best customer service. One magazine states in a long term review of the RLC's, "like all Fox forks it developed bushing knock".

    I looked at the Turner website for other recommended forks and checked out the Marzocchi All Mountain range. Less complaints concerning functional problems, but customer service not up to much and adjustment knobs falling off. Checked the Spot database and there's not many of you with these forks.

    What are your thoughts and/or experience in general.
    Do all Fox forks get 'bushing knock'. Is the Vanilla range better.
    Why not more Marzocchi All Mountain's on the database.

    Help me spend my money wisely.

  2. #2
    Time flies...
    Reputation: xjbebop's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    ...seems like I saw somewhere that DT runs a Fox Float on his spot...
    If that's correct, what does that tell you? that correct?? ...anyone??
    ...every day sends future to past...

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: slomoking's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    I started out with a Minute 2 on my 5 Spot but it didn't match up well with the RP3. I'm now riding a Marzocchi AMSL 110-130. At first I didn't like the AMSL; it felt harsher than the Minute 2. After a few long, hard rides I could feel the AMSL getting smoother. Now after a couple hundred miles on it I couldn't be happier.

    The AMSL is definitely a bugger to get set up. There are 4 different air pressures that all effect the ride. I'm still tweaking the pressures a bit but over all I’m pretty close to my sweat spot.

    I went with an AMSL and not an AM1 because of the color (I know, lame) and the price I was able to get on the AMSL. For 06 the AM1 has black lowers. You might want to include the RS Pikes on your list as well; they have received high praise from a lot of riders.

  4. #4
    MK_ is offline
    carpe maana
    Reputation: MK_'s Avatar
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    Nov 2004
    Rock Shox Pike/Revelation or Fox Vanilla or Marzocchi AM1 or Z1 Light or Pace or Maverick DUC32 or SC32. Potentially, Marzocchi Marathon XC/SL. Manitou Nixon, or older Sherman Firefly. This isn't a complete list, but should cover a lot of choices.

    First off, Quick Release or throughaxle? What are you priorities in the build? Do you want to lean on a XC side of the build, making it light, quicker steering, easier to pedal up or do you want more on a FR side, a bit burlier, slacker up front, more confident on the downhills and at speed?

    If first is your choice, then RS Revelation, Fox Vanilla, Pace, Mav SC32, Marathon.
    Both SC32 and Marathon have 120mm of travel, so they're 10mm shy of full 5inches. Many will be ready to tear me a new a$$hole for even recommending it, due to the fact that if you put your front wheel between your legs and twist the bars, there's a lot of tornional movement. Truth is, on trail, this fork shines. Stiffer than the Vanilla in all but tortional stiffness, which is a force that you don't really exprience on trail, and if you do, you're in trouble already. Marathon is a great fork, but not the paradigm of stiffness at 120mm extension due to 30mm stanchions. Vanilla will be stiffer, and has great dampers. Don't know much about Pace, other than it is super light and that 2 Brits are riding them on their Spots and I believe, enjoyin them.

    If you favor the second option, then Pike, AM1, Z1, DUC32. Pike has had great reviews. I played with on at Interbike and I really liked it. It was the Air U-Turn model. Maxle is a great system as well, adding a feather in its cap. AM1 is very tunable and very stiff for a Quick Release fork, very stiff. The bladder damper is very impressive, I have a modified AM1 on my 5 Spot, so I am biased . Z1 Light, offer RC2, which gives you a wide range of tunability and it is a very stiff fork. ETA helps with the ultra steep climbs on the AM1 and Z1, although, personally, I rarely, or never, use it. DUC32 is a realy great fork, but the damping is a bit on a primitive side. Otherwise, it is easly as stiff as the rest of the bunch, if not stiffer and offers 6inches of travel at the height of the Z1/AM1. Nixon looked great on paper when it first arrived, but the infinite travel adjustment had loads of issues and the height of the fork was increased due to it coming in contact with the tire at full compression. Never ridden one, so I don't know how well it rides. Sherman Firefly is a great option, but hard to find a non-SPV 2003 or 2004 in new/like new condition. Rapid travel wind down is an ideal system as it lowers your fork by an inch (in 2003) or two in 2004) and keeps the front end relatively active. TPC damping is very good.


    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  5. #5
    ... I guess you won't be
    Reputation: jokermtb's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
    the reason there are not more marzocchi new fork listings on mtbr, is the plain fact that Marzocchi users are OUT RIDING, instead of worrying over bushing knock, blown seals, etc.....

    do yourself a favor and get a BOMB[er]proof fork......

    2004 Z1 fr coil, is still available and a helluva great match for a spot......and inexpensive!

  6. #6
    It's a Turner!
    Reputation: sirbikesalot's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    I'm sure the Fox Vanillas have gotten better than my '02 version, but after I switched to a Z1 I'll never go back. I have the QR20 version. So plush you feel like you can ride off anything. A small weight penalty over the Fox, maybe slightly slower steering due to the taller Z1, but who cares when you're just rolling over everything. The thing I like about the zoke is the fore/aft stiffness - much stiffer than the Fox. Just look at the crown. Both forks are fairly easy to work on too. I have the Z1 paired with a Fox RP3 shock and they work great together.
    I didn't just drink the koolaid, I stuck my head in the punchbowl.

  7. #7
    Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
    Reputation: cactuscorn's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    i think i recall him tellin me hes on a fox float talus but that may have been his flux. i know he uses a fox 36 on his spot. im goin for a old '01 zoke z-1 mcc ecc on my frankenframe but thats cuz its was already here. should work ok for for my talent level. >..<, tiny.
    No, I'm NOT back!

  8. #8
    PSI is offline
    I want that one
    Reputation: PSI's Avatar
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    Mar 2005

    one word for ya


    Seems like any flavor will do. I have a 04 Z1 SL, light, plush, amazing.

  9. #9
    Team Blindspot
    Reputation: S-Works's Avatar
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    Dec 2003

    The big advantage of going with a Talas...

    Is the wide range of travel adjustment. I have both a Marathon S 120 and a Talas.

    I was ready to sell the Talas before I got it Pushed. The Push gang can service your Talas far better and quicker than Fox.

    The other consideration is if you are more XC/Trailbike oriented, the Talas will be about a pound lighter than than the All mountain fork.

    If you get the Talas and use the Push boys, all your concerns about the fox forx are nullified.

    And I will agree with the previous poster, the reason you don't see many zokes for sale is becuase rider love them. I love my Marathon, I just like the Pushed Talas a little better.

    Good Luck!
    Astigmatic Visionary

  10. #10
    mtbr member
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    Aug 2005
    Thanks for the comments (so far).
    You've given me more options and food for thought, e.g. what do I want out of the forks. (Just to get out and ride!!!! )

  11. #11
    mtbr member
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    Jun 2004
    Definately consider the Fox Vanilla 130. Simple but perfect. Not greatly expensive, a full pound lighter than many candidates above. Plush and stiff. GREAT all-around ride, simple setup and forget. About the same weight as the TALAS (no travel-adjust, but I just wanted to get out and ride - without dealing constantly with switches, and I find myself quite fast on the climbs at a full 5").
    The Vanilla was tested with the 5spot in the 2003 mountain-bike-action review [see Turner's site].
    It also appears that the Vanilla is quite home on DT's personal bike ( ), so how can you lose?

  12. #12
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    Jan 2004


    I think MK_ summed it up best. It all depends on what you want from your forks.

    I have just gone for a Vanilla myself as I don't weight alot so getting something _really_ stiff isn't as big a priority for me as it is for others. I had riden both a Float and a Talas before, but find the Vanilla a much nicer fork, feeling far more like the lovely feel of the coil Marzocchis I've riden in the past.

    One worry about the Vanilla, is that some report it doesn't love our UK conditions that well and requires a bit more looking after compared to a Marzocchi. I cannot comment as I've only had it a couple of weeks.

  13. #13
    Full Monty Bike Bore
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    New question here. Fork trouble

    I feel your pain. I went thru the same process earlier this year and initially opted for the Nixon Super, the non SPV unit (SPV and IT seem to be most troublesome on the super expensive Platinum model). It was acquired at a favourable price along with the purchase of my Spot. As peeps have previously mentioned, this fork looks to be a killer on paper but mine failed straight out of the box. It was promptly rebuilt by the UK importer and has performed flawlessly since. Something about misalignment, damper rods and duff lowers.

    Whilst I was sucking eggs and being tortured, looking at a new bike that I couldn't ride ! - I drop a wad on a Pace RC41. This beauty (there's no denying it) is great and such an awesome weight too. It rides v.well on all terrain and seems to match the RP3'd back end better than the Super. It doesn't ramp up thru it's travel like the Super either. Where it does fall short tho is on the small bumps and I recall the Super won here. It's not that the Pace is bad, rather the Super is...superior. Apparently the coil Pace's are better here but I personally didn't like the travel adjust on the RC40.

    It's been a while since I rode the Super and I really must get around to comparing both forks back to back over the same trails. Until I've done this I can't really say if one is better than the other although the Pace is slightly ahead if only for the neat climb-down facility which is much less fiddly that Manitou's IT system. Actually, I've found that my Spot climbs so well without any knock-down that I hardly ever use it. On the odd occassion I have lowered the front (Afan, tho not strictly necessary) my pedals clattered off the rocks and disturbed my pedaling.

    As you're from the UK, Wiggle had a great offer on the RC41 with something like £150 which makes it looks mighty attractive IMO. Someone also recently mentioned that ChainReactionCycles have dropped the Nixon prices...

    To muddy the waters further (sorry) my partners Reba is performing v.well and I see that many peeps here like the Pike on their Spots. I don't think that I've heard of any problems with 'em either. The RS units are certainly ahead on price, unless any "closeout" deals can be had. I'd certainly like to try one tho a new front hub is a bummer. I've not had any issues with stiffness on either of my QR forks.

    You'll find that the Marz forks have a long axle to crown height, a-c. I notice than the Super gives a slightly more laid back feel compared to the slightly shorter RC41. I still feel that the Super is more robust and get the nagging feeling (less so now) that the carbon is more fragile - although in function they'll both blat over lumpy terrain without complaining.

    one964, if you're anywhere near n.Bucks then you're welcome to try either / both forks.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Farqui; 10-10-2005 at 08:21 AM.
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  14. #14
    Reputation: Mattman's Avatar
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    Feb 2004


    Fox forks are great, or so I hear. They seem a bit pricey, and complicated to me. Also, I see a lot more of them come in needing service. Marzocchi on the other hand are more simple, less expensive, and rarely break. There is a reason why they rule in places like Whistler and why you see so many on bikes in the MTB videos.....They flat work well and hold up!

    I would not even consider Man-it-blew or Rocksux though the Reba seems to be breaking the crap streak they were on.
    Two Wheeled and Too Big

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