Author Topic: Fork upgrade  (Read 559 times)

jim-ratliff

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Re: Fork upgrade
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2012, 03:35:48 pm »
But the upgrade to a front suspension bike from the rigid frame bike was a good decision??  Hmmmm. 8)
Jus' sayin'
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 03:39:20 pm by jim-ratliff »
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Svend

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Re: Fork upgrade
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2012, 05:17:49 pm »
Yes, of course it was.   ::) Sigh....    However, the modern hardtail, aluminum frame with fork, is about 6 to 8 lbs lighter than our old steel frame rigid bikes were.  And it has a better drivetrain, better brakes, better geometry, greater ability to customize fit (changeable stems, etc.), than the old bikes had.  So there were other very good reasons for upgrading, beyond just the presence of a front fork.

I wish you had been here two days ago for our ride through our forest, or last Tuesday evening to watch the weekly race there.  You would have seen quite a number of 26er and 29er hardtails, and an equal number of rigid 29ers with just a carbon fork.  My point is that the trails here are not rough or gnarly or overly technical.  So we, and many local riders, including racers, elect not to carry the extra 3 to 5 pounds that rear suspension adds, just to smooth out a few roots and small rocks.  And many, like the fully-rigid 29er riders, elect to forgo the front fork altogether, in favour of lightness and agility.  But for those who also ride other trails farther away, where more technical and rough terrain does exist, they choose full-suspension, and that is the best choice for them.

Believe me, Jim, looking at some of Josh's pics of the terrain in Vermont, or having ridden the trails on the west coast with my father-in-law, for example -- if those were our local trails, my wife most certainly would be on a full-suss bike.  No question. 

BTW, my wife did test ride quite a number of full-suspension bikes a few years ago, before choosing her hardtail, and decided that she just did not care for the feel and handling.  To her, they felt sluggish, slow accelerating, poor climbers, lazy handling, and not much lighter than her old steel bike.  Designs have improved, and those bikes are much better now, esp with the evolution of carbon frames and lighter components and better rear shocks.  But at the time, she chose the best bike for where we ride, and has never regretted it.

To each his (or her) own....

« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 05:46:40 pm by Svend »

Svend

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Re: Fork upgrade
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2012, 05:41:29 pm »
well first to be a good/great decender on hardtail especially a 26 inch XC angle hardtail require kung fu skill level. Most people do not have it, and those that do have it usually do not ride 26 inch XC angle hardtails. the easiest way to go faster DH is to get a full suspension trail bike.

The next easiest way is to get wide sticky low pressure tubeless rubber.

some other things that help, brakes that allow ONE FINGER braking. bars set at the right height and with enough width. different for everyone but so many people still run bars that are much to narrow on a stem much to long IMO.

Great insight -- thanks Josh.  Yeah, I would definitely like to get her to try a wider bar.  I think hers is too narrow -- it looks like it's cramping her movements.  Only about 585 or 600 mm wide, I think.  I will look for a 620 mm to open it up a bit.

I think the stem is a good length.  She looks comfortable and well supported, neither too cramped or too stretched out; easily able to maneuver hairpins and switchbacks.  Slightly higher bar position might be good....worth trying a spacer under the stem to bump it up a titch.

I have her brake levers positioned inboard of the shift levers, meaning that the end of the brake levers is right about where her index finger sits on the grips.  Whether she actually uses one finger braking, however, I will have to ask and look for.  Good point. 

Also, whether her brakes are powerful enough for that is another question (Avid Juicy 3).  I kind of doubt it.  I have the Juicy 5 on my bike, and I am not overly impressed at their stopping power, or their progressive feel (too grabby, unpredictable).  Better brakes may be in order.  I have ridden a bike with Hayes carbon brakes, and really liked those.


bushwacka

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Re: Fork upgrade
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2012, 05:59:59 pm »
the thing is 620mm is hardly wide.

I know I am probably quite a bit larger but I run 700mm on both my bikes, also if her stem is 'good" now it will not be good if you drastically change the width because going wider effectively makes the reach longer.

on brakes, I am a sram guy, but avids honestly kinda of suck compared to the new ICE tech Shimano brakes. SLX,XT, and XTR all effectively stop the same with the SLX being heavier and cheaper.

Svend

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Re: Fork upgrade
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2012, 06:31:43 pm »
the thing is 620mm is hardly wide.

Hmmm...good point.  Just measured her bars at 585mm.  She is a slim 5'6", and at present, her hands are positioned approx. shoulder-width apart.  An extra inch or so on either side should do it.  Keep in mind she is riding a 26er XC bike, not a 29er or all mtn. / trail bike. 

Good tip on the brakes -- thanks.  What do you know about the new Elixir series? Worth the upgrade from the Juicy 3's?

BTW -- I just checked the Rockshox tech manual for '08, and it seems I can adjust the travel of the Recon fork from 80, 100, and up to 120 mm just by replacing an internal travel spacer, or removing it altogether if we want the full 120 travel.  It means taking the fork apart, but it needs service anyway, so this is easily done. 

« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 06:45:25 pm by Svend »

jim-ratliff

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Re: Fork upgrade
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2012, 08:03:06 pm »
Svend: sigh - just to be clear, i'm just playing Devil's advocate -- but not at all doubting your decisions or logic getting there.


But being able to service and at the same time adjust that fork sounds like a win win.
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Svend

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Re: Fork upgrade
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2012, 08:17:10 pm »
I know you were trying to get me stoked.  It worked  ;D 

And yes, good news on the travel adjust for the Recon.  I am very happy to have discovered that.  This opens up the possibility for more leeway of adjustment of air pressure and sag for more plush ride.  Should be an improvement.  I will have to check to see if different oil viscosity will have any effect -- lighter oil for a lighter rider? This is new territory for me, and I know little about the technicalities of fork tuning.