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Grrr Warning on forks

alf01alf01 Posts: 19
edited May 2008 in MTB beginners
took my hardrock out for another burn through the woods last night everything going sweet. descending is fine even over rocks n roots all good

so I get home and clean off the crud and notice a sticker that says words to the effect of
"these forks are mickey mouse and shouldn't be used for anything beyond going to the shops"

the forks are SR Suntour SF7-XCM-HLO

Ok its an entry level bike, but made by a reputable company. i was lead to believe that it was a good bike to start with and the kit would be up to scratch. Even the Bike radar review likes the bike and talks specifically about DH

Is this just a disclaimer to cover the company's back or are the forks made of biscuits?

Do you recommend them as the first upgrade?


  • riggsy123riggsy123 Posts: 62
    Im glad you asked this as I am in the same boat...

    Im thinking about upgrading to a better fork as the Suntour on them really isnt the best and especially being a big bloke its always in the back of my mind that the springs are gonna snap etc
  • mr mangosmr mangos Posts: 174
    They're just covering themselves. I used to have the same forks and from memory the sticker said no dirt jumping or downhill, as in downhill racing etc. They're fine for literally going down hills cross-country style.

    While they're not the best in the world, they're ok beginner forks and nothing's going to snap.
  • S_J_PS_J_P Posts: 908
    Suntour forks aren't that bad when it comes to strength, but they really aren't up to much in terms of their usefulness though! The disclaimer is almost certainly there for legal reasons.

    A decent pair of forks costs almost as much as a whole budget bike, so something has to give and fitting a £30 pair of SR Suntour forks means that money can be usefully spent on other areas. It's all a matter of balance. You'll also find that you BB will most likley fail in a year, and that your mechs will wear and suffer because they're not XTR/X0 quality. Your tyres are also probably made of hard-cheese, and your stem will be too long. You have got a reasonably priced package though.

    I upgraded my (perfectly sound) SR Suntour fork for a Rock Shox Reba for £200 and the difference was staggering. Upgrade your tyres first, then fork second would be my advice, then buy better spec parts as your budget items wear out.
  • z1ppyz1ppy Posts: 103
    As per S_J_P - those Reba's for £200 are a bargain.
    When you have some spare cash - Look into replacing your forks with Marzocchi MX's or Rockshox Tora or RS Recons (all should be sub £200), these forks are 'heavy' but actually work properly unlike your suntours.

    Sleep is for the dead, but I sure could use some.
  • alf01alf01 Posts: 19
    Cool I was looking at the recons but I'm going to ride till I kill the suntours first
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    What does it actually say? Most forks have warnings on them.

    Remember this is a budget XC fork that costs about 30 quid, and that is what it designed for - just XC.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    There's a thing on my forks that says "downhill". so they're not covered by the warranty if they fall apart whilst riding along the flat, or up a hill. :cry:
  • stato77stato77 Posts: 18
    It says something along the lines of

    "for cross country leisure use only, not to be used for downhill, freeride of dirt jumping"
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Well, that's hardly doom and gloom is it? And it's probably quite correct.
    Have you seen the price, and size of forks designed specifically for downhill, or freeride?
  • Iain CIain C Posts: 464
    As everyone says, it's fine, don't worry.

    I ride a £1500 full susser and would not dream of doing proper jumps or downhill on it.

    And by the same token, I would not dream of riding a proper downhill rig for leisure XC riding!
  • chronyxchronyx Posts: 455
    Iain C wrote:
    I ride a £1500 full susser and would not dream of doing proper jumps or downhill on it.

    what can you do on a £1500 bike?

    I saw this over on MTB Britain - what bikes would they be riding and how much would they cost?
    2007 Giant SCR2 - 'BFG'

    Gone but not forgotten!:
    2005 Specialized Hardrock Sport - 'Red Rocket'
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Different types of 1500 quid bikes though - XC race bikes right throught to freeride rigs, and 20lbs weight difference!
  • chronyxchronyx Posts: 455
    True - but any £1500 bike must be able to take one hell of a beating, even if it's not as good at a certain type riding as a dedicated machine?
    2007 Giant SCR2 - 'BFG'

    Gone but not forgotten!:
    2005 Specialized Hardrock Sport - 'Red Rocket'
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Not always - some of the light kit on these bikes are simply not designed to be hammered that hard. The money you put into XC bikes lowers the weight - and does not always increas strength.
  • chronyxchronyx Posts: 455
    Thanks, that makes sense!

    Useful to know as I will be buying myself a 'real' MTB soon and I'm not too fussed about weight, I just want something I can ride on trails but also jump etc without worrying every 10 seconds about a horrible metallic sound :D
    2007 Giant SCR2 - 'BFG'

    Gone but not forgotten!:
    2005 Specialized Hardrock Sport - 'Red Rocket'
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Bikes seem to have got more and more specialised over time. 5 years ago, £1500 would indeed have bought a frame that was pretty strong, but not as strong as a modern freeride bike, and it would have been relatively light, but not as light as a modern XC bike.

    I think.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Yep, the technology is advancing quickly, and bikes today are amazing value.
  • clarksonclarkson Posts: 1,641
    they have indeed. new niches have appeared and are still appearing for some reason, even though pretty much every type of riding has been covered!

    a general bike now would be considered a 6 inch travel "all-mountain" rig. my enduro for instance!! :D
    I said hit the brakes not the tree!!

    2006 Specialized Enduro Expert

    2008 Custom Merlin Malt 4

    2008 GT Avalanche Expert
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    People seem to be attempting more and more, and bikes today are allowing us to get away with it too!

    15 years ago, it was all about XC. Today that term is meant for the very lightest and shortest travel bikes, while most of us are indeed leaning towards 5inches of travel or so.
  • judith_swjudith_sw Posts: 101
    Sorry to butt in, but is there any easy way of knowing when your forks are dead? What's a realistic lifespan? I bought a virtually unused 2001 Marin Nail Trail from my brother a few months ago and the forks seemed really stiff. They're now much looser and the ride is a lot more comfortable. Is there anything I should be looking out for in the future?

  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    What fork is it? If they are still smooth, no play in the bushings (often felt as a knock), adjusters work, they dont leak and tare still controlled, then just keep riding! Couple of drops of oil on the seals is a good idea.
  • judith_swjudith_sw Posts: 101
    Thanks Supersonic.

    The forks are Manitou Magnum R - a quick internet search shows mixed reviews from excellent to rubbish. I think mine are fine for now - they've definitely bedded in and seem really quite comfortable. I think the initial concerns I had were down to the bike only having been ridden for c.50 miles, on road for the first 6 years of its life ... I've been hurtling (slowly :lol: ) along trails on it for the last 3 months!!! As I'll have to stick with this bike for a while, I'll upgrade bits and pieces as and when. Opinion seems to be that the frame is pretty good (I've already upgraded to disk brakes and new wheels)

  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    Mmm coil and MCU springs.

    the MCU (rubber foam) can degrade over time and stop doing what it should.

    But if you are happy with things as they are enjoy, But when the forks do need a service dont bother just replace them with some new forks.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • dhxcmedhxcme Posts: 1,467
    What you can do is go to your LBS and get a sticker to go over the top of the one on your forks which says these forks are not suitable for riding on.

    At the end of the day the sticker means. If you do a 40ft drop and the forks explode and kill you tough sh/t.
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