Forum home Mountain biking forum Women

Forks for a female newbie

jackmcdjackmcd Posts: 185
edited August 2010 in Women
Hi

To tempt my wife to do more cycling I offered to buy her a lighter bike to replace her old steel catalogue bike.

As she doesnt do any off road other than smooth tracks I suggested replacing the dead weight of cheap forks with carbon rigid forks. She would like the forks as even normal bumps on roads can make her arms ache, and both I and our teenage son have them.

Neither of us have ever been a woman mountain biker and wonder if any females here had any thoughts as the bike choice will be affected. Carbon rigid or 'suntour' type forks for road and very light off road use?

Posts

  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Not a woman lol, but the basics apply to all of us - need a fork that suits the rider. Depending on your budget, not many bikes come with carbon rigids as standard. What budget do you have in total?
  • jackmcdjackmcd Posts: 185
    Hi

    Was thinking of spending £3-400 and in that price range forks tend to be a bit pants...

    My plan was to spend near £300 on a dawes or giant, ditch the cheap forks and put on some rigid replacements for £100 or so. Perhaps however my wife is right that some suspension is better than none and I should just spend £400 on a better bike...?
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I think both options have their merits - you could find a well specced 300 quid bike, but with awful fork (ie money elsewhere on bike!) and upgrade, or go for the 400 all in. 400 quid bikes tend to be better value though, as not only get better forks, but sometimes hydro brakes.

    The rigid fork will save weight, but even carbon will only take the edge of bumps - they are still nothing like a good suspension fork. Merlin cycles were doing the marzocchi MX Pro for a fantastic 100 quid - and being air sprung you can tune it to her weight.

    If you do go the 400 quid route, try and get a bike with a fork that has hydrauilic damping.
  • jackmcdjackmcd Posts: 185
    Thanks supersonic - that marzocchi looks fine and only 1.8kg. It has v brake mounts and I'd be tempted to stick to v brakes.

    Not sure what hydraulic damping is though... I will look it up
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Damping controls the fork movement. Very important in a fork, otherwise the hits it absorbed are spat right back at you, and the fork can pogo along.

    With the MX Pro the damping is adjustable, so it can be perfectly tuned to the rider. You can control how fast the fork extends after a bump with just the twiat of dial, from ultra slow, to very fast.
  • BlackSpurBlackSpur Posts: 4,228
    A good option if you decide to blow all the money on a new bike

    http://www.tredz.co.uk/ProductDetail.asp?ProductID=15766
    "Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling." ~James E. Starrs
  • lynseyflynseyf Posts: 47
    I put rigid forks on an old mtb to use as a commuter for work for much the same reasons you're stating. I have an older version of this bike http://tinyurl.com/2oyvlg and put Kona project 2 forks on it. I really, really feel the difference, even going off kerbs or on gravelly cycle paths so I would say stick with some suspension or she might find it a bit more difficult. Beginers also tend to hold on really tight so she would definately appreciate the suspension.

    On the other hand you could "force" her to go rigid and then if she ever gets really into to it and buys a proper mtb with suspension she will be flying down those trails :)
  • SilverCSilverC Posts: 42
    supersonic wrote:
    Damping controls the fork movement. Very important in a fork, otherwise the hits it absorbed are spat right back at you, and the fork can pogo along.


    Ahhh, this may explain why I was 'pinged' off my bike in Delamere Forest, and ended up legs akimbo in a pile of gravel......oh the shame, oh the agony, not to mention the gigantic black bruise on my a*se.

    Mine are EXR's (quite old now).....I'll get the other half to re-check them - I'm sure he's set them like that on purpose!
  • SilverC wrote:
    supersonic wrote:
    Damping controls the fork movement. Very important in a fork, otherwise the hits it absorbed are spat right back at you, and the fork can pogo along.


    Ahhh, this may explain why I was 'pinged' off my bike in Delamere Forest, and ended up legs akimbo in a pile of gravel......oh the shame, oh the agony, not to mention the gigantic black bruise on my a*se.

    Mine are EXR's (quite old now).....I'll get the other half to re-check them - I'm sure he's set them like that on purpose!

    I had that yesterday, tried to pedalstroke off a small drop, forgot how out of practice i was, kinda nosedived it, forks shot straight back up & I somehow managed to pull it back up, going down about 45degrees. Needless to say, i'm adjusting it before my next ride :roll:
    Start Weight 18st 13lbs March 2009
    17st 10lbs August 2009
    17st 4lbs October 2009
    15st 12lbs December 2010

    Final planned weight 12st 7lbs
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    SilverC wrote:
    supersonic wrote:
    Damping controls the fork movement. Very important in a fork, otherwise the hits it absorbed are spat right back at you, and the fork can pogo along.


    Ahhh, this may explain why I was 'pinged' off my bike in Delamere Forest, and ended up legs akimbo in a pile of gravel......oh the shame, oh the agony, not to mention the gigantic black bruise on my a*se.

    Mine are EXR's (quite old now).....I'll get the other half to re-check them - I'm sure he's set them like that on purpose!

    EXR is not a bad fork really! Oil damped, can be tuned - might not save your censored though ;-)
  • silly lilysilly lily Posts: 505
    jackmcd wrote:
    Thanks supersonic - that marzocchi looks fine and only 1.8kg.

    Where do you find one of that weight? Link?
    My On One Inbred and Com Meta 5.5.1:
    http://silly-lily.pinkbike.com/album/My-MTB/

    www.sophialibris.com
    Academic Coaching and Advising Consultancy
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    silly lily wrote:
    jackmcd wrote:
    Thanks supersonic - that marzocchi looks fine and only 1.8kg.

    Where do you find one of that weight? Link?

    weights are listed on Marz's webby some times without the steerer weight included.

    be aware of the date of this topic 2008 the Recon you have now is a better fork.

    (well could be as it depends on which one you have).
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • silly lilysilly lily Posts: 505
    The REcon is actually 2008, coil... and it stopped working as if the lockout refuses to disengage. Took it to LBS today... if they quote some high cost for repair, not sure it would be worth it.
    My On One Inbred and Com Meta 5.5.1:
    http://silly-lily.pinkbike.com/album/My-MTB/

    www.sophialibris.com
    Academic Coaching and Advising Consultancy
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    give TFtuned a call for a fix and a service.

    but an Air fork would be what to go for. eg a recon/reba dual air fork.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • silly lilysilly lily Posts: 505
    Yep, that's precisely my thinking. Thanks again.
    My On One Inbred and Com Meta 5.5.1:
    http://silly-lily.pinkbike.com/album/My-MTB/

    www.sophialibris.com
    Academic Coaching and Advising Consultancy
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Surprised no one has mentioned a set of Rebas.

    http://www.merlincycles.co.uk/Bike+Shop/Frame++Forks/Forks++Shocks/Rockshox+Suspension+Forks/Rockshox+Reba+SL+-+2010_880.htm

    Granted they might be a bit over budget but being air forks they're very adjustable, and mine ride lovely and smooth.
  • sparrowlegs78sparrowlegs78 Posts: 2,583
    Being of the lady type of person, I have the Rebas on my bike and they are lovely, rode on a bike with coil Toras on and I couldn't move them to full travel and they seemed much harsher.
    Rebas are my choice
    Caz xx
  • ChezzaChezza Posts: 2
    If your looking to upgrade your wife's bike I may have a good opportunity for you.

    I have a less than a year old Cannondale F1 Caffeine Feminine for sale, I haven't posted in the forsale board as its in for a service and complete brake repair and wanted to get it back first.
    It has rockshox tora suspension..really nice ride and a very light bike.
    Here is the spec.
    http://www.thebikelist.co.uk/cannondale ... 2009/specs

    I love this bike, and the only reason I am selling it is that I got a really good deal on a full suss.

    I am only asking 560, its in great conditon.

    you can e-mail me at [email protected] hotmail . com if your interested.
  • Would you recommend an air fork for a womans bike then?

    I'm looking into building my girlfriend a XC hardtail with all my spare parts if I can find a suitable frame, but unsure on which fork to go for. I have 2 manitou coil sprung 130mm forks to put on temporarily but think these are going to be far too firm as she's only 9st. Problem is I'm restricted to a budget for forks alone of £200 - £250.

    David
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Air forks help get the right spring rate.

    Plenty of air forks for that budget, even some rebas.
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