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Anyone Bother Adjusting Forks?

5Thumbs5Thumbs Posts: 88
edited October 2008 in MTB beginners
Serious question - I'm planning to upgrade my forks and I notice that many models have a range of adjustment between say 85mm and 130mm. The method of adjusting also seems to be either v easily done on the fly with the U-turn types of mechanism or alternatively needs to be done by dismantling the shocks and inserting different spacers (obvioulsy not done on the fly).

I can see the benfit of locking out forks for climbs but do people find it useful to be able to change fork travel?

Really my question is should I spend more on a U-turn mechnism to be able to adjust on the fly or in practice, once a fork is set do most people just leave it as is?

Posts

  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    I constantly adjust mine. If I have a long climb or a fair stint on tarmac to do I wind the travel right down to its shortest setting (110mm on my Pikes). For general use I set it at 125mm, and for long or technical downhills I wind them all the way out to 140mm for a slacker head angle, longer wheelbase and more stability. In the course of a 30 mile ride I'll probably adjust travel about five or six times.

    To be honest, Rock-Shox U-turn system is a bit redundant in its function - I can't tell the difference between 125mm and 122mm! For that reason in my mind, Fox's Talas system is far better - you have three settings, long, medium and short travel.

    Just as a footnote, the type of fork that you can adjust travel by adding a spacer internally aren't really "adjustable" as such in that you can't adjust them on the fly. They're really fixed travel in that they actually stay the same length axle-to-crown, all you're doing is adjusting the length of the stroke. A true adjustable travel fork will actually extend or retract.
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  • sniper68sniper68 Posts: 2,899
    dave_hill wrote:
    I constantly adjust mine. If I have a long climb or a fair stint on tarmac to do I wind the travel right down to its shortest setting (110mm on my Pikes). For general use I set it at 125mm, and for long or technical downhills I wind them all the way out to 140mm for a slacker head angle, longer wheelbase and more stability. In the course of a 30 mile ride I'll probably adjust travel about five or six times.

    To be honest, Rock-Shox U-turn system is a bit redundant in its function - I can't tell the difference between 125mm and 122mm! For that reason in my mind, Fox's Talas system is far better - you have three settings, long, medium and short travel.

    Just as a footnote, the type of fork that you can adjust travel by adding a spacer internally aren't really "adjustable" as such in that you can't adjust them on the fly. They're really fixed travel in that they actually stay the same length axle-to-crown, all you're doing is adjusting the length of the stroke. A true adjustable travel fork will actually extend or retract.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    I 2nd that.I always shorten my travel when climbing etc and lock-out is useful on tarmac.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Uturn seems to serve two two groups - those who want to precisely dial in the travel to their preferance and leave it, or those who change the travel to conditions. The latter can be slow, and as above, the TALAS system would be better. However for the former, the system is unbeatable. Plus TALAS is just air, RS do coil and air travel adjust (external).

    The internal spacer does alter the the fork length! You are removing a part of the push rod assembly under the top out spring, so the fork will extend a different amount.
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    I agree with super, I do use my u-turn, but it is a bit of faff. I keep looking at 36RLC talas forks, but need ot find the money...
  • stumpyjonstumpyjon Posts: 4,069
    Love my Talas 32s. I'm always changing the travel. I usually ride with them in 140mm which suits the bike's geometry but if I'm going up hill I'll drop them down to 120mm or 100mm. Around the 2.5 mile red route at Lee Quarry in Bacup I change travel settings 4 to 5 times.

    One really good thing with the Fox Talas fork is you can actually adjust travel whilst moving (plus it's quite cool to see them extend by themselves at the flick of a switch).

    Only downsides I've found are the cost of the forks and sometimes the Talas lever can become stiff if mud gets into the top of the fork.
    It's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

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  • Steve_b77Steve_b77 Posts: 1,680
    I do have to admit I've never actually adjusted the U-Turn on my Pikes while out on the trail.

    I have messed about with it on the garden.

    Probably due to the faff involved with actually doing it :shock:
  • ceecee Posts: 4,553
    But it depends on what bike you are going to put them on.

    Not much point getting a fork that extends to 130mm when the bike suits a 100mm fork best.

    I went through this when getting a new fork for my Hardrock.....ended up with a coily RS Tora in fixed 100mm. I only use the lockout commuting to work...
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  • canada16canada16 Posts: 2,360
    I have the fox F100RL.

    I have no idea how to use the rebound and when, I have not many problems.

    But hey, they are quite new,.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Have to say, learn! Get the fork set up to get the best from it.
  • andrewjosephandrewjoseph Posts: 2,165
    I have recons spring U turn, I dial down for technical climbing, dial down and lock out for fireroads and tarmac, dial to mid range for XC, all the way up for lumpy downhills.

    As i live in the Valleys, I'm constantly twiddling, but that's why i bought adjustable forks.
    --
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  • lesz42lesz42 Posts: 690
    my humble XCR's, i lock out on roads and stuff
    Giant Trance X0 (08) Reverb, Hope Hoops 5.1D, XT brakes, RQ BC, Works Components headset 1.5
  • Paul ShPaul Sh Posts: 607
    Depending on what type of riding you do i personally think they are a bit of a gimmick, down hill maybe not so much but for XC i think they are a waste, a couple of weeks ago i did a 20 mile ride, once home i noticed they were locked and i didn't even notice throughout the ride.
  • 5Thumbs5Thumbs Posts: 88
    Mmm ........thats what I wondered about and what triggered my initial post really...

    If you can do a whole ride with em locked and not notice tany appreciable difference then I wonder how much is just a cunning plan to get you to spend an extra £100 for Reba team as opposed to Reba SL for example.

    I'm not saying that there isn't a difference but it seems to be a pretty good example of diminishing returns (and a slice of clever marketing) from my, admittedly inexperienced, point of view.
  • James_FJames_F Posts: 137
    It would have to be a pretty tame route not to notice they were locked I would say...
  • Paul ShPaul Sh Posts: 607
    James_F wrote:
    It would have to be a pretty tame route not to notice they were locked I would say...

    I did say "depending on what type of riding you do" I'm 41 years old, i don't do 40mph down hill jaunts, i don't do jumps off 6ft drop offs, what i do do is days out through forest tracks and hill sides at an easy pace, even when i encounter the rough stuff i take it at such a pace that the forks are of no importance.
    The problem is you can't buy a decent mountain bike without this type of fork but you are pushed into buying them regardless, so, my type of riding doesn't warrant this type of fork so why should i pay for something i don't want, i'm willing to bet that the majority of hardtail riders don't actually need this type of fork, down hill on the other hand is a totally different matter.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Lockout can be very useful for xc and some riders. Stopping your body weight activating the fork is the point - saving energy that would be lost to the suspension.

    Most forks have blow off valves anyway, so will act as normal on a decent bump.

    But if you are riding very smooth paths, you might as well get a rigid fork. Plenty of bikes come from new this way (hybrids).
  • As said, it all depends what you want / need.

    The internal adjustment on some forks eg Reba, Pike is useful for fettling the bike to better suit your riding style, that's all. Changing the travel is quite a lengthy process and NOT one to be approached lightly, but you could perhaps get it done during servicing for example. I recently changed mine for 85 to 100 mm travel and noticed an improvement for general trail riding - and yes, it did increase the length.

    The U-turn principle is most useful if you want to quickly set up your shock before setting out on different types of trail (assuming you know them well enough to predict) by selecting more or less travel. You can change mid-ride (for example before a long DH section) but you couldn't really call it on-the-fly.

    For true on-the-fly adjustment go for the Fox Talas forks (or get a Bionicon bike).

    Marv
    What tree ? ...........

    Trek 8000 ZR XC hardtail.
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