Fork upgrade vs frame integrity

specialeyes Posts: 542
edited February 2010 in MTB buying advice
Hi guys, I want to upgrade the forks on my hardrock sport disc, had it for 5 months, ridden places like gisburn forrest, lee quary and the local moors and the stock suntours are just plain dangerous!

The forks i've been looking at are - Marzocchi 44 rlo (100mm)
Rockshox Tora 318 u-turn (85-130mm)
Rockshox Recon 351 u-turn (85-130mm)

Specialized state the frame is made for 80mm forks and obviously the above forks have more travel than that, is it going to make that much difference to the handling and the strength of the frame if the travel is at or above 100mm, I was leaning toward the Marzocchi's but the other 2 choices have the adjustability and run close to the 80mm barrier.

What do you think of the forks listed? does anyone have any experience of the Marzocchi's? Heard good things about the Tora and Recons but nada on the 44's.

Any help and advice will be much appreciated! Thanks!!!


  • RevellRider
    RevellRider Posts: 1,794
    The Hardrock is designed to be ran with a 100mm travel fork. The high spec models come fitted with an 80/100mm fork.

    Marzocchi forks don't have a great rep lately, they've been off the ball in terms of QC. They claimed to of sorted it for this year, but The Rock Shox are pretty good forks and the U-Turn on the forks are a god-send.
  • Thanks for the reply! I think i may have been romanced by the air preload on the marzocchi's! Do you happen to know which is the sturdier fork out of the 2 rockshox? I dont do DH stuff but do tend to ride some gnarly terrain and my overconfidence/eagerness sometimes outstrips my abilities, so i need a fork thats going to smooth over the mistakes lol!
  • Tora is stronger, they have the same damping circuits.
  • blister pus
    blister pus Posts: 5,780
    but then the Recon is lighter. and you're still not likely to break it using it for it's intended purpose.
  • Cheers for the info guys! I guess it boils down to, is the weight saving worth the extra 40 quid or so. Also ive seen the poplock toras for only a tenner extra, anyone used this system? Is it worth bothering with?
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    Poploc is not worth it on the 318 fork as you lose some of the compression adjustment.
  • blister pus
    blister pus Posts: 5,780
    poploc isn't worth it, vast majority end up not using it and taking it off the bars.

    Tricky thing with the Recon. I picked mine up new for £185 the other week (fluke deal). I'm not sure I'd have forked out the asking price some of the retailers are dishing them out at with Tora 318s knocking about at their price.

    Merlin are the ones to watch, the first 24 hours they come back in stock they put a discount on them which gets them to £200: ... -turn.html
  • Good to know cheers! Im sure any fork i get will be easier to lockout on the fly than my suntour deathtraps anyway!
  • @ blister. Have you had many dealings with merlin? I ask because a friend of mine didnt have a very pleasent experience instore and his buddy ordered some 'new' forks and they sent some reconditioned forks without the box! Also heard a few other similar stories from other people. I had looked on the site and was surprised by the prices, wonder if it is too good to be true. The lowest elsewhere i think is chain reaction for the recons @ 239.
  • blister pus
    blister pus Posts: 5,780
    I mainly deal with CRC and Merlin and never had a problem. But for the big stuff I always make sure I phone and double check the small print because they do stipulate that images are for representation only and they don't always put the pertinent detail up on the site. But that's pretty standard I've found.

    And CRC did regular 10% off deals which are worth looking out for.
  • Cheers! I shall keep a eye out for that!
  • cavegiant
    cavegiant Posts: 1,546
    I am agreeing with the above.

    I believe the tora and recon are identical but recon is alloy saving weight.

    check what the max the frame will take.

    just because it is designed for 100 does not mean it cannont safely take 135mm. my niner could.

    Main thing is get rid of your current fork, awful.
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?
  • Regarding the max the frame will take. I feel specialized will err on the side of caution when they say its designed for 80mm. They say the warranty will be void if i go 10% above the stated 80mm. It would be handy to know how much i can use from the u-turn!
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    The frame is not designed or warrantied for 130mm.
  • How does the u-turn work exactly? Can you move the travel up in small increments? What should i keep it under? No more than 120 or 110?
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    The dial adjusts between 85-130mm in about 7 full turns of the knob. This allows very small increments.

    Check with Specialized what the warranty on your frame is.
  • Cheers! The warranty will be void if i go over 10% on 80mm! I'll just use my discretion i guess!