Value front forks?

lloydy123
lloydy123 Posts: 74
edited June 2010 in MTB buying advice
Hi guys,

I'm looking advice on entry level front forks as the elastomars have gone on my 80mm manitou SX-D forks making them very soft.

I have a 10 year old Sunn Pro Team bike so not wanting to spend a pile but just looking for a decent fork in the £100-250 range. I want something reliable that will handle my 95kgs and that I will be able to get spares for in 5 years time, unlike my old manitou. The number of forks on the market is too much for me to take in. I'm still running V brakes, steerer is 1 1/8 inches.

Thinking in the range of the Rock Shox Tora/Manitou Drake but would love to hear opinions on it and other similar forks. Marzocchi seem to have a 3 year warranty which is attractive. Also if you know any good current deals out there please let me know.

Many thanks,

Lloyd
«1

Comments

  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    250 quid will buy you a Reba from Merlin.

    A tougher, but heavier fork is the Tora 318 air. Cheaper too.
  • lloydy123
    lloydy123 Posts: 74
    thanks supersonic. Sadly that reba is Disc only :(

    any other good options in that range?
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    Ah, V brake forks are getting harder to find.
  • lloydy123
    lloydy123 Posts: 74
    Spent my evening reading this site. Seem to be a lot of good things said about the Tora air 318. Where can I get it for good value? Best I can find is RockShox 2010 Tora SL SoloAir for £220 or 2009 Tora 318 air for £215 with v brakes

    thanks
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    I'll sell you some MArzocchi 55s for the price of a beer :lol:
  • peter413
    peter413 Posts: 5,120
    Those 318 Tora's aren't to bad but have you considered upping you budget slightly and buying some disk brakes?

    Decent ones start at 50-60 quid for some Shimano Deore's so around 100 quid for the set.

    That is assuming you have disk ready hubs and the frame is disk ready
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    The 318 is a better fork than the SL, courtesy of the motion control damper.
  • lloydy123
    lloydy123 Posts: 74
    My hubs are not disc ready so think ill stay away from that. To put a disc on the front - £50 for Shimano Deore's, plus new hub plus wheel build. any idea how much that would be?

    has the 2010 318 air cahnged much from the 2009 318 air? Is the 2009 still a good fork?

    thanks guys
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    The forks have changed very little over the years.
  • lloydy123
    lloydy123 Posts: 74
    edited May 2010
    I still feel lost with all the different forks, even all the different Tora forks! From what I understand being 95kgs an air fork would be better for me.

    I have picked these out but have trouble differentiating between them:

    RS Tora 318 26 Solo Air £140 (2008 model?)
    RS Tora SL Solo Air Forks - Turnkey 2010 £230
    RS Tora Race Solo Air Forks (2009) £215
    RS Recon Race 26 Solo Air £170 (2009 model?)
    RS Recon Race Solo Air 120 £245 (2010 model?)

    Any help on the differences between these, what is good value/bad value, good fork/bad fork would be appreciated

    As my orginal fork is 80mm would i be better to stay away from a 120mm fork?
  • captainfly
    captainfly Posts: 1,001
    I;d keep away from a 120mm as older style geometry doesn't work that well with long forks. As for the forks out of your list I'd say the Tora 318 Solo Air or Recon Race Solo Air if you want something lighter. None of the tora, reba, recon are bad forks they are different, motion control is good but some forks are lighter.

    As for coil or air, I like coil and am in the mid 80kgs and like whay came on my tora 318 coil but firmer springs aren't expensive or difficult to change.
    -_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_
    Mongoose Teocali
    Giant STP0

    Why are MTB economics; spend twice as much as you intended, but only half as much as you wish you could afford? :roll:
  • m_cozzy
    m_cozzy Posts: 132
    [quote="captainfly"As for coil or air, I like coil and am in the mid 80kgs and like whay came on my tora 318 coil but firmer springs aren't expensive or difficult to change.[/quote]

    I must say this isn't my experience when I wanted a heavier spring for my 2010 recons, tftuned(?) wanted £60+ for the spring damper assembly :shock: The earlier 2009 model would have only been £20 or so.
    I wish I had spent a bit more on an air fork now. Havent bothered to change it, just lost a bit of weight instead!
    Banned from singletrack forum again :-)
  • bike-a-swan
    bike-a-swan Posts: 1,235
    lloydy123 wrote:
    My hubs are not disc ready so think ill stay away from that. To put a disc on the front - £50 for Shimano Deore's, plus new hub plus wheel build. any idea how much that would be?

    has the 2010 318 air cahnged much from the 2009 318 air? Is the 2009 still a good fork?

    thanks guys

    you could do this- http://www.merlincycles.co.uk/mountain-bike-disc-brake-kits/shimano-disc-brake-kits-sale.html
    Rock Lobster 853, Trek 1200 and a very old, tired and loved Apollo Javelin.
  • rubins4
    rubins4 Posts: 563

    Blimey, 320 quid down to 170. Bargain. Probably the easiest way to to it too.
    http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtop ... t=12613038
    Anyway, fk dis, I iz off 4 a ride innit. l8rz peepz
  • lloydy123
    lloydy123 Posts: 74
    Thanks for the input guys. Here is my revised list, these are all 100mm:

    RS Recon Race 26 Solo Air (2009) £170
    RS Tora Race Solo Air Forks (2009) £215
    RS Tora SL Solo Air Forks - Turnkey 2010 £230

    The recon race requires a poploc to lock it out which brings it up to £200 with extra clutter on the handle bars.

    Is the Recon Race a better fork than the Tora or vica versa?

    Are the 2009 RS Tora Race Solo Air Forks the same as the highly regarded 318 fork?
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    The Recon Race is the best fork there - where have you found it for that price?

    The 318 is a sturdier version of the Race. So a bit heavier.
  • lloydy123
    lloydy123 Posts: 74
    the Recon Race forks are out of stock. :shock:

    Would the 2009 Tora Race Solo Air Forks be better than the 2010 Tora SL Solo Air Forks with Turnkey due to having motion control damping?
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    Motion control is better - and that race is lighter.
  • lloydy123
    lloydy123 Posts: 74
    unbelievable, the 2009 Tora Race Solo Air Forks have been sold this afternoon!

    That leaves the 2010 Tora SL Solo Air Forks with Turnkey left! But no motion control damping.

    anybody know where the 2008/2009 V brake versions are for sale cheap?
  • lloydy123
    lloydy123 Posts: 74
    Am i right in thinking that none of the 2010 Air Toras have motion control damping?

    thanks
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    The Race does. Many 318 Tora airs are still available from last year.
  • lloydy123
    lloydy123 Posts: 74
    there are many 318s with coil sprngs but cant find the air version. the hunt continues!
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    Can't find any with V mounts.
  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    I'll sell you some MArzocchi 55s for the price of a beer :lol:
    Is that a serious offer, the eldest is a Mazza fan and would love anything Mazrzocchi (disc) for her commute hack....

    Simon
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • lloydy123
    lloydy123 Posts: 74
    Got my forks delivered this moring as shown below. Am I correct in thinking these need a poplock? Is this standard for the 318 range? Bit frustrated as it is extra hastle/expense which wasn't indicated on the advert :( Any poplocks on sale anywhere? Is the option of converting it to a normal twist lever expensive?

    http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/sp/mtb-bmx-bike/Rock-Shox-Tora-318-26-Solo-Air-Forks/ROCKFORM430

    DSC_0082edit.jpg

    DSC_0081edit.jpg

    Thanks
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    The advert says very little anyway.

    But yes, it needs a poplock adjust for the full range of damping unless you remove the damper stack and take out the spring.
  • Chunkers1980
    Chunkers1980 Posts: 8,035
    Yes they need a poploc for lockout -

    Quite expensive to convert to friction stack.
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    You can mod the stack for free. Take out damper, unhook spring, put an o ring or something under the dial for some friction and that is it.
  • lloydy123
    lloydy123 Posts: 74
    Ok, thanks for that. Proper poploc is about £35? Think i might try some improvisation! Thanks for the tip supersonic, I dont think that would have any chance of causing long term damage? I totally remove the spring?

    Am i correct in thinking that the adjustment is for the amount of force that it takes to compress the chock?
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    to an effect yes - compression damping. Not the same as spring rate though.

    Won't damage anything, plenty of guides online. It may effect warranty though.

    Maybe contact ribble for advice and point out the poor advert.