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Which 160mm Travel Fork?

shm_ukshm_uk Posts: 683
edited October 2010 in MTB buying advice
Hi,

I am building up a 'hardcore hardtail', therefore I am looking for opinions on which 160mm travel fork could currently be considered 'best' in terms of value & performance.

Particularly interested on opinions regarding Coil vs Air damping.
Not too worried about the weight, but must have a lockout.

Look forward to the feedback!

Cheers

Posts

  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,678
    I think you mean coil and air spring, most forks these days are hydraulically damped.

    What are you after? Air forks are lighter, and offer infinite adjustability of spring rate, whereas coils tend to be a little bit more plush.
    Coils also have a reputation for being more reliable, but I honestly don't think that's an issue any more, modern air forks are great, to be honest.
  • xtreemxtreem Posts: 2,965
    If you can afford, for £500 you can get a Lyrik with all the possible adjustments and with a decent weight.
  • shm_ukshm_uk Posts: 683
    I think you mean coil and air spring, most forks these days are hydraulically damped.

    What are you after? Air forks are lighter, and offer infinite adjustability of spring rate, whereas coils tend to be a little bit more plush.
    Coils also have a reputation for being more reliable, but I honestly don't think that's an issue any more, modern air forks are great, to be honest.


    Sorry, yep, I did mean coil/air sprung...

    If I could work out a way to afford the expense I would go straight for the Fox Forx 36 TALAS 160 RLC's, no questions asked :)

    £780-ish from Evans, £870-ish from Stif (but are offering 6mths 0%)

    I'd be selling my 2009 Fox Forx 32 Vanilla RLC's to help toward the cost.


    As far as I can see, the Lyrik's don't come with a lockout (unless I've missed something on the Sram website spec list).
  • I'd plumb for a Fox Float 36 RL with a 20mm bolt through on it.

    Got the Talas on mine, but if i had my choice i'd ditch the travel adjustment, I never see anyone bother using travel adjustment ont he trails :s
  • shm_ukshm_uk Posts: 683
    shm_uk wrote:
    If I could work out a way to afford the expense I would go straight for the Fox Forx 36 TALAS 160 RLC's, no questions asked :)

    £780-ish from Evans, £870-ish from Stif (but are offering 6mths 0%)


    Oops, I meant the FLOAT, not the TALAS ... prices I quoted are for the FLOAT :oops:
  • warpcowwarpcow Posts: 1,448
    Lyriks don't have a lockout, but you can close the low-speed circuit (is that right? I mix up high and low occasionally, anyway...) with the leg-top knob to stop them bobbing on climbs, etc. It works rather well on my Solo Airs. Can't comment on the Fox 36 though.
  • joshtpjoshtp Posts: 4,329
    If you can afford, get a Magura Wotan

    best 160mm fork acailable IMHO

    very plush, very stiff, very stong, pretty light, very adjustable

    awsome

    looks cool too

    i have the 140mm version, the Thor, and its incredible

    otherwise a Lyric or a Fox 36, if i was going for a 36, personaly id go for the Van
    I like bikes and stuff
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,678
    Float36 RC2 here, and I am very very impressed with it. There's tons of adjustability, which lets me set it up exactly how I want it to.
    And, even though I did not buy it for the weight, it is astonishingly light for it's strength.
  • TorresTorres Posts: 1,266
    If you're on a tight budget the Rockshox Domain is an option.
    It weighs as much as the moon, but i love mine. There's no lock out, but if you get one with adjustable compression and u-turn you can shorten it down and stiffen it up a bit for climbing.
    What We Achieve In Life, Echoes In Eternity
  • Does it have to be 160mm? If not I can certainly recommend the RS Revelation Team with 150mm travel. If it has to be a 36mm big fork then I'd probably go Fox 36 but I've got no experience of them.

    What frame are you going for?
  • my 2010 lyrik 2 step air do have lockout, they also have high an low speed compression adjust....which doesn't work..and never has done, which is why i've sent them back. so if i had to make the decision again i'd choose the fox 36 over the lyrik.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Lyrik Solo air with Mission Control or Fox 36 RLC would be my choices.
  • shm_ukshm_uk Posts: 683
    supersonic wrote:
    Lyrik Solo air with Mission Control or Fox 36 RLC would be my choices.


    Can the Mission Control settings be used pretty much as a lockout?
  • xtreemxtreem Posts: 2,965
    If I'm not wrong, the Low Speed compression knob offers full lockout.
  • hypermanhyperman Posts: 232
    just to make it clear, 2010 lyrik air forks DO have lockout with floodgate adjustment, this is a seperate adjustment to the compression adjustments..
  • warpcowwarpcow Posts: 1,448
    I can't say I've played with mine much, but the settings I have now make the 'lockout' on my Solo Air similar to my Reba. It doesn't fully lock, so it absorbs bigger bumps and tracks the ground well, but it will not bob. I much prefer it to other forks I've tried with proper rigid lockout.
  • PudseypPudseyp Posts: 3,514
    This may be a silly question....but what do you think of your current van's ??? if your really happy with them why not go for something you already know, and in my opinion the Van is one of the best longer travel forks, super plush, easy to set up and maintain...
    Tomac Synper 140 Giant XTC Alliance 1
    If the world was flat, I wouldn't be riding !
  • shm_ukshm_uk Posts: 683
    Cheers for all the useful info guys, top stuff, very helpful thus far. I like the look of both the Lyrik Solo Air & the Fox 36 Floats... decisions decisions...


    The Fox's look better, with the gold stanchion on the 2011's, and my experience of Fox products has been excellent.

    Lyrik's seem to have more adjustability, although from hyperman's earlier comments reliability may be a consideration.

    Depending where you look, they both average out at a similar-ish price, although CRC currently have the 2010 Solo Air's for £680. Tempting.

    The only thing is the Lyrik Solo's are 170mm travel - bit more than I was after...

    More investigating will ensue re. the Lyrik's :)

    I've also been offered a quote on some OEM Fox 36's, so am intrigued what price they can come up with (or more importantly, down to).
  • hypermanhyperman Posts: 232
    just be aware that some people are doing the lyriks for around £500, but these are also oem forks and not aftermarket forks, as far as i'm aware the solo airs are available in 160mm as well as 170mm but i've yet to see anyone with any in stock. another thing to consider is the lockout on the lyriks is a real faff to use, you basically have to turn the low speed compression knob whilst not pushing down too hard on it or that will adjust the compression and the knob pops up and locks the fork out, then, to unlock you've got to turn the knob the opposite way whilst pushing down again but harder this time....but not too hard...or that that will also adjust the compression, it's sort of a slap and twist kind of movement, oh, and you have to do all this while looking down to make sure you've done it right, while riding with only one hand on the bars....are you getting the picture?
  • richg1979richg1979 Posts: 1,087
    I wont buy another set of fox forks after a bad run of about 5 diffrent models.

    1st was a set of floats wich would not hold pressure, changed these for a set of vans wich had major slop in bushes that caused a clunk under braking and brake judder, almost felt like a loose headset.
    apperntly slop in the bushes is normal, somthing to do with lubrication or some fob off.

    Mate bought a brand new zesty with float fit's fitted, had no rebound at all, was like a pogo stick and had major stiction problems, never got these sorted as the frame was scrap before he got chance to send them back.
    zesty was replaced with a remedy 8 with talas's fitted these also suffer with bad stiction and a very loud harsh top out knock.

    all these forks were supplied on a bike so dont know if qualty of a new boxed retail fork is diffrent.


    Used various rockshox forks like pikes, rebas, recons, revelations, lyriks, totems and never really had a problem with any of them appart from the damper oil droping into the lower leg after 12 months on the pikes and slight oil leak from the moco knob on the revs wich was fixed in 5 mins.

    also had wotans wich are a superb fork, prob the stiffest, smoothest single crown out there, but there not light at about 6lb with axle and remotes but do come with all the bells and whistles.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,678
    holy censored , richg1979, that's a crazy run of bad luck.
    The only forks I've had really bad issues with have been recent Marzocchis (the old ones could survive a nuclear war) and Manitous.
  • richg1979richg1979 Posts: 1,087
    tell me about it, i fancied a set of float 36's for my nomad but fox forks are a bit of a mine feild lately, its pretty much hit or miss if u get a set thats 100%.
  • shm_ukshm_uk Posts: 683
    Managed to get hold of a set of Fox 36 FLOAT RLC 160mm QR20's for £738 :)

    Bargain !! (well, comparatively speaking at least, seeing as the RRP is around £870)


    Just ordered a Hope Pro II 20mm adaptor kit from CRC...


    (and my current forks will be on eBay later this week)
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