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Upgrade folks on my X-CAL 8 worth it

Would it be worth upgrading my Rockshox Judy Silver 100mm folk on my 2021 Trek X-Caliber 8 29er. Although I've got the current folks dialled in quite nicely I feel I could do with a bit more travel I've not bottom these out but get quite close at times.

Is it worth it on a 69.5 degree head angle? and what would be a good upgrade?

The bike feels quick XC which is what I like but I want to get a bit more daring on it as well.


  • According to the Trek website, the fork you have is an air spring, tapered fork steerer and has 30mm dia stanchions, 100mm travel.

    The presence of the tapered head tube is good as it will allow you a lot of latitude when it comes to choosing an alternative fork. The spec says nothing about whether the hubs are 9m QR skewer or 12m bolt through (better), but I will hazard a guess that they are skewer. You need to establish that before buying a new fork or you will also have to buy a new wheel.

    The only criticism you make of your fork is that you are getting close to using up all the travel. There are many who say that you should use all the travel on every trip otherwise you are "leaving performance on the table". I am not one of them. I like to leave a bit unused for those occasions when I get into trouble and need that extra 5 -10% to keep me out of harm's way!

    I am not familiar with the Judy, but can you fit tokens into the air leg to tune the air spring (does anyone else know?) By fitting one or more tokens you can in effect stiffen the spring the further into its travel it goes. This will mean that you can take bigger hits and still not bottom out. If it is an option on the Judy, then it will be substantially cheaper than buying a new fork, even taking into account the sale of your old one.

    A 30mm dia stanchion is a bit on the flexible side for a 29" wheel, so I would strongly advise upping the fork to a 32m dia stanchion for your next purchase. As for increasing the travel, Trek will have something to say about that and the answer may well be NO! In which case doing so will void your warranty. The reason is that a longer fork will put more leverage on the welds around the headtube. If you are a heavy guy then you need to listen to that. But if you are fairly light then although it would still void your warranty you could go to 120 and maybe 130 at the absolute outside. A longer fork also alters your geometry. You will find climbing steep stuff a bit more tricky, but descending will be easier.

    Personally, I would pursue the tokens thing on the current fork. If that is a non-starter, then get a 100mm travel 32mm dia stanchion fork with a tapered steerer that can have tokens added (you must check that). Adding tokens is cheap and easy to do and makes a massive difference to the feel of the fork. Look out for the axle type (9mm qr skewer or 12mm bolt though).

    There are a huge number of forks out there and they can be very expensive. It will be easy to spend a lot of money and find that you have made little difference to the feel of your bike. So be careful.
  • Thanks for all that information very helpful. I think I will contact them and go from there see if they recommend any, if not the bike does everything else I need I may just upgrade to some nice 130mm Rockshox
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