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Harrumph
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at an 05 Marathon SL, the particular fork I'm looking at is a 120mm travel fork. I'm really want no more than 100mm, and the e-tailer I'm possibly buying from says that the travel can be reduced with the neg. air spring. My question is: how much can you use the neg air to reduce travel without screwing up the fork?
 

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It's not the negative air pressure you use to reduce travel, but the TAS valve. There are four valves on the Marathon SL: positive air in left leg, positive air in right leg (TST), negative air in left leg, and the TAS air in the right leg. The minimum travel is 105 mm. IMHO you should get a 100 mm fork if you need that: the Marathon SL is too heavy and expensive for a 100 mm model...

-b
 

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macsi said:
It's not the negative air pressure you use to reduce travel, but the TAS valve. There are four valves on the Marathon SL: positive air in left leg, positive air in right leg (TST), negative air in left leg, and the TAS air in the right leg. The minimum travel is 105 mm. IMHO you should get a 100 mm fork if you need that: the Marathon SL is too heavy and expensive for a 100 mm model...

-b
Nope... that is incorrect.

The Marathon SL does have 4 air valves but that's not how they work.

2 Positives - Adjust main spring rate
1 Negative - Adjust rebound or negative spring rate
1 PAR - Adjust progressiveness

If you set the negative to about 3 times the positive you will be running at the full 120mm of travel. If you set the negative to about 4 times the positive you will be running at the 100mm area. The fact that you can set the negative pressure (unlike a Fox Float that uses a coil spring for negative travel) allows you to reduce the effective preload of the main spring which makes the fork much more supple over small stuff especially for heavier riders which need to use a lot of pressure for the positives. When a heavier rider sets up a fox to not bottom I feel that it becomes much harsher on small stuff and ramps up way to quickly. That's why I like being able to adjust the linearness vs. progressiveness of the fork with the PAR setting.

I switched from an 05 Float 100 to the 05 Marathon SL and was very happy with the change. The Float is a good fork, I just like the feel of the Marathon much better. I'm running it at about the 105mm mark.

The Marathon S (one side coil, one side air) does have the TAS (travel adjustment system). This is on the bottom of the coil side and allows you to wind down the fork much like rockshox climb-it adjustment on the psylos, or Manitou's wind down adjsutment on the Minutes.

As far as weight, the Float will be about 1692 g (3.73 lbs), the Marathon SL 1758 g (3.88 lbs). So the SL is going slightly heavier, but I don't really notice the difference.

Was the e-tailer beyond bikes perhaps? I was in their shop buying some stuff and someone called in with a very similar question while I was waiting to get rung up.
 

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Sorry! I tried the SL but own an XC. I mixed up TAS with PAR. I didn't do any adjustments on the SL, that's where the confusion comes from. Nevertheless the SL is heavy - at least compared to some sub 1500 gramm 100 mm forks... For me the ETA is best feature on the XC which the SL does not have...

-b
 

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macsi said:
Sorry! I tried the SL but own an XC. I mixed up TAS with PAR. I didn't do any adjustments on the SL, that's where the confusion comes from. Nevertheless the SL is heavy - at least compared to some sub 1500 gramm 100 mm forks... For me the ETA is best feature on the XC which the SL does not have...

-b
True the SL isn't a Mars Elite or a Sid (the Skarebs are 1400-1500g). None of the Foxes come in below 1500g. If you are looking for lightweight performance from Marzocchi then the 2002 Marathon S 80 mm came in at 1490g and the 100 mm at 1538g. The 2005 Fox 100mm Bossless RLT is 1613g. The 2005 Marathon Race is 1578g, but is a 80mm fork... although I would take it over some 100mm forks that are out there. That's Marzocchi's race fork and it's good for that. The SL/XC are more XC/Trail forks and do well at that when compaired to Minutes and Talas forks.

For me I have no use for ETA on my XC bike although I do think it is a great feature for those that would use it. My bottom bracket is already low enough and dropping the fork any would just result in more grinding of the pedals. My Trail/FR bike benefits from the ETA on my Z1 though.
 

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Harrumph
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info, I'm done with superlight forks. I've had a few SID's and am tired of them. It's more than worth the 1lb weight penalty for the quality of travel/stiffness/durability the Zooch has over the SID's. Looking at the Marathon Race it's only 75.00 more, but I'm pushing the 625.00 for the SL. I'm justifying full MSRP because Speedgoat is tossing in a King HS. I'd never do business with Beyond Bikes again, and sure as hell not when dealing with that much cash, but that's another story.
 

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G-reg said:
Thanks for the info, I'm done with superlight forks. I've had a few SID's and am tired of them. It's more than worth the 1lb weight penalty for the quality of travel/stiffness/durability the Zooch has over the SID's. Looking at the Marathon Race it's only 75.00 more, but I'm pushing the 625.00 for the SL. I'm justifying full MSRP because Speedgoat is tossing in a King HS. I'd never do business with Beyond Bikes again, and sure as hell not when dealing with that much cash, but that's another story.
Just so you know for sure, the Marthon race is only 80mm though and you can't easily run it at 100mm.

Also, I'm starting to see prices drop on 05 forks a bit, you should see them come down more as everyone is done with their pre season purchases. For example the Marathon XC at Jenson USA is already down to $470. Haven't seen a great price on a Race, but I'm looking since I would like to pick one up as a closeout.

As far as Beyond, I totally understand. Unfortunately they are the only ones that carry EBC hope brake pads locally for me (or as far as I could find on the internet). Although, it looks like they have quite a different staff in there. I don't know where some of the older workers went, but one can hope that the new people are more useful.

I bought my VPFree frame through Speedgoat and was very happy with their service and prep work
 

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Harrumph
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The fork is going on a 05 Kona Explosif, and it can handle 80-100mm forks because the geometry is optimized somewhere in the middle and the sliding drops. So I can go either way, but a 120mm fork is too much. I think I'm going to cough up at Speedgoat because of the King deal. I'm going to get one anyway and it's like getting 100-140 off of the fork. I've been watching E-bay and 120mm Marathon S' go all day for cheap but the SL's or Race's are going for near retail.
 
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