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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
New to forum, have really dug into the reviews as I have started riding the heck out of my 1996 GT LTS-2 again (sentimental bike, will ride it forever, mostly enjoying the grinding physical punishment of riding hard). You have done a great job with this forum, still trying to figure out the search thing though, I always end up with nothing...

As briefly as possilbe: am 5'10", 220 pounds fully dressed with armor. Not a big downhill fan as high speed and my craziness cause pain at my old age of 46 (I crash at least 4-5 times a week, and spectacularly at least twice a month). Aggressive trail rider, jumper, don't always stay on trail...I have replaced the rear Rock Shock Deluxe with a Risse Astro-5. No frame bushing issues yet, will contact BETD when ready.

Would like to know what front forks you would recommend with no more than 130mm of travel with a limit of $1000. My current fork is Rock Shox Judy DH 80mm travel, setup for my weight.

I am open to any recommendations. LBS recommended X-Fusion Velvet, guessing that if I went that route I would want a 2010 model.

TIA, Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Some downhill

bad mechanic said:
Are you using the bike for DH?
Some downhill use, but not likely to do the ski lift type of downhill very often. I like going downhill, but the bike setup makes me feel like I am close to OTB all the time so I am pretty cautious with my speed (fork travel greater than the 80mm I have will help with some of that). I will likely increase my downhill use as my bike handling improves with experience.
 

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This isn't want you want to hear...but...get a different bike to use for downhill.

The LTS was used for downhill plenty back in the 90's, since it was one of the better designs to use. However, it was, and is, a cross country bike. It wasn't the strongest frame, and you're going to break if if you continue downhilling it. Also, modern AM and trail bikes are much, MUCH more DH worthy that your old LTS.

My suggestion would be to finally take the step of having two bikes. Find yourself a nice AM or trail bike to take over the LTS' current duties, and rebuild/tweak the LTS into a full on XC for you to use. That way your sentimental bike will last a nice long time, and you'll have a lot more fun descending as well.
 

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I had an LTS1 which at the time I liked. My rear seat stays snapped on a casual trail ride after I'd had the bike a few years. They broke right at the bend near the shock mount. After looking at it I would imagine that bend in the seat stays is a prime candidate for breaking, although I'm not aware it if was common. My weight is 160.

Enjoy your bike but consider that it is 13 yrs old and eventually something will give, especially for a heavier rider.
 

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Also, I wouldn't put any more than a 100mm fork on that frame. Too much longer than stock on a bike like that and you risk snapping the front end of the bike off. I would never ever put a 130mm fork on that, especially since it would handle terrible anyway
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanks for the great comments, I agree that if I end up wanting to do some downhill duty I will need a different bike. Coworker has two bikes, both about $5000, one for XC, one for downhill. Same bike frame on each, different components, cannot remember brand...

100mm sounds like the fork travel limit, plenty of forks out there for it, just need to figure out which ones will work best for my weight and riding style on the LTS. Not worrying about cost yet, hearing good things about RS Revelation, REBA, and SID. Also Dual air and motion control, just not sure how much I need those options for XC.

Plan to add Avid BB7 mechanical brakes at some point, have work to do to get them onto the rear (maybe the Woodman setup). 160mm or 185mm max rotor diameter. Will setup some strong wheels when I switch to disk. Plan to ride this bike for a long time, but I better not stress it out on DH or it will break, and that will end up being pretty painful for me too. Anything that breaks I can fix, maybe even make it stronger, but would rather not be put in that position. Plus I would want completely different geometry for DH, neighbor is an ex-pro skateboarder and bike rider, has killer bikes from sponsors, his DH bike reminds me of an overgrown BMX as far as how it sits and feels.

Again thanks for the comments, looking forward to learning more from everyone here,

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update: Got 2007 RS Reba Team

I went with a used ($200) RS Reba Team, completely transformed the bike! Smooth as silk, rides with a little more sag than old RS Judy DH and takes the hits with more compliance too. Bike is much more comfortable to ride in rugged terrain, and can increase compression quickly for climbing, or decrease for going down. Plan to have it PUSH'ed in 2011 (increase travel from 85 to 100mm, add remote compression adj/lockout system).

Thanks for the work you all have put into the reviews section, helps with decisions like this. Would have gotten a Reba Race but the Team I got was priced right considering it was 99% brand new. I am very happy with it.
 

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jeffandre said:
Plan to have it PUSH'ed in 2011 (increase travel from 85 to 100mm, add remote compression adj/lockout system).
You may want to rethink the remote. You can use the floodgate to get you what you need without having to constantly lock/unlock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good point about the floodgate, was really looking for remote control of compression while riding, as it is now I have to make sure I am in a stable situation so that I can reach down and adjust it for the conditions.

I will experiment more with the lockout and floodgate this weekend.

Thanks for the advice,

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Another update!

Bike is awesome now with Reba Team at 115mm, can take 4 foot drops all day. I lost 25 pounds the past 5 months, so running 150 pounds on Reba upper and lower, 170 pounds on Risse Astro-5. WTB Weirwolf 2.5 front at 37 pounds, 2.3 rear at 38 pounds. Also got XTR M960 rear derailleur low normal rapid rise. 745 mm bars, shorter stem, can go downhill so much better without feeling like I am about to go over bars. Uphill is not as good as wheel can come off ground a bit depending upon pedaling torque and speed. This bike is fantatic now, will keep forever.
Am seriously considering an Intense Uzzi VP though as my speed and jump needs ar egetting bigger, don't want to destroy the old GT! Thanks to this site I have been able to build the GT into a great bike using the forums and reviews, and also feel that the Uzzi build I am working on will benefit too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
2017 Update
The Reba Team is losing a few drops of oil every time I remove the air cap on the bottom of the fork. Not sure if I should rebuild or replace, thoughts?

Bike is still awesome, rides very well, 3-4 foot drops all day without bottoming out shock and fork. I did get heavy Aerospoke wheels, so bike weight is 35#, which does not bother me at all, not into epic uphill climbs, and the wheels take major abuse and are still straight, plus that will be about the weight of my future fat bike anyway.

Also eyeing the Foes Mutz 150 for a 2nd bike in the future. Ex-neighbor rides prototype frames for Foes every year and then they do their destructive testing to improve engineering. Might be able to get a great deal through him...
 
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