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On my YBB. Thinking about a new fork. My Duke seems fine, but would a more modern Fox 80 mm fork work better? (Ride CO trails, 180 lbs, some racing.) How better? THX for the advice.
 

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Depends how badly you're getting burned by all that extra money in your pocket. I have a Duke XC and I think it rocks. My buddy tossed his brand-new Skareb and bought a Marathon, says it was worth every penny. But he has money burn, gets a new bike about every year.
 

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jimmy said:
On my YBB. Thinking about a new fork. My Duke seems fine, but would a more modern Fox 80 mm fork work better? (Ride CO trails, 180 lbs, some racing.) How better? THX for the advice.
I have not spent much time on the Duke platform, but from my short experience I will say that the stiffness of the Fox is much better than the Duke. The Fox steers better and I feel that the damping is better. Again, I have not spent much time on the Duke, but I do have a ton of time on Fox.

My 2 cents.

-James
 

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F100x is better than my Duke Race.

I know that the travel is longer, but that is not the improvement. The "rebound damping" on the Duke Race is a joke compared to the 9 click parameters on the Fox fork. I can't even say I feel a difference with the 1/4 turn knob on the Duke. Also, the stiffness of the Fox fork is much better than the Duke, yet it weighs only just a tad more. I have the same model year Duke Race as you. I just got an '05 Jamis Dakar XC Pro with the Fox F100x and it makes the Duke Race look like a coil spring/ elastomer fork!!! BUT- then you look at the price of Fox shox and have to ask yourself is it REALLY worth it. Had the Fox not come on my new bike, I would never 'fork out' ~$700 for a bike fork!!!!
 

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I've ridden the Duke XC. It came on my 2003 Litespeed Pisgah. I got the bike just barely used, and I had a bit of suspension fork experience under my belt when I rode it for the first time. I must say that compared to the Fox offering as well as new Rock Shox Reba, Marzocchi Marathon series, and other "modern" forks the Duke felt like it was stuck in the stone age as far as the quality of the dampening and the rigidity of it. It literally felt like it was an elastomer fork. I replaced it with a 80mm Fox Float RLT, which I later converted to 100mm, since that's what the frame calls for. The quality of the fork is leaps and bounds better than the Duke. It is stiffer and smoother. It soaks up the bumps much better and gives you increased confidence when you start picking up speed, over rocks and in turns.

One thing you should keep in mind is that a 2005 Fox line has a much improved damper, which was already excellent in previous years. A slightly used 2004 Float RLT can be had for under $400 if you're patient and find a deal, $350 if you're very lucky.

_MK
 
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