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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey,
I got the 2011 Hardrock Sport shortly after it was released, absolutely love it. I resently put some new pedals on it the v8's and wow did they improve it no end. I was invited on a road trip to hit some single track and downhill, now i know the hardrock isnt designed for downhill but when the opportunity to give it a good comes up im not gonna let it pass. In the end we had a great day. The thing is the hardrock is fitted with SR Suntour SF11-XCM-V3-26-DS-MLO, 80mm forks which bottomed out 5 times during the day with a big bang. This has also happened on a couple of unexpected drops on single tracks.

My question is, is it worth upgrading the forks? being a student it would have to be an ebay thing, but would it be worth it? Maybe with a little more travel, 100mm? Adding an extra 20mm would raise the front up and change the angle slightly would that be detrimental to the handling?

I ask this not just cause of the downhill trip as i said i know the hardrock isnt built for downhill and this was a rare occurrence, once/twice a year sort of thing. But as a general improvement and would stop the bottoming out occurring on the single tracks as well.

Thanks
W4rp3d
 

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Hi there,

If you are biking on city street, or doing mild cross country, I think no need to replace your current forks. 80mm fork is fine for city street and sandy roads.

If you plan to go cross country with some jumpings and riding on rough roads, I think using longer travel fork is better on the ride, ......... but If I were you, I will definetely pick a 120mm travel fork. I think using 100mm fork still can bottoming out.

And your hardrock bike look cooler with 120mm fork :D
 

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Mountain Man Dan
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Also, you would VOID your warranty if you chose a fork bigger then 80mm. I'm sure you can safely run 100mm but anything higher is pushing it and asking for it to break.
 

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My factory fork went in the first month, I got a tora air 100mm and it's great, mine was a takeoff from a rockhopper 29er sl, was $100 and totally changed the bike on the trails.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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I replaced the fork on my Hardrock a couple of years ago. I think that's one of the better cycling purchases I've made. Found an old R7 on EBay.

With regard to longer travel... Rumour has it that people have been sticking 140mm+ forks on their Hardrocks. That doesn't make it a good idea, and it will void your warranty. A 100mm fork is probably fine in terms of handling and stressing the frame, although it would be good if you had the option to reduce travel, if you find handling does get screwed up. "Screwed up" is very subjective in reference to bike handling. Most forks have some way to reduce travel, although sometimes that can also void a warranty. ;) I think the actual text of the warranty is that you can't increase axle-crown height by more than 10%, but I don't remember. Download it and read it for yourself - it's on the Specialized web site.

How much can you spend on this project?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I didnt even think of the warranty thanks for mentioning it. I'll have a quick look see what it says.

Wow 140mm that would be pretty insane, not alone costly on a £500 bike.

I would like to spend as little as possible, maximum of about £100ish if not less ($160). Thats why they would have to be a used pair, couldn't afford them new. In fact ill probably sell the forks currently on it to get a bit more to put towards it.
 

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Mountain Man Dan
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w4rp3d said:
I didnt even think of the warranty thanks for mentioning it. I'll have a quick look see what it says.

Wow 140mm that would be pretty insane, not alone costly on a £500 bike.

I would like to spend as little as possible, maximum of about £100ish if not less ($160). Thats why they would have to be a used pair, couldn't afford them new. In fact ill probably sell the forks currently on it to get a bit more to put towards it.
$160 or less ain't going to get you anything good...............
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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It can on EBay.

You need to make sure the steerer tube is long enough, that it's the right diameter, and that the travel of the new fork can at least be reduced to match the travel of your current fork, if it doesn't match it in the first place. EBay sellers will almost always post the first two specs, hopefully including a picture with a tape measure, and you can find the last piece of information, about travel reduction, either from the fork's maintenance manual or by searching this site or one of the other MTB sites. I'd use Google's site search function over the built-in one.

There are a few posters here who are big boosters of Suntour's current line, but I don't know that you can really make any money on it. It might be better used as a spare so you can keep rolling if you're doing a rebuild and waiting on a part, or a boat anchor, door stop, etc.
 

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Go down to your LBS where you purchased the bike along with the forks model number and have them order a heavy duty spring from SR Suntour. The cost of the spring will be around $20.00and the installation of the new spring will take less than 1/2 an hour. The only 80mm aftermarket fork available for your bike will cost you minimum of $300 plus dollars. A 2011 Rockshox Recon with Tunnkey dampening, lockout and an air spring can had for $320.00 online but it will need to be converted from 100mm down to 80mm. Otherwise you will need to purchase 100mm fork and risk voiding your warranty is the frame cracks if you want to spend less money on a new fork.
 

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Don't over thingk the whole 100 vs 80 thing too much for a couple of reasons.

-The amount of degree in head angle change is miniscule and is NOT going to cause the bike to break or fall apart or have adverse handling characteristics. The slight amount of change to steering reaction that MIGHT occur will not likely be noticed by the rider and if your head welds break over a less than 1 degree change due to the 20mm than it woul have broken at 80mm anyway. If you ride the bike on trails regularly the frame is put through so many stresses at different angles as you traverse downhill on the single track that the 20mm is meaningless. Now if you huck the bike repeatedly on big jumps where it will see a similar stress on landing in a more linear cycle than you might be more inclined to damage or crack a weld, but this is a trail bike, not a jump park rig.
-The cost of the frame on the Hardrock is minor, we are talking about spending a premium of $150-200 to try not to voide the warranty on a $100-150 frame. 100mm is becoming the new minimum standard as you can tell by the much more limited availability of 80mm forks for your bike in the aftermarket. If I broke my frame and S decided not to warranty it because of the frame I'd ask them to sell me another frame, if they obliged it would be pretty cheap, if not than I'd go buy another frame online for a couple hundred bucks and enjoy the 100mm fork.

I have put allot of miles on my hardrock with 100mm up front since a month after I bought it last August, I love it and have had nothing but good from it. Fro a big guy like me over 200# the extra 20mm means I pretty much never bottom out on dips and small jumps, its more compliant, and with the rebound adjustment its quicker through the washboards than the stock 80mm.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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My experience was that buying an 80mm fork actually kept the price from getting bid up as high. I did the travel change in the other direction - in '07, Hardrocks still came with 100mm forks - and I did notice a change in handling. It's not huge, but it's there.

Anyway, if someone gave me a 120mm race fork tomorrow, I'd probably try it at 120mm and see what I thought, rather than reducing travel immediately. I don't think it's that much extra leverage, given that the axle-crown on a 100mm fork is in the 470-480mm range to begin with. The warranty issue is just something I think people should be aware of in making a decision. I do think going up by more than one "size," if thinking of 20mm as a size, is a bad idea in terms of handling, though, and I would not be at all surprised to see a 200mm fork rip the head tube off a bike meant for an 80mm fork. Where's the difference between safe and unsafe? Dunno, but I suspect it's probably somewhere past the difference between good and bad handling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks guys, you've been a real help. Ive had a look around to see if i could pick up a new spring instead, looks much cheaper and can be a temporary thing until i can afford to get something better. But now i have another question.

According to the suntour website the XCM's (the stock hardrock one) can either be 80 or 100mm, so am i right in thinking by getting the 100mm spring it would add the extra 20mm to the fork? (in other words would getting the 100m spring make the XCM 80mm to 100mm is it just the spring that are different, from what ive seen on the exploded view they are) I have been unable to find such a spring but have found a 100mm XCR on amazon... according to the exploded view the XCM 100mm spring is called FEP323 while the XCR is FEP323-30. I assume they are the same?

If im right would there be any parts required? just seems a bit odd replacing just the spring and adding 20mm without changing anything else.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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Different forks vary. Some adjust travel with different arrangements of spacers, and have no other differences. Others may have differently sized stanchions, a different damper with differently-sized internals, etc. It's almost never as simple as changing spring, but depending on how travel is set for your fork, it could be something you can change by rearranging some things that are already inside the fork, without having to buy any additional parts.

If you're going to do this yourself and want to tinker with more than just a direct replacement of the spring, try to hunt up a service manual or a writeup from someone who's done it. If you can't find that stuff, photograph everything, and post a writeup when you're done and know if it worked or not.
 

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w4rp3d said:
Thanks guys, you've been a real help. Ive had a look around to see if i could pick up a new spring instead, looks much cheaper and can be a temporary thing until i can afford to get something better. But now i have another question.

According to the suntour website the XCM's (the stock hardrock one) can either be 80 or 100mm, so am i right in thinking by getting the 100mm spring it would add the extra 20mm to the fork? (in other words would getting the 100m spring make the XCM 80mm to 100mm is it just the spring that are different, from what ive seen on the exploded view they are) I have been unable to find such a spring but have found a 100mm XCR on amazon... according to the exploded view the XCM 100mm spring is called FEP323 while the XCR is FEP323-30. I assume they are the same?

If im right would there be any parts required? just seems a bit odd replacing just the spring and adding 20mm without changing anything else.
observe the exploded view and determine which part is the spacer.

remove the spacer, and voilla you have a 100mm shock.
 
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