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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
29" XC fork tests and review.

29" wheeled bikes have come a long way the past few years. When I was first introduced to the big-wheel concept in ~1996, I was skeptical of its' merits because there were so few "trail rideable" tires and only one very crappy (Manitou elastomer) suspension fork. Fast forward ten years and there are still people who share my initial skepticism, only now there are 20+ tires and 10+ forks to choose from. Things have changed, and change is good.

Some of these forks are difficult to come by (Ever seen a Fournales or an Action Tec?) and others aren't much worth having (old Manitou's, new Manitou's, Winwood's). By far, the two most popular forks on the market are the Rock Shox Reba Race and the White Brothers Magic 29 IMV, followed (from my perspective) by the Maverick SC32 and the Cannondale Lefty Max TPC+. There are several other forks available, but they are either no longer in production, very limited in distribution, not optimal for the bike I tested them on, or simply not worth having/testing. I stuck with the 'big four'.

Learn more about them here:
Rock Shox Reba Race 100: http://www.sram.com/en/rockshox/mountainforks/reba/race.php
WB Magic 29 IMV 100 (QR): http://www.whitebrotherscycling.com/product-bw.php?specs=magic29100
Maverick SC32: http://www.maverickbike.com/productdetails.aspx?pid=103
Lefty Max TPC+: http://www.cannondale.com/suspension/06/lefty_max_tpc.html

By the numbers:

Axle to Crown height:
Reba Race 100 = 511
Mav SC32 = 499
Lefty Max = 498
WB IMV 100 = 500 (initially measured at 497, but after two rides it had 'settled in' to 500)

Weight:
Reba Race 100 = 1781g
Mav SC32 = 1806g
Lefty Max = 2075g
WB IMV 100 = 1787g

Actual measured travel, at full bottom:
Reba Race 100 = 94.7
Mav SC32 = 90.66
Lefty Max = 108
WB IMV 100 = 100 (initially measured at 97.22, but after a few rides things stretched/settled in to the full/claimed 100).

While the Reba and the WB came stock for 29" wheels, both the Mav and the C'dale require modification from their stock 26" state to be usable on 29" bikes-- the travel needs to be limited so that the crown doesn't bottom out on the tire. Maverick offers a kit to achieve this, or you can simply order the fork pre-converted from the factory (this is what I did) to save the hassle. The Lefty requires a bit more effort to modify--find some guidance here: http://www.fooriders.com/webmain/in...ile=viewtopic&start=0&t=55931&topic_view=flat

Because the WB, Reba, and Mav were purchased as ready-to-ride 29" forks, I set them up by adjusting air pressure and twiddling knobs, but I did NOT do anything internally like change/add oil, adjust valves, tweak shims, etc… I wanted to ride these forks in their "stock from the factory" configuration, and that's what I did. The Lefty, due to its 26" origins, required significant internal fiddling (changed spring rate, changed oil weight, adjusted preload stack, installed 1 1/8" steerer, and mechanically limited the travel). There was simply no way around this. If you don't like fork fiddling, or aren't real cozy with a shop that does, avoid the Lefty. You've been warned.

For "normal" trail riding, I can most often be found on my Lenz Leviathan. I've ridden a variety of forks (from 70mm to 110mm of travel) on this bike, but rarely back-to-back and rarely with all variables accounted for. Some I liked, some I didn't, and I could never really be sure (a few weeks after riding a fork) if I was remembering its characteristics accurately, or if my memory had filtered out something important. This was frustrating for me, as I knew I was feeling differences, but without riding the forks back to back on the same bike (thereby accounting for some of the many variables) I knew I couldn't unequivocally *know* which fork was doing what. If you spend any time on the 'net (especially MTBR) you're likely to be confused by all of the conflicting ride reports that you see about these forks. One guy says fork X is flexy, while another claims it's the stiffest thing he's ridden. One gal doesn't like the way fork Y changes the geo of her bike, while another thinks that same fork gives the best geometry she's ever ridden. Sometimes arguments erupt, but mostly people just disagree.

So, who's right?

That depends on who the rider is, what bike, where they ride, how they ride, how much they weigh, what tires they run, at what pressure, plus myriad other factors that simply can't be accounted for. In short, there is no "right" or "wrong"-just differences of opinion and, in some cases, misapplied or misused products. I wanted to know, for my own purposes, which fork worked best in which situation, so I bought one of each, built wheels for them, and started riding and taking notes. What you're reading is the summary of 3 months of testing, fiddling, adjusting, note-taking, and a few hundred hours of riding.

The trails that I ride day-in-and-day-out are the trails of Western Colorado and Eastern Utah. I rode all of the forks on the trails of Grand Junction, Loma, Rabbit Valley, Westwater, Cisco, and Moab (see here for more details on the trails: www.gjmountainbiking.com). For the most part that means dry and dusty hardpacked trails, but it also means a lot of slickrock and bazillions of ledges both climbing and descending. When I wanted to do a back-to-back ride to really pick out the finer points between the forks, I used a local (ridden from home) loop that features 3 miles of climbing, most of it technical to very technical, and 3 miles of descending ranging from light XC to aggressive FR. I had a lot of fun and bled very little while carrying all of this out. Perk of the job, I guess…

None of the forks required any maintenance. They held air (except the Lefty, which is coil sprung) and didn't leak oil. I had no issues with disc brake rotors or bolts touching (or even coming close to) fork legs, nor were there any issues with fork crown/downtube clearance on this bike.

Quirks:
-The Reba spat out it's rebound adjuster after ~40 hours of riding-fortunately the guy behind me saw it on the ground and picked it up.
-The Maverick hub has the widest flange spacing of any front hub I've seen, and as a result builds up a noticeably stiffer (in the stand-because it's dishless) front wheel than the others. The bearings on the Mav hub rumbled right from the get-go and got slightly worse as the test progressed.
-The Lefty hub is a single-sided bolt-on unit, and I think that bolt-on interface is one of the keys to how stiff the Lefty is.
-After three rides the WB "broke in" and got it's full 100mm of travel at a 500mm A-C. When I first installed it I only measured 97mm of travel and an A-C of 497.

The differing axle-to-crown dimensions of each fork mean that the HTA, STA and BB height of the bike are affected when switching between forks. None of the forks were outside of a "rideable range" in their length, but they all gave the bike a different character. I like a slack HTA and a high BB, so it should come as no surprise that I preferred what the Reba did to the geo of the bike. The SC32 felt shorter than the others (probably because it sags more than the others) and as a result the front end of the bike was quickest (downright racy to me) with this fork. Inexplicably, the Lefty felt taller than the Reba (possibly an optical illusion related to the dual crown) even though it had significant sag. The WB gave the bike the most "neutral" feel-not too slack, not too steep, just about right. It's no surprise that the bike felt neutral with the WB-the Leviathan was designed to have a 70 degree HTA when using a 500mm fork.

A word about "flex". In my book there are two kinds of fork flex. The first, and worst, is twisting flex where the wheel gets torqued around at the dropouts and, despite you doing everything you can to hold a line, the fork isn't stiff enough to resist that torque and keep the front wheel going where you're pointing it. This is most noticeable when traction is good and at slow speeds where you're really trying to be precise-like a descending switchback on staggered rocks. Twisting flex can also be noticed as vagueness or wandering of the front end at high speeds. Where I live the former is much, much more common.

The other kind of flex is fore/aft, where the fork allows the wheel to tuck up under the downtube under heavy braking. This type of flex doesn't bother me as much, and (when racing) I actually like it as it's a form of suspension in itself. The downside to it is that if you're in loose conditions and your fork is flexing fore and aft, your braking power is hard to modulate and you'll find yourself skidding the front wheel. At least that's what happens to me. I rarely go down as a result, but I sure don't care to lose control of the bike for even a fraction of a second. Where I live there's nothing soft to land on, so loss of control = bloodshed or broken bones. Or worse.

There are issues/characteristics/questions that should be answered about each of these forks (how long did it take to set them up, how is customer service, how frequently do you maintain them, what's involved in maintenance, etc…) to satisfy the curiosity of many who're reading this. All of these are outside the scope of my tests-I wanted to know how they rode, and that's what I found out. Someone else can do a maintenance shootout with their free time.

The bike I rode all the forks on is a LenzSport Leviathan. Components don't matter, other than to say that they were identical except for the fork. I laced up identical front wheels for each fork, using the DT TK 7.1 rim and 32 DT Competition spokes, with DT alloy nipples. Tension was as close to identical as I could get it between each of the wheels. None of the wheels required truing or retensioning throughout the test. The tires used were the Bontrager Jones XR 2.2 front, always with a 26 x 1.5 tube and set at 26psi.

These tests were subjective, make no mistake. What I've written is simply *my* perception of each fork. I tried to take all variables out by using identical rims, spokes, nips, tension, tires, tubes, pressure, etc… but the vagaries of changing trail and weather conditions made it impossible to keep everything exact from fork to fork and ride to ride. Duh. By riding each fork for ~50 hours, and by switching them and repeating rides (on the same day) to do frequent back to back comparisons, I feel like I've sussed out 98+% of the riding characteristics of each fork. Take my conclusions as a guide, not an absolute, and be sure to factor in your bike, your riding style, your weight, your level of aggressiveness, trail conditions, angle of the dangle, etc… 'Nuff said.

I'm 185lbs with full riding kit, water, glasses, etc… I'm more of a smooth rider than an aggressive one, but when the opportunity presents itself I sometimes have a hard time reining myself in. I'm a lot braver and a lot more likely to push myself and my equipment on my local trails, and since that's where all of the riding was done, I took each of these forks to *my* limit. But enough about that-here's the straight poop.

Showroom floor test-best "feel" when standing over the fork, locking the front brake, and pushing down:
1) Lefty
2) SC32
3) Reba Race
4) WB IMV

The lack of stiction on the Lefty is noticably superior to any of the other forks-I think it would compress a millimeter or so if you were to run over a business card laying flat on smooth pavement. Really. I guess a coil spring and 88 needle bearings are a great way to achieve that. The SC and Reba were very close to each other in this category, with the WB a distant 4th. Both the SC and the Reba made a lot of noise (oil cavitation) when cycled, but they still felt very smooth. Because of the nature of the WB's valve, it simply feels terrible when standing over it and pushing down on the showroom floor. Even more important to note is that it's SUPPOSED to feel this way! This is also how the WB feels when climbing-slow, heavily damped movement (but not a true lockout) on both the compression and rebound stroke.

XC descending
1) WB IMV
2) Lefty
3) Reba Race
4) SC32

The WB is the most nimble feeling fork, by far. I can only begin to guess what combo makes it so (rake, lack of dive, background compression of the IMV, chassis rigidity???) but it stands out as the most flickable. High speed into a rock garden/boulderfield/impending doom and missed your line? The WB is the easiest to get back on-line. The Lefty is supple and stictionless, but the lack of a sophisticated damper means that if you get your weight too far forward you'll find yourself wallowing deep into the travel, and once your weight is forward it can be hard to get back over the rear of the bike. The Reba is intuitive and supple, and no matter how hard I pushed it I couldn't find a situation where I didn't like the damper. The A-C (and sag) of the SC lend themselves to a quick front end, but having only 90mm of travel AND a sharp mechanical bottom out made me shy away from really pushing the fork. Plus, it's gotta be the most flexy (twisting) fork I've ever ridden. It seems to excel when ridden at less than 80% of max speed. Once you're off-line or going too fast, the only way to get it back under control is to grab a handful of brake, hope, check your shorts, then start over.

Aggressive bash-on-through descending
1) Lefty
2) WB IMV
3) Reba Race
4) SC32

More travel = better for this style of riding, and the Lefty wins hands down here. It gets 108mm of travel but it feels like a lot more-I had the confidence with this fork to attempt (and complete) a 5' drop that I'd never done before on any bike, and the Lefty sucked it up comfortably. The WB was a surprising second: I'd expected to get into stutter bump situations where I could "fool" the valve and get it to close when it should open or vice versa. Nope. The transition from closed to open was seamless, and from open to closed again was equally unnoticeable. And despite wheelieing uphill, at speed, into multiple ledges, bunnyhopping then stuffing the bike down into a rock garden, using a ledge to kick the front of the bike up, then landing in a boulderfield, I couldn't get it to do anything other than absorb bumps seamlessly. The damper on the Reba was excellent, but the chassis was prone to twisting flex when I really pushed it. The harder I rode the less I liked the Reba. Not surprisingly, when I was just cruising with the wife or on a recovery ride, I liked the Reba a lot. The SC32 was the most disappointing in aggressive descending. While the damper is able to keep up and the quality of the suspension travel is great, the twisting chassis flex was simply unacceptable. Reminds me of my 26" days, and trying to ride/race aggressively on a SID… Lighter riders, non-aggressive riders, or hardtail riders *might* not notice this *as much* as I did.

Standing climbs and bobbing (least bob first)
1) WB IMV: 4-7mm
2) Reba: 6-12mm
3) SC32: 14-25mm
4) Lefty: 20-30mm

Numbers were derived by climbing out of the saddle, same gear, same grade, smooth dirt, then measuring the movement of a zip tie (approximated on the Lefty due to the huge accordion boot) on the fork leg. Test was repeated four times with each fork to get the low/high differential. This stat is somewhat confusing because each of the forks (except the Lefty) has a means for minimizing bob, and all were effective when turned on. The problem is that if you're riding mixed up-and-down terrain, and especially at high speed, it's not always possible to reach down and flip a lever or twist a knob. My local trails have a lot of this stuff, and as a result I ride most (95%+) of the time with my forks wide open because I don't have a chance to reach down and flip a lever in the transitions from techy descents to short burst climbs. So the test was done with each of the forks set at wide open.

If you actuate the anti-bob device on the forks (SC32 has a lockout/lockdown, Reba has an adjustable threshold lockout, and the WB has the valve that can be dialed out) they all climbed bob-free-except for the Lefty. When the opportunity presented itself, I'd reach down and close down the rebound damper (that's the only external adjustment on the Lefty) and that'd help, but still not enough to comfortably or efficiently climb out of the saddle. All three of the other forks still exhibited slight movement when locked out, but only enough that I could visually notice it-I never felt the movement.

Suppleness on seated climbs (most supple, best tracking of the ground first)
1) Lefty
2) Reba Race
3) SC32
4) WB IMV

No two ways about it, the Lefty tracks small ripples in the ground like no other fork I've ridden. It was mildly hypnotizing to watch the hydraulic brake line moving up and down as I climbed smooth dirt. I think the SC32 has the potential to be as supple as the Reba in this area, but due to the harsh mechanical bottom out I ended up running 5psi higher in the SC32 than I wanted to (to limit the frequency of bottoming out). This took away from the initial suppleness of the fork. The WB's IMV system simply isn't supple when there's little weight on the fork-the steeper the climb (and the further back your weight is) the less the WB moves. This is true of all the forks in the test, but the WB moved the least.

Fore/aft flex (least flexy first)
1) Tie: Lefty and WB IMV
3) SC32
4) Reba Race

The Lefty just doesn't flex, at least not that I could feel. How they achieved the stiffness that they did is beyond me, but it's impressive and has me looking at this fork for other bikes too. The WB doesn't exhibit any flex that I could feel, either, although I wasn't as surprised by this. I think I just expected the Lefty to flex more ("There's only one damn leg-how can it NOT?"), and was pleasantly surprised when it didn't. Neither the Reba nor the SC exhibited scary or showstopping amounts of fore/aft flex, but it was certainly noticeable, especially when stabbing the brakes and then changing direction quickly-these forks needed a second to "catch up" to where you were.

Twisting flex (least flexy first)
1) Tie: Lefty and WB IMV
3) Reba Race
4) SC32

I couldn't feel a difference between the WB and the Lefty-they both felt as good as any qr or xc fork I've ever ridden. The Reba was adequate when traction was poor-if I couldn't get the tire to hook up then the wheel couldn't get torqued/twisted. When the traction was good I could flex the Reba more than I'm comfortable with-enough that I unintentionally left the trail a few times, simply because the fork wound up, unwound (sproing!), and sent me packing.

When it comes to twisting flex, there is simply no way to describe how awful the SC32 was for me. On one day when I was feeling especially confident, I attempted to roll a drop-in that I've been eyeing for years but have just never had the courage to try. I got up onto the boulder smoothly, pivoted the back wheel to line things up, then let it roll. Despite the fact that my hands (and the bars) were pointed straight, the front wheel turned 20 degrees to the right as I rolled down the off-camber face, and I splatted to a stop on a boulder 4 feet to the right of where I'd been pointed. My riding partner had been watching from below (and directly in front of me), and he couldn't find the words to describe what he'd seen-he just kept shaking his head and asking if I was okay. Also worth noting is that I loaned my bike to a moderately aggressive 150lb racer geek, and he noticed (and commented on) the twisting flex in his first minute on the bike-as he descended some off-camber slickrock. Again--this is probably not as noticeable to lighter riders, hardtail riders, or less aggressive riders. For me it was noticeable on every ride, and began to affect my confidence in the bike. As a result, I stopped riding the Mav fork after only ~40 hours.

Brake dive (least dive first)
1) WB IMV
2) Reba Race
3) tie: SC32, Lefty

You can't get something for nothing, so it's little surprise that the Lefty and the SC32 have the most brake dive-they're very supple forks and they lack a sophisticated damper to filter that movement out. The Reba was very good here, and the WB dove the least by far.

Summary:

Strengths:
Reba: Huge adjustability to suit a wide range of riders and styles. Supple and stictionless damper. Lockout/floodgate work as advertised. Great value for the price.
Mav SC32: Stiffest front wheel in the test, supple and stictionless damper. Cool lockdown feature that (unfortunately) was lost on me: I don't like 'em.
Lefty: Most travel, most supple, stiff chassis. Don't need to remove the wheel to change a flat.
WB IMV: Best climbing/most efficient fork in the test. Valve works to minimize bobbing (as much or as little as you want) yet the fork is still supple and stictionless when you're hitting bumps. Once air pressure and valve are dialed in, it's a hands-free system. Stiff chassis. Lack of brake dive.

Weaknesses:
Reba: Flexy chassis. Not awful, and really only noticeable on slow speed techy moves or by heavier riders.
Mav SC32. Expensive, extremely flexy, requires non-standard hub/wheel. Takes a few minutes (on initial setup) to get the feel for proper torque on the qr levers, and proper torque is critical to how the fork (chassis) behaves.
Lefty: Extensive fiddling to get it set up properly. More fiddling to get it dialed in. It's biggest strength is also it's biggest weakness-it's super supple and always moving. When climbing, that's often a bad thing. Lots of brake dive. Also: expensive, hard to find, and requires a non-standard hub/wheel. Need to remove the front brake in order to remove the wheel.
WB IMV: Cost. Few will see the value of the IMV on the showroom floor, and without riding it fewer will see why they should spend the $$$. Lack of sensitivity to small bumps when the front end is unweighted (i.e. when climbing).

Also worth noting is that all of the forks were disc-only. I'm a disc user so that was fine by me, but the whole world is not comprised of disc users--what about them?

Take out cost, fiddle-factor, transportation issues, etc… and boil it all down to *just* the ride quality.
- If I'm racing, I'd pick the WB.
- Aggressive trail riding, I'll pick the Lefty, with the WB a close second.
- If I need attention at the trailhead, I'll take the Mav. Or the Lefty.
- If I lose 25lbs (possible if I sever a limb or two), move somewhere with less technical trails, or start riding less aggressively, I'll pick the Reba.
- If I can only have one fork for racing, riding, training, etc… I'll pick the WB.
- If I want to answer mundane questions over and over ("Is that a Lefty?") I"ll take the… …nevermind.
- If cost is the overriding factor, it's very hard to beat the Reba.
- If I suddenly find myself riding hardtails on non-technical, mostly flat trails, or riding so slowly and unaggressively that I have trouble staying awake on the bike, I'll take the SC32. On second thought, no I won't-I might come to my senses and want to ride fast/hard someday, and this fork simply can't cope with that.

If I could change one thing about each fork, it would be:
Reba: Stiffen up the chassis without adding significant weight. It'd be *the* go-to fork for big wheeled bikes. As-is it's 'this close'.
Mav SC32: Get the chassis performance to match the damper performance. In the current configuration, I'm not sure if it's even possible, but if (in a year or so) they claim to have addressed this issue, I'll gladly try it again.
Lefty: Since it's unlikely that Cannondale will release a 29" *and* 1 1/8 compatible fork, I won't bother burning my wishes there. Simply making the fork more easy to adjust (externally, at a minimum) would solve its major woes. SPV *might* help with the brake dive and bobbing, but that would likely come at the expense of small bump sensitivity. I'll take it's current issues over making it less supple. It'd be nice if it were a bit lighter also.
WB IMV: Get the weight back down to ~1680g (pre-IMV weight), and mass produce them (or at least parts of them) to help get the price down to compete with the Reba.

So there you have it. If I left something obvious out (I said obvious, NOT miniscule!!) please feel free to post and I'll try to clarify.

Thanks for reading.

MC
 

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Recovering Weight Weenie
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8,821 Posts
Thank you Sensei!
I'm affirmed in all my Reba-ness.:p
Seriously, maintence-free-ness is HUGE in my book, along with not having to fiddle with set-up or upkeep.

Madre and I have 4 Reba's and in our thousands and thousands of miles, not once have we ever had an issue. They work for Madre at 135lbs and me at 215lbs. They work at altitude and sea level.

Your review was likely the most complete to date. Way to go!
 

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Moderator
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2,821 Posts
Holy writeup! Nice work Mike, this is great.
edit: This needs to be s sticky so I will put it at the top. Again, wonderful info. Thanks!
 

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breathing helium
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2,094 Posts
Mike,

I sincerely appreciate the time and effort that you put into this test. I have been in the market for a fork and this is exactly what I was looking for.
 

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Fo' Bidniz in da haus
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17,282 Posts
thanks so much for the taking the time to write that up!

though i know it is your impression and you rightfully noted that caveat, i cant help but wonder even more now that my new maverick waiting for me on my new bike was the wrong choice for me.......hmmmm
 

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Bikeoholic
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537 Posts
A great service..

I know everyone is going to say thanks and I'm going to also... I think this is a great service to all those riding 29ers and even those who aren't and considering getting one. I may not have liked everything I read but it opened my eyes and set me on the right direction to something to look for in my next possible upgrade...

Now we need a rigid fork showdown once the new carbons come out from on-one and bonti...
 

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Appalachian Singletrack'n
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1,444 Posts
Great write up, very informative and less bias than I thought it was going to be. A question and a comment:

Was the WB fork QR or 20MM?

Even though the Maverick comes as a 29 converted fork, All they do is throw the top out spaces in, oil level is not adjusted at the factory for the reduced travel. Adding 15ml of oil to the air chamber on the Maverick will eliminate the bottom out problem.
 

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Cold. Blue. Steel.
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1,709 Posts
2006 H.o.t.Y.

I've already decided my vote for the 2006 Human of the Year: Mikesee. :D Wow- "Thanks" just doesn't seem like enough appreciation for all you've done and continue to do.

I haven't tried a Lefty or Mav., and my very short time on a Reba isn't enough to call it a "review." That said, my WB IMV .08 is exactly as you describe it. The best fork I have ever used on any wheel size. And, as Padre pointed out about the Reba, set it and forget it. Even more so as you don't have a PopLock on your mind while trailriding.

We are truly lucky to have a certified mechanical guru who is equally skilled at the keyboard and digi camera, pioneering and testing throughout our beloved big-wheel movement.

Keep it up and thanks again.
OGG
 

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Powered by ice cream.
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6,359 Posts
Bravo

Well done.

You should freelance write for a magazine. Submit this to MBA or something as an example of your work. You could be their 29er correspondent.
 

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45 gone, 15 to go
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1,237 Posts
Thank you very much for the info. I am sure that you have stored up some good karma for doing something nice like this for the rest of us. I mean it is not like you are saving 3rd world children here, but I appreciate your efforts just the same
 

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Registered
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Yeow

That is a read! Thank you for taking the time and energy to think and write that all up. Make sure I am still on your E mail list as I look forward to your post event write ups.

David Turner
 

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7,696 Posts
Excellent info.

I cant help but ask, are you sponsored by, or friends with the WB guys? Or atleast an R&D/test guy for White Bros? I thought I remember reading that somewhere. Maybe Im mistaken.
 

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This place needs an enema
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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Fillet-brazed said:
Excellent info.

I cant help but ask, are you sponsored by, or friends with the WB guys? Or atleast an R&D/test guy for White Bros? I thought I remember reading that somewhere. Maybe Im mistaken.
Good, fair question.

During 2004 and 2005 I was a WB sponsored athlete and R & D rider.

I should also note that from 1995 to 2005 I was also a SRAM sponsored athlete and R & D rider (including Rock Shox).

I have no relationships (not that I'm aware of, anyway) with Cannondale or Maverick.

For 2006 I opted to neither seek nor accept any suspension sponsorship.

MC
 

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2,474 Posts
Bummer!

FoShizzle said:
thanks so much for the taking the time to write that up!

though i know it is your impression and you rightfully noted that caveat, i cant help but wonder even more now that my new maverick waiting for me on my new bike was the wrong choice for me.......hmmmm
 
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