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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Dakar XLT with 5" of travel.

I have been tossing around the idea of a Fox 36 fork. I have a 32 Vanilla 130 R right now.

Can I go with the 36 Vanilla or will the 160mm be an inch too tall? Should I go with the Talas and leave it at 130mm unless I do some drops?

I don't particularly care much for air forks...I love coil springs, but the Talas gets good reviews.

Should I just stick with my 32 Vanilla and shut up?
 

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Carpe Noctem
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This is just my oppinion and I don't present it as gospel.

I usually prefer the slacker head angle than a typical xc/am bike has, Jamis has released a new line of Dakars this year so the old specs aren't readily available on the website so I don't know what your head angle(HA) is now.

A longer fork will slacken your HA and make the wheelbase a little longer which will make the bike more stable and less twitchy. It will also make climbing tougher, especially switchbacks where you'll probably have to really make an effort to keep the front wheel planted.

I have a 36RC2 VAN on an Ellsworth Moment which is at the top end of the reccomended travel compared to a RockShox Psylo race(125mm travel) I had on the same frame before. The Psylo wasn't a bad fork but it doesn't compare to the 36, it's plush, tunable and wicked stiff. It will make your Dakar track a lot better on the decents and in poor traction, especially sand and mud at the expense of climbing abillity.

To your final Question, Do you already have good brakes and wheels? The 32 is a nice fork for sure and usually brakes and wheels are seen as a place to save some money on an OEM bike. You'll have to replace the front hub if you go to the 36 anyway so consider a new wheelset, it's usually not much more than the cost of hub, spokes and labor for a new front wheel and a slacker head angle will probably help you go faster which will be hard on the rear wheel so something stout might be in order.

Regardless of if you get the fork brakes should be considered if you got Hayes because although they might feel better than rim brakes you could have a lot more modulation and that alone can allow you to go faster over rougher stuff, you won't have to start braking as soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, my brakes are alright:

Frame-Dakar XLT Fox float R
Fork-Fox 32 Vanilla R 130
Brakes-Avid Juicy 5's
Cranks-Hone
R.Der-XT
Fr.Der-XT
Shifters-LX
Cass-XT
Hubs-XT
Rims-Rhyno Lite
Spokes-DT
Post-Thomson Elite Layback
Stem-Easton EA 50
Bars-Easton EA 70 Hi Rise
Saddle-WTB Rocket V Team Ti
H-set-WTB Race
Tubes-Specialized fatties
Tires-Kenda Nevegal 2.35" Stick-E
Grips-Lizard Skinz Logo Lock On
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I really hate the rear shock. I set it up for 25% sag like it says and then I blow through the travel like crazy. I set it up with less sag and it is just too stiff for the trail. I'm probably gonna get a Van R. I want pro-pedal, I want coils, but I don't wanna pony up for a DHX coil. I don't think I'd use all the bells and whistles anyway. I'd just set it and forget it. The thought of an air chamber on a coil shock for bottom out control bugs me a little. I like the MCU bumper at the end of the Van R stroke. I know it is not as tuneable as the DHX, but it seems like it would last longer w/o leaking air.

I don't relish the thought of the bike gaining another pound with the coil shock. I considered an RP23 or Swinger 4way air, but the shock that I have now leaks about 5psi over a month or so. That's nit-picking, I know...but I want to be able to go out the door, grab my bike, and ride. I don't wanna do a crap load of pre-ride stuff before I can enjoy a jaunt. Heck, sometimes I just hop on it for a little 10 minute ride around the neighborhood to hop a few curb's and loading docks. I don't wanna have to check the air in the shock for a 10 minute jaunt.

The Vanilla R fork that I have currently bugs me because it has that "Fox Loose Headset" feeling. The bushings are made to be a little loose for small bump compliance. If I keep it, I'll send it off to PUSH. They will re-valve it and tune it to my agressive riding style. They will also machine some new bushings to fit a little more snug as well as fit some dual lip seals.

The reason I was thinking about the 36 is b/c I love to huck stairs. I cringe at the thought of hucking stairs on a 32 with Rhyno Lite rims. I should just replace the rear shock, PUSH the fork, and save some $$$ for an Urban Hardtail.
 

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Carpe Noctem
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I've seen guys huck stairs on the 32 forks with no problem but not more than about 5'. I don't think I'd do that on a 32 to flat. I have a DHX-Air that's not bad but for hucking a coil is the way to go. I had a couple Vanilla RC shocks on my last bike, first an older model and then the ProPedal model. I don't think I ever bottomed those things and they were smooth on the small stuff too.
 

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Mountain Lion Bait
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I've got a 07' TALAS 36 RC2. The fork rocks. Its been worth every penny. On long climbs, i punch it down to 100mm or 130mm (pends on the climb,) and then for everything else, its 160mm. I've climbed with it at 160mm, and its definetly doable, but when I put it at the lower settings, i can really tell the difference. Plus, you still have use of the suspension at the lower settings, unlike a lockout (per se).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
renderedtoast said:
I've got a 07' TALAS 36 RC2. The fork rocks. Its been worth every penny. On long climbs, i punch it down to 100mm or 130mm (pends on the climb,) and then for everything else, its 160mm. I've climbed with it at 160mm, and its definetly doable, but when I put it at the lower settings, i can really tell the difference. Plus, you still have use of the suspension at the lower settings, unlike a lockout (per se).
Yeah...sounds nice and if they could make a coil Talas...I'd probably bite faster. I'm just not a big fan of air sprung forks.
 

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You weren't really clear on what you are hoping for by going from the Van 32 to 36?
Do you want a bit more travel?
Do you want travel adjust? (Talas)
There are some '05 and '06 talas 36 forks selling (used, hardly-used and new) right now, and that might be a fork to look at, since you can dial it down as needed.

Alternatively, have you considered a Pike or Nixon? Both can be had with adjustable travel, thru axle, and very decent damping (Motion Control and TPC/TPC+), and aren't quite as tall as a 160mm Van 36.
 

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mmm
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chelboed said:
Yeah...sounds nice and if they could make a coil Talas...I'd probably bite faster. I'm just not a big fan of air sprung forks.
That exists as a the Rockshox Domain fork. 35mm stanchions + coil + uturn (160-115mm) I've seen them brand new on ebay for under 500. I'm suprised people aren't flocking to these fork over the Fox 36 series.
 

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timehoc said:
That exists as a the Rockshox Domain fork. 35mm stanchions + coil + uturn (160-115mm) I've seen them brand new on ebay for under 500. I'm suprised people aren't flocking to these fork over the Fox 36 series.
What kind of damping do they have? From the specs I can't see what "Motion Control IS" means.

FYI the Domain is ~6.5lbs, compared to ~5lbs for a Talas 36, but the Domain *is* a lot cheaper though.
 

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mmm
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fsrxc said:
What kind of damping do they have? From the specs I can't see what "Motion Control IS" means.

FYI the Domain is ~6.5lbs, compared to ~5lbs for a Talas 36, but the Domain *is* a lot cheaper though.
Id compare it more tot he Van 36 which is 5.5lbs. Still a .7 - 1 lb difference depending on model.
 

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FWIW, I've ridden both a 36 Talas and Vanilla (own the Vanilla) and the Vanilla completly blows the Talas away. I demo'd a 36 Talas on an Enduro. It took hits pretty well, but ramped up a bit too harshly in the last little bit of its travel. It's small bump sensitivity was also very uninspiring. The Vanilla feels much smoother throughout the entire stroke, with none of the noticable spike that the Talas had. And small bump sensitivity is in an entire different league. Much more plush.
 

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Mountain Lion Bait
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Hardtails Are Better said:
FWIW, I've ridden both a 36 Talas and Vanilla (own the Vanilla) and the Vanilla completly blows the Talas away. I demo'd a 36 Talas on an Enduro. It took hits pretty well, but ramped up a bit too harshly in the last little bit of its travel. It's small bump sensitivity was also very uninspiring. The Vanilla feels much smoother throughout the entire stroke, with none of the noticable spike that the Talas had. And small bump sensitivity is in an entire different league. Much more plush.
Did you set up the low speed/high speed compression on the TALAS at all before riding it? What about setting the sag? I've never ridden a vanilla before, but my TALAS (properly set up for my weight and riding style) kicks @$$. The biggest benefit to me, is the ability to change ride heights. I can ride single tight track at Bullards Bar on one day in the 130mm, and set it to 160mm for Downieville on the next day. Big uphill, np, put it at 100mm. That right there is what sold me on the fork. Regadless though, Fox in any flavor is a great fork.
 

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Coley said:
i chose the talas over the van for two reasons
1-WAY more ajustable
2-lighter
although the van is coil, the talas feels just as good if not better
1. The Talas is WAY more adjustable how? Both are avaliable in R and RC2 flavors. The Talas has air pressure, the Vanilla has preload and swaping springs. All the Talas has over the Vanilla is travel.
2. About 1/2#. I couldn't care less, but it is 1/2#.
I think you're insane, but that's just me. :D What did you like about the Talas feel wise? How much time do you have on a Vanilla?
 

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I Welcome All
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well i have the talas rc2 when i said adjustable i meant 100mm to 130mm to 160mm on the fly, ajustable air pressure and low/high speed compression, i know you can swap springs but changing air pressure is faster, i guess its just more travel ajustable (good for AM riding) and ajusts faster. i have nothing against the van, i would prefer it if i didnt climb. i rode my buddy's enduro that had vans and it felt awesome, the only thing that i dint like about it was it through rockgardens, i know coil is supposed to feel better over that stuff but thats just what i thought
to sum it all up......i just think the talas is better for AM riding and adjusts faster
now my fingers are tired
 

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chelboed said:
Yeah...sounds nice and if they could make a coil Talas...I'd probably bite faster. I'm just not a big fan of air sprung forks.
you're right to be skeptical of the 36 Talas performance, especially if you know you like coil action.

i got caught up in the heat of the moment and dropped cash on the first 36 talas, sucked. just tried a an 07 last weekend and yes, it sucked. stiction, pisspoor small bump sensitivity, 'unpowerful' compression, generally dead feeling feedback.

but the VAN is another story! Very very nice. Coil = Progressive Plush! I only tried the R version, never the RC2, and i' would probably spring for the RC2, for more bottomless control.
 

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misctwo said:
you're right to be skeptical of the 36 Talas performance, especially if you know you like coil action.

i got caught up in the heat of the moment and dropped cash on the first 36 talas, sucked. just tried a an 07 last weekend and yes, it sucked. stiction, pisspoor small bump sensitivity, 'unpowerful' compression, generally dead feeling feedback.

but the VAN is another story! Very very nice. Coil = Progressive Plush! I only tried the R version, never the RC2, and i' would probably spring for the RC2, for more bottomless control.
at first my talas was sticky but after about 4 rides is was awesome as for the sensitivity, the comp. must have been set up crappy cause mine feels awesome
 
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