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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I had a question regarding my current setup and upgrading. I use to bmx when I was young and I'd hit considerably sized jumps (3-6 foot ramps w/ landings). I just recently purchased a 2009 17" Marin Bocat and I'm working on upgrading the crap components. I am 5'9", 150 lbs. The bike geometry was made with 100mm travel in the front. My first major upgrade and recent purchase is a RockShox Reba Team. Its a hard tail, and I am inspired by the quick and nimble feel that I am accustom to from my youth. I also plan on adding sturdy lightweight items as I replace the cheap components.

As far as I understand, all Rebas are adjustable between 80/100/120 mm; however I plan on calling to confirm this. Now, I recently purchased a 100mm Reba Team Dual Air, w/ 9mm QR; I currently have a 9mm QR hub. Superstar sells excellent components, and you can purchase a lightweight hub which can be converted from QR to 9mm, 15mm, and 20mm (Switch Evo Front Hub). I'm assuming the 9mm setting on that hub is compatible with Superstar's 9mm through axle (9mm through axle). I have sent them a message asking this exact question, but I have yet to hear a response. I'm almost positive they are compatible, and I'm almost positive that the two components are compatible with a 9mmQR front fork.

I have two ultimate questions (keep in mind my weight of 150 pounds, yet all mountain riding style):
1. Since I am upgrading my fork, and I want to keep it fairly sturdy yet lightweight, should I go with the Switch Evo and 9mm through axle which will provide better tracking and a stronger front hub as compared to a simple 9mm QR,
2. OR, since I am upgrading my front fork, should I return the fork and purchase a Reba Team with a 20mm through axle?

I honestly think the 20mm through axle is a bit of overkill, and it will cost me $130 more for the fork, and cost me labor for a shop to decrease the travel on the fork from 120mm to 100mm, since all Reba Team models which come with a 20mm front fork come set to 120mm travel (I could probably do this but I am not comfortable doing so at the moment). I got my current 100mm 9mm QR Reba Team for a smoking $420. Also, money is definitely an issue.
 

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on a 100mm fork you will probably do OK with a 9mm axle rather than a QR.

That said, if you plan on jumping a lot the 20mm may be needed a bit more...

Also, remember that Superstar components generally will not sell to US consumers.
 

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9mm thru axle will have 23% more stiffness than 9mm QR.
20mm thru axle will have 86% more stiffness than 9mm QR and 63% more than 9mm thru axle.
If you can afford the cost of the Reba 20mm, then do it, other wise the 9mm thru will suffice.



Note: All % were taken from no research and pulled out of my as.s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't plan on jumping hardcore; however, light drops and little jumps may be in the picture. I do a lot of climbing and as a result there are often decently steep and rough downhill sections. I am no pro, but I do ride aggressive. Perhaps I should change over to the 20mm...
 

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i'm not sure where the % stats are being determined but i have a quick release fork(rockshox revelation 150 team) with a 9mm thru axle hadley hub and well i have no complaints at all ! I'm a big guy 250+ with gear! I ride i guess what would be considered all mountain as i live on the east coast with lots of rocks of all sizes and roots galore! A lot of the trails i hit are categorized as black diamond, i ride with a bunch of skinny flucks so im pinnin it pretty much all the time tryin too keep up. i have actually twisted my stem on the steerer tube going thru a really hairy rock garden the fork and wheel held with my set up quite a nice line considering my weight,even though i hit a spot that tweaked my stem! It works for me thats all im sayin, my 2 cents. just ride and love it man!
 

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20mm for sure on the axle,I will never go back!As for the travel,20mm more is not that noticeable,why would you want to reduce?Go for the 20mm with 120mm travel,worth every penny!!!
 

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Is this the bike you have? I would go with the 20mm maxle, but the normal quick release is fine. Either way, that fork is way better than the dart 1 that comes stock. You may later find yourself "upgrading" to a whole new bike down the road. But it should handle very nice with the upgraded fork.
 

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first- you have an entry level xc hardtail, and while the steering may be quick like a bmx, that's where the similarities end. Nothing handles less like a bmx than a beginner's xc hardtail. The bobcat trail is a good bike, but if you want to do jumps and bmx-type bike handling shenanigans, you won't get there with one of those.

9mm through bolt made a pretty obvious difference to me, but i'm a lot heavier than you, and even still i'm not sure i'd relace my wheel (and probably have to buy new spokes) just for a bolt on hub. 20mm is very perceptibly better in every way, there's no such thing as overkill when you're talking about 'better.' Buy things that are worth owning, and all that.

If i had to ride a bobcat trail, i'd size myself big, put on a ~80mm stem, bump the saddle back all the way to the limit line, leave that reba at 120, and go tear it up on the descents. It'd be a compromise, but one i can ride around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The upgrade to a 20mm through axle would cost me $300 more (100 for fork and 200 for new wheel), which is almost the price I paid for my fork. As much as I wish I could spend an infinite amount of money, I'll save that for the eventual new bike which I do plan on upgrading. Marin's Attack Trail is looking tasty. Thanks for the help. I think I can manage with QR, especially at my weight, and I wont be doing any big hits.
 

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If this hasnt been bought yet I think you could do better on a bike. At least something directed to All Mountain. You could probably get a last year model Specialized P1 for about the price of this bike. A 2010 P1 AM Disc is $569.99 and I think you could get more out of it.
 

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Mr Pink57 said:
If this hasnt been bought yet I think you could do better on a bike. At least something directed to All Mountain. You could probably get a last year model Specialized P1 for about the price of this bike. A 2010 P1 AM Disc is $569.99 and I think you could get more out of it.
a p1 am isnt anymore all mountain than what he has now. both are pretty basic trail hardtails.
 

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Just restressing the good advice above.

QR is road bike tech and does not belong on a MTB. You are skinny, so can probably get away with it.
Should getting away with it, or being OK, be an aim?

The MTB tech is the 20mm axle, one of the biggest improvments on my riding was getting a 20mm, the bike starts going where you point it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I would definitely change to a 20mm through if I could afford it. But when upgrading the fork, 420 is in my budget range, yet 750+ (w/ 20mm hub + wheel) is not. I could probably reduce that to 700 if I really tried, but I don't see the point of paying more for the front fork axle assembly than I did for the entire bike. While my bike is descent and the frame is nice, I do plan on upgrading in the future to a bike that can handle much more. I appreciate the advice, and truly wish I could go for the 20mm. You would think mtb's would come with 20mm stock hubs by now.
 
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