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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for a new fork for my 02' Enduro Pro thinking of giving air a try after owning nothing but coil forks. Currently I have a Vanilla 125R that is going on my Bullit. I was looking @ the Z1 Freeride SL & the Fox Talas. I read the reviews on the Z1 and it sounds like a tuning nightmare? I know very little about the tuning procedure on the Talas - any opinions on air forks or these two forks would be great. Thanx
 

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I ride a Z1 SL on my Enduro and my brother rides a TALAS on his. The little info I have on the TALAS is based on the small amount of time I spent riding it around the neighborhood, up and down curbs and through the rocky field by my house that I use to tune my bike, just so you know. Most of the common issues like how much taller and heavier (1lbs) the Z1 is have been covered in the review so I will not mention those.

Yes, the Z1 is kinda hard to tune but is in no way close to impossible. Most of the reviewers had a hard time to tune it because they didn't know how to get access to the right air chamber. All you had to do was twist the ECC knob to full on but a lot of the reviewers didn't get that and unscrewed the knob :rolleyes: . But the three chambered Z1 will always be harder to tune than the TALAS with only 1 air chamber.

One thing I noticed on the TALAS is that it had some stiction but it wasn't that bad. I only noticed it because I zip-tied it and noticed that it didn't react to some small bumps at slow speeds. Looking back at it, maybe I had the lock out and threshold set to something so check with someone else for that.

Plushness-wise I think the Z1 will always be better because zoke's have very little compression damping and other than changing oil, there is no real way to change the damping on the Z1. You could use the ECC but most people find the in-betweens unusable. I feel the same way, even the 2nd from full-open position compromises a lot of plushness and is too slow for my taste. But, if you're the type that's willing to mess around inside their fork, then you'd be plenty happy with the zoke. Changing the oil to your liking will make the Z1 an unparalleled performer. Changing to a lighter oil will also make the ECC more useable, but you'll have to increase the oil height to compensate.

Here's a link that should be very helpful for Enduro and Z1 SL owners:
Enduro/Z1 FR SL page

lotsa links there it should be helpful even if you're still deciding

*phew* I think that's enough for one post. Hope my two centavos get you far. I have a couple more pennies I might add later.
 

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keen said:
Looking for a new fork for my 02' Enduro Pro thinking of giving air a try after owning nothing but coil forks. Currently I have a Vanilla 125R that is going on my Bullit. I was looking @ the Z1 Freeride SL & the Fox Talas. I read the reviews on the Z1 and it sounds like a tuning nightmare? I know very little about the tuning procedure on the Talas - any opinions on air forks or these two forks would be great. Thanx
Ever look at the Manitou Minute models? 130mm travel and fairly light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Minute 1

SuperNewb said:
Ever look at the Manitou Minute models? 130mm travel and fairly light.
I had to flip a coin between a Minute 1 & a Firefly last month. Ended up w/ a new Firefly that leaked oil right out of the box - lost a little confidence in Manitou products. That aside I am not sure I like the semi oil bath lube aproach. Pretty sure @ this point the Zoke is out - I just don't care for the air tuning aspect. Need a little more info on the Talas, may consider a Minute just wonder if the 30mm stanchions are noticeable? Thanx
 

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ended up with air

I rode a Fox Vanilla 125rlc for a while on a Foes FXR frame, then ended up switching to the Maverick dual crown, because of it's weight and rigidity. It handles the biddger stuff better, though it is not as plush as the coil over fox. I am happy with it... Also, my fox 100 float on my ss is very plush, probably better than the maverick in terms of tuning and plushness.

good luck
 

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I'm surprised no Z1 owners jumped in here. I've got one on my enduro, &, yes, there is a learning curve to the air pressures, but don't all forks take some tuning (compression/rebound/preload) to setup & adjust for different trail conditions? Mine weighs somewhere around 4.25 lbs., stiff as heck & plush, not bad for a 5" travel fork w/ 32 mm stanchions, change the oil ocasionally, pump it up, & its ready to go. Supergo was selling last yrs. recently for the mid. 3 bills. Did I mention it's "stiff & plush" ?
 

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Certainly agree, but...

kneecap said:
I'm surprised no Z1 owners jumped in here. I've got one on my enduro, &, yes, there is a learning curve to the air pressures, but don't all forks take some tuning (compression/rebound/preload) to setup & adjust for different trail conditions? Mine weighs somewhere around 4.25 lbs., stiff as heck & plush, not bad for a 5" travel fork w/ 32 mm stanchions, change the oil ocasionally, pump it up, & its ready to go. Supergo was selling last yrs. recently for the mid. 3 bills. Did I mention it's "stiff & plush" ?
I guess some of us get tired of repeating the same thing over and over again. I realize that lots of newer and first time posters aren't familiar with all the features of this site such as the search function, so I don't want to flame them. The Z1 SL and Z150 SL are indeed amazing forks, and no, it doesn't take an MIT degree to figure it out--especially if you search the posts for all the experimentation that others have done on these forks. When I got my 150SL I started my settings at the same spot that most Z1 SL folks had arrived at, and I only had to do small tweaks to get perfection. The Z1 SL and Z150 SL are likely a couple of the best big hit air forks available. That Maverick 150 air fork is pretty impressive, but cost and a proprietary hub took it down a notch IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
TNC said:
I guess some of us get tired of repeating the same thing over and over again. I realize that lots of newer and first time posters aren't familiar with all the features of this site such as the search function, so I don't want to flame them. The Z1 SL and Z150 SL are indeed amazing forks, and no, it doesn't take an MIT degree to figure it out--especially if you search the posts for all the experimentation that others have done on these forks. When I got my 150SL I started my settings at the same spot that most Z1 SL folks had arrived at, and I only had to do small tweaks to get perfection. The Z1 SL and Z150 SL are likely a couple of the best big hit air forks available. That Maverick 150 air fork is pretty impressive, but cost and a proprietary hub took it down a notch IMHO.
Well I actually bought a Z1 SL last year. I read a ton of posts on the fork and even called Marzocchi for some oil level data. At that time there was just too much BS involved to even get started. I purchased the fork w/ a leaking top cap so after never getting a clear oil level or amount I decided to sell the fork.
 

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kneecap said:
I'm surprised no Z1 owners jumped in here. I've got one on my enduro, &, yes, there is a learning curve to the air pressures, but don't all forks take some tuning (compression/rebound/preload) to setup & adjust for different trail conditions? Mine weighs somewhere around 4.25 lbs., stiff as heck & plush, not bad for a 5" travel fork w/ 32 mm stanchions, change the oil ocasionally, pump it up, & its ready to go. Supergo was selling last yrs. recently for the mid. 3 bills. Did I mention it's "stiff & plush" ?
I'm totally happy with my Z1 SL. I did have to take the time to dial it in, and that was hard because I've always used coil forks without the adjustability of the Z1 (ah, the simple life...). Also, before the fork is bedded in, it's hard to tell how well it's functioning or how much difference the 3-5PSI is actually making.

One aspect that I'm really happy with is its apparent lack of "bobbing" while seated. I had debated on getting a Minute or Sherman SPV but figured it's more important to have the stable platform in the back. But the Z1 SL doesn't seem to be too affected by pedal input. My buddy's Z1 (coil) does show some bob tendancies, however.

But hey, it's stiff, looks GREAT, is buttery smooth and seems very durable. The height of the fork did change handling a bit, but I'm used to it now and have learned to ride with it. I use the ECC on occasion to assist as well.

Furthermore, the ECC is useable on the fly, with the travel adjustments typically are not, but the 2005 models of Rock Shox and Manitous seem to be addressing that...

Speaking of 2005, one might wait for the new batches to come and look for a 2004 on clearance...
 

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noMAD man
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No kidding on that break-in.

chad1433 said:
I'm totally happy with my Z1 SL. I did have to take the time to dial it in, and that was hard because I've always used coil forks without the adjustability of the Z1 (ah, the simple life...). Also, before the fork is bedded in, it's hard to tell how well it's functioning or how much difference the 3-5PSI is actually making.

One aspect that I'm really happy with is its apparent lack of "bobbing" while seated. I had debated on getting a Minute or Sherman SPV but figured it's more important to have the stable platform in the back. But the Z1 SL doesn't seem to be too affected by pedal input. My buddy's Z1 (coil) does show some bob tendancies, however.

But hey, it's stiff, looks GREAT, is buttery smooth and seems very durable. The height of the fork did change handling a bit, but I'm used to it now and have learned to ride with it. I use the ECC on occasion to assist as well.

Furthermore, the ECC is useable on the fly, with the travel adjustments typically are not, but the 2005 models of Rock Shox and Manitous seem to be addressing that...

Speaking of 2005, one might wait for the new batches to come and look for a 2004 on clearance...
I got my 150SL at the first of the year and loved it so much I just got another a couple of weeks ago for an older Big Hit. I had forgotten how notchy and "unsmooth" the fork was when new. It took a good 3 rides before it got that sweet feel. I wonder how many riders get crazy while initially trying to dial the fork in while it's still not broken in properly. You're right about the ride characteristics of these SL forks. I wouldn't really label it as stiction, but it definitely rides higher in its axle to crown height until you really need it in the rough stuff. Surprisingly this turned out to be a real plus for me as I feel more confident diving into rough sections or cornering at speed because the bike's geometry doesn't dive rapidly causing a steep steering angle. The bike is more stable yet still gets all of its travel when needed. It's kind of like an inherent SPV in a non-SPV fork. I guess that diminished dive characteristic is also one of the pluses for SPV forks.
 

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TNC said:
I got my 150SL at the first of the year and loved it so much I just got another a couple of weeks ago for an older Big Hit. I had forgotten how notchy and "unsmooth" the fork was when new. It took a good 3 rides before it got that sweet feel. I wonder how many riders get crazy while initially trying to dial the fork in while it's still not broken in properly. You're right about the ride characteristics of these SL forks. I wouldn't really label it as stiction, but it definitely rides higher in its axle to crown height until you really need it in the rough stuff. Surprisingly this turned out to be a real plus for me as I feel more confident diving into rough sections or cornering at speed because the bike's geometry doesn't dive rapidly causing a steep steering angle. The bike is more stable yet still gets all of its travel when needed. It's kind of like an inherent SPV in a non-SPV fork. I guess that diminished dive characteristic is also one of the pluses for SPV forks.
Do you find it's fairly "low maintenance" once set up, or do you usually have to check the pos/neg pressures a lot? I check the air fork and shock on my XC bike before every ride, so I'd kind of like to grab the HT playbike and go without too much hassle, but if the FRSL is a real nice fork, it might be worth the effort...
 

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fsrxc said:
Do you find it's fairly "low maintenance" once set up, or do you usually have to check the pos/neg pressures a lot? I check the air fork and shock on my XC bike before every ride, so I'd kind of like to grab the HT playbike and go without too much hassle, but if the FRSL is a real nice fork, it might be worth the effort...
I'd say it's like anything with air in it. You gotta check it every once in a while. I don't check it too often, less than the tire pressure. So yeah, it's pretty low maintenance.

What I find when I do check it, is that while attaching the valve, I've let air out, so it's low, but that the settings were about the same as I left them the last time I checked it. So I stopped checking it so much. I've had my fork for about three and a half months and I ride about 4-5 days/week.
 

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noMAD man
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Low pressure, high volume.

fsrxc said:
Do you find it's fairly "low maintenance" once set up, or do you usually have to check the pos/neg pressures a lot? I check the air fork and shock on my XC bike before every ride, so I'd kind of like to grab the HT playbike and go without too much hassle, but if the FRSL is a real nice fork, it might be worth the effort...
No, the fork loses pressure very slowly. Even thought the neg. chamber is higher pressure, it doesn't lose pressure very quickly either. I've gotten to where I check my shock pressure fairly frequently, but I go for at least 3-4 weeks before I recheck the fork pressure. It's been a very pleasant air fork experience compared to a couple I've had in the past.
 

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keen said:
Looking for a new fork for my 02' Enduro Pro thinking of giving air a try after owning nothing but coil forks. Currently I have a Vanilla 125R that is going on my Bullit. I was looking @ the Z1 Freeride SL & the Fox Talas. I read the reviews on the Z1 and it sounds like a tuning nightmare? I know very little about the tuning procedure on the Talas - any opinions on air forks or these two forks would be great. Thanx
This is just my opinion, but the Vanilla 125 is a nice, plush fork. You may not be happy with any air fork after the Vanilla.

If you do decide to go to air......I'd suggest the new Fox FLoat 130. It's the nicest air fork that I've tried. The Z1FR can be nice, but personally, I would never get an air fork that required negative pressure.
 

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noMAD man
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Why no neg. air pressure?

Blue Shorts said:
This is just my opinion, but the Vanilla 125 is a nice, plush fork. You may not be happy with any air fork after the Vanilla.

If you do decide to go to air......I'd suggest the new Fox FLoat 130. It's the nicest air fork that I've tried. The Z1FR can be nice, but personally, I would never get an air fork that required negative pressure.
Just curious about your comment, because that's one of the great tuneability issues on an air fork. Relying on a coil spring for the neg. spring puts you in a fixed situation that can't be adjusted to fit your pos. air pressure preference. And an air fork without any negative spring influence usually has stiction and topout issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Blue Shorts said:
This is just my opinion, but the Vanilla 125 is a nice, plush fork. You may not be happy with any air fork after the Vanilla.

If you do decide to go to air......I'd suggest the new Fox FLoat 130. It's the nicest air fork that I've tried. The Z1FR can be nice, but personally, I would never get an air fork that required negative pressure.
Maybe I just wanted to try something different... I am now considering the Minute 1? I called Push about the Fox fork mod's but it sounds like the RLC is the model they will offer service for.
 

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Blue Shorts said:
This is just my opinion, but the Vanilla 125 is a nice, plush fork. You may not be happy with any air fork after the Vanilla.
I upgraded from a Vanilla 125 to a Maverick.

I would not be happy going back.
 

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Pete said:
I upgraded from a Vanilla 125 to a Maverick.

I would not be happy going back.
I was going to mention the Maverick, but I only know what I've read. I haven't had a chance to try it yet.

You mentioned, some time back, that a friend of yours was switching form a Z1FR to a Maverick. Has that happened? Did you get a chance to either test the Z1FR on the spot on get feedback from your friend?

I'd love to get rid of that boat anchor, but I don't want to give up the plush, stiff ride. My bike would drop close to 2 pounds with the switch.
 

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noMAD man
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Still curious on the neg. air pressure.

Blue Shorts said:
I was going to mention the Maverick, but I only know what I've read. I haven't had a chance to try it yet.

You mentioned, some time back, that a friend of yours was switching form a Z1FR to a Maverick. Has that happened? Did you get a chance to either test the Z1FR on the spot on get feedback from your friend?

I'd love to get rid of that boat anchor, but I don't want to give up the plush, stiff ride. My bike would drop close to 2 pounds with the switch.
On my response just above, could you clarify that?
 

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TNC said:
On my response just above, could you clarify that?
It's just one more item to worry about. One more seal to go bad. One more variable to worry about when setting pressures. I'm not saying that a fork with negative pressure is bad...I'd stay away simply due to the added complexity. There are some great air forks out there that require only positive pressure. They're much easier to "dial-in".
 
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