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Bipolar roller
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I probably would have punched my fork today, but thank god I still own my original '91 trek singletrack and I was still able to go for a ride and cool off.

I have already been through 2 forks on my fish cake 5x5. The original fork that came with the bike, Rockshox Duke XC lasted me almost 5 years. It lasted that long because I follow the maintenance chart religiously and only ride this bike when I need the travel which is not that often. I own 4 other bikes as well, but mainly ride my '91 full rigid trek due to the very little maintenance required. The second fork i went through was a '09 Fox Float Rl which was by far the worst fork I have ever owned because of the ridiculous amount of flex. I am 6'4 240lb and that fork was not built to handle my weight or the amount of torque I put on the front wheels when leaning into turns. I had the Fox for only 2 years until I could save up to buy a different fork.

So in the winter of '12-'13 I bought a 2012 Rockshox recon TK on sale. Got a great deal and was very happy with the stiffness of the fork all last summer. I performed the recommended maintenance twice last summer and have only rode that bike 2 times since the last maintenance.

I was running maxis minions 2.5" front and back, but bought some new Intense 2.5" earlier this year since the maxis were running low on tread. I actually bought 2 sets of the 2.5" intense tires, 1 for my 5x5 and the other set for the wheels I switch between my other 4 bikes.

I was able to talk the wife into letting me go for a "longer" ride today and I thought to myself I should take out the 5x5 since i haven't rode it since last year and see how the new tires perform. Got the bike all tuned up, hoped on it in front of my house, went to make the left onto the trails across the street and I heard the tire rub on my front shock. WTF!

I checked my QR, all good. Then checked for loose spokes and if the wheel was true, all good. Took a few more hard turns, cranking down on the handle bar and the front tire rubbed every time.

Bellow are some pics of the tire clearance (sorry about the sideways photo), my 5x5 with the old maxis 2.5" and my '91 singletrack with the same 2.5" intense tires i put on my cake. As you can see the tire has clearance on the rockshox.

I own 5 forks and all but the newest and most expensive one is not able to run the 2.5". My '91 rigid fork runs 2.5" without issue, my '95 Girvin AL my '97 Girvin Crosslink and my '99 Noleen Crosslink also run the 2.5" without issue as well.

I almost punched my fork because it is by far the most expensive fork i own, it's only 2 years old and it could't run the same size tries as my other 4 forks which are all from the f*ckn 90's. :madman:

Is my fork already shot or is this just not enough tire clearance for my weight?

And, what fork do you suggest i look into that can handle my weight and 2.5" tires?
 

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On wuss patrol
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5,045 Posts
Yep, and the RS lower/bridge clearance area is smaller than some other brands. Maybe you're getting some wheel flex as well?
 

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The recon has a relatively narrow arch. It comes in 80-120mm travel,so it's safe to say it's designed for XC. That probably means it's meant to be used with tyres up to about 2.3. Clearance on mine with 2.2 The Captain is on the tight side,but I have no rubbing issues. Wheel flex is probably the culprit here.
 

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Bipolar roller
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1,351 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the help. I was running Maxxis minion 2.5" with this fork all last sumer without issue, however I noticed that the maxis 2.5" is no where near as wide as my intense 2.5". The maxis 2.5" are actually about the same size as my WTB 2.24" which is strange.

As far as the issue being wheel flex, unfortunately that does not seem to be the issue. I am running the same wheels front and back and there is no problems with the 2.5" on the rear end. There is a little more clearance, but not much.
Also, I noticed that when I turn hard or just turn the front wheel left and right quickly i hear the front disc rubbing against the caliper. It makes kind of a dinging sound. That makes me believe that the issue is fork flex, since I don't see how wheel flex could cause this, but please correct me if i am wrong.

I see that it's been suggested that a thru axle will help. I was always under the impression that thru axle was meant for DH and dirt jump bikes. I have been mtb'ing for almost 25 years always with QRs and never had issue until now.

Is the issue mainly with QR's and telescopic forks? Like i said, i have no issue with the rear end and the QR and my frankenstein-ish bike pictured below has no issues with the QR on the front wheel and the same 2.5" intense tires. However, the girvin linkage forks have just about no lateral flex to speak of.

What about larger stations, say going from the 32mm to a 35mm would this help enough, or is the thru axle a better solution for flex? I am trying to determine if I need to buy a new wheel or hub as well as a new fork.
 

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Registered
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Run a smaller tire and if you don't already have use a Shimano XT skewer. Listed tire sizing is almost cr*p. In order to get true sizing you have to search forums or put the tire in your hand @ the LBS. WTB tires do run large.
 

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Bipolar roller
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1,351 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Run a smaller tire and if you don't already have use a Shimano XT skewer. Listed tire sizing is almost cr*p. In order to get true sizing you have to search forums or put the tire in your hand @ the LBS. WTB tires do run large.
Thanks. I have easton wheels and skewers. Sounds like the Shimano XT may be stronger?

What about a titanium QR? I've read titanium is not really the best material for the job the QR does, but I also see they sell MTB titanium QR's so I am not sure.
 

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Bipolar roller
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Lowered RS Totem.
Does rockshox still make the totem? I looked on their website and didn't see it listed anywhere. However, I did find a few for sale online, but finding one with the specs I need, 1 1/8 steer and dual position air spring is not showing up.

I found a marzocchi 55 r for just under 4 bills and the cr for just over 5 bills. The cr is air sprung which would be great while the r is coil which I am not crazy about. They both have 35mm stations and 20mm thru axles which sounds stiff.

I also found a fox 32 float ctd 120mm for under $450, but it has only 32mm stations and just a 15mm thru axle. If i am going to get a new fork I would rather go bigger to prevent any further flex issues and I would like to up the travel to between 130mm and 150mm. Plus I had a bad experience with my first fox fork, but that was 5 years ago.

As far as putting on skinnier tires on the recon, I am now more concerned about the disc brakes rubbing against the calipers when I turn hard or quickly. That was happening on the pavement at slow speed and would rather not find out what it does moving fast in a hard turn on some Tahoe chunk. I now think I killed the recon last summer ridding it on the tahoe rim trail so I really don't feel safe ridding with it anymore.

I'm usually not able to ride in the higher elevations until after spring due to snow, which is pretty much the only place I ride where I really need suspension, so I do have some time to find a new fork. I will keep my eye out for a deal on a totem since it seems to be crazy stiff with 40mm stations.
 

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aka dan51
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6,021 Posts
20mm axle is going to be stiffer, but 15 is plenty stiff. The trend has been towards 15mm in the last few years. I would prefer 20, but unless you are looking for a DH fork, not many companies are building a shortish travel fork with 20mm anymore.
A used lyrik coil uturn (pre 2013) would be a good choice. Drops to 110mm, 20mm axle, 35mm stanchions, and is super easy to maintain. They could even be had in 1 1/8 steerer and will easily handle the 2.5. Can't find a coil one, the airs can easily be converted to coil; but that's a one way change.
 

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"El Whatever"
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Does rockshox still make the totem? I looked on their website and didn't see it listed anywhere. However, I did find a few for sale online, but finding one with the specs I need, 1 1/8 steer and dual position air spring is not showing up.
That comment was more like a joke. My apologies, shame on me. :D

However, a Lyrik or something in 35mm chassis will serve you better.

Stay away from the 32mm Fox at your weight. I'm 140pounds and I can feel it flexing fore and aft. Or maybe I was used to my 20mm axle Revelation or the Pike before it, but so far I am not impressed with the 32mm Fox chassis.

Ding! The old Pike is a worthy candidate too. Spares will exist until the Argyle and the Revelation exist. The Argyle is the same chassis as the Pike and the Pike uses the same internals as the Revelations.

Good luck!
 

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The 2014 Marz 55CR is able to be run at 130mm with 2 spacers installed. That should be a hell of a stiff fork at that travel with a 20mm axle and it can handle much bigger tires than the Recon ever will.
 

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What has already been said, that fork is an XC fork, designed for XC rubber, i.e. <2.3", also as said, you're 240lbs and running a QR, 32mm stanchion fork, I'm surprised you haven't experienced this before. As to the suggestions for a TA and it being for DH, that used to be the old adage, until people wised up, especially people that are bigger than stuff is generally designed for.

You couldn't wear the clothes that would fit a 160lb person, why would you ride a fork designed for them?
 

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Yeah!
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I was having a similar issue in the rear. My weight was placing abnormal flex on the rear axle, so that pulling on the bars during cornering was causing rotor/pad contact (tires aren't wide enough to contact the frame/fork). A stronger axle setup solved the flex issue. My solution was to use a 10mm DT RWS QR with a 1mm spacer inside a 12mm hub.

An option to keep your front fork would be to copy my temporary front setup of a 9-15mm adapter inside a 15mm hub with a 9mm solid axle. The stiffened my front end a bit on a flexy and cheap RST fork.

That 15mm hub will soon be held by an X-Fusion Slant, a 34mm fork that is aimed between trail and AM. Something to consider if you decide to replace the fork. No idea what the tire clearance is, but definately stiff enough for a clyde.

Good luck!
 

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Thanks for the help. I was running Maxxis minion 2.5" with this fork all last sumer without issue, however I noticed that the maxis 2.5" is no where near as wide as my intense 2.5". The maxis 2.5" are actually about the same size as my WTB 2.24" which is strange.

As far as the issue being wheel flex, unfortunately that does not seem to be the issue. I am running the same wheels front and back and there is no problems with the 2.5" on the rear end. There is a little more clearance, but not much.
Also, I noticed that when I turn hard or just turn the front wheel left and right quickly i hear the front disc rubbing against the caliper. It makes kind of a dinging sound. That makes me believe that the issue is fork flex, since I don't see how wheel flex could cause this, but please correct me if i am wrong.

I see that it's been suggested that a thru axle will help. I was always under the impression that thru axle was meant for DH and dirt jump bikes. I have been mtb'ing for almost 25 years always with QRs and never had issue until now.

Is the issue mainly with QR's and telescopic forks? Like i said, i have no issue with the rear end and the QR and my frankenstein-ish bike pictured below has no issues with the QR on the front wheel and the same 2.5" intense tires. However, the girvin linkage forks have just about no lateral flex to speak of.

What about larger stations, say going from the 32mm to a 35mm would this help enough, or is the thru axle a better solution for flex? I am trying to determine if I need to buy a new wheel or hub as well as a new fork.
There's a couple things in your post here that brings up some questions (please understand that I'm trying to help so I'm just trying to clarify somethings):

You rode a 2.5 Minion with this fork last summer. You are correct that the the new 2.5 tire you tried on it is probably wider than the Minion. All companies measure their tires differently. Sucks, but that's just the way it is. No rubbing with the Minion last summer, right? Any rotor rubbing as you're experiencing now? If you're getting tire rub AND rotor rub when going into turns, I would immediately point to the wheel. What kind of wheel/hub are you running? When was the last time you serviced the hub? Usually wheels/hubs go south before a newer fork starts to flex. My want to pull the wheel and tighten cone washers, or whatever to make sure the hub doesn't have any play. Even if it doesn't have play when you use your fingers to wiggle the axle, your weight will definitely find the play quickly. If you can get that sorted out, I would assume that the tire rub and rotor rub will go away in a hurry.
 

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Save Jesus
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rotor rub means it's NOT the wheel flexing. It means that the hub is moving relative to the fork. Time for a new fork.
 

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rotor rub means it's NOT the wheel flexing. It means that the hub is moving relative to the fork. Time for a new fork.
This is not completely true. With Shimano hubs, if the cone nuts are too loose, the axle will wobble. This will cause the rotors to also wobble and rub on the pads. It all depends on what type of hub/wheel you have. I had a similar issue with a Deore hub and I didn't need a new fork, I needed to service my hub and make sure the cone washer/nuts were tight enough to prevent the wobble.
 

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Ultra Ventanaphile
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rotor rub means it's NOT the wheel flexing. It means that the hub is moving relative to the fork. Time for a new fork.
Blown catridges bearing or backed out cones will all let the SHELL of a hub to move relative to the AXLE of the hub. The axle, fork and caliper stay in phase, the shell of the hub and therefore the disk since it's bolted to the shell can then rub.
 
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