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bonkin' clyde
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Discussion Starter #1
I hope you detect no subliminal messages in the title. I am looking for the best fork deal for the money ($400). I know eBay sells stuff way below MSRP, so I'm looking more for the best XC fork (paired to a hardtail) you can get. The reason I am beating this dead horse further is that yes there are still way too many choices. The coveted Noleens, undeniably amazing Fox Forks, the common Rock Shox, performance enhancing Zokies, dependable Manitous. I can go on about the many virtues of the individual makes, but I see 20 excellent deals pass under my nose and don't know which one is better.
 

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Fox vanilla or float R, best bang for the buck. Amazing quality of travel (damping), stiff, etc...Fox doesn't skimp on their lower end models (which is why their lower end models are still pretty expensive)...

Unless you get a marzocchi marathon S on sale for the same amount, you wont get anything from Marzocchi that is as good.

It's debatable whether manitou makes a good enough product that is going to last as long as a marzocchi or fox. They aren't "bad" but with the fox and marz you usually get what you pay for, and with all the discounted mantious that are running around...again, you get what you pay for...They will require more maintenence, even with the semi-open bath.

RS......these guys were left behind in the suspension race years ago. The Duke with the "pure" damping is a decent fork...abeit pretty much their only decent fork.

The fox is going to be the best performer here for the money.
 

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I agree with Jm.

To a degree.

if you go with the Vanilla R, no doubt, you will be getting a quality fork, smooth stroke, stiffness, etc.

But to say RS has been left behind, I find that hard to believe. I cant speak for everyone, but when I buy a fork, I want quality travel, adjustability, and quality. RS delievers in all those aspects. Out of all the forks i've owned ( i've owned about 25 different models, including a fox vanilla RL and R) i liked my 2003 Psylo SL the best. The quality was top notch, no noises coming from it ( unlike my fox forks), amazingly smooth, and very adjustable.

And with the introduction of the Reba and Pike, they will take damping to a whole new level, motion control looks simply incredible, and both forks look very promising.

My advice, the fox's are great, but I would spend my $400 on a Psylo Race, or wait until september, and you can pick up a Reba SL for $400 new.
 

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Domdil said:
I agree with Jm.

To a degree.

if you go with the Vanilla R, no doubt, you will be getting a quality fork, smooth stroke, stiffness, etc.

But to say RS has been left behind, I find that hard to believe. I cant speak for everyone, but when I buy a fork, I want quality travel, adjustability, and quality. RS delievers in all those aspects. Out of all the forks i've owned ( i've owned about 25 different models, including a fox vanilla RL and R) i liked my 2003 Psylo SL the best. The quality was top notch, no noises coming from it ( unlike my fox forks), amazingly smooth, and very adjustable.

And with the introduction of the Reba and Pike, they will take damping to a whole new level, motion control looks simply incredible, and both forks look very promising.

My advice, the fox's are great, but I would spend my $400 on a Psylo Race, or wait until september, and you can pick up a Reba SL for $400 new.

Well...while it's hard to keep from getting into a scathe fest, the hydracoil that comes in mid and low end RS forks is simply trash. RS adds on a lot of gimmicks and features, but bottom line (especially when talking about value) the damping performance is the number 1 priority in my mind, so I'll start with that premise. There are nice things on some forks like lockout, lock-down, travel adjustment, etc, but if you don't have the performance in the first place, my feel is that those are a waste. The "pure" damper is a two piston shimmed-setup that is borrowed from manitou's TPC, and that's why it works pretty well, but apart from that there isn't a whole lot in their line that works exceptionally well. 05 looks to be different, we shall see. I was originally going to include the "pure"-damped psylo in my post, but I left it out due to many of the features failing like travel adjust.

They might be able to turn around in 05, but the other companies have been running much more advanced damping systems for a while, and basic-performance has to be the top priority IMO. Fox simply killed much of the competition by starting out with a similer basic design for all of their forks, and they didn't "skimp" on the performance of the low models. The low models are simply the high models with a few features removed, unlike other companies like Marzocchi, RS and now Manitou that run completely different damping systems in their lower end forks. Fox has done so well because they have a basic fork (float R, vanilla R) that performs excellent...
 

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Foxs "low end forks" may be nice because, they're simply..not low end forks. Manitou and rock shox have both decided to cater to all of the riders, they offer forks starting at $100 ( judy, six's). You would have to be crazy to expect them to offer the same damping as they do on their higher end forks. A beginner rider probably wont go out and spend $400 on a fox fork, since their bike will be close to that price. If you compare a $400 fox to a $400 rock shox, or manitou, I think they can both compete with fox, which is why they're still going strong.


As for that one guys damping comment,
ive ridden alot of rock shox, and I love them.
Their New motion control is their answer to SPV ( which is arguably the best damping system ever created), but better. The only reason Im not riding SPV is because of the lack of small bump sensitivity. Rock shox claims their motion control will answer that. If this is true, rock shox will have made the best damping system to date.


And i wont ride fox until they decide to fix those creaking noises coming out of their forks, I had a 2002 and 2003..and they both did it. Cant say im too big of a fan
 

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Weird you're talking about a 99 marz..their idea of making new forks include new graphics, new stantion colours, new names...still with the SSV..HSCV..etc..werent they using that in 2001?....
Hmm.
Sure they'er strong, if you dont mind riding a 4.5-5 Lb fork.

And lets not touch the marathon, i've owned that fork on one of my xc rigs, and it was one of the worst forks i've owned.
 

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bonkin' clyde
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Discussion Starter #8
Hey guys

I had one other question. Whats the difference between the Shiver which now has inverted stnachions, but only 100 mm of travel and the Marathon S(L) which have 105-120 mm of travel? I mean, if one has inverted stancions, wouldn't that be the better deal? Constant oil bath and all each time its compressed?
 

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Don't kid yourself into thinking that the Noleen has damping performance as good as most of the others. It is a VERY simplistic design that is air damped -- the fork has no oil. Personally I like the fact that it has no oil because it is less maintenance and there is less mess when you do take it apart. It is also stiff and light (almost as light as a SID). The damping on the 2002 Marathon S is superior but the Noleen is good for as simple as it is.
 

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bluronthetrails said:
I had one other question. Whats the difference between the Shiver which now has inverted stnachions, but only 100 mm of travel and the Marathon S(L) which have 105-120 mm of travel? I mean, if one has inverted stancions, wouldn't that be the better deal? Constant oil bath and all each time its compressed?
weight is different, the shiver SC is a little over 5lbs, the marathon S 120mm is a little over 4lbs.

I have the 120mm shiver SC. It is very well damped, stiff for and aft, but not so stiff in torsion. The 2004 shiver SC is more of a dirt-jumping fork.
 

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"El Whatever"
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bluronthetrails said:
I had one other question. Whats the difference between the Shiver which now has inverted stnachions, but only 100 mm of travel and the Marathon S(L) which have 105-120 mm of travel? I mean, if one has inverted stancions, wouldn't that be the better deal? Constant oil bath and all each time its compressed?
No matter what people say inverted forks are the best and there are a bunch of both bikes and motorcycle forks to prove it.

As Jm said... the shiver is a Jump/Dual Slalom fork while the marathon is for XC. The marathon is built lighter nad its damping is tuned to cope with XC. The Shiver gets built more tough for taking big hits or higher speed hits. The inverted design is more fore-aft and laterally stiffer but torsionally needs a oversized axle to compensate for flex.

Some other will argue about if the lesser (or equal) bushing overlap in the Single crown Shiver against a conventional fork make it even less stiff. The truth is that inverted Double crown designs allow for a bigger bushing overlap which make them stiffer than a conventional fork.... I guess we'll see more inverted fork in the future, they're plain better.
 
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