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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am building up a new bike for my gf, to try and get her more interested in trail riding. it will be going on a 14" kona caldera frame. ideally I want something functional as is for her size or very easily adjustable. it would also help if it wasn't too heavy, one of the goals of this new bike is to keep the weight down for her. any suggestions?
 

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vortrex said:
I am building up a new bike for my gf, to try and get her more interested in trail riding. it will be going on a 14" kona caldera frame. ideally I want something functional as is for her size or very easily adjustable. it would also help if it wasn't too heavy, one of the goals of this new bike is to keep the weight down for her. any suggestions?
what fork does the current frame have?

I would suggest a dual coil model with air preload....then remove one of the coils and use the air preload to adjust. Marzocchi makes a few that will work well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
her current specialized tank has what is probably a '02 rock shox judy TT on it, but I am building up a new kona for her that has nothing has of yet.
 

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Skareb Super with the extra light spring. Has a very linear stroke which allows a light rider to take advantage of its full travel. Pretty light and stiff enough for such a light rider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm sure that is a nice fork, but I guess by "basic" I meant inexpensive also. I don't think she needs a fork that costs more than her current whole bike. she's really not at a level to spend $500 on a fork.
 

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vortrex said:
I'm sure that is a nice fork, but I guess by "basic" I meant inexpensive also. I don't think she needs a fork that costs more than her current whole bike. she's really not at a level to spend $500 on a fork.
The Rockshox JudyTT is an awful fork for a light beginner lady rider, super heavy with a rocket-like rebound.
If you are not keen to spend money try posting on the "Where are the best deals" forum.
You need a fork with a soft ride kit option and as a minimum rebound damping. Manitou Axel Super(2005 not 2004) should be ok but quality not great. You get what you pay for.
If you can get a close-out deal on a Marzocchi (MXC or ECC) with air preload then go for it! Just be aware that stock springs will be way too hard for a 100lb rider. I would stay away from Rockshox Pilot until they are improved from 2004 models.
Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I see nashbar has the '05 Answer Manitou Axel Elite on sale for $149.95, seems like a decent deal. I will research this fork a little more.

goatman said:
Manitou Axel Super(2005 not 2004) should be ok but quality not great.
 

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Axel Super

vortrex said:
well not going to work, disc only fork.
The Axel Super 2005 uses a better damping system (TPC which uses shims and not orifice like the Elite)
I bought an Axel Super 2005 (i'm in South Africa!) for my wife's hardtail and the compression damping failed and has just been replaced under warranty:-(....guess I got a lemon. Should be fine from now on..
It is probably the cheapest fork you can get with adjustable travel, compression- and rebound damping. It comes stock with a soft spring with a booster spring INSIDE it(this increases the spring rate to medium), so for your girlfriend you would have to twist out the central booster spring (easy, I've done it myself, but LBS should be able to do it no problem) This then leaves you with a soft spring rate coil spring which would be suitable for a light lady rider. Just make sure that the coil spring is greased very well or it may make some clicking noises as you compress it. Shop around for a good deal...
 

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I say go used. I picked up a super sweet fork the other day for $20. Marzocchi Z.2 Flylight. 3.17lbs, dual air, extremely smooth and strong (especially smooth for dating back to 1999). Travel is scant 67mm, but that's exactly what the frame called for in my situation (also GF's bike). I had to replace the seals and wipers (another $20 for enduro seals) and replaced the oil, etc. Esentially rebuilt the thing. It is sweet. It's replacing a Manitou SX, an elastomer fork that was on there doing temp duty. Wasn't a bad shock, but the zoke is leaps and bounds better.

_MK
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
cool thanks for the info, I will check into this.

goatman said:
The Axel Super 2005 uses a better damping system (TPC which uses shims and not orifice like the Elite)
I bought an Axel Super 2005 (i'm in South Africa!) for my wife's hardtail and the compression damping failed and has just been replaced under warranty:-(....guess I got a lemon. Should be fine from now on..
It is probably the cheapest fork you can get with adjustable travel, compression- and rebound damping. It comes stock with a soft spring with a booster spring INSIDE it(this increases the spring rate to medium), so for your girlfriend you would have to twist out the central booster spring (easy, I've done it myself, but LBS should be able to do it no problem) This then leaves you with a soft spring rate coil spring which would be suitable for a light lady rider. Just make sure that the coil spring is greased very well or it may make some clicking noises as you compress it. Shop around for a good deal...
 

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if u are talking about a real beginner and rst gila would do fine but i would suggest an mazocchi mz comp or dirt jumper lll
 

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hughairboy188c said:
if u are talking about a real beginner and rst gila would do fine but i would suggest an mazocchi mz comp or dirt jumper lll
Neither the Gila nor the MZ have damping... the DJ is way too heavy for a 100 pound gal.
 

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You realize that the Marzocchi DJs are well over 6 pounds, right? For a 100 lb gal, the MZ Comp should be alright. Basic Spring/MCU fork. I say go with a Manitou Skareb or Axel. Or maybe a used Manitou Black. Those are like 150 bucks off ebay.Since she's so light, she'll probably be alright on a Rockshox Psylo... *shrug* Just go with some basic low end fork and upgrade as she breaks.
 
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