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The stock Judy XC on my '99 Fisher Paragon is finally used up. I realize that mountain bike suspension has progressed quite a bit in the last decade so I'm looking forward to the performance of a modern fork. I ride mostly XC and some downhill, but no big drops.

I want to stick with V-brakes and hope to spend less than $300. I had been looking at the Marzocchi 44 RLO ($240 w/ bosses) and the Rock Shox Tora ($180ish). After some reading here I've added a used Fox 32 F100 RLC ($300) and the Manitou R7($350ish) to the list, though I'd prefer not to spend that much—I'm not sure how many more years I'll be using this bike. I'm leaning toward the Marzocchi.

I've been disappointed with Rock Shox parts availability and Marzocchi has had some build quality problems in the last few years. I don't have any personal experience with Manitou. I'm hesitant to spend so much on the used Fox since it would be without warranty in uncertain condition.

Which fork do you think would be the best choice for me? Does anyone have any experience with any of them? Is there another option that I've overlooked?

Thanks for any feedback.
 

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I'd go tora 318, good value for the money. I'd get the u-turn coil version, but that's just me. It also comes in solo air.

Steer clear of the tora with poploc damping. It sucks.
 

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I switched out a 2000 Judy XC for a 2009 Tora 318 solo air on my trek 6500 last year, and the head tube angle definitely changed quite a bit. It was enough that I thought I had made a really bad decision - climbing up anything rough/rocky would send the front end skyward. After riding it for a year and making some adjustments, mainly just moving my seat forward, I absolutely love it. I'm not sure that changing the travel actually shortens the fork - I think it just moves the bottom out up (if that makes sense). I think mine is set to 100, but I've never checked.
 

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AZmike said:
The stock Judy XC on my '99 Fisher Paragon is finally used up. I realize that mountain bike suspension has progressed quite a bit in the last decade so I'm looking forward to the performance of a modern fork. I ride mostly XC and some downhill, but no big drops.

I want to stick with V-brakes and hope to spend less than $300. I had been looking at the Marzocchi 44 RLO ($240 w/ bosses) and the Rock Shox Tora ($180ish). After some reading here I've added a used Fox 32 F100 RLC ($300) and the Manitou R7($350ish) to the list, though I'd prefer not to spend that much—I'm not sure how many more years I'll be using this bike. I'm leaning toward the Marzocchi.

I've been disappointed with Rock Shox parts availability and Marzocchi has had some build quality problems in the last few years. I don't have any personal experience with Manitou. I'm hesitant to spend so much on the used Fox since it would be without warranty in uncertain condition.

Which fork do you think would be the best choice for me? Does anyone have any experience with any of them? Is there another option that I've overlooked?

Thanks for any feedback.
Well parts availability on any 11 year old suspension fork is not going to be much...it's not just Rock Shox. 1999 Judy XC was a 80mm travel fork so you can easily go with 80mm-100mm depending on how tall the fork is. Marzocchi has long Axle to Crown measurements so their forks will probably slacken your head tube the most. The R7 would be a good and light choice (around 3.5lbs)...most others in your price range are going to be 4.5lbs or more. If you can find a Rock Shox Tora 318 Solo Air...it would be a great fork too, good luck though as Rock Shox discontinued them for 2010. A Tora SL would be the most direct replacement to the old Judy XC...stiff and reliable (both Solo Air and Coil) with the Turn Key lockout damper which is primitive but similar to the old Hydracoil in performance. The compression unit can be replaced for about $50 with the excellent Motion Control unit that the 318 uses.
 
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