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Discussion Starter #1
I am dead set on getting a new fork to help alleviate a very frustrating neck-pain issue.
I am looking for bang-for-the-buck....and a great ride.

2 forks in the running are the Black Platinum and Fox Vaninlla-R. I can get either for $300. They both appear to be great forks. I have read all the reviews--multiple times.

Here are the positives and negatives:

Black: easily adjustable travel, wide range of external adjustments, smooth/plush.
however, has some plastic parts.

Vanilla: smooth, plush, great damping, internally adjustable travel.
however: I have read many reports of knocking/clunking and oil leakage. I have also read several reports of too much compression damping for lighter riders.

Love the idea of the Vanilla, but I'm also concerned about the reported issues.

any final comments about an appropriate choice for a 150lb rider on a GT I-Drive race?
I am still considering the Black since travel can be rapidly reduced if the longer setting goofs the handling of my bike.

thanks,
Bob
 

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Im probably gonna get flammed for this, but in my opinion, the foxs ARENt the smoothest on the market. I owned a Fox Vanilla 125R and I currently have a fox vanilla 100 RL, and yes, they are smooth, but my Black elite and Psylo SL were smoother, and both fox's I owned did make some noises. You cant go wrong with Manitous TPC damping, rapid travel adjust, and lockout. I would go for the black. Also, try to see if you can get a closeout deal on a Rock Shox Psylo SL, I had one on a bike I sold, it was AMAZING. No problems with it, and smooth as butter.

Hope this helps.

P.S for reference, I only weigh 130 Lbs
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I admittedly have not had the chance to ride either fork, and you observations are interesting. I find that I prefer a fork that is only mildly progressive.
Many forks, especially air forks, have been far to progressive for my light weight.

I have an early model Duke Air that is VERY progressive--harsh! Gotta have more cush for my neck, or my mountainbiking will have to end...not something I care to accept.

Bob
 

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Hey, air forks are generally harsher over smaller impacts, and if you want more cush, you will want a more responsive fork. I never bottomed out either forks ( the black or the psylo) but they were very responsive, as well as progressive, I think you'd be happy with either fork.
 

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Just to throw another option in you may not have considered: The Black Super is a hybrid air/coil fork, much like the three year old X-Vert I ride now. With a proper spring weight the fork is extremely sensitive and compliant over very small bumps, but shares the bottom-out protection of an air fork -- the best of both worlds. Of course, you lose the adjustable travel option, which sounds like a feature you're counting on.
 

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Ok, lets hear from someone else . . .

I have a Vanilla 125R, its a great fork and I love it (I don't know about the Black) but, would I put a Vanilla R fork on an I-Drive Race No, NO, absoultly Not.

Coil in the front and air in the back? To me I would expect the bike to handle "strange" to say the least, yea I know a lot guys do this, but think carfully and answer truthfully . . .

Be truthful now . . . What HIGH-END (yes, high end, because mid- and low-priced bikes don't fit the model) Ok, what high-end bicycle manfactures spec bikes (when they sell complete bikes) with coil/air or air/coil ?

I can't think of any, can you? For the most part well thought out bikes are air/air or coil/coil because of the handling of each type of suspension it seems to make the most sense to keep the linar nature of Coil suspension systems together and the progressivness of Air-sprung suspension together. Doesn't that kinda make sense to you?

I know this is not always the case, but most of the time, right?

So, what does that mean to you? Maybe you should cross train for a while and try other activities till you can find a good deal on a coil/coil bike . . .

I know that is not what you wanted to hear, but maybe it would be your best bet? Talk to your doctor and see what he recomends as far as strength training for your neck or whatever to "build up" suporting muscles in the area allowing you more comfortable riding.

Best case, you get a new "trail" 5 inch travel bike with coil and enjoy riding again without the neck problems/pain. . . . and you might get the "passion" back into your riding?

Hey, it's just an idea.
 

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Same trouble free experience with Psylo SL

I'm on my fourth season of a Psylo SL and except for an upgrade to add the U-Turn feature, I have had no trouble with it. It is extremely smooth.

For the record, I'm 185 lbs and the fork was original equipment on my 2001 I-Drive 2.0.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
all comments are greatly appreciated!

i know that the best solution may be just to get a new bike--perhaps a 5" travel version. the hollowpoint is looking better every day.
if necessary, i would even consider a recumbent.

just looking at all the options.

surprisingly, i already have a coil fork on my bike--a six deluxe. the I-drive is remarkably coil-like in feel.

however, i remember the feel of my old super-v, and it was amazingly supple. fox vanilla-r rear shock. heavy, simple, and very nice!

Bob
 

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RockShox Psylo SL

I don't have anything smart to add to this conversation, other than to deeply agree with the guy who said don't mix coil and air, but I wanted to mention that most discomfort issues have more solutions in strength training and bike fit than they do in equipment changes. I bet getting a 100mm Easton MG60 stem from Ebay for 50 bucks (Cambria is dumping a boatload of them) would help a lot more, considering it's a magnesium vibration damping stem, and it wouldn't extend you so much. The "vibration damping" does actually work - I have one.

But, it is my duty to point out that if you have a dealer with access to Quality (www.qbp.com), dealer cost on a 2003 Psylo SL right now is $145. They're closing them out. So walk in knowing that and offer them $180 for it, unless you're one of those annoying shop people who can order at cost, in which case it's a no brainer.

Hope this helps.
 

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Gambrills said:
I bet getting a 100mm Easton MG60 stem from Ebay for 50 bucks (Cambria is dumping a boatload of them) would help a lot more, considering it's a magnesium vibration damping stem, and it wouldn't extend you so much. The "vibration damping" does actually work - I have one.

Hope this helps.
The change in stem is nothing compared to what a difference in a good good fork makes. Some of the new forks (like the manitious) eat up trail vibration so well it is unreal.
 

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The black platinum doesn't use the same hybrid spring as the Black Super?
 

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bmadau said:
The black platinum doesn't use the same hybrid spring as the Black Super?
Never mind.. I just checked the manitou site and saw that the platinum was a coil fork.. my bad..
 

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Perhaps.

CDMC said:
The change in stem is nothing compared to what a difference in a good good fork makes. Some of the new forks (like the manitious) eat up trail vibration so well it is unreal.
Respectfully, there's no fork that can cure bad cockpit position.
 

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Personally, I would steer you towards the Fox. I too am about 150# and would say that the compression is slightly too slow for me but in a couple of weeks I know of a pro. shop that is doing a rewrok of the Vanilla's to match weight and riding style of the riders. I would suggest picking up a used fork and send it out to be custom made to you.

I think the Fox Van. is one of the smoother forks out there (not nec. the smoothest) but it is stiff and made to last. I want a fork I can build upon, others just seem to go out of tolerance too soon.

Nate
 

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Psylo SL would work good for your size, my friend rides on on a jamis XLT and he likes the turn down feature for extended climbs, very smooth fork. I ride a Vanilla-R but I'm a Clyde. You can get the right springs for it though. I love the Fox it steers like its on rails, no kidding the fork is smooth and the knocking is only in the first 100 miles, if it knocks more than that take the spring out and move the plasitc wrap back to the middle of the spring. The fox is a much burlier fork but at your weight the psylo would suit you fine.
 

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Opps I do have a '03 idrive too that I put a '02 Zoke Z-1 on it and its now a very fun trail bike, climbs like a goat on EPO when you lock out the fork with the ETA, making it a 80mm fork, but alas its a heavy fork and nowhere close to the fox in stiffness. 32mm stanchions make a HUGE difference, good luck!
 

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DJBiker said:
Be truthful now . . . What HIGH-END (yes, high end, because mid- and low-priced bikes don't fit the model) Ok, what high-end bicycle manfactures spec bikes (when they sell complete bikes) with coil/air or air/coil ?
My Enduro Pro came with X-Vert Super (coil) front and Fox Float rear. Sure coil may feel different from air (much less of a problem now with the new AVA air shocks), but it doesn't necessarily mean that the bike is unbalanced.

The quality of the shock/fork makes a MUCH bigger difference. A crappy fork is a crappy fork, and a crappy shock is a crappy shock, no matter if it matches the other end or not.
 

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Unless your Enduro Pro is a 2001 or Older . . .

Because as of 2002 ALL of the Enduro line, even the Entry-Level bikes come/came with AIR Forks!

How do you explain that one?

(A. Someone put a different fork on YOUR bike and that's not the way Specialized specified the bike to be sold)

(B. You don't really have an Enduro Pro, you have a Comp or just a "plain old" Enduro, which would be specified with lesser components to meet marketing/price-point goals)

(C. Specialized put a bunch of different forks on bikes in 00' and 01' because that is what they were able to get from their vendors)

Again, MOST, not all, but most Upper-Level bikes are spec with Air/Air, or Coil/Coil, you might just be the "odd man out"

and, no I don't think it makes a bike handle "Real" strange, but if you put a miss-matched set of springs on a race car or high performance sports car it might handle "strange." It will still go down the road, just not the best handling machine on the track . . .

Example: If Dick Trickle doesn't get his Spring package right, he won't win the race, his car will still go around the track, but he won't win.

Are you starting to catch on here? If you set up a bike coil/air or visa-versa it will still ride "OK" just not as good as it could or should. Any reasonably good bike "reviewer" would notice the difference.
 

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DJBiker said:
Because as of 2002 ALL of the Enduro line, even the Entry-Level bikes come/came with AIR Forks!

How do you explain that one?

(A. Someone put a different fork on YOUR bike and that's not the way Specialized specified the bike to be sold)

(B. You don't really have an Enduro Pro, you have a Comp or just a "plain old" Enduro, which would be specified with lesser components to meet marketing/price-point goals)

(C. Specialized put a bunch of different forks on bikes in 00' and 01' because that is what they were able to get from their vendors)

Again, MOST, not all, but most Upper-Level bikes are spec with Air/Air, or Coil/Coil, you might just be the "odd man out"

and, no I don't think it makes a bike handle "Real" strange, but if you put a miss-matched set of springs on a race car or high performance sports car it might handle "strange." It will still go down the road, just not the best handling machine on the track . . .

Example: If Dick Trickle doesn't get his Spring package right, he won't win the race, his car will still go around the track, but he won't win.

Are you starting to catch on here? If you set up a bike coil/air or visa-versa it will still ride "OK" just not as good as it could or should. Any reasonably good bike "reviewer" would notice the difference.
Ugh, he is right. The top of the line Enduro Pro came with an X-vert Super fork.

And no, all of Manitou's air forks are air/coil forks. All of them.
 
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