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Recently picked up a XL Race Lite. Found a Marz Bam 80, dropped it down to more like 65-70. Rides nice, real nice. However, the wheelbase is a full 1" longer than advertised due to the modern length and rake of the fork. Has anybody had the priviledge of direct comparison between a modern setup like mine and the 1.25" rake, shorter crown to dropout distance, setup it was designed for (Bonty crown suspension or rigid)? I am wondering if it is possible for this bike to get any better than it is now.

P.S. Most of my riding is tight, twisty technical singletrack.

Thanks!
 

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steelo said:
Recently picked up a XL Race Lite. Found a Marz Bam 80, dropped it down to more like 65-70. Rides nice, real nice. However, the wheelbase is a full 1" longer than advertised due to the modern length and rake of the fork. Has anybody had the priviledge of direct comparison between a modern setup like mine and the 1.25" rake, shorter crown to dropout distance, setup it was designed for (Bonty crown suspension or rigid)? I am wondering if it is possible for this bike to get any better than it is now.

P.S. Most of my riding is tight, twisty technical singletrack.

Thanks!
I put a 99 Marz Atom Bomb (?) with 63mm travel on my med. 1996 Bontrager Race. Longer wheelbase improves handling for me and bike rides much better than with the OEM 1.25 Judy it came with. Part of the problem was the med. was marginally too small for me--I chose the med. to have lots of "get off" space for my rutty technical single track in Utah. Top tube was long enough I determined, but bike was too quick to throw me forward, probably because of OEM fork, wheelbase, etc. With the Marz, this bike is perfect and still quick. Probably now just rides like the large would have ridden for me OEM, though.
 

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steelo said:
Recently picked up a XL Race Lite. Found a Marz Bam 80, dropped it down to more like 65-70. Rides nice, real nice. However, the wheelbase is a full 1" longer than advertised due to the modern length and rake of the fork. Has anybody had the priviledge of direct comparison between a modern setup like mine and the 1.25" rake, shorter crown to dropout distance, setup it was designed for (Bonty crown suspension or rigid)? I am wondering if it is possible for this bike to get any better than it is now.

P.S. Most of my riding is tight, twisty technical singletrack.

Thanks!
I have a 1996 Race that I have ridden with the original Judy XC 1.25 rake, original Bony race lite rigid forks, and now with '99 Atom Bombs which have 65mm travel. The Atom Bombs are only a little taller than the Judys -- you can even reduce this by running extra sag. Personally, I scrounged around for a nice pair of 99 Atom Bombs as they have a short crown-axle height. Personally, I think it is really hard to tell the difference in steering between the old Judy and the Marz -- except when decending through rough stuff where the Marz forks are clearly stiffer, better steering/tracking and soaks up the bumps much better.

My wife also rides a Bontrager XL (a privateer...same geometry) with an original Judy -- she has recently went right over the bars while we were doing some single track. I am now building up a set of Atom Bombs for her too -- I think the Judys are a bit more twitchy and she would certainly benefit from a more stable ride.

If I were in your situation I would see about finding some 99 Atom bombs -- I assume your BAM 80s have the crown that has bolts for clamping to the sliders, correct? If so, this would be an easy swap; you can find lots of Atom Bombs on ebay with 1 1/8 crown/steerer...just unbolt the lowers and bolt it up to your existing 1" crown/steerer.

Also, you can still get 1" steers for all Z2 forks from Marzocchi.


Cheers,
Dominic

FYI....
Crown-axle heights:
'99 Atom Bomb: 430mm
'99 BAM 80: 445mm
'96 Judy XC: 423mm
'97 Judy XC: 426mm
 
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