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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was sort of third wheel to an interesting debate on this after my ride this am.

A riding group was debating if the performance gains from a higher end suspension fork begin to level off earlier and harsher on a 29er than they would on 650b, 26ers, and all full suspensions.

There were (supposedly) a couple or reps there among them that were basically saying that a serious rec rider doesn't need to fork out $700-1000+ on a high end fork for their HT 29er because you just don't get your moneys worth. Its better to spend $300-600 on mid grade fork, and play with higher volume tires and air pressures. The money you saved can give you much better performance if spent in other areas.

I just moved to a 29er and put a mid grade fork on it expecting to upgrade to a high end fork maybe next season after I had a bit of time to adapt to the new wheel size. Maybe I don't need to??
 

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I would say only you can answer that question. If your mind grade fork performs well enough for your expectations then why upgrade. Generally speaking I would say most mid grade air suspension forks are suitable for your average rider. I'd also say your average rider isn't doing lad jumps at 25+ MPH or doing drops more than 3 feet. So really it is more about comfort for the average rider where as an above rider is going to want certain performance qualities. I'd also say depending on the amount of travel and the brand of fork you can get some of the same performance qualities in a sub $700 fork. At the other end of the spectrum is weight. Racers want a light fork that performs well. That's going to cost too.

I would ride what you have until you think your skills and riding have advanced beyond what the fork can handle. Or unless you just like fancy new bike parts. Which is ok too.
 

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I'd argue that a 100mm fork should be just as refined as a 150mm fork because it can't rely on travel to fix errors or smooth the trail.


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I get what you guys are saying. I was surprised to hear the argument that higher end forks don't have as pronounced an effect on 29er hard tails as they do on 650b and 26".

I have my mid grade manitou tower pro tuned nicely and my tire/psi pretty dialed in for the trial. I ride the same trail 2-5 times a week I feel like the 29er is smoother and the manitou is better then the $$$y fox fork my old 26er full suspension.

That being said there are other variables in play and my 29er is all new and tight. Maybe that the manitou won't hold up like the fox fork.
 
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