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Fork Upgrade question

745 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  bombbaram
Hello to everyone I have been reading this forum for a few years, but this is my first post.

My question centers around my thought of upgrading the fork on my bike. I have been riding a Novara Ponderosa hardtail for three years and have had a lot of fun. My desire is to go to a full suspension but it is just not in the budget. Recently I have had to do a lot of upgrades on the bike due to things breaking or wearing out (cranks and bottom bracket, pedals, shoes, tires) and have found that every time I upgrade I ride a lot better with the new equipment.

My newest thought is a new fork. I currently have a rock shox J2 (which is an old model of the Dart 2) with 80mm (3 inches) of travel. I have been looking around and have seen forks with up to 120mm (5 inches) of travel for about $250. I have targeted the Marzocchi 44 RLO. Just curious if anyone has any advice on if it is worth the money (ie. make the bike ride better) or if there are any other forks out there I should look at. Or should I just save the money and wait until I can afford the fs bike which is at least a year away. Thanks ahead of time.
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your bike was designed around an 80mm fork, so switching to anything longer will alter the geometry and affect the handling. a longer fork will raise the front end, slacken the fork angle and create sluggish steering.

you could probably get away with a 100mm fork, but any longer and you'd probably not like the change in handling.
And the slacker angle from a longer fork will put much more stress on the head tube area of the frame. I wont say it will crack in five minutes of riding. But it will crack eventually. But hey that will really give you an excuse to upgrade the frame ;)
But yeah I wouldn't suggest anything more than a 100mm fork. But an important question is. Do You want more travel ? Or do you need more travel. If you want it just because you want it, or you found a great deal on a fork then thats just a bad idea. If you need more travel because you are bottoming the fork you have now. Then maybe you should really look for a new frame or something.
Ok thanks I did not know that changing the fork would really screw up the geometry. I don't NEED a fork I just thought that more travel would make things smoother. I really know if I am bottoming out or not. Most of the guys I ride with are riding with 5 inches of travel.
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