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Bipolar roller
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1,353 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, I am going to replace my Rockshox Recon Silver TK / Easton XC 2 26" QR fork and wheel combo and I am stuck between 2 different options.

I am looking at either getting a Rockshox Sektor RL gold with an Easton Vice Oe that has 15mm thru axle or a Marzocchi 55 R with an Easton Havoc that has a 20mm thru axle.

I am a bigger guy, 6'4 230-240lbs and the QR hub with an Air shock isn't cutting it on my more gnarly black diamond adventures in North Lake Tahoe. I don't DH and I am too old for big jumps and drops, but will hit the smaller stuff. (I don't recover from injury like I used too)

So far as I can tell, the advantages of the sektor/vice combo is much less weight, over a pound lighter than the other combo and more adjustability with the dual position and low speed compression to lock settings the other combo doesn't have. Dual position, compression to lockout and lightness would be nice on the high altitude climbs and 150mm great on the DH.

The downside is a less stiff combo with only 32mm stations and a 15mm TH. The RS does have the power bulge which I thought added a good amount of stiffness to my recon for being 32mm stations with QR. The vice also has a 21mm internal width rim which is wider than my current xc 2 which is only 17mm. (I'd like to run 2.5" tires)

The marzocchi has the advantage of more stiffness with the 35mm stations and 20mm TH. It also has a air preload which is an adjustment the sektor doesn't have, although I am not really familiar with this type of preload, and the havoc wheels are very strong with a 32mm outer rim width, which I assume would be about a 27mm internal width.

The obvious disadvantages are the much extra weight, no low speed compression and lock out and no way to adjust the travel. Fork would be stuck at 160mm which is more than I want, but I like to run 30% sag so it would ride around 110 to 120mm which is ok, but not great on the climb.

What should I do? I am leaning towards the sektor/vice combo due to more adjustability and $100 cheaper price, but I need to know the following before I pull the trigger:

Is the 32mm stations with 15mm stiff enough for my size?
Can I run 2.5" tires with 26mm wide rims with an internal width of 21mm?
Is the motion control damper equal or better than the DBC cartridge?
Is the air preload better than the mech preload?
Is the extra weight worth the added stiffness?
Would being stuck at 160mm travel kill my climbs?

So many questions it's blowing my mind!:???:

Please advise
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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18,453 Posts
New bike.

At least price one.

Putting a longer-travel fork on a frame meant for a certain fork length voids the warranty. I think people are too hysterical about it when it's only 20 mm more. But when someone proposes to stick a more serious AM or FR fork on the front of a bike that shipped with a XC fork, I can't help thinking it's a Bad Idea.

I have Easton XC wheels on my shiny new bike. I can't help wondering if you'd get a significant improvement in stiffness just going to a 32-spoke wheel, maybe with a burlier rim. Maybe you can borrow something to try out?

Don't stress out about weight. You weigh 85 lb more than me and I don't. ;) Especially if you're proposing to add back on a big honkin' DH tire. Compare the weight on different tires and you can see some pretty wide swings.

Air preload may be the same system as the aging Marzocchi on my old bike. Basically just means an air and a coil spring, either in line or parallel. The coil spring is relatively soft and you air up the fork to get the rate you want but keep some of the plushness of a coil fork. Clever, and so far, it's tolerating my complete lack of maintenance pretty well.

Raked-out head angles definitely mess with my ability to hold a line when I climb. Usually comes with the territory with a long-travel fork, whether it's OE or a change.

In answer to your questions... you can probably put 2.5" tires on the rims you've got, but you'll get better stability and get away with a bit less air pressure (probably) on 21 mm rims.

If you can feel flex, it's worth adding a little weight if it helps.

The other stuff, I don't really know.
 

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Bipolar roller
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1,353 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks AndrwSwitch. Complete bikes are so expensive these days that a new AM bike is not in the works. I am saving for a 29er. Plus, I have a lot of upgraded components on my AM bike so it rolls like new.

Yes, the longer travel fork is a concern (but not the warranty, I'll take the risk) more of a performance issue with climbing and cornering which is why I am leaning towards the sektor with the dual position from 120mm-150mm. My bike is made for up to 130mm fork, so I am not too concerned with the extra 20mm used when going DH. My current recon is 120mm.

My XC2's have only 24 spokes and are very stiff. I have great experience with Eastons which is why I am thinking about sticking with the brand and I found the vice Oe's for $80 which is super cheap.

I am also not concerned with weight either, but if I can shed a pound, why not. The 2.5"s I will run weigh only 850g which is not super light, but not heavy like a 1300g wire bead DH tire. My +230lb weight is why I would like to run the 2.5s. Makes a huge difference in performance with larger contact patch and allows for lower PSI without too much risk of pinch flats or rim dings vs a couple hundred grams lighter skinnier tire which don't work out so well for my weight.

Air preload sounds intriguing for sure, but the 160mm travel with no adjust may be the deciding factor for me. However, I will most likely need to buy a heavier spring for the sektor, so I need to add another $50 or so to the total price. Sounds like the air preload means I wouldn't need a heavier spring.

Have to say I don't feel to much flex with the current fork/wheel setup when I crank down in the turns, it's mainly in the chunk when I notice issues with not having a TH axle.

Thanks for the perspective. It's helping me feel good leaning towards the sektor/vice combo.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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18,453 Posts
I didn't believe in fork flex until I replaced the RST that shipped on my hardtail with a Manitou R7. That's not a fork noted for its stiffness either and when I replaced it with the Marz that's on there now, it was another revelation. To be fair, I'd run the R7 into the ground at that point. It's certainly possible that it was flexier than it had been when I bought it. So what I'm wondering is what you'd feel if you tried a couple wheels back-to-back. Not that it's a brilliant test given how biased we tend to be going into these. But it's something.

If you order a coil fork, don't you get to choose the spring rate?
 

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Bipolar roller
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1,353 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ya, I thought that modern forks wouldn't have flex issues until I replaced my OE fork on this bike with a '09 Fox float with 32mm stations. Holly flex batman. Switched to the recon I have on there now shortly after and couldn't believe how much stiffer it was (and cheaper).

I am looking at a couple of different wheel options, but trying to keep the cost down, and $80 is hard to beat for a good wheel. Plus, I have tried the 2.5" tires on my easton xc2's with the recon, which is meant for a max tire width of only 58mm and had no issues with tire rub even when I crank down hard on the handlebars in the turns, but do hear the dinging of my brake calipers hitting my disc though which is why I think a 15mm or 20mm TH is needed. Only get tire rub if I over exaggerate side to side lean when climbing, but that was done just to see if I could get the wheels to flex enough to get the tire to rub. Don't normally ride like that. I am thinking the vice Oe will be even stronger than the xc2's.

As far as choosing the spring rate, I have looked on chainreaction, pricepoint and mordernbike, but none offer the option when I choose the steer tube size and then go to check out. Not sure what the deal is with that, I thought the same thing as you. However, I like to run a lot of sag (30%), so maybe the spring that comes with will work and I can use the compression adjust with some extra preload on the DH. However, I have my doubts, but it's worth a try before I order a firm spring.
 

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Bipolar roller
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1,353 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Found a couple of reviews on the easton vice, and they were not so good. One said they stayed true, but felt mushy.

Found some shimano MT-68 which have good reviews and have 21mm internal width so the 2.5" should be good to go. They are $120, but looks like the $40 difference might be worth it.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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18,453 Posts
Couple comments -
Disc rotors go out of true really easily. If you chill out about the occasional ping, you'll find owning them a lot easier.

If you can flex a wheel enough to get the tire to rub when you're climbing, exaggerated or not, it's flexing more when you plow it through chunky stuff.
 

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Bipolar roller
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1,353 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Couple comments -
Disc rotors go out of true really easily. If you chill out about the occasional ping, you'll find owning them a lot easier.

If you can flex a wheel enough to get the tire to rub when you're climbing, exaggerated or not, it's flexing more when you plow it through chunky stuff.
Good point. However, I only get tire rub from the front tire, not the rear. Same tires/wheels front and rear. But, there is very little room on fork due to the max tire width for the recon being only 2.28". Considering i am running a 2.5" and I only get a little bit of tire rub and that I weigh +230 I'd say that's a pretty stiff wheel. I just went for a ride today and had no tire rub except for a little when I leaned the bike side to side up hill, but again, I was over exaggerating just to to get it to rub.

You do make a good point about looking for a stiffer wheel maybe with 32spokes. I am checking out the nukeproof generator AM and DH wheels. Both look very strong. However they are 20mm TH and the sektor is 15mm and of course no one (I checked 8 online retailers) has the 20mm to 15mm adapter in stock. Really like the sektor, but that marz 55 looks very stiff and ready to go with 20mm axle. I emailed nukeproof to see if I can get the adapter directly from them or to at least direct me to a dealer who has it in stock.

We will see.
 
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