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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some input for a new shock. I have a SC Heckler with a Fox DHX 5.0 Air and I haven't been happy with the RockShox Tora 318 ( too soft). I weigh in at about 210 and ride all mountain, but will go down whatever comes along the trail. I have narrowed my choices to the Vanilla RLC and the Talas RLC. I like the idea of the travel adjustment on the Talas and my weight puts me at the top end of the Vanilla spring recommendation (215 lbs. is the max spring that can be use on a '07 Vanilla per Fox tech supp). I continue to bottom out the Tora (hence the need for a new shock) and don't want that to happen with the Vanilla. I think both shocks would work for me, I'm just wondering if the extra $200 for the Talas is worth it. Any guidance you could give will be appreciated.

Thanks,

Slow_Mo
 

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carpe mañana
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Slow_Mo said:
I need some input for a new shock. I have a SC Heckler with a Fox DHX 5.0 Air and I haven't been happy with the RockShox Tora 318 ( too soft). I weigh in at about 210 and ride all mountain, but will go down whatever comes along the trail. I have narrowed my choices to the Vanilla RLC and the Talas RLC. I like the idea of the travel adjustment on the Talas and my weight puts me at the top end of the Vanilla spring recommendation (215 lbs. is the max spring that can be use on a '07 Vanilla per Fox tech supp). I continue to bottom out the Tora (hence the need for a new shock) and don't want that to happen with the Vanilla. I think both shocks would work for me, I'm just wondering if the extra $200 for the Talas is worth it. Any guidance you could give will be appreciated.

Thanks,

Slow_Mo
Your Tora is solo air, right? You say it is too soft, have you tried increasing the air pressure in the fork?

_MK
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Actually it is not the Solo air. It probably has too soft of spring in it for my weight. However, I have wanted to upgrade the shock since I got the bike, so I really don't want to rebuild it with a stiffer spring. Last weekend I broke the lock out on it and I want a shock that has a blowoff feature on it. And I believe both the Vanilla and the Talas have that.
 

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may want to consider Pike

If you don't mind the hassle of finding a thru-axle front wheel, you might want to look at the Rockshox Pike. It has a blowoff, is mighty tunable, and is almost universally well-liked by riders here on MTBR. I think the Fox forks are buttery smooth, but are not likely to be as stiff under a bigger rider like you or me (I'm 215#).

I don't mean to sound down on the Fox. I went from a Float RLC to this pike, but it was last year's 130mm version (and an air vs. the two coil forks you mention). I still miss the small bump feel of the Fox, but I have started playing around with changing oil and installing enduro seals on the Pike. I would have a hard time letting go of the stiff front end, but I do kind of want to have a "shootout" with a Vanilla 140 RLC sometime.
 

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I second the Pike. I'm also a heavier rider @ 220lbs not including gear. I actually replaced my 07 Fox Vanilla RLC with a 07 Pike 454 Air UTurn. They are both great forks and IMO you can't go wrong with either of them. However, for heavier riders, IMO the Pike is the way to go. The problem I was having with the Vanilla was brake dive caused by too soft a spring. And yes I had the stiffest spring Fox makes for it. The Pike is right in the same price range as the Vanilla RLC, but is available in both an Air UTurn or Coil UTurn. I opted for the Air so I can fine tune the air spring as I like it. I hate the idea of swapping out coil springs to get the right feel whereas with an air fork I can whip out my shock pump and play around with it instaneously. The travel adjustment feature is a huge plus. As is the 20mm through axle w/Maxle 360 QR and the tuneability of the Pike is unmatched by the Vanilla.

If you don't want to have to get a 20mm TA front wheel then go with the Vanilla RLC or Talas RLC.

I have an almost new (2months) Vanilla 140 RLC at a great price if anyone's interested! :D
 

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The Pike is a great fork, but keep in mind that he narrowed the choice to the two Fox forks and is looking for recommendations on them.

If you like the idea of a travel adjust the TALAS is certainly worth it. The new three step model is truely on-the-bike friendly and makes it a snap to instantly make big adjustments to your head angle for easier climbing. The weight savings vs. the Vanilla is minimal so slight edge to the TALAS, but not much. You are at the top end of the Vanilla spring weight range so check with Fox for their opinion and check the Clydesdale forum and pose the question or do a search. I thought I had read that the new Vanilla spring recommendations were plenty stiff for their stated weight and some guys were even going down a spring, can't remember. The TALAS has the air chamber so it doesn't matter on weight. When it comes time to service, the Vanilla will be MUCH easier to do an overhaul on vs. the TALAS chamber.

I chose the TALAS 'cause my bike sits at 5" and I wanted to run at 120mm with the option to drop or raise travel. For a bike with 5.5"+ like the Heckler I like the idea of the Vanilla for its simplicity and proven durability--unless you really like the feeling that a sharper head angle gives you on the climbs with the TALAS. If you're patient you can get a 20%-off deal from various online shops and get the TALAS for $560 or Universal always has 15%-off--but these deals could also cheapen the Vanilla also! Good Luck! :thumbsup:
 

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carpe mañana
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Slow_Mo said:
Actually it is not the Solo air. It probably has too soft of spring in it for my weight. However, I have wanted to upgrade the shock since I got the bike, so I really don't want to rebuild it with a stiffer spring. Last weekend I broke the lock out on it and I want a shock that has a blowoff feature on it. And I believe both the Vanilla and the Talas have that.
OK, I made the assumption based on the spec from Rock Shox, I just checked back and my mistake, it does also come with a coil option.

Anyhow, you mention a blow off, does the Motion Control unit on the 318 have a floodgate control? The floodgate is the blow off you mention when the fork is locked out. It is present on higher end RS offerings, it may not be on the Tora.

At your heft, you will find the 32mm stanchioned forks with QR axles which extend to 130mm or more to exhibit a lot of flex. The only exceptions to the rule I am aware of are the Marzocchi AM1 series and older (2003-2004) Z1 series, when it was available with QR option as well as the older Sherman forks from Manitou. I'm not aware of the level of stiffness of the Nixon line. I also think your Heckler's geometry is benefited by a taller fork than the Tora/Fox 32mm fork. Again, the Marzocchi comes to mind.

If you're set on sticking to the QR axle and current axle-to-crown height forks, I'd highly recommend the Revelation over the Talas as the travel adjust mechanism is simpler and overall maintenance is much simpler. At the same time, I would advise against air sprung forks in that chassis category as they will flex and when the fork flexes the chance of you breaking the air seal inside of it increases.

A Pike, which has been recommended above, would be a good option. A better option would be a 2006 Z1SL, which is currently on sale at greenfishsports.com for $399. It is tougher and more reliable than any other comparable offering from other manufacturers. It is also fairly light. An AM1 would be another good option if you want to retain the quick release system.

If you're set on the Fox product (which you may be, given how good Fox's marketing department appears to be), then I'd highly recommend the Vanilla over the Talas as it simply blows the Talas out of the water in terms of ride quality.

_MK
 

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227 dry out of the shower w/o a towel...(scary thought) anyway... TALUS 07 stiff compliant, PLUSH great rebound, hig speed compression and blow off. Speedgoat threw in a CK headset to boot. I also need to run the steerer at just shy of 10" and not an issue yet... about 300 +/- miles to date! FWIW
 
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