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I have just ordered a Fusion Whiplash Promo Line (www.fusionbikes.de/bikes). It's a German made freeride bike which is not very well known in international circles but sort after in Germany for its light weight and excellent float link swinger. It has 180mm rear travel and the Manitou Stance Blunt fork with 170mm. Because the fork is reportedly so terrible, I have ordered the bike without the fork.

Now the inevitable question: Which fork shall I build in? :madman:

Both forks have travel adjustment which is important for me because I want to ride uphill. The 170mm Marzocchi has the advantage of only costing 70% of the Fox and is know as a reliable and plush fork. The Fox however weighs about 2400g as apposed to 3200g for the Marzocchi but only has 160mm. Is the Fox fork good enough for my bike and is it the right fork for the downhill bikepark?
 

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Calm like a bomb
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Both of these forks will more than get the job done. The Talas is lighter and lines up with the 66 SL from a weight perspective but unless you hang on for an 07 66 SL you won't have on-the-fly travel adjustment. I've heard nothing but good things about the 66 ETA, only downside is it's going to be quite a bit heavier (but far from too heavy for this type of bike IMO). The big thing with the 66 is that you're going to have more slack HA by about 1 deg and a slightly higher BB when full extended. Looks like it has a 67 deg HA with the 170 mm stance which I think has about the same A to C as an 06 66. The Fox is going to put you at closer to 68 deg and make it more trail bike than DH/Freeride geo.

Bottom line - If you want more of a trail bike get the Fox, if you want more of a DH/Freeride bike get the 66.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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37,888 Posts
The only advantage of the fox is going to be weight.

Ajdustability goes to the 66, hands down. You can adjust the progressiveness of the fork with the oil level to prevent bottom out. You have the low speed compression adjuster. You can easily (unlike the fox) change the oil in the damper as well. Nice low profile rebound adjuster knob as well. The 66 uses air in one of the legs, so you get the adjustability of an air fork as well.

Stiffness may be a little closer, but the 66 has a much more massive crown than the 36, so while the stanchions are 1mm different, the much bigger crown on the 66 probably makes up for it, and the design of the 66 crown (flat) will resist for and aft flex better.

Performance, well the 66 is going to be a little smoother due to it not being a full air fork like the talas, but even more importantly is the fact that if you keep bottoming the 36, you have to increase the pressure, which sacrifices the ride quality. On the 66 you can just up the oil level and get the same small-bump performance.

Climbing goes to the 66 by far IMO. Yes, the TALAS is about a pound lighter, but it also only goes "down" to 4", and the 66 goes down with ETA to about half that, which makes keeping the front end planted on the ground much easier, and on a steep climb, I find that to be one of the most important things.

I've ridden the talas, and I feel the 66 light eta is a much better fork for real agressive riding.

The 06 66 light eta also has a real low axle to crown for the travel, the axle to crown on the fox 36 is actually THE SAME within about 1-2mm. The 160mm fox and 170mm marzocchi are about the same.
 

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= dirt torpedo =
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completely agree with Jayem, and put another vote for the 66.

i run the 66 Light ETA on my Dirtbag, and my friend has a 36 Van (not a Talas but close-ish in feel/ride height) on his Turner 6pack, so i've ridden both of these forks.

The 36 is a very nice fork, butter smooth right out of the box.. a bit soft through the beginning of the stroke, but ramps up very nicely at the end. At 6" of travel, it ballances his 6pack pefectly, however i was very bummed about lack of travel adjustability for such an expensive fork.

Now the Marzocchi. This fork basically rocks my nuts! It's sticky out of the box, but breaks in to that buttery smooth Marz feel after several long hard rides. The adjustability is fantastic, compression and rebount damping, air preload, and most importantly ETA. I do a fair amount of climbing, and the ETA is a life saver. My Dirtbag weighs ~43 pounds, and i still crunch steep uphills with all my hardtail buddies without any issues. The fork is super stiff, and takes hard hits with a lazy smile. At 7" of travel it's a very good match for the Dirtbag with 7" in the rear... and at 70% of the price of Fox if was a no brainer for me.

If you can, definitely ride both of these before you make a choice.

Cheers.
 
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