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35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in need of a new front fork. I ride a 2001 Trek 4500. I really like the bike but the Rock Shox Jett with 65mm of travel has to go. How do I go about choosing the right fork for me. I'm 6'2" and 205 pounds. I ride the 4500 only on singletrack. I'm looking to spend between 2 and 3 hundred bucks. What else can I tell ya?

811 Posts
Plenty of good options for you at your price range. figure out what you need on the trails that you ride. do you need travel adjust? high speed damping? platform? do you want the weight savings of air or the plushness of coil (although those aren't necessarily mutually exclusive).

however, finding something that won't change your head angle and BB height will be tough (assuming you like your current geometry). it may be hard to find anything under 80mm that's any good. but the jump from 65mm to 80mm may be no big deal. I put a 100mm fork on my old hardtail that had a 65mm travel fork and I actually like the way that it handles now better.

I personally would pick up a fox vanilla RLC or R and set it at 80mm or pick up an older 80mm marzocchi with hscv damping then save the extra money for a dually:)

297 Posts
Any half decent shock would be a huge improvement over the jett. Here are some things you should consider when getting a new fork:

- First of all you should be looking at xc forks with 80 or 100mm of travel ,the longer travel would change your bike geometry a little so you might want to consider something on which you can adjust the travel so you could try out both options. In the long run if you ever get a new bike and want to keep the fork you would definitly want the 100mm option.

- Another thing to consider is that for someone in your weight class lateral stiffness is an issue. I'd stay away from pure race forks (sid, r7 etc.) and look for a fork with at least 30mm stanctions, hopefully 32mm ones, this would give you more accurate and precise steering.

- Brakes, considering your bike is a 2001 model I'd venture a guess that its equiped with V-brakes. Unfortunatly many of the newer forks on the market have only disc brake fittings and V-brake compatible versions are sometimes hard to come by. This limits your option a bit but make sure that the fork you are buying is V-brake compatible.

Enougth with the theory, in your price range you should try to get the most bang for your buck so check out '05 forks on sale or even used forks in the classified and on ebay. Here are my fork hunting suggestions:

Marzocchi MX comp/pro - A line of nice performing forks ,not too many features on these but they are very reliable, low maintainance forks with a proven track record. Look for 05 models on sale.

Rockshox Tora 318 - Rockshox entry-mid level fork, a lot of features and good performance, a bit heavy. Too new to have any long term reliability record, and be sure to get the 318 model ,its much better then the 302.

Rockshox Reba - Top of the line fork but will be streching your budget, also the V-brake version is hard to find. Look for good deals on ebay.

Fox Float/Vanilla R - Very good forks with top of the line performance but new ones are over your budget. They are originaly 130mm but can be adjusted down to 100 or 80mm depending on year model. Look for good deals on used ones.

this should be enougth to get you started,
good luck

Freshly Fujified
8,199 Posts
Stick with 80-85mm

I would not go from 60mm to 100mm, as the geometry change will probably be too much. I went from a 60-85mm fork and the effect was minimal. I second the MX comp recommendation. It's a good, reliable fork and can be had new (leftover '06) for less than $300.

Here's a link:

There are certainly others like the Reba available, but you'll probably be looking at used if you want to keep it under $300.

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