From the appearance of the initial post here, before upgrading anything I'd look towards learning anything and everything you can about bikes, repair, and the parts. The problem is as a n00b, you could have skills, but you're also looking to upgrade not knowing what parts would work for your application. It's upgrading just for the sake of it.
Seriously. Upgrade only what you need.
If you know your fork is inadequate for your needs, then take what you know about your riding style, and your budget, and shop around.
You're not going to be happy if you say "Hi I'm new what fork should I buy?". What kind of advice do you expect to get from random riders from around the world who have no idea who you are, how you ride, and what your local terrain is like?
Give us more information. Why is your current fork no good? Do you need more travel? More adjustability? If you weigh significantly more than 175lbs you may want to look into stiffer springs for your current fork, or an air-sprung fork that can be preloaded with a higher pressure. Maybe you just need to dial in your current fork with the proper preload and rebound damping.
i appreciate everyones advice
i weigh about 200, the fork i have now is a rock shock,, only has 1 knob on it that has a + and - on it, im assuming this is just preload or something,, i live in WV, so there is some very rough riding here if i choose to do so
plus a lot of hills to climb, that being said i was told maybe i need a fork that locks so i can get more power riding up hill, not sure
as far as just shopping around and getting something, i have no idea what size and stuff like that,
again thanks for the patience and helping me out
Rock Shox is the brand. Do you know the model?
The Dart is their entry level fork, and that knob adjusts the preload. Decent fork for the money. If that's what you have, I'd say rock that until you totally bust it. Pretty sure you can increase the travel from 80mm to 100mm if you need to.
The rock shock that is on my wahoo, is the Rock Shock J1
the guy at bike shop recommended the Rock Shock Dart 3, with the remote lock out
what do you all think?
that lock out i think would be good for me,, i have some pretty good hills to climb on the trails i ride here, and would locking the front help me out any?
tires are going to be dependent on your riding style and conditions. i my self run a set of maxxis crossmarks and have been very happy with them. I am in the southeast and ride a good bit on hardpacked clay. so a lower profile tire suits my needs just fine.
as for grips, find something that you find to be comfortable. but regardless of what you choose, i highly recommend getting a lock on style grip. ie something from ODI like the rouge
as far as replacing your fork goes, ride it until you know why you should replace it. if you cant figure out why you should replace it, then you dont need to.
reasons to replace it: not enough travel for where you ride, to much flex in the fork, to much travel for where you ride, you break physically break it.
Lock out is nice to have. but not necessary. i have it on my new fork and use it every now and then if i feel like it. its still new to me so i have to play with the new gadget. but its not a deal breaker if it wasnt there. a fork that is properly set up for your weight will generally be fine for riding up hills
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