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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just took apart my crappy DJ bike (Jamis Kromo frame built up out of the parts bin) and put all the parts onto my old 2003 Santa Cruz Chameleon frame to make a nice, tough-as-nails single speed with an '03 Marzocchi MX Pro 80mm travel fork I picked up for free and rebuilt. With 29" bars and a 50mm Fit BMX stem on this stiff-ass frame, I can't help but want to ride it as an aggressive trail/AM play bike for those times I don't really want to bust out the FS. The 80mm Marzocchi is not really cutting it in these situations, at least not as well as I would prefer (though I'm getting by and having fun!). With lighter oil and new seals, it at least does something, but it's not great, especially now I'm spoiled by the Talas RLC on my FS, and it's flexy as hell, which isn't a total deal breaker, since I'm not an especially big dude, but it's noticeable, for sure.

My question: Would DJ forks like the Argyle, Marz DJ or Manitou Circus be worthwhile options for what I'm describing, or would I be better served by a lighter fork with more XC intentions? Or a travel-adjust trail/AM fork in a lower setting, like a Pike or a Sektor?


I'm also somewhat on the prowl for an older Z1 in 100-130mm travel. That would probably fit the bill quite well. Additionally, I'm playing with the idea of converting this MX Pro to a coil fork. My understanding is that I just have to get the coils and swap out the top caps to the ones with the preload knobs instead of the schrader valves. Am I correct in thinking this? Where can I even get parts?


Obviously, there are a lot of directions I can go with this, but ideally I want to have a short (100-120mm) travel SS hardtail that can handle flowy, fast, fairly steep and short but probably not super technical trails (basically Santa Cruz). I work at a shop, so if I have to tinker with anything to get it to do what I want, I have the resources available to do so, and I like a good project!

thanks, everyone, and sorry for the long-windedness of this post!
 

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Well, the Fox 831, Manitou Minute 20mm and Rockshox 20mm Reba all come in 100 and can be adjusted to 120 via internal spacers.

Any of them would be pretty much perfect for what you describe. Much stiffer than the MX pro and light enough that they won't make your bike nosedive all the time, doubt a coil DJ fork would improve things much.

Minute and Reba can be had fairly cheap too, just sayin'
 

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Do you like the handling of the Chameleon with the 80mm fork? I had my 04 Chameleon set up with 140mm Pike for AM and it handled real nice but I would think the Chameleon would be real twitchy descending at speed with the 80.
 

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I just took apart my crappy DJ bike (Jamis Kromo frame built up out of the parts bin) and put all the parts onto my old 2003 Santa Cruz Chameleon frame to make a nice, tough-as-nails single speed with an '03 Marzocchi MX Pro 80mm travel fork I picked up for free and rebuilt. With 29" bars and a 50mm Fit BMX stem on this stiff-ass frame, I can't help but want to ride it as an aggressive trail/AM play bike for those times I don't really want to bust out the FS. The 80mm Marzocchi is not really cutting it in these situations, at least not as well as I would prefer (though I'm getting by and having fun!). With lighter oil and new seals, it at least does something, but it's not great, especially now I'm spoiled by the Talas RLC on my FS, and it's flexy as hell, which isn't a total deal breaker, since I'm not an especially big dude, but it's noticeable, for sure.

My question: Would DJ forks like the Argyle, Marz DJ or Manitou Circus be worthwhile options for what I'm describing, or would I be better served by a lighter fork with more XC intentions? Or a travel-adjust trail/AM fork in a lower setting, like a Pike or a Sektor?

I'm also somewhat on the prowl for an older Z1 in 100-130mm travel. That would probably fit the bill quite well. Additionally, I'm playing with the idea of converting this MX Pro to a coil fork. My understanding is that I just have to get the coils and swap out the top caps to the ones with the preload knobs instead of the schrader valves. Am I correct in thinking this? Where can I even get parts?

Obviously, there are a lot of directions I can go with this, but ideally I want to have a short (100-120mm) travel SS hardtail that can handle flowy, fast, fairly steep and short but probably not super technical trails (basically Santa Cruz). I work at a shop, so if I have to tinker with anything to get it to do what I want, I have the resources available to do so, and I like a good project!

thanks, everyone, and sorry for the long-windedness of this post!
Coincidentally, I just built an older Chameleon frame I had laying around, as a single speed using an old Marzocchi Z1CR (2000).

I had all the parts, pretty much, and used to ride the Chameleon as geared hardtail with the Z1 back around 2003. I stripped the Chameleon leaving the fork, and let it sit for a few years.

That said. Now that I'm riding the Chameleon around in its current state, I can't help but feel a little sketched out on the front end. The fork performs well, but after bashing around for the past few seasons on All Mountain 6 inch travel forks, the old Z1 feels a little squirrely. Despite that feeling, (Which could be all in my head), it says a lot about the quality of Marzocchi stuff from that era, that the fork is running pretty great to this day.

So I'll run the bike as is for now, but for more XC style loops.

An older style Marzocchi, found for a good price isn't a bad idea. Not sure how aggressively an older fork can/should be ridden but so far it's been good on my bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@MaukaRunner: I like the handling with an 80mm fork more than I thought I would, though it is definitely twitchy, which is a big part of the reason I want to find a slightly longer fork. When this Chameleon was my only bike, I had a 140mm fork on there, which was awesome, but now that I've got a good 5.5" FS, I would like to keep this bike a little lighter and tighter.
 

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U-Turn on a Chameleon is wonderful. 140mm makes the bike handle anything you'll find on the trail and crank it down to 100mm for urban/park riding and it'll replace your Kromo.

Pike or Sektor U-turn would be great.
 
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