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I have just gotten back into riding in the last year after taking ten years off. Front suspension is new to me. In that time I have ridden two cheap used forks and have the same complaint about both. The forks feel really springy. When I am hammering out of the saddle the forks seem to bounce like crazy or when I come down over a log pile, the forks seem to dig in (I don't think they quite bottom out) and kick the back end up.

I think part of the problem is that I am riding old, low end forks. The first were 2000 Manitou XVerts and the current ones are 2000 Judy XCs. I bought both used so I don't know much about the spring or oil condition and have not taken either apart.

Is it just that the forks are crappy? Is there something I can do? I really don't know enough about forks to know.

I weigh about 165 fully geared and do mostly XC riding.

Any help would be very appreciated. If I've left any relavent info out, I can try to provide more.

Thanks in advance.
 

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You seem to have learned the disadvantage with inappropriate damping. Sounds like you need both more compression damping (less "bobbing" and diving) and more rebound damping (less bouncing). Maybe you also need stronger springs but at your weight, the stock springs shouldn't be too soft. So perhaps try thicker oil. Lots of experience with that fork here: www.mtbr.com/reviews/Front_Shock/product_21579.shtml.

If you haven't cared at all about tuning, then I suggest you try that first. But in case you decide to go for a new fork, make sure to get one with hydraulic damping and not any type of elastomer or MCU (MicroCellular Urethane) damping. Also, in order to balance compression and rebound damping, you will want rebound adjustment (you can always alter both simultaneousy by changing oil weight). And get the right travel length.

Take this with a grain of salt, but I have understood that the market leaders and the ones with the happiest users among forks with hydraulic and adjustable damping are the following:

<$300 (decent damping)
any Marzocchi MX
any Manitou Black

<$400 (significantly better high-speed damping)
Fox Vanilla

<$500 (best damping you can get today)
Marzocchi Marathon
Fox Talas

*** Edit *** : Remember, though, that even the best fork can perform crappy if you don't tune it for you weight, type of riding, and preferences.
 

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Shortcutting Hikabiker
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anden said:
<$400 (significantly better high-speed damping)
Fox Vanilla

<$500 (best damping you can get today)
Marzocchi Marathon
Fox Talas
Hmmmmm.... Don't the TALAS and Vanillas have the same damping system? So might as well put Vanilla in the "best" group.
 

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Acme54321 said:
Hmmmmm.... Don't the TALAS and Vanillas have the same damping system? So might as well put Vanilla in the "best" group.
Seems like you are right! Can't recall from where I got it that the Talas would be better.
 
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