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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took my trail ridden 01' Bullit to Northstar this weekend. It has a 02' Z1 QR freeride fork. The ride has always been a little harsh on the trails as compared to my Vanilla but the bike felt like poo @ Northstar. Harsh, bouncing off rocks etc. Several riders suggested a DC fork w/ more travel. Do I need more travel? The bikes head tube angle is allready 67-68* w/ the Z1. Any fork suggestions to make it resort liveable? I am not looking to go big air just make it through the rocky sections w/o getting beat up. Thanx
 

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well, i'll aways take better travel as opposed to more...the Jr T is a great example of why "more travel" is not better than quality travel. The Jr T felt like crap, spiked at high speeds, basically felt like it was trying to break my wrists off. A regular Z1FR would have been a better for.

What kind of fork is your Z1? Is it a Z1 FR? Z1 CR? Z1 MCR? If it isn't one of those then it's probably the cheap drop-off or "wedge" model, which has completely different (and crappy) damping. If if is one of those models, perhaps you are running too much rebound damping? I find this to be a pretty common occurance since people usually "test" and set their damping at relatively slow speeds, then at high speeds it may feel like crap because of that...

Now at northstar it is so rocky in places that a DC fork is almost a necessity. I say almost because I'd still rather have quality travel as opposed to just "more", but to get the most out of northstar it's best to have a DC fork. What you want though is a quality DC fork. Forks like the Jr T and Boxxer race are just trash and use simple ported dampers that spike at high speeds in rock gardens.

Forks to look at would be the Marzocchi Super T, the 7" travel 888, the Manitou Slider+, you could even look at the new single crown forks, the 170mm Breakout+ or the 170mm marzocchi 66 that is due to come out soon.
 

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noMAD man
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Jm's absolutely right.

keen said:
I took my trail ridden 01' Bullit to Northstar this weekend. It has a 02' Z1 QR freeride fork. The ride has always been a little harsh on the trails as compared to my Vanilla but the bike felt like poo @ Northstar. Harsh, bouncing off rocks etc. Several riders suggested a DC fork w/ more travel. Do I need more travel? The bikes head tube angle is allready 67-68* w/ the Z1. Any fork suggestions to make it resort liveable? I am not looking to go big air just make it through the rocky sections w/o getting beat up. Thanx
If you have the cheaper port/orifice style Z1, then you get spiking and very harsh hammering in fast, rocky sections. It's not something you notice as much on one big hit, but let some speed and sustain rough terrain come into play, and it's hammer city. If your Zoke does have the quality damper system and you're getting this kind of feedback, then your fork is probably set up wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
TNC said:
If you have the cheaper port/orifice style Z1, then you get spiking and very harsh hammering in fast, rocky sections. It's not something you notice as much on one big hit, but let some speed and sustain rough terrain come into play, and it's hammer city. If your Zoke does have the quality damper system and you're getting this kind of feedback, then your fork is probably set up wrong.
The fork is a 2001 Z1 MCR w/ 02' Freeride HSCV & ECC cartridges. I weigh 190 ish w/ gear & ran one heavy, one X heavy spring, 7wt oil 50mm from the top. Last month I ran both X heavy springs w/ 10 wt. and it felt harsh so I went to the present set-up. I run zero preload and have run the dampner on the fast side.
 

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noMAD man
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Some questions.

keen said:
The fork is a 2001 Z1 MCR w/ 02' Freeride HSCV & ECC cartridges. I weigh 190 ish w/ gear & ran one heavy, one X heavy spring, 7wt oil 50mm from the top. Last month I ran both X heavy springs w/ 10 wt. and it felt harsh so I went to the present set-up. I run zero preload and have run the dampner on the fast side.
Have you done the zip tie on the stanchion deal to check how much travel you're getting, and are you saying you've change springs from OEM? If you changed springs, was it because it was bottoming out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
TNC said:
Have you done the zip tie on the stanchion deal to check how much travel you're getting, and are you saying you've change springs from OEM? If you changed springs, was it because it was bottoming out?
I use 90% of my travel - no harsh bottoming. OEM springs are red (heavy) green springs are x heavy. I'll probably install my Vanilla 125 for comparison.
 

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keen said:
I took my trail ridden 01' Bullit to Northstar this weekend. It has a 02' Z1 QR freeride fork. The ride has always been a little harsh on the trails as compared to my Vanilla but the bike felt like poo @ Northstar. Harsh, bouncing off rocks etc. Several riders suggested a DC fork w/ more travel. Do I need more travel? The bikes head tube angle is allready 67-68* w/ the Z1. Any fork suggestions to make it resort liveable? I am not looking to go big air just make it through the rocky sections w/o getting beat up. Thanx
BETTER travel is better than more travel.

you do NOT need a dual crown fork -- ignore those people, as they are underinformed. they are in the dark ages. a 6" travel rear Bullit would be perfectly happy with a good 5" or 6" singlecrown.

the '03 and newer Z1 has 32mm stanchions, which means it's more resistant to torsional and fore/aft flex and twist. the difference in a rock garden is night-and-day, believe me.

I would try to get a new Z1, a Sherman Firefly / Flick, or a Z150 to replace the old 30mm stanchion model of Z1.

I rode my '03 Bullit for 4 months with an '03 Z1 QR20, and I loved it. very fun flickable play bike.
 

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noMAD man
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You should use all your travel.

keen said:
I use 90% of my travel - no harsh bottoming. OEM springs are red (heavy) green springs are x heavy. I'll probably install my Vanilla 125 for comparison.
If you went to Northstar and only got 90% of your travel, you need to do some adjusting. Either your springs are too heavy, or your oil level is too high, or both. On a really aggressive riding terrain, you should get all your travel and maybe even an infrequent bottom-out. Your fork has the quality internals and should be very capable of taking big hits and still providing a smooth ride when set up properly. Working at a shop, I see more people trying to make their forks too stiff for fear of bottoming out. A fork should just barely and infrequently bottom out unless the terrain and/or rider are not challenging the bike. Of course there's a possibility that something isn't operating properly in the damping portion of your fork, but I'd suspect setup first. Do some experimenting with drastically lowering the fork oil level and go back to the OEM springs to see if you can get it to bottom and obtain your total travel amount. Then you can go up from there with oil level if necessary. That is a very high quality fork and well worth getting it sorted out before just throwing on the Fox.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I ran 7wt oil w/ the x heavy springs before I swapped to the present spring combo. I was using full travel but my oil level was probably 40mm or so - seems like after a cartridge change it takes a ride vs. cartridge cycling to properly bleed them. I owned a Z1 Wedge and an 02' FR which worked great on past bikes similarly tuned.
 
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