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Sugary Exoskeleton
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4,659 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After riding the 7p7 with the stock Marz 66rc2x for most of the summer, I bought a Totem Solo Air in October. Promptly thereafter, Utah Winter set in and I really didn't get much time on the bike.

But since then, I have ridden it in Virgin, Moab and Gooseberry and I finally feel like I am getting a better feel for the fork, including its short term reliability.

FUNCTION: The fork has been 100% perfect so far. I set the air pressure and fiddled with it on the first few rides. It has held those pressures for weeks at a time hanging in the garage, and when I pull the bike down and cycle the fork a few times to get the oil flowing, it's ready to go. Nothing that I wouldn't expect there. Not even a hint of oil seepage anywhere. Damping is consistent and the adjustments are easily noticable. Having both compression adjusters on the top of the leg is a nice feature. At first I was nervous because the fork feels extremely linear. But after several rides on rough terrain my fears of constant bottom-out have proved unfounded. The fork works through 160mm of travel with almost alarming ease, but I only see 170mm on larger impacts and I have only seen evidence of full travel a few times. So far I haven't done much more than the 3' to flat that you find a lot of at Gooseberry and Moab. Maybe I will change my opinion later in the summer when I challenge the fork more. Frankly, the soft front is a nice match to the rear, now both feel almost bizarrely plush. I am currently using about half the high speed damping and about 1/4 of the low speed. I run approximately 45psi in the fork. The Solo Valve snaps shut when the fork starts to compress and this kind of feels like a loose headset, but I have only felt it when I was pushing the bike up a hill. I never notice it when I am riding due to the fork sag and other bumpiness. In short, it's NOTHING like the rebound clunk I was getting from my 66.

SET UP: Setup was easy. Since my bike came with a good headset in the first place (FSA Orbit Xtreme 1p5) there was no reason to replace it. I bought the FSA conversion parts and picked up a new Gravity stem at the same time. The additional cm of front end height wasn't TOO noticable since the fork sags a bit deeper than my 66. But if you run a stiffer spring rate, you might like the way the extra cm slackens the head angle by about half a degree. It was bizzare to hold the Totem in one hand and the 66 in the other... there is no contest as to which fork is bigger, but the Totem is still noticably lighter. And of course, the MAXLE kicks butt! I am so glad to be back on the maxle after messing around with pinch bolts.

SO... IF my Marz had worked a bit better, I would have kept it. I loved the feel and the adjustability and I like the Marz "vibe" but I hated the clunking, twisted lowers, and shoddy craftsmanship. The Totem feels different. It's not as progressive and for some riders that could be considered a big minus. But with my setup and riding style, it's more supple, it's noticably stiffer and doesn't make any alarming noises. In short, it has been great for me so far...

Here is a pic of the current configuration. Not a svelte machine.

JMH
 

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Capricious youth...
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3,814 Posts
Excellent.

I refuse to replace my crappy Dual Duty rims because, hey... they get the job done. But I did just replace my shock.

Next up on the list? Fork. And I've had my eye on the Totem for a while. I'm still up in the air about the Totem or the Travis single.

Hmmm...
 

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Just another FOCer
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1,371 Posts
Steer clear of the 2 Step model. I know two riders on Lyriks and one on a Totem. (2 Step models.) They all went back to RS with loss of travel issues.

RS did step up and allow my Totem friend to exchange his for the coil version.

Prettym1k3 said:
I'm still up in the air about the Totem or the Travis single.

Hmmm...
 

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M070R-M0U7H FR3NCHI3
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3,584 Posts
that bike is sooooo sexy! I'm with greg - illest 7point (even more than mine).

I love my Coil Totem...but there are days I wish I had gotten the Solo Air versioin.

Winston got it right...stay clear from any 2-Step RS fork. They've been having lots of issues....
 

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Capricious youth...
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3,814 Posts
My bike isn't exactly that... but I'll post some pictures later.

No current photos with it's current setup.
 

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Capricious youth...
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3,814 Posts
yogreg said:
JHM
You get my vote for illest 7 point around!

Greg
Yeah, I've already heard tales of the 2-step blunder.

The Totem does weigh more than the Travis Ti. We'll have to wait and see what I decide.

:)
 

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1,875 Posts
from what i read, and was told, RS sorted out those 2 step issues recently.

to test that theory, i just purchased a totem air 2 step. once the bike gets built up, i'll see...
 

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Sugary Exoskeleton
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4,659 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Cool!

Thanks! But it's funny that you say that since it is almost stock. I replaced the bar/stem/crank with Gravity parts and I put the Totem on there. And oh, I guess I did replace the DT 6.1 rims... and I put Nevegals on there... and also the Thompson post, FSA saddle and Xpedo Mag pedals. Heh. But I Haven't touched any of the Saint!

But I won't question it, I will humbly accept the "illest 7 point" designation!:rockon:

yogreg said:
JHM
You get my vote for illest 7 point around!

Greg
 

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Black Lion
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4,431 Posts
JMH said:
Thanks! But it's funny that you say that since it is almost stock. I replaced the bar/stem/crank with Gravity parts and I put the Totem on there. And oh, I guess I did replace the DT 6.1 rims... and I put Nevegals on there... and also the Thompson post, FSA saddle and Xpedo Mag pedals. Heh. But I Haven't touched any of the Saint!

But I won't question it, I will humbly accept the "illest 7 point" designation!:rockon:
Your 7 point ill to me is very solid and purpose built.Plus it is Black and mean! The Gravity components are Jedi. The Totem is just the showstopper.
Greg
 

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G3Riders
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168 Posts
Great bike!

Is that 2007 model? Medium? I thought they are not available yet. I've got 7P7 2007 frameset on preorder and looking forward to get it quite soon. Will be using mine with 2006 66 VF2 fork. Good to hear there's not much difference in HA with 170mm lower fork.
 

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1,424 Posts
You're out of UT?? what part? I'm Utah Valley.

i also run the Totem's.... the coil version. They work great and work smooth. I'm not ready to give a full account as to how it compares to my 888RC.
 

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Sugary Exoskeleton
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4,659 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I am up in the Avenues in SLC... but looking to buy a house this summer. Probably won't be able to afford my current neighborhood...:rolleyes:

Sign up on the WAFTA google groups (check the UTAH board) and we will build some sweet jumps this summer.:thumbsup:

JMH

wyrm said:
You're out of UT?? what part? I'm Utah Valley.

i also run the Totem's.... the coil version. They work great and work smooth. I'm not ready to give a full account as to how it compares to my 888RC.
 

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I'll take your Totem stickers if you don't want em! That goes for anyone with Totem stickers they don't want. I need to spice up my black helmet and right now I have a very solid white-stickers-on-black-helmet look going so I could use some color (or more white, whatever).

Address on request! ;-D



Er, yeah your bike is dope. But mine's going to be the darkest 7Point around when I finally get that 07 7.3 frame and pop my all black parts over onto it. Then we shall see who is the illest of them all. ;)
 

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Black Lion
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4,431 Posts
Hot Butter Topping said:
Er, yeah your bike is dope. But mine's going to be the darkest 7Point around when I finally get that 07 7.3 frame and pop my all black parts over onto it. Then we shall see who is the illest of them all. ;)
oooh the challenge is on!!!! :madmax:
 

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Sugary Exoskeleton
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4,659 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
JMH said:
At first I was nervous because the fork feels extremely linear. But after several rides on rough terrain my fears of constant bottom-out have proved unfounded. The fork works through 160mm of travel with almost alarming ease, but I only see 170mm on larger impacts and I have only seen evidence of full travel a few times. So far I haven't done much more than the 3' to flat that you find a lot of at Gooseberry and Moab. Maybe I will change my opinion later in the summer when I challenge the fork more.
Okay... more feedback on the linear feel. Still not bottoming out harshly and I just got back from Moab. Did a Porcupine run that would challenge ANY fork and didn't feel a single bottom-out. I did get the full 180mm a few times, but could only tell by looking at the fork. This is on repeated big hits at high speeds, drops up to 4 or 5 feet to rock gardens and some alarmingly big (for me) ledge gaps to rough landings. If you know the big lines on Porc Rim at high speed, then you know what's out there. Frankly, I rode it better and with more flow and confidence than ever before and the fork had a lot to do with it.

I have been playing with air pressures as well. I started the weekend at around 48-49 psi but lowered to 45 for the Porc DH to make the fork as supple as possible. (I weigh 170) I wanted to see if it would start bottoming noticably. Still nothing. The fork goes like crazy up to 160mm, but then ramps up nicely to 175 or 180.

No new noises or fluid weeping. Still solid. I am leaving the "oh crap, I hope this expensive thing doesn't suck" phase.

JMH
 

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I'm still liking mine (though it's not fitted to a 7Point, sorry guys). I have the same feeling as you with the linear feel up to the point when it ramps up around 160mm travel. I have the coil version and am still running the stock spring. I'm liking the supple feel over the roots, but will have to see how it copes with some bigger hits.
 
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