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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

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Old man on a bike
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Giant Gdawg said:
I've really been looking into the Tora 318's lately, but have a few questions.

http://www.cambriabike.com/shopexd....+TORA+318+FORK+SOLO+AIR+SUSPENSION+FO RK+2008

What are the disadvantages to air forks?

What does the whole U-Turn thing mean?

Will these fit fine onto a XXL framed Yukon, or do I need specific forks to fit the frame?

I've heard this is good, and I really don't like my Dart1's too much.
Air forks can be a bit fussier seal wise IMO nor do they have quite the plush action of a good coil shock.

U-turn is RockShox marketing speak for adjustable travel.

Frame size doesn't matter, but the crown to axle height and travel of the fork should be compatible with the frame you're installing it on.

An improvement on a Dart no doubt.

ps After reading jeffj's response I was assuming both new fork and that it comes with a steerer long enough for all bikes and that latter might be more than I should assume as it depends on what that steerer length is, and what the combined height of your headset, stem and headtube and any desired spacers would be....
 

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I bought the Tora 318 Solo Air from Cambria:

http://www.cambriabike.com/shopexd....X+TORA+318+FORK+SOLO+AIR+SUSPENSION+FORK+2008

I got the alloy steerer model so it was $225 instead of $209 (actually I got 20% off that price since I bought a frame at the same time). The frame I got was a 23" Kona (Nunu) hardtail with a 180mm length headtube. Using the FSA "The Pig" headset (I think the stack height is about 29mm for that headset), I kept the steerer tube full length at 260mm and only needed about 17mm of headset spacers and it worked out perfectly.

As for the performance of the fork, I love it. I weigh a little over 260lbs and it is fine. I keep about 180psi in the air spring and it uses most of the travel if I ride hard. I have it at the travel height it comes at (100mm) and consider it pretty plush and a great buy for a little over $200. The air spring has a positive and negative air chamber, but instead of having two separate inlet valves, it just uses one and regulates how much goes into both via the single inlet valve. It has a rebound adjuster on the bottom of the right fork leg and the motion control compression adjuster (that goes all the way to lock out) on top of that leg.

As for the U-turn model, I have no experience with that particular Tora.

As you can see here, the Tora fork (looks like all of them are lumped into one post) gets pretty high marks:

http://www.mtbr.com/mfr/rockshox/2008-forks/tora-318/PRD_416286_1565crx.aspx

What are the disadvantages to air forks?

In some cases, they are not as 'plush' as a coil fork. I've owned a couple of coil forks and this Tora Solo Air is smoother/plusher than either one. Doesn't mean it's 'plusher' than all of them, but IMHO, it's pretty respectable in that department (especially considering the price it is currently selling for at Cambria).

What does the whole U-Turn thing mean?

The U-turn is a means of adjusting the travel. On the Tora U-turn, it adjusts from 85mm to 130mm by turning a knob on the top of one of the fork legs. You will have to stop riding to do this safely, but it only takes a few seconds and you can get right back to riding.

Will these fit fine onto a XXL framed Yukon, or do I need specific forks to fit the frame?

Yes, it will fit with a steerer tube that has not been cut and will likely have room to cut it down if that's what you will fit you better (easily accomplished with a hacksaw and a file).
 

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In some cases, they are not as 'plush' as a coil fork. I've owned a couple of coil forks and this Tora Solo Air is smoother/plusher than either one. Doesn't mean it's 'plusher' than all of them, but IMHO, it's pretty respectable in that department (especially considering the price it is currently selling for at Cambria).
Agreed, my last fork was the highly regarded Fox Vanilla R (coil) and I think my Tora 318 Solo Air is every bit as plush...and it holds pressure just fine
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Alright thanks. I talked to someone at my closest shop, and he said sometimes its better to just buy something way better so you don't keep upgrading it. I'm thinking I'll just upgrade this, then buy a whole new bike later on.
 

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Giant Gdawg said:
Alright thanks. I talked to someone at my closest shop, and he said sometimes its better to just buy something way better so you don't keep upgrading it. I'm thinking I'll just upgrade this, then buy a whole new bike later on.
If he's referring to a whole bike, then that may be true. The problem is that if you're just beginning to ride MTB, you may not be sure exactly what direction you want to concentrate on. If you go big and it's the wrong bike for you, "way better" could be a costly mistake.

In order to avoid this situation, it makes sense to start out with an entry level hardtail and develop your mtb chops on that. You can find out for yourself if MTB itself is evn your cup of tea for less money than you could lose on a "way better" bike if you discover that MTB is not for you or you prefer a bike that is more tailored to a specific type of riding.

You'll also learn by making mistakes and it won't be nearly as costly to make those mistakes on your Yukon.

In most cases it doesn't make $en$e to buy an entry level bike and then heap on a healthy dose of upgraditis or to drop some big dollars on a bike that you may not ride much or will lose a lot of money on when you discover it's not the right bike for you even if it is "way better".

I wouldn't try to discourage you from changing a few minor things on your Yukon such as the saddle, stem or pedals. It wouldn't even be a bad idea to replace a Dart fork if you can get a good deal on a significantly better performing fork for no more than $300 at most, especially if you can off your Dart for around $100 to offset the cost. I see Darts on bikes costing up to and even over $1,000 and IMHO, it is a fork worth avoiding spending time on if it doesn't cost too much to do so. It's not as bad as other entry level forks, but it can be improved upon for $200 to $300 if you shop carefully.

Other than that, it is best to ride the urine out of the bike and replace what breaks with better parts if you can find a really good deal on them. In the meantime, learn how to work on your own bike, have a ton of fun riding your Yukon and start saving for your second bike. By the time you have saved enough for a nice "next" bike, you'll have a much better understanding of what is best for you and actually getting the bike that is best suited for the direction you want to head in.

Good luck
 
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