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Fragile - must be Italian
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After a lot of mental see-sawing and overcoming some brand snobbery, I purchased a "new" 2001 Noleen Mega Air fork from eBay. I desparately needed something to replace the old Manitou SX-Ti on my hardtail but I didn't want to spend much money (it's my "backup" bike). The $99 Mega Air seemed like it was too good to be true. Noleen? I've never heard much about that brand, and what little I heard was bad (mostly relating to their rear shocks on the K2 Razorbacks).

Anyway, I got the fork on Monday and installed it yesterday. I tooled around with the bike for a few hours on the street just to make sure my mounting job was satisfactory.

And tonight I got to take the bike on its inaugural ride. All I can say is WOW -- this thing is the real deal.

The fork is stiff, light (3 lbs), quiet, and smooth. My ride tonight was over some VERY rocky terrain (desert) and the fork handled it wonderfully. I intentionally rode into the rough stuff to see what the shock would do. And everything I threw at it, the shock soaked it up. My hands didn't get shaken apart like they did with the old Manitou, and I couldn't detect any flex -- the front wheel stayed nice and true, plantend on the ground in the direction that I wanted.

Is this fork as good as my Fox F80RLT? Nope. The Fox is plusher...probably the plushest fork on the market. But the Noleen felt as stiff and the overall ride was "close". But remember the Fox is an $800 fork. The Noleen is $100.

If you are on the fence about getting one of these Noleen shocks, I can tell you it is a great fork. Will it hold up over time? Who knows, but for $99 I don't care if it lasts only a few years. Would I buy this fork for my primary bike? Maybe (if I had the cash, which I did, I would still get a Fox). Is it better than my old Manitou? No question. Is it better than a SID? No doubt (too bad this fork didn't get a better rap because it really could compete against the SID). In fact, I'd say the ride is at least as good as my brother-in-law's Marzocchi Marathon S.

Thx...Doug
 

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Were you gettingh full travel from the fork?

Just courious....also running it at 100mm or 78mm.
I have mine set at 100mm but could never get close to full travel.
Last night I ended up taking mine off as I am using a Fox again for a while.

KMan

dgangi said:
After a lot of mental see-sawing and overcoming some brand snobbery, I purchased a "new" 2001 Noleen Mega Air fork from eBay. I desparately needed something to replace the old Manitou SX-Ti on my hardtail but I didn't want to spend much money (it's my "backup" bike). The $99 Mega Air seemed like it was too good to be true. Noleen? I've never heard much about that brand, and what little I heard was bad (mostly relating to their rear shocks on the K2 Razorbacks).

Anyway, I got the fork on Monday and installed it yesterday. I tooled around with the bike for a few hours on the street just to make sure my mounting job was satisfactory.

And tonight I got to take the bike on its inaugural ride. All I can say is WOW -- this thing is the real deal.

The fork is stiff, light (3 lbs), quiet, and smooth. My ride tonight was over some VERY rocky terrain (desert) and the fork handled it wonderfully. I intentionally rode into the rough stuff to see what the shock would do. And everything I threw at it, the shock soaked it up. My hands didn't get shaken apart like they did with the old Manitou, and I couldn't detect any flex -- the front wheel stayed nice and true, plantend on the ground in the direction that I wanted.

Is this fork as good as my Fox F80RLT? Nope. The Fox is plusher...probably the plushest fork on the market. But the Noleen felt as stiff and the overall ride was "close". But remember the Fox is an $800 fork. The Noleen is $100.

If you are on the fence about getting one of these Noleen shocks, I can tell you it is a great fork. Will it hold up over time? Who knows, but for $99 I don't care if it lasts only a few years. Would I buy this fork for my primary bike? Maybe (if I had the cash, which I did, I would still get a Fox). Is it better than my old Manitou? No question. Is it better than a SID? No doubt (too bad this fork didn't get a better rap because it really could compete against the SID). In fact, I'd say the ride is at least as good as my brother-in-law's Marzocchi Marathon S.

Thx...Doug
 

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I love Pisgah
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Taaaa-Daaaaaaa!! Hard to believe it from a fork I'd never heard of until a few months ago.

..."if it looks like duck...and walks like a duck"...its a decent fork on its own merit, leave alone the amazing blowout price.

For $99(retail $400)...its still the best "upgrade vs $$" out there from any weenie fork in town. At the same time, its lighter then all but the newest Sid without the remote lockout, and even then its AS light as the lightest. All this AND it can still perform with the best of'm out there. At least enough that its not an excuse.

Glad to hear it.
 

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Hey I got one too! But I have a problem.

I just got mine yesterday & installed it on a used bike I'm building up. It felt great when I used the "bounce on handlebars" test. I'll ride it next week after I finish building the bike. I have a 2003 Marathon S on my other bike, so I'll get a comparison.

But mine has an air leak on the rebound side. It leaked down to 0, twice, from 60 psi. I guess I need to check (1) the shraeder valve core for tightness, and (2) the top "O" rings to make sure they're not damaged. Any other ideas?
 

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Fragile - must be Italian
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Adjustments

Steve71 said:
Nice looking fork. What adjustments does it have?
It's got the usual -- spring rate and preload (air pressure) as well as rebound dampening.

There is no compression dampening as they claim it is set to "perform well over wide types of terrain". In my test run last night, I was happy with the amount of compression dampening the fork provided.

There is no lockout, which is fine by me. I have one on the Fox and I never use it.

BTW -- this is a dual air fork, so there is no oil level to mess with.

Thx...Doug
 

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Fragile - must be Italian
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
KMan said:
Just courious....also running it at 100mm or 78mm.
I have mine set at 100mm but could never get close to full travel.
Last night I ended up taking mine off as I am using a Fox again for a while.

KMan
I think so...

I'm running the fork at the 75mm (3") setting. I am getting more travel than my 80mm Manitou SX-Ti gave me, but that doesn't surprise me because the SX-Ti spring/elastomer stack got VERY stiff after about 60mm of travel.

I didn't want to mess with the 100mm setting as I feel it would make my bike feel like a chopper. But if I did want to set up the fork to run at 100mm, how do you do that?

Thx...Doug
 

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Just passing through....
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dgangi said:
I think so...

I'm running the fork at the 75mm (3") setting. I am getting more travel than my 80mm Manitou SX-Ti gave me, but that doesn't surprise me because the SX-Ti spring/elastomer stack got VERY stiff after about 60mm of travel.

I didn't want to mess with the 100mm setting as I feel it would make my bike feel like a chopper. But if I did want to set up the fork to run at 100mm, how do you do that?

Thx...Doug
The instructions are on a pdf file on K2's website. I just got mine and changed it from 75mm to 100mm. Took about 10 minutes, you just remove some spacers. #28 on the K2 diagram.
 

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Lazy People Suck
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Just had my first ride on my Noleen

I went for a shakedown run on the Noleen today on my RacerX set up in 100mm mode. I was very impressed with the fork. It does not match up with the Headshock on my Scalpel in terms of stiffness, but there is nothing on the market that does. It was closer than any telescopic type of fork that I have ridden. The 4 inches of travel worked very well over 2.5 hours of rooty singletrack. I did manage to get full travel on it and bobbing was not excessive. It is a very well spent $100.00
 

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dgangi said:
BTW -- this is a dual air fork, so there is no oil level to mess with.

Thx...Doug
I just wanted to clarify - when you say dual air you mean air sprung and air dampened. When RockShox (maybe others too) use the term dual air, it means positive air spring and a negative air spring.
 

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MTBR Tool
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Doug,

just replaced my 2000 SID XC w/one. Haven't yet taken it out on the trails but just giving it the old back yard down the street test I can tell that it is eons stiffer than the SID. Also seems to be plusher. Can't wait to take it out on the trails and give it the true test.
 

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I just got my Noleen Mega Air installed over the weekend on my '95 GT Zaskar. I encountered a pressure leak with the new fork.

Upon initial inspection, the left leg didn't have air pressure while the right leg had 70 psi from the factory. I pressurized the left leg to 70, but it eventually loss air in a matter of seconds. The leak wasn't from the shrader valve(water test). I assumed it had to be an o-ring.

Anyways, I took the left top cap off and re-greased the o-ring and hand tighted it back on. I then re-inflated to 70psi. After a few hours, I check the pressure...it stopped leaking! The top capped, apparently, was overtighted from the factory and the o-ring was crimped, causing the poor seal. Very simple fix.

FYI- I used the Tri-Flow brand grease...non-litium based.

As for a review on the performance, the Noleen performed very well compared to the old Rock Shox XC '95. It isn't quite as plush as my Fox Talas, but it's just as stiff. It soaked up the bumps and hits well. It did tend to bob a bit on out of the saddle climbs(no lockout). Otherwise, it's light- 3lbs, stiff, plush, and cheap. Perfect for a xc bike. In fact, I upgraded my old Zaskar w/ v-brakes the same with the fork. With the new mods, the GT completely feels like a new bike!
 

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Fragile - must be Italian
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Glad you got one

Srexy said:
Doug,

just replaced my 2000 SID XC w/one. Haven't yet taken it out on the trails but just giving it the old back yard down the street test I can tell that it is eons stiffer than the SID. Also seems to be plusher. Can't wait to take it out on the trails and give it the true test.
Ha! This is funny. I was actually thinking about recommending the Noleen to you. I knew you wanted to replace the flexy SID on your NRS and had some budgetary constraints. After I got mine and found it to be a good fork, I figured the $99 Noleen would be the perfect buy for you. I was going to make the recommendation the next time we went on a ride, but apparently you beat me to the punch...

I also recommended this fork to another friend of mine who is still riding an old Manitou elastomer fork (circa 1997). He's a big guy on a tight budget and would definitely appreciate the extra stiffness of the Noleen. Plus it would feel wonderful next to his crappy old rubber-stack fork.

Anyway, we'll have to go for a ride this week sometime so you can try out the fork. Look for a posted ride on the Arizona board for tomorrow (Wed) or Thurs.

I still think the Fox F80 is the best all-around XC fork on the market, but for $99 the Noleen is one hell of a deal. You will be happy with how it performs on the trails. I just hope the reliability is there, but only time will tell.

Thx...Doug
 

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Good fork, great street price.

There are some QC problems with these forks (it wasn't until the 3rd one from ediscountbike that I got a fully functional one (might have been issues related to storage or transport as these were all OE forks, not the fault of K2) - great service from ediscountbike BTW) but having gotten one that works, it works very well. Very plush and very stiff. Compression damping is a little weak and there is a noticeable clunk on top out, but ride quality is very good, especially for the price. I am tempted to do what others on this board have done and buy one or two spares. As plush as and much stiffer than my 2000 SID XC, lighter and tighter than my 02 Psylo SL, almost as plush as my '97 Z-1.

As a budget fork, it's a no brainer. As a weight weenie fork, it's almost a no brainer. As a performance fork, it's very tempting. Even with my QC problems, I'd reccy the fork in a second. I'm not crazy about the white, but stripping the paint should be easy enough at some point - this fork tears down fast.
 

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It does have compression adjustment. If you increase the air pressure in the damper leg you will increase compression damping. I run about 5 to 10 psi more than the spring side. Also if you want to make it feel plusher, lube with Slick Honey. I've been running this fork for 3 years now with no problems at all. All in all a terrific fork.

bill
 

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Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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Ummmm, if you're blaming faults on being OE forks...

then you're blaming K2 as they own the noleen brandname (the noleen name isn't a seperate division of K2 bike). Now how do you define the first two you got from ediscount being non-functional ?!

jts628 said:
There are some QC problems with these forks (it wasn't until the 3rd one from ediscountbike that I got a fully functional one (might have been issues related to storage or transport as these were all OE forks, not the fault of K2) - great service from ediscountbike BTW) but having gotten one that works, it works very well.
 

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OE forks

What I meant about QC/OE issues was that these forks have obviously been installed, removed, stored who knows where and how, etc. My first fork had a left chamber that wouldn't hold air, probably the fault of a poor build by Noleen. My second fork had a badly damaged seal (it almost looked like it was partially melted) but that could have conceivably been the result of bad handling or storage, not a bad build at the factory. You buy OE stuff, flaws are not always the fault of the maker.
 

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what problems to look for?

I'm eagerly awaiting mine which is enroute from eDiscount, and I'm across the Border. With the extra time shipping to/from Canada, I want to catch problems (if any) as early as possible in case warranty is needed and still covered. Any pointers what and how to check for the most common issues? I'm planning to check the pressure in both legs right away and daily for a week or so to make sure they hold air, what else?
 

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I love Pisgah
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No worries really. Have 2 from them, with one having 2 tough races on it so far this spring. Plus at least 20 rides on it. The 2nd one as a few rides on it, then I took it back off for a spare. Just have to top off the air settings every 2-3 weeks maybe. Get a Pedros syn grease gun combo or equal(wtb, etc)and your set. The fork takes a few rides to break in, regarding stiction, smoothness, compliance, etc.

This ride weighs (as of last nights weigh in) 21lb 14oz, as shown. Have had a new Sid Team 03, Sid XC 01, Zoke Marathon air 100mm 02 , Duke SL100 02, and a Fox Vanilla R on it. I love this Noleen, FWIW.

Duck

 

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thanks for starting this thread doug. I was looking at this fork to replace the InSync 323 pogo stick that came on the front of my bike and you guys convinced me that it's a good choice. I'll be ordering mine tonight. BTW, the forks you guys bought have adjustable travel right? And they use a regular schrader valve?
 
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