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Discussion Starter #41
Trailside fork swaps? Nah, you're not gonna do that. Talk about a pain in the ass. Go ahead and try it once to see what I'm talking about. You'll need a 2nd crown race for your extra fork. You'll have to be extra careful you don't drop headset parts in the dirt. You'll need a work stand. You'll have to be really finicky about aligning the front brake caliper when you swap it over. You'll have to make sure the steerer tubes are cut the exact same length before you even start, so you don't have to worry about different spacer stacks.

Also, I wouldn't recommend just buying 2 of whatever of the same thing for the two of you. There's really no good reason to do that.
Yeah alright maybe that's a bit ambitious, even if I brought my stand and a tarp. Still, I'd like to do a side-by-side somehow. Maybe just ride the same trail on back-to-back days with different forks.

We both got the same XC bike because I used to get a discount from the shop that sponsored my road team, and they were a Scott dealer. These days, marriage-wise . . . if I went and spent $3k on a full sus bike and she was still on the old hardtail . . . will probably have to both upgrade bikes at the same time. The question is what each of us upgrade to. By the time we're ready to drop $$ on trail bikes, we'd probably get different things, especially if we're buying used.
 

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I've got a 2012 Scott low-range hardtail that has served me very well over the years. I'm just getting back into riding after a few years off due to kids. Most of the trails around here are fairly smooth, so while dropping $3k on a new or used full sus would be great, it's just unnecessary since I still have a lot to learn on the hardtail. Buying a brand new hardtail or XC bike seems like a total waste since my current bike is fine.

The bike has an old RockShox XC/32/TK coil fork that's getting sticky and blown, and really just doesn't do much at this point. The bike has a straight steerer with quick release axles, so new high-range upgrades are limited. So I have three options:

  • Take the ancient $100 fork apart and spend a couple hours rebuilding it
  • Buy a new fork with somewhat upgraded internals, like a RockShox Recon Silver RL, for $250
  • Buy a very old high-range used fork that fits the spec, probably for around $250-400

I don't like the idea of putting new parts on an old bike, but the Recon is definitely an "upgrade" from the current fork. Used forks with straight steerers and 9x100qr axles are sometimes available on ebay, but a fork that old seems like a buyer-beware situation, and is likely going to need to be rebuilt anyway. Like I saw a 2012 Reba with the same damper and air spring as the current Recon, selling on ebay for $250. Makes no sense to buy that over a new Recon. But I also don't like the idea of spending 2 hours of precious weekend time rebuilding a fork that deserves to be in the garbage.

Any thoughts? Thanks
I LOVE the feel of coil and ride out very rocky northeastern Pennsylvania trails. I just got a RockShox 35 Gold RL with the DebonAir spring and I'm very impressed with it fo $449.
 

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Yeah alright maybe that's a bit ambitious, even if I brought my stand and a tarp. Still, I'd like to do a side-by-side somehow. Maybe just ride the same trail on back-to-back days with different forks.
Doing the same ride on different days with a fork swap is a little more practical if you really want to get a feel for the differences between them.

We both got the same XC bike because I used to get a discount from the shop that sponsored my road team, and they were a Scott dealer. These days, marriage-wise . . . if I went and spent $3k on a full sus bike and she was still on the old hardtail . . . will probably have to both upgrade bikes at the same time. The question is what each of us upgrade to. By the time we're ready to drop $$ on trail bikes, we'd probably get different things, especially if we're buying used.
My wife and I alternate bike purchases. I mean, we COULD blow the budget and both buy nice bikes in the same year, but what's the point of doing that? I got a new bike a couple years ago, so it's her turn next. We were shopping a year ago, but we had some job uncertainty, especially early during the pandemic, so decided to put that on hold. The job uncertainty wasn't as bad as we had anticipated, so that's good. But bike availability sucks, so she's still waiting. This is for a 2nd bike for her, probably mostly for gravel rides and greenway stuff.

Years ago, we did have a tendency to limit our purchases to the pretty limited industry discounts I had access to, so I get it. It generally hasn't worked out well for us when we've shopped them exclusively. The stuff available to us there isn't always the right stuff for one or both of us. These days, we both actually have access to an interesting collection of different discount programs, which is pretty handy. But we also don't limit our shopping exclusively to those anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
My wife and I alternate bike purchases. I mean, we COULD blow the budget and both buy nice bikes in the same year, but what's the point of doing that? I got a new bike a couple years ago, so it's her turn next.
This is really good perspective. Thanks.
 

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Yeah alright maybe that's a bit ambitious, even if I brought my stand and a tarp. Still, I'd like to do a side-by-side somehow. Maybe just ride the same trail on back-to-back days with different forks.
It won't be a subtle difference I'm guessing so back-to-back days will work just fine.
 

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Wow, thanks! I'm just up the road in Oakland. Where do you normally ride? We mostly ride Joaquin Miller, Crockett, and China Camp. I also love Tamarancho, but my wife has been complaining she wants to work on technique before we go back there :) I did the fire roads around Chabot the other day, which was a good workout but kinda boring. Lots of fire roads in the East Bay. Would rather ride Zwift or go for a run honestly.

For $230, I figure I can get the Markhor, then for an extra $15 I can rebuild the existing fork, and try some trailside swaps from one to the other to do a comparison. Worst case, I'll sell the Markhor at a net loss of say $100 and put the rebuilt fork back on. Best case, I have a slightly better fork, better understanding of differences among forks, and I can put the rebuilt fork onto my wife's bike (we have the same Scale . . . also the reason to wait to upgrade to trail bikes - everything needs to be purchased 2x).


Oh yeah. Even up at Joaquin Miller, lots of people walking their long-travel bikes wearing full DH protective gear, but also lots of legitimately good riders with similar kit. Road seems even worse - guys who could stand to lose 30lbs riding $10k weight-weenie bikes with carbon bottle cages, and meanwhile I used to race with a guy who would ride away from fields on an old steel frame. Seems pretty common in gear-based sports :) when I was doing track days, it was fairly common to see a great driver in a Spec Miata pass Porsches and Lotuses, etc. etc. etc.
My house is right by Briones, so I spend most of my time patrolling the fire roads (that is the official story and I am sticking to it). Normally, I ride Joaquin a fair amount, but with the break-ins and crowds have stayed away.

There used to be a mechanic at Hank and Frank who now works for Ibis. On his route home from Lafayette, he would hit Cinderella on his cross bike. I used to do lapping days at PIR in Oregon, nothing like faster cars having to waive you past them on the straights because every time you hit the windy sections, you are right back up on ass (PIR is a power track, basically a road course on each end with two long straights).
 

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Discussion Starter #47
My house is right by Briones, so I spend most of my time patrolling the fire roads (that is the official story and I am sticking to it). Normally, I ride Joaquin a fair amount, but with the break-ins and crowds have stayed away.

There used to be a mechanic at Hank and Frank who now works for Ibis. On his route home from Lafayette, he would hit Cinderella on his cross bike. I used to do lapping days at PIR in Oregon, nothing like faster cars having to waive you past them on the straights because every time you hit the windy sections, you are right back up on ass (PIR is a power track, basically a road course on each end with two long straights).
Nice! I took my kids out to do a hike in Briones just a couple weeks ago. We love it in there. When I was doing more road riding, we'd sometimes park in Briones, do 3 bears once or twice, and then have a picnic in the park.

Joaquin Miller is borderline un-rideable on nice weekend days unless you get there at like 9am. We sometimes go up on Friday afternoons since we only live 10m away, and the crowds are bearable.

I cannot imagine doing one of the more technical trails in there on a cross bike . . . goal for the next several months is to plan out a good line on Chapparal and make it down with no stopping or dabs.

My old track coach moved up to Portland and races Spec Miata at PIR! He loves it up there.
 

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I cannot imagine doing one of the more technical trails in there on a cross bike . . . goal for the next several months is to plan out a good line on Chapparal and make it down with no stopping or dabs.
You should check out some of Mr Percussive's gravel bike rides:



 
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