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Hi,

I just bought a second hand 11 year old Gary Fisher Sugar 3+ (that's how broke I am), which rides nicely -like a rocket, however when I brought it in for rear suspension maintenance, bicycle repair man mentioned that the fork (a Manitou Black Comp 8100 80-100mm) was tired.

Although he said I could probably wait until it dies, technological regression is something that makes me sad. The good news is that technology matures, so I suppose that I could get an affordable replacement with still the same features and quality. Is this assumption correct ? What should I aim for ?

It's important to mention that I'm mostly doing cross country, trail or cyclocross scare me at this stage and I just graduated from a 120€ Wal-Mart type bike (which I still enjoy riding XC). So I'm the proverbial swine and I don't really need pearls so far. I won't need 100% of the capabilities before long.
 

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Tired could mean its soon going to be needing lots of replacement parts. That can add up quickly.
If it works use it. But today's forks, even lower rung will probably ride and run better. Keep an eye out for a good deal. If the bike is a 26" wheel there should be some good shock deals to be had.

Bill


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Tired could mean its soon going to be needing lots of replacement parts. That can add up quickly.
If it works use it. But today's forks, even lower rung will probably ride and run better. Keep an eye out for a good deal. If the bike is a 26" wheel there should be some good shock deals to be had.

Bill

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Smells like BS to me. Have you inspected this fork and got a list of these soon to be needed replacement parts?

I have an 11 year old Black Elite here and the only problem it has is bushings are a little loose. A fork that's had less riding over the same time won't even have that.
The stanchion anodising is still perfect and the damper oil stays clean.

Todays lower rung forks are often worse in performance and longevity than lower rung forks from 2000. Aside from more travel options the *average* fork has gone backwards in the last 10 years.
 

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Smells like BS to me. Have you inspected this fork and got a list of these soon to be needed replacement parts?

I have an 11 year old Black Elite here and the only problem it has is bushings are a little loose. A fork that's had less riding over the same time won't even have that.
The stanchion anodising is still perfect and the damper oil stays clean.

Todays lower rung forks are often worse in performance and longevity than lower rung forks from 2000. Aside from more travel options the *average* fork has gone backwards in the last 10 years.
The two things I would respectfully disagree with are you know the history of your fork, where as the OP got his second hand and doesn't know how it's been serviced and rode. Plus the aviability of parts for a ten year old fork might be problematic.
That said there are still people who love and ride original rock shock mag 21's and swear by them.
Newer forks have benifited from a lot of trickle down technology over the last ten years. Plus with the rise of 29'r and the new 27.5 platform, it has kinda opened the doors to those of us who still ride 26" bikes.

I as a mechanic have from time to time told a customer that it just isn't worth the effort. But if they want to try then I charge them accordingly. The OP's mechanic might have not wanted to open a can of worms. Because if he services the fork, and more is wrong then originally planned, then the bill skyrockets and he looks like he is trying to fleece the customer. Better to just install a new fork and go from there.

Bill

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The two things I would respectfully disagree with are you know the history of your fork, where as the OP got his second hand and doesn't know how it's been serviced and rode. Plus the aviability of parts for a ten year old fork might be problematic.
That said there are still people who love and ride original rock shock mag 21's and swear by them.
Newer forks have benifited from a lot of trickle down technology over the last ten years. Plus with the rise of 29'r and the new 27.5 platform, it has kinda opened the doors to those of us who still ride 26" bikes.

I as a mechanic have from time to time told a customer that it just isn't worth the effort. But if they want to try then I charge them accordingly. The OP's mechanic might have not wanted to open a can of worms. Because if he services the fork, and more is wrong then originally planned, then the bill skyrockets and he looks like he is trying to fleece the customer. Better to just install a new fork and go from there.

Bill

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My black was about 3 years old and second hand when I got it. The rebound knob had been wiped off on a rock.
It had no servicing in that 3 years and was ridden hard.

There has been no major advance in fork technology. There has been a massive upswing in gimmickry at the expense of suspension performance.
In 1996 you could buy a coil sprung oil damped fork with shim stacks on compression and rebound and an optional through axle.
The majority of mid range forks sold since are air spring with orifice dampers which are cheap inside and out, actually heavier than the older coil spring forks and do not perform well at all.

It's poor form to make a customer fork out for a new fork because you don't understand his current one.
It takes two tools (depending on the model one spanner and two allen keys) and a similar number of minutes to pull the lowers off a manitou black and inspect the stanchions.
It takes longer to drain the oil than it takes to remove the compression and rebound dampers.

In less than 10 minutes all can be revealed. But to some it's not worth the effort!
 

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Those old Manitou forks were fairly tolerant of neglect, they're not like current Fox forks where the internals self-destruct if you don't service them every month.

The Black Comp as I recall used orifice dampers on both rebound & compression, I think only the higher end Blacks had the shim stack dampers. The other leg is just a coil spring so there's really not much to go wrong. The bushings run on (Prep M) grease and the damper is separate so the oil stays nice & clean. Other than worn bushings or a leaky seal on the rebound damper, nothing really goes wrong with the fork. Unless the fork's been seriously abused & neglected, I'll bet that all it needs is an oil change and new grease and it'll run like new.

As for how it compares to current forks, well, fork technology has been mostly downhill since Manitou's TPC+ damper which came out around 2000. To get a better fork than the Black Comp you'll have to get a current Manitou fork, a RockShox from the Reba range or above, or Fox's factory series forks. Chances are most of these options will cost more than you paid for the bike.
 

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congrats to the op, i love my 2004 GF sugar4

not to hijack this thread but i just bought a manitou axle super and am getting ready to tear it down and inspect it, what are your guys opinions of it or what do you think is a good budget replacement for it?
 
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