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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What up!
Going crazy trying to get answers on the best fork for me. I weigh 225, ride a 2004 enduro pro and am looking at a 2004 fox vanilla 125 R or a 2003 'Zoch Z1 FR SL 130mm. I am edging towards zoch but I don't want an anchor on the front of the bike and I can't find the weight, have heard 5-6 pounds and 4.5 pounds?? Durability is really most important but would also like to use all of travel. I live and ride in Vt. so climbing a given but the downhills are just as big and Killington is down the road. Looking for best of both worlds. Any advice would help
Thanks,
Tola
 

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Fox Vanila

springs seldom break, air seals are more likely to blow out on a realy big hit, although people will argue the point. just my opinion. I have a vanila rlc with the "red" "heavy" spring it works great for me at 270# with gear.
 

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Marzocchi coils

I'm a proponent of both coil springs and Marzocchi. Not much you can do about weight if you go with a spring type fork, though. Without going into the whole "coil vs air" debate, there are pros and cons to both. Air has apparently come a long way in 10 years, but your more likely to blow a seal on an air type suspension at a Clydesdale weight than you are to break a coil suspension rig (although I'm sure you can still break the coil set up). You may also look into some of the other coil options for Fox, Manitou or Rock Shox if weight is your concern. Almost all manufactureres will offer some sort of lockout or reduced travel feature to help minimize bob during your climbs.

Good luck with your choice.

Clyde
 

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Up yer kilt!
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Life in the big city...

...death in a small town.

The best of both worlds, eh? Serious business... but it is friday afterall. I run a big 'zoke on my Freeride bike and have taken it on runs down Killington with no problems and I've also taken my hardtail with a F100X down the same slides with no additional issues (besides those taken to my seat-bones) ;) .

Both forks have some heft to them, but at 225 pounds yourself, what's the real difference besides having to lift it over some technical obstacle while climbing? The Fox is lighter, true... but the flow of the 'zoke is like nothing else.

Don't get caught looking for the "perfect fork" because it, like the perfect bike, don't really exist... just the right fork for the job at hand.

CA -
 

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Vanilla advocate

I'm about the same weight as you (give or take a few pounds depending on how many meatball sandwiches I've had that week :D ), and I'm running an '05 Vanilla R with the Yellow spring. The fork is super plush, super light for a coil/oil fork, and will take a serious beating. If you like things a lot stiffer, you may want to also try their heaviest spring (red). I'm thinking of getting one just to test the difference, or maybe run one or the other depending on the terrain. Also, like others have said, the Zoke's are good, just a tad heavier (doesn't matter to most) -- but they seem to be much preferred if you're into hucking/freeriding type stuff. Either way, both are good.
Just a word of wisdom -- you mentioned the vanilla 125r, which is the '04 or earlier model -- fox has made some improvements for the '05's, so you may want to consider this if it's in your budget (improvements such as better seals, less spacers, and a few others) good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the responses, very helpful. I've been thinking about my weight and because I'm over 200 lbs. you start thinking lighter parts are irrelative but it's all relative. If I'm 225 but should be 210 compared to someone who is 170 and should be 155 the two of us should have a similiar experience on the bike and both benefit from a light strong component to a degree but the guy who is 170 would not be told to just buy the heavier part because he is "over weight" to the same degree as myself. I'm new to this board and get a bad vibe from some, we are telling ourselves that because we are clydesdales that we aren't in shape,so go for the heavy parts and lose some weight instead because if your 225 or 250 your obviously overweight! I don't know, I just don't dig the labels . Still undecided on fork :confused:
 

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The weight issue

cxoffers said:
Thanks for the responses, very helpful. I've been thinking about my weight and because I'm over 200 lbs. you start thinking lighter parts are irrelative but it's all relative. If I'm 225 but should be 210 compared to someone who is 170 and should be 155 the two of us should have a similiar experience on the bike and both benefit from a light strong component to a degree but the guy who is 170 would not be told to just buy the heavier part because he is "over weight" to the same degree as myself. I'm new to this board and get a bad vibe from some, we are telling ourselves that because we are clydesdales that we aren't in shape,so go for the heavy parts and lose some weight instead because if your 225 or 250 your obviously overweight! I don't know, I just don't dig the labels . Still undecided on fork :confused:
For sake of clarification, I don't think anyone is recommending heavier parts for clydesdales because we are overweight and need heavier bicycles. By and large, the sturdier components that will take the abuse that those of us who are 200 lbs + (many of which are very much in shape, just big) can dish out, are heavier by nature.

It's been pointed out before "light-strong-cheap"-pick two. You can find a fork option (or most other components for that matter) that is light and strong, but it will cost you more.

In summary, try not to read too much into the posts that appear to say "you're a clydesdale so therefore you're overweight and need heavier components". It's a fact of life for us heavier people that we're tougher on our bikes and need to be cognizant of the parts we choose.

Just mt thoughts.

Clyde
 

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The Duuude, man...
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cxoffers said:
Thanks for the responses, very helpful. I've been thinking about my weight and because I'm over 200 lbs. you start thinking lighter parts are irrelative but it's all relative. If I'm 225 but should be 210 compared to someone who is 170 and should be 155 the two of us should have a similiar experience on the bike and both benefit from a light strong component to a degree but the guy who is 170 would not be told to just buy the heavier part because he is "over weight" to the same degree as myself.
Losing weight on a bike is useful, but I think there is a dimishing benifit of weight loss, and that differs as a % of total weight (bike+gear+rider). If I'm 250 and lose a pound off my bike, that's a much lesser impact than a 150 pound rider who loses 1 pound off his bike...

I don't think heavier riders are told to get 'heavier parts" becuase they are overweight. We are directed towards more sturdy parts becuase our weight may break light parts more easily.

cxoffers said:
I'm new to this board and get a bad vibe from some, we are telling ourselves that because we are clydesdales that we aren't in shape,so go for the heavy parts and lose some weight instead because if your 225 or 250 your obviously overweight! I don't know, I just don't dig the labels .
That's one of the stigma's I guess...you can easily be over 200 lbs with 3% bodyfat. Losing weight for a person like that would mean to lose mucle mass. I don't like labels either, but I think the key is that we should NOT characterize the name CLYDESDALE as a negative. I don't like FATTY, or any other derogatory term, but I don't think Clyd itself is a deroggatory term. I try to wear it with pride. I know I am overweight in terms of being out of shape and having around 20% body fat. I'm not proud of that, but I'm not ashamed of being a Clyd. I'm a mean MF'er at 200 lbs...I can hang TOUGH in Sport class at that weight and still be a "clyd" by definition. The the only ones that are shamed are those who are 150 lbs with 2% body fat that just go blew off the trail in Sport by a "Big Man Clydesdale."

cxoffers said:
Still undecided on fork :confused:
I think you can ride just about anything within reason. A couple years ago, I raced the below photo'd bike (note it's on teh Light-bikes.com site), with a SID on the front. I was at around 210 at the time, and a hard racing SOB. Ran it with 28spoke Crossmaxes. Never had a problem with the fork or the wheels..that was on rocky Arkansas race courses. I can ride pretty smooth, so results may vary.

You can get a very acceptable fork for C-dale riding if you're in the 220-250 range out of most Marz, Manitou, White Brothers, Fox, and even Rock Shox forks these days. Just don't get the super-light crazy stuff. You can get a solid fork in the 3.5 pound mark. Check the stanction tube size. 30mm as a min, 32 preferred (FYI, all FOX and WB forks have 32mm stanction tubes, as well as the new Rock Shox REBA's - posiblely the Pilots as well).

I also note that many light weight guys are even racing with stronger forks, due to the increase in stiffness and steering precision. Like SPAM, it's not just for breakfast anymore.

 

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yeah, what they said

Dude, don't get all wrapped up in 'clydesdale' being a bad thing. Obviously anyone coming into this forum knows that we are 200+, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. I'm 6' 4" for christs sake, and I'm sure not ashamed to be 220 lbs. I'm sure I could ride circles around some of the 160 pound 'weight weenies' given the right circumstances.
But, the purpose of this forum is as follows:
Bottom line -- When you're over 200 pounds, and ride your bike hard, $hit is going to break. period. We are here to tell you what breaks and what doesn't. Not to call anyone a fata$$ or anything, but to help them buy the right thing (or whatever the case might be) the first time around, because we all have had similar experiences.
Collectively, all of us do the R&D, and none of this is sponsored, so it's real.
Keep it real-- go clydes
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I understand the reason for this forum and I think it's great but if I get one more response.."at your weight who cares if it's heavy just lose a few pounds" Anyhow, ended up buying 2003 fr z1 sl. Most reviews are suprisingly from bigger riders and the fox had way to many posts about loud clunking noises. Thank for all help.
Schralp the fat!! :D
 

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cxoffers said:
What up!
Going crazy trying to get answers on the best fork for me. I weigh 225, ride a 2004 enduro pro and am looking at a 2004 fox vanilla 125 R or a 2003 'Zoch Z1 FR SL 130mm. I am edging towards zoch but I don't want an anchor on the front of the bike and I can't find the weight, have heard 5-6 pounds and 4.5 pounds?? Durability is really most important but would also like to use all of travel. I live and ride in Vt. so climbing a given but the downhills are just as big and Killington is down the road. Looking for best of both worlds. Any advice would help
Thanks,
Tola
Don't go crazy. It is not like it's rocket science and even poor component choices can easily be remedied with resale tools like e-bay and the MTBR classifieds.

I have owned both forks in question. Both are great trail forks. Neither are good hucking or freeride forks for a 200lb+ person. The Fox is easier to get set up to your liking (throw in the stiffest springs they make and dial the rebound). The Z1 SL is a bit frustrating at first and does take some time to tune in. I have only had mine for about 2 weeks, but have tried out multiple pressures and now different oil volumes seeking a better ride. I weight in at about 240 with gear on. I think I finally have it tamed to my liking. Plan on spending 1-5 hours dailing this fork in. Since air pressure is the only external adjustment it takes some time to get the correct rebound characteristics.

So it boills down to you. Do you want to set it and forget it (go vanilla). Or do you want to tinker a bunch for a personalized ride (Z1 FR SL). Either fork weights in at under 5lb. My SL is 4.6 and I think my fox with the stiff springs was 4.8lb. The Z1 freeride with steel steerer weights in at just under 6lb, but is not one of your options.
 
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