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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm interested in picking up a SL frame and the consensus at least on the forum is to go with a 120 mm fork.

I understand the frame is designed around 100 mm but warantied to 120 and as such the geometry will be slightly altered at 120

I'm currently on a hardtail with similar geometry designed for an 80 mm fork but I'm running a 100 mm fork on it (I'm assuming this would be a similar geometry change). It handles fine on the flat or descents but is a little prone to wandering on the climbs unless I use the ETA to drop the front end down.

Just curious if anyone running 120 on their SL has noticed any downside on the uphill sections. I definitely see the advantage going the other direction.

Cheers
 

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When I first went from 100mm to 120mm it felt a little bit squirly in the front on steep climbs. I adjusted the body position a bit and I never noticed it again. Since then I've put a 100-130 u-turn Revelation on. I set it back to 100mm for a climb and didn't like how it felt. Now I leave it at about 125mm for everything.
 

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my 07 SL is running a Fox120 climbs no problem, accelerates really quickly, even technical stuff is no problem, I really like the ride with the 120 feels fast and turns really quick, and goes downhill nice, only time it all gets out of shape is big rock gardens, but its not designed for that, I normally ride my Heckler with a Lyric 160mm fork and I forget when I'm on the SL to adjust to a more safer line ...
 
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very very slight downside going up steep hills. almost negligible.

I have a RS 426 u-turn 100-130 on an 07 SL. I've noticed it climbs a little - I mean just a little - bit better at 100mm vs 120mm. Nothing to be worried about. The benefits of going with a 120mm fork on the SL FAR FAR FAR outweigh the slight hit in climbing. Rocks the downhills and general trail riding is just a lot more fun.

BTW, based upon published bike geometry tests I've seen it appears the head angle decreases 1 degree for each 15mm of increased fork height. So a 120mm fork will give you a 69.67 head tube angle. I normally ride with my fork set at 122mm, which gives me a 69.5 head angle, nearly the same as the Heckler and BLT.
 

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go with the 120

I too have a fox 120 fork on my 08' SL. I demo'd the bike with a 100mm fork and decided to spec my purchase with a 120 fork to increase BB clearance slightly. When I rode the demo bike with the 100 fork, I noted that I had to be careful not to hit the cranks on rocks, especially when climbing over rocky sections.
Like I said, my bike has the 120 fork. My bar is an easton monkey lite bar with 1 and 1/2" rise, 27" width and a 90mm stem. I really like my position on the bike, and I think it climbs really well, without any wandering on steep climbs or extra attention to keep it on line. I also like the way it climbs and clears rocky sections without hitting a pedal. It also does well descending and managing tight switchback turns.

My previous bike was an S-works SJ 120, and my biggest complaint with it was excessive "bobbing" and lack of pedal or BB clarance. I constantly hit rocks with the pedals and had difficulty cleaning rocky climbs because of this. I had a TALAS with 90-130mm of travel. Whenever I lowered the fork for steep climbs, it limited my ability to clean rocky sections, so I just kept the travel at 130 all of the time.

The SL climbs and descends better than the SJ 120, and I never have to wonder about adjusting the travel like I did with the Talas. I really like the simplicity of the SL. I love being able to hammer out of the saddle and not have that energy sapping bobbing.

One thing you might consider with a new fork is one of the new thru-axel styles to improve stiffness and steering. Although I never considered this a problem with my F120. I used to have a Manitou Mars on an old SJ FSR (which I hated so much I swore to never buy another Manitou) and when I got the SJ120 with the Fox Talas, I was amazed at the improved stiffness and steering in rough, loose sections of trail.

I hope my perspective is helpful.
 

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I'd agree with what everyone here is saying. Not much difference in climbing capability on my 2007 SL at 100mm vs. 120mm. In fact, for up/down terrain riding at 120mm is much easier and more fun. Slacker HT angle and higher BB make for improved trail riding.
 

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SC web / FAQ:

Q: What size fork should I use on the superlight?
A: 100-120mm will work great, depending on what you want the bike to do. 100mm forks will give the bike quick handling, and classic 71/73 degree angles. 120mm forks will make the bike more stable at speed and are better for slightly more aggressive riders. 120mm is the largest you can use and not void your warranty. If you really want to use a 130mm or longer fork, you should be on a Blur LT or Heckler.

Mine SL'08 run with Reba converted to 115 mm (newer Reba can ran 120mm :thumbsup:) . IMO 100mm with sag is nearest 80mm real, 115 -> 100 respectivly (when you put some preassured air on the fork, which is eating a part of the travel). 100 - very race feeling, 115 - better for me on XC/XCM/XC technical purpouse (no jumps, just ridding). AND forks have possibility to adjust a travel, so go for it :D
 
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