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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody know when Fox will start shipping the 2006 TALAS 36 RC2 with the 3-position flick-switch?

I'm looking for a fork for a just-ordered RFX (yee-hah!). I'd go Van 36 in a heartbeat, if you could just reduce the travel for climbing, even just one inch.

Thanks!
 

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No, that's not phonetic
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I heard end of Jan or something. That means March. I tried it at Ibike. Seemed cool. A bounce or two and it extends to the next selected length. I would not trust it any farther than I can throw it though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
tscheezy said:
I heard end of Jan or something. That means March. I tried it at Ibike. Seemed cool. A bounce or two and it extends to the next selected length. I would not trust it any farther than I can throw it though.
After I posted this, I saw something posted on another board that guessed at late spring/early summer. Does that mean the latest 06 fork introduction of the year?

I also have trust issues with it, especially the first iteration of the 3-position switch.

The fork I really want is what I'll call the Big Pike. Of course, that isn't available yet either.

How about some recommendations for a Pack fork that has adjustable travel? I'm thinking maybe a closeout 05 Sherman Firefly Plus as an interim front boinger.
 

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Team Sanchez
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Another vote for the Z-1 light. Adjustable travel, ETA, air preload.....what more could your want?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
El Chingon said:
Another vote for the Z-1 light. Adjustable travel, ETA, air preload.....what more could your want?
Looks great. Two questions (M's website less than stellar):

1. Any lockdown or reduced travel feature? For those climbs like the one towards the end of Goose, doncha know.

2. Maybe I'm a "Stanchion Whore", but if the Z1 doesn't have a reduced travel mode, why not go with the Van 36 or Travis 150 and get more rigidity? Though I do love the Z1's air assist feature.

Thanks, this helps pass the rainy days here in the NW!
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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kosmo said:
Looks great. Two questions (M's website less than stellar):

1. Any lockdown or reduced travel feature? For those climbs like the one towards the end of Goose, doncha know.

2. Maybe I'm a "Stanchion Whore", but if the Z1 doesn't have a reduced travel mode, why not go with the Van 36 or Travis 150 and get more rigidity? Though I do love the Z1's air assist feature.

Thanks, this helps pass the rainy days here in the NW!
Yes, he said that the Z1 has ETA, ETA is the system that locks the fork down to about 40mm of visable stanchion at max lockout. It works in 20mm incriments so you can do it anywhere in between in this incriments as well.

Secondly, the 06 Z1 has a travel adjust feature to adjust the travel between 130 and 150mm. This can be done anywhere, and on the trail, but it does require you to get off of the bike. I find it usefull for days when I know I'll be climbing for a long time, I'll just set the fork to 5" mode and when I'm ready for the bigger downhills, it goes back to 6" mode. Also, if for some reason I wanted to go on a flatter XC type ride, I'd just leave it down in 5" mode.

It would be hard to prove if the travis is any stiffer, it has 2mm bigger stanchions, but the marzocchi crown is huge and "flat", it would be hard to flex. Stanchions aren't the only deterimining factor here. Manitou also traditionally places their bushings lower than the marzocchi ones because the lowers start further from the crowns, so this could easily be a wash or go opposite to what you are thinking.

I'd also avoid the manitou forks due to their problems with first year forks and plastic internals. I'm still finding lots of plastic parts in new manitou forks that I service, and they still aren't designed to provide year after year of service and performance.

The 36 is a very rigid fork, but the biggest thing that stops me from buying one of these forks is the lack of any progressiveness-adjustment. This is an adjustment that every marzocchi has with oil levels, but fox seals and design do not permit this kind of adjustment. I usually only consider fox and marzocchi forks due to their internal construction (quality metal parts), use of mx-type shimmed dampers, dedication to making forks that ride well. The progressiveness issue is something that i hope they address, but if manitou was moving in a decent direction with TPC+ they then lost a lot of my faith by going off on the SPV tangent and sacrificing suspension performance for more compression damping. If they had concentrated on TPC+ and then improving the chassis with all metal parts and no BS, they would have won over a lot of people. RS seems to be moving in this direction though, finally adding shimmed circuts to the boxxer forks and real product improvement.

I'm always a little suspect of larger stanchions. It gets to a point where there's a good deal of oil required to keep them lubricated, or they start making tons of stiction due to their surface area. The fox 40 may be a decent implementation of larger stanchions, but the reason it doesn't weigh a ton is that the damper is closed off, and the oil in the bottom is just for lubrication. The lowers are ultra-thin though to save weight. As the stanchion size gets bigger, they have to still provide adaquate lubrication, try to keep the weight down, and the wiggle room for all of these things starts to decrease IMO. I have a marzocchi 66 on the way right now and I can't see any need for bigger stanchions than that, the crown is simply huge (much bigger than a fox 36s) and the lowers are also pretty substancial. I think around 35mm + or - 1 is a good balance point. It will be interesting to see how RS's new 38mm single crown fork (2007) performs with those huge stanchions, and what the long term performance is, if the lubrication system is adaquate, and then to consider what the weight is.
 

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Jayem said:
I have a marzocchi 66 on the way right now and I can't see any need for bigger stanchions than that, the crown is simply huge (much bigger than a fox 36s) and the lowers are also pretty substancial. I think around 35mm + or - 1 is a good balance point.
Darn right Jayem, see my thread re:66SL. It is a much, much bigger crown than a 36 with beefy lowers too, an extra 10mm of travel if you need it over a 36 and little weight penalty Mine came in circa 5lb 8oz once the steerer was cut BTW.

As for travel adjust how low do you want to go? The 66SL can go as low as 40mm with fully active travel, that's top out height not sag! that means a useble travel range of 40mm to 170mm or any setting in between. It's not a quick flick switch change but is easy to do with a shock pump and doesn't take very long to do so is ideal for the use Jayem talks about with varied riding terrain. It also has an adjustable bottom out air assist chamber(PAR).

No doubt at all the 36 is a nice fork when fully working but Fox and 1st year bugs do seem to go hand in hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Kudos, Guys

Thanks Jayem and Paul for detailed responses. It's still pouring here, so here are some more questions and miscellaneous ramblings.

1. I agree with the first-year concern. I don't want to be anybody's beta tester (making an exception for the Cane Creek DB, given Ohlins sterling rep). Especially with the nightmares on the TALAS 36 last year.

2. That Z1 may end up on my bike, but I definitely don't like the Marz lock-down. It goes too far, especially as you climb further and further up a bumpy climb. One reduced setting, about an inch and a half less than max, would suit me fine.

3. The 66 RC2XYzLMNOP or whatever really looks enticing in the 150mm version, but no lockdown at all, if I read things right.

Maybe I just need to "man up" and let go of the lockdown feature, but I do find it useful. Interestingly, not at all on my home turf, but on the twice a year trip to the Utah heaven of rock riding. It's nice for the super-steep up moves.

Thanks again for the info and opinions. Keep 'em coming. The shopping for parts to hang off a new frame is part of the fun!
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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kosmo said:
2. That Z1 may end up on my bike, but I definitely don't like the Marz lock-down. It goes too far, especially as you climb further and further up a bumpy climb. One reduced setting, about an inch and a half less than max, would suit me fine.
Well, it goes down as far as I push it down. If I leave the ETA on and do not compress it at all, it's going to compress soely as a result of the bumps it encounters. If you are encountering bumps on the uphills that entirely compress the fork (to fully engage the ETA) then something is wrong and you don't have enough spring force.

In other words; When using the eta, even on bumpy climbs, if I just flip the lever and leave it, it will rarely if ever compress beyond 2 or so inches from max extention, this is due to the fact that when climbing less weight is on the front end and I'm not going very fast, so it's not compressing the fork very far even when it is bumpy. Because eta only goes down as far as you compress it in 20mm incriments (or as far as the bumps compress it) it pretty much does what you are asking.

It's got to be a pretty darn bumpy climb to make the fork lock down halfway, if I put ETA on for moderately bumpy climbs it rarely will lock down past my sag amount. The way I adjust how far it locks down is with body weight and "pushing" down on the fork before a climb. On some climbs I don't care and I'll let the bumps compress the fork, but as I said, that usually doesn't make it compress very far, so if it's going to be a real steep climb that I want to power up with maximum leverage, I'll give a quick "push" down on the fork before the climb, and then compress it beyond about 2" or so. I find ETA is generally very usefull and just hands down better than a simple "lock out".
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good Info

Nice, real-world info Jayem. My experience is based on some kind of Marz air fork I owned many years ago. Can't even recall the exact name of it, but I think it was in the Z1 line. I think you may be right about it compressing too far only if you have it set too soft. That fork was so dang sticky, that it road like crappola unless I set it up ridiculously soft.

I'm getting close, I think. Today anyway, I'm down to the Z1 and the 66 SL, though the "made right here" factor of the Fox and Manitou definitely appeals to me.

Sadly, I have plenty of time here before real riding begins again for the spring.
 
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