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Old October 8th, 2004, 3:52 PM   #1
Fatty Dread
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Join Date: August 18th, 2004
Location: Cullowhee, North Carolina
Posts: 10
Default suspension questions and issues


With the continued development of suspension technology, questions arise concerning the use of suspension forks on older, hard-tail bikes.

Keith Bontrager brings up several interesting issues in a recent article (Dirt Rag, vol 109). One fundamental question he addresses: How much front travel is too much? "Too much" being operationally defined as the point at which you sacrifice steering (handling really) for shock absorption.

I will very briefly defend two points and offer one suggestion.

One, if you own a '94 or newer (or '92 Ti) FAT with "suspension corrected" geometry, you are better-off with a suspension fork than without one. Why? In general, suspension positively affects bike handling. Yes...radical changes in travel (and thus bike geometry) will negatively affect steering (Keith's argument).

Two, "suspension corrected" hard-tails in the early 1990's were not designed for 100 or even 80mm of travel. Just how much travel were they designed around? The answer depends on the bike and on who you ask. A good rule-of-thumb...3 inches (75mm) give or take.

My suggestion: Acquire a quality 80mm suspension fork (I prefer Fox in part because they are stiff as hell) and adjust the sag so that you get around 75mm of travel. I went with this set-up about a year ago and I've found my bike handles superbly.

My '98 yo-eddy can be found in the Reader's Rides Gallery of this forum.
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Old October 11th, 2004, 6:25 AM   #2
Join Date: July 21st, 2004
Location: Staffordshire, UK
Posts: 31

Shame Fox don't do a 1" fork
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Old October 11th, 2004, 8:50 AM   #3
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An engineering company would probs be able to make & fit a steerer to fox forx. Wouldnt be cheap tho

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