auraslip wrote:I have the same fork as kingfish. The 44 RLO bomber. I picked it up new for only $250. It's my only REAL fork I've owned. It makes any wally-world fork look like a toy.
BUT I'm looking to upgrade it. It flexes when I ride. Even on smooth pavement it flexes forward and backwards. And it doesn't really soak up small, quick bumps. I think that's a problem most forks may have since they're tuned for off-road riding. It is light years ahead of the suspension forks on wal-mart bikes, but it's pretty bottom of the line. I really want a fork with a through axle. It's supposed to provide extra stiffness that a QR axle simply cannot.
Anyways, I'm looking for a stronger fork in the $500 range, used or new. But the problem here is that my frame is setup for 80mm forks - 100mm max. And this is a problem most low end bikes and non-off road bikes will have. If you use a fork with too much travel, it changes the geometry of the bike. This can put a lot of pressure in the wrong areas and potentially crack your frame. It also makes the bike handle like shit. I'm thinking maybe running a smaller front wheel will make using long travel fork acceptable, but I'm not sure.
Another option is the rockshox TALAS system that allows you to adjust the travel on some forks all the way down to 95mm.
Another option is dirt jump forks. They are usually 80mm to 120mm. But I understand they're designed to soak up big hits, and not a bunch of smaller hits like you'd find on an ebike.
I don't know. I'm really lost here. Finding good information about bicycle suspension online means digging through a bunch of peoples opinions about how their forks work for them. Dammit. Why can't bicycle forums be more like the ES where engineers pick apart components objectively!
, I was going to suggest a rebuild kit, however - with a little price checking, it is probably less trouble to replace it.
My experience from On The Road
: I believe that for the cross-country trek (fully-loaded) the front fork pressure
was set between 130-150 psi (and the rear shock between 175-190; each checked every other day). I had both front valves set wide-open for maximum absorbsion, using the air pressure to manage the stiffness, dialing it in till it felt right. When commuting (light load), these numbers HAD to go down, else the bike was too stiff. The opposite is true without sufficient pressure; it will feel odd, flexy, and mushy when braking
. At one point in my trek, when I was in SF
I had the fork checked out cos I thought that either the fork or the headset bearings were worn out: The guy at American Cyclery
instantly wanted me to break down the fork and bring it in for inspection sight-unseen. That was a non-starter
(bet he probably thought I fell off the turnip truck
), so I made him go out and physically look at my bike and test the load; there is gave-up (mistake on his part
) that the headset bearings were fine, although he said my fork needed replacement - hoping I'd spend $1000. Based on how he played with the bike and from the $aucers
in his eyes I was able to deduce that the fork was still in good shape, that it was actually holding up pretty well, and with a little bit more pressure
it would get me home.
Lession: Forks are originally stiff when you purcahse them. So long as fluid doesn't leak, just pack more pressure until it stiffens up. Check the headset bearings, or have a pal at a bike shop check them for a second opinion to ensure there is no play. The last thing to check is the torque arms; again - make sure there isn't play. However, I could be wrong; perhaps you've already made these adjustments and it really is time for a new shock