Mountain bike guys...front shock/fork question...

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I have an old Trek 6500 (hardtail), has a 65mm travel RockShox Indy (I think), it's mediocore, nothing special, old technology, I think I paid $100 for the whole bike. I'm thinking of putting on a new shock, however, most new shocks are $$$, far more than an entire full-suspension used bike would sell for on Ebay...but one shock I'm looking at is a RockShox Judy XC, it has 80mm of travel, air preload, only for V-brakes (which is fine, that's what I have and I'm not buying disc brakes and new rims, etc)..here is the link:

http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/13841-315_ROCJX5-3-Parts-59-Forks/Accessories/2005-Rock-Shox-Judy-XC.htm

It's $99 which I would spend if it'd make my riding more fun, less beating of my hands, etc. My current 'awesome' 65mm shock is all stock, so stock springs, stock rate, etc and it works ok, obviously a bit soft for me probably (~245lbs), but that's fine, I rode the first 20 yrs of my life with no suspension at all, so I can live with it...the other shock that I'm looking at is the RockShox Judy SL U-Turn, it has 115mm travel, V-brake only (which again, is fine). In that description it doesn't specifically list any preload (or is that what the U-turn is?)...here is the link:

http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/13795-315_ROCJS5-3-Parts-59-Forks/Accessories/2005-Rock-Shox-Judy-SL-U-Turn-Fork.htm

It's $119, so $20 more than the other, which is fine...it has more travel, but is that good or bad?

So basically my question is...would it ever be bad to have too much travel in the shock? This is a hard-tail bike...all things being equal I would opt for the 115mm travel shock just because it would seemingly provide more travel, more dampening, etc...but maybe the XC shock is actually a better shock, with less travel but a better shock? More suited to mountain trails, rocks/roots/drops, etc?

Any ideas would be appreciated.

I'm not willing to spend anymore than about $120 on this bike since it's not worth sinking any money into...at some point I'll buy a nice full suspension but if I could get a descently soft shock now for this bike, I think it might make riding more enjoyable...(a buddy just got a hardtail Specialized with the cheapest shock they put on it, that shock is lightyears ahead of mine, even though it's the cheapest they ever put on them it's springy, dampens really nice, totally different than my ancient one).

Thanks,
Mark
 

wesintl

 
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Depends on what kind of stuff you like to ride. Most would probably say the 115mm is going to be fine. I like to ride more single track trails xc sstype of trails and I actually like a fairly stiff front suspension bike with an 80 mm fork. Even after riding full suspension i've gone back to a hardtail.
I would say an 80mm will be better for casual riding and more xc style trails. The 115 would be a little bit more towards 130mm free ride type of fork for bigger hits. On the pavement you won't like a higher travel fork as much unless it's a very highend that you can adjust of lock out. On the other hand there are alot of xc full suspension bikes that are 100mm. I would say the best geometry with and old bike like that will still be a 80mm fork.

JMHO
 

tucker74

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I wouldn't go more than 80mm with a hardtail ... your limited by the rear anyway and you'll get lots of "brake bob". Big suspension forks are for full-suspension setups where you're going to be soaking up a lot -

My $.02

Tucker
 

RHINO

 
 
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for the money your lookin to spend i'd stick with 80mm also,,, more travel on a fork in that price range will just feel spongy and unresponsive.
doesnt mean you need to keep your shock though, you can definitley upgrade to used newer/better 80mm.
 
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tucker74 said:
. your limited by the rear anyway and you'll get lots of "brake bob".
That's exactly what I'm worried about...I get hard on the brakes and all of a sudden the frontend just drops, that would not be helpful. I've been reading the reviews at mtbr.com, one nice thing about the Judy SL U-turn is most people say it's very stiff, which would be great for someone larger like me (it's hilarious to see people say how a shock is so stiff and then they state their weight of like 120 lbs...dude, double your weight like a real man then see how the shock works!) :D

I'm also toying with some used shocks off Ebay, but with those you have no warranty ofcourse, no idea how abused it is (even if it says "ridden twice"..yeah whatever, like tires having 70% tread...), I don't really want to have to pull one apart and do any maintenance on it right after I get it...I think I'll see what travel my buddy's shock has on his bike, I'm guessing it's 80mm and play around with that more...

Thanks,
Mark
 
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Mabrodis,

You better check the size of your head tube, on an older trek it might be 1" 90% of the forks you will find out there now are 1 1/8" which has become industry standard. I built a race bike this year (shameless for sale plug), and looked into breathing some life into my old trek at the same time, Could hardly find anything in the way of a 1" suspension fork.

*edit well it got me thinking, so I researched it. Looks like the Indy was a 1 1/8" steerer, and the older Trek rigid fork bikes were 1" I think I ran into limited options because my older trek was orig. 1" rigid fork. Learn somethin new every day.
 
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you will slack your headtube w/ the taller fork. That will affect steering so just be aware of that. 80mm is not alot of travel so it's fine I guess.
Rockshox aren't stiff so if you're a big guy I would look at Marzocchi
 

Fromage

 
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Judy's decent for the price. I'm surprised my Judy xc has held up for so long, it's nothing fancy but it works. I'm about 2 bills in the poundage department and it bottoms every once in a while but I don,t consider it too soft. I don't ride big drops, just fast rolling flowy XC and slow tight stuff.

Yeah if you want stiffness and performance go Marz but you don't want to spend any money. I wouldn't go for the higher travel on a hardtail, it might stress your frame out (longer fork, more rake, more stress).

Going from an oldskool 65 mm to a newer style 80 mm will be nice.
 
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FirstToy said:
you will slack your headtube w/ the taller fork. That will affect steering so just be aware of that. 80mm is not alot of travel so it's fine I guess.
Rockshox aren't stiff so if you're a big guy I would look at Marzocchi
Hmm...so would a newer shock with say 115mm travel be taller than what I have? I was (maybe incorrectly) thinking the new fork/shock would be the same height to start (i.e. at full extention) but at full compression it would be shorter than what I have now...is that not right? Would a longer travel shock be higher to start and then slightly lower upon full compression (i.e. evened out, taller and ending lower, versus same height to start and ending really low)?

Thanks for the input!
 
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Have a buddy who runs a bike shop. He hooked me up with suspension for my previous rigid frame bike. I got the least expensive stuff available. I did NOT say cheapest. But the extra hundreds of dollars that the "good" stuff costs only translates into 5-10% increase in ability. Be thrifty and spend the cash on making your trip "special".
 

wesintl

 
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mabrodis said:
Hmm...so would a newer shock with say 115mm travel be taller than what I have? I was (maybe incorrectly) thinking the new fork/shock would be the same height to start (i.e. at full extention) but at full compression it would be shorter than what I have now...is that not right? Would a longer travel shock be higher to start and then slightly lower upon full compression (i.e. evened out, taller and ending lower, versus same height to start and ending really low)?

Thanks for the input!
a 6500 is not going to have a 1" head tube.. it's not THAT old. ;)
Yes i think it will be taller than what you have 80mm (I can't remember if they made indy's in a 100mm I think they did but it's been a while) So it would effectively raise the front end a bit more and the geometery of the bike will be slightly out of wack. 20mm isn't that big deal though. It's not like your going from a 80 to a 130mm fork.. It'd be just like the old days when hardtails didn't have any geometry for front suspension and folks later added a front fork.. It's not that big a deal for the riding your mosr likely doing...
 
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The bike will sit higher with the longer travel fork, going anymore than the 80mm will affect the handeling in a negative way. It will make the bike less predictable, and could cause strain to the down tube/head tube weld, it will put added stress on the entire headtube. you certainly want to make sure of the head tube size 1" or 1 1/8" , is it threaded or threadless headset?
 
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I think my bike is already out of wack... :D

I was going to wait but figured what the heck...so I just ordered the Judy SL U-turn, 70-115mm adjustable, etc...it can't possibly be any worse than my 'sweet' old shock...and yes I have taken it off some SWEET jumps... :D

If the new fork sucks for me I'm sure my bro will put it on his bike (older Gary Fisher hardtail)...

Thanks for the help doing some web ride'n.. :D
 
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Not to make fun of your size but you will find that all those rock shock forks are flexy with a big boy like yourself behind them. I would say buy somthing a little more beef (marzocci). Rock shox my by nature have very weak seals (even the 04 or 03 boxxer I had) They only make replacment parts for a few years after production then stop producing. As you break parts on the bike beef them up. I break everything on bikes, countless DJ frames, DH frames, double wide wheels, atom lab wheels, blown up all sorts of shocks, Snaped cranks clean in half and I'm only 155lb.
 
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yetiman said:
The bike will sit higher with the longer travel fork, going anymore than the 80mm will affect the handeling in a negative way. It will make the bike less predictable, and could cause strain to the down tube/head tube weld, it will put added stress on the entire headtube. you certainly want to make sure of the head tube size 1" or 1 1/8" , is it threaded or threadless headset?
It's a 1-1/8" threadless, already checked on that...yeah I'm sure it'll stress things differently and change how it rides, but that's what I was going for, I can deal with the change as long as it's a bit softer...plus I'm not exactly a top-notch rider (is walking beside your bike considered riding?) :D
 
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bustanutley said:
Not to make fun of your size but you will find that all those rock shock forks are flexy with a big boy like yourself behind them. I would say buy somthing a little more beef (marzocci). Rock shox my by nature have very weak seals (even the 04 or 03 boxxer I had) They only make replacment parts for a few years after production then stop producing. As you break parts on the bike beef them up. I break everything on bikes, countless DJ frames, DH frames, double wide wheels, atom lab wheels, blown up all sorts of shocks, Snaped cranks clean in half and I'm only 155lb.
:eek:

Ok, you must ride ALOT harder than me or any of my friends (which is cool! :cool: ), I'm the light one at 240-ish, my buddy is about 260-270 lbs, and he flys around pretty good on a old full suspension bike, never broke anything, rides surprisingly well...

I have heard about the Rock Shox seals, but the one on my bike has had no maintenance since new ('98 bike I think), so that's 7 years with no maintenance at all, not ridden alot in that time, but I figure this new shock can't possibly be any worse than what I have...and if it is...mudbay... :D
 

wesintl

 
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dont' worry... at 240ish your 115mm rock shock is going to ride like and 80mm anyway ;) I'd look around or see if you can find a hard ride kit for it. It will definatly help. RS are soft, heck I think your over the limit on the firm ride kits too. :beer: :cheers:
 
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wesintl said:
dont' worry... at 240ish your 115mm rock shock is going to ride like and 80mm anyway ;) I'd look around or see if you can find a hard ride kit for it. It will definatly help. RS are soft, heck I think your over the limit on the firm ride kits too. :beer: :cheers:
Yeah, that's part of what I was thinking (115mm->80mm)...I'll see how it does, many of the reviews about the '04 Judy SL (only one review about the '05, which is odd) that I read is that the shock is very stiff, some people complaining it was far too stiff and never loosened up, etc...if these reviews mean anything (which they might not) then this specific shock seems to be a bit stiffer/higher-rate than most other similar priced shocks, which could be perfect for me... :cool:

At 240 lbs yeah I think I'm over even what they would term a 'heavy' kit...which is a joke I think...I saw a heavy kit for a friend's shock that was for up to 225 lbs..this is my buddy that is 260-270lbs...he just yanked the inards out of his shocks and put in retrofit airshocks, they work ok, not stellar, but far better than the springs that were in his ('98 Judy XLs). I don't get it why most of the shocks/bikes are designed for people so lightweight...I mean sure there are some 125lb-ish guys that ride, but there are also alot of 230lb+ guys I see on the trails, alot more than you would expect from seeing how bikes are rated...odd
 

wesintl

 
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mabrodis said:
I mean sure there are some 125lb-ish guys that ride, but there are also alot of 230lb+ guys I see on the trails, alot more than you would expect from seeing how bikes are rated...odd
Most if not all the technology comes down for racing... Most of the guys racing are 150# with mud and wet :D Your a Clydesdale :D There are no 240ish dudes out there except maybe a few downhillers. I feel for you most of the time i'm around 200 and 190 in riding shape and I have a hard time with forks being too soft even on the firm rid kits :doh:
 
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