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Advice for new XC forks

By Derek91 - Posted on 16 July 2014

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.


I am new to the site, new to Perth in fact and have just decided to get back into some mountain biking after being out of it for a year or so. I have just put a Giant Talon 4 on lay away. Unfortunately these only come with some Santour XCT forks and I am hoping to get myself some new ones to put on when I pick up my bike in the next few weeks!

I am looking at doing XC biking more than anything, a few smaller jumps/ drops but nothing serious, not really wanting to race just enjoy spending my weekends out on the trails. I've been looking around online for different forks and there are only a few options in my budget for my wheel size. So I though I'd ask a few locals on some advice on what forks would be suitable given my budget, bike and the WA trails (of which I haven't been on any yet), and which forks are any good!

As I mentioned above, I am getting the Giant Talon, it has a wheel size of 27.5. Current travel on the forks is 100mm I would prefer to stay around this or maybe 120mm if it isn't likely to affect the geometry of the bike too much.

I am 6ft, 85-90kg and as I said am looking at mainly XC riding with some small jumps etc - I prefer speed over big air.

My budget is preferably around the 2$200-300 mark but I understand this isn't much for some decent forks, if I found something a little more I could save a little longer for something which is likely to be considerably better.

I have found some Rock Shox XC 30's for around $200 on Chain Reaction Cycles who also have some options in the $300 range. Sorry for the long post - just putting all the info I can think would be useful!

Any help/ advice would be great, like I said I've been out of it a while and at this stage would be a bit more of an newbie. I don't mind a set which requires a bit more basic maintenance - I'll just have to get learning how to do it pretty quick!

Thanks in advance for your help!

TBO, probably better to ride the bike at least until the forks need a service before blindly 'upgrading', especially since you don't know how the bike will perform for your liking.
A Talon 4 should only cost ~$600, so spending 50% of the purchase price on forks alone is a bit of overkill.

A better upgrade would be some good pedals/shoes and a new RD if you find shifting less than satisfactory, or start dropping chains.

Thrash the talon till you can afford to buy a better bike with a better fork.

I can't see any real point in trying to make this bike anything more than what it is: An entry level bike.

I ride a sub 1K bike and when I researched a year ago, pre-purchase, all decent bike merchants said the same: it's going to cost heaps more to upgrade then buy a better bike. Buy the best you can afford now and when rode that to bits, buy a better bike. May sound a bit rough, but I found it to be a great advice after all.

Rather put $100.00 into a nice tubeless set up with some good ust tires around the 2.3 make. Go wide and run em baggy and you will get a lot more grip and have a much smoother ride. Much more noticeable difference compared to any entry level fork you will change over to.


Thanks everyone for the advice, I guess I was trying to get away without having to upgrade once I move on from the entry level gear... Guess there's no escaping that! I'll stick with what I've got and see how that goes for now then. Thanks again guys - exited to be getting back out there again

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