I have a frame with 100mm Tora air 302 forks fitted . I want to fit some decent 120mm to the frame. I have been looking on Ebay as i don't want to buy new, what should i be checking, looking out for when buying second hand forks. I wont be buying blind i will be going to collect when i find a set i'm interested in .
second hand forks
Stanchions, stanchions, stanchions. Buying 2nd forks with worn or damaged stanchions will be a false economy down the line.
Next for me is diy serviceable... RS forks are simple enough plus lots of guides online. No point buying a 2nd fork cheap then spending £80+ getting it serviced as you may as well buy new with warranty.
...after that, just general condition of forks: no obvious signs of abuse, damage etc. Bit of cable rub, cosmetic scratches to be expected but not going to affect function
Even if the seller states that they've just been serviced, it's definitely worth considering servicing them when you get them. Then you can check if it has just been done and make sure everything was put back where it should be. Puts my mind to rest anyway. I've had a few forks with really filthy foam rings that may have caused problems (stanchion wear) if left.
What about scratches to stanchions, I have seen forks close by but have scratches to stanchion.
Even when going too view make sure you thoroughly check if possible,i responded outside of stw and mailed direct,sent my fella to look at some RS Revs uturn(in Reading),everything seemed ok "at the meeting point",(yes yes I know),when asked why the poplock wasn't attatched he said"just needs a new cable,its perfectly fine"he took his word,seemed like a straight-up guy by all accounts,(merc cabrio,roadie looking type).
Anyhows when said fork was looked at turns out the internals were a bit knackered,couldnt be bothered in doing the service as the lock out worked a little bit,just carried on riding until sold for a lot less than what was paid for.
Best buy new imo if possible.
Rockshox tend to be a pretty good second hand bet- they're durable and easy to service, and when they do go wrong they tend to do it in fairly obvious ways.
I've only ever bought a single new fork, and in all that buying and selling had only one that was dubious (worn bushings in a boxxer- easy fix). It's all very well to say buy new, and I'd like to, but I've got 4 suspension forks on the go and the amount I paid for them would barely pay for 1, new.
But yeah, if you buy a used fork, you should get inside it as soon as it arrives, check the stanchions and get a better idea of what sort of life they've had.
Iainc of this parish has a new set of warranties 120 x-fusion velvets going for a great deal in the classifieds.
EarlofBarnet - Member
I've had a few forks with really filthy foam rings that may have caused problems (stanchion wear) if left.
I was checking over some forks for a mate, there was a 10mm chunk of foam ring missing.
I have bought second hand twice previously.
I picked up a set of Rockshox Domains (160mm) followed by my current set of Marzocchi 55 Micro Ti's (160mm). I went and saw both sets of forks before buying.
Both were in decent condition when purchased, I ran the Domains for about 2 years & serviced them myself - I experienced no major issues with them in that time. Rockshox are easy to service & would make a good choice.
The rebound has just gone wrong on my Marzocchis so they're off with Windwave being repaired currently (I've had them for about a year & not serviced them yet).
Whatever you get should be 50% (or less) than the current new price for an equivalent fork.
Definitely worth checking stanchion wear, especially if you buy a Fox fork as they are known for stanchion wear issues. Anything with stanchion wear would have to be seriously cheap to make it worth buying. New stanchions are usually pretty pricey.
Finally - check your frame is OK to take 120mm forks - frames are usually rated for a maximum amount of travel fork you can fit. If you go over this then you're more likely to crack the frame. What bike are you fitting them to?
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