Are all fork companies useless?

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  • Are all fork companies useless?
  • Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    I know bike kit sees a lot of abuse and little maintenance (well mine anyway) but reading some of the horror stories on here….

    lyrics with leaking air chambers
    marzocchis going from amazing to poo
    someone saying their wotans were pants
    pace being made of soft cheese
    mantou, who are they?
    fox needing to be stripped after every ride and an anodizing dissapearing in minutes

    are fork manufacturers just pants??

    ive owned marzocchis- heavy but had no problems
    and fox- great forks but the stanchions are scratched to bits

    brakes
    Member

    competition breeds new products without enough development
    rising manufacturing and materials costs leads to corners being cut
    end result is quality/design issues

    hopefully the recession will be a good opportunity for manufacturers to rethink their strategies and maybe come up with some decent, reliable mid-range products (think Shimano SLX) that work, without all the fragile bells and whistles and premium price tags

    Premier Icon neil853
    Subscriber

    yes they are all poo, the warranties are a joke and service intervals a p**s take

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    Performance Vs Price Vs Weight Vs Service breaks….

    Not a easy balance to strike…

    Premier Icon neil853
    Subscriber

    which they are ALL getting wrong though?!

    Premier Icon DoctorRad
    Subscriber

    At Bike 2000 I think it was, I remember sitting at the next table to G*y K*st*v*n and some American from a fork manufacturer whose name rhymes with Pock Cox.

    The American was basically saying “…well, you *know* we can’t make forks which will stand up to British conditions…”

    ‘Nuff said… though I’ve heard they’ve come on in leaps and bounds since they were taken over by SRAM?

    turnip
    Member

    Its because you expect the world for bugger all cost. Consumer driven markets always end up the spout, its how the credit crunch happens.

    People want a totally slick and buttery fork but do not want to believe this requires maintinence. If you can design a seal which can do this with zero maintinence while being jetwashed and blasted with harsh chemicals and windtunneled at 90 on the back of your audi…. Then you will be a multi billionaire!

    Shame its not physicaly possible. You try jetwashing the internals of your engine and then adding gritty mud etc

    PS my forks have lasted years and have no servicing, they are manitou. Its because i clean them when the mud is wet with some plain water and thats it.

    brakes
    Member

    I wouldn’t call £600-800 ‘bugger all cost’
    forks have been reliable in the past, I would say 3/4 years ago Marzocchi were the ultimate fit and forget fork – why not now? in fact my two suspension forks are Marzocchis from 2005 and 2006 and the older ones have only just been stripped down this year and the others I haven’t touched

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    To counter this, I have a pair of year 2000 Marz Z3 Coil’s and a pair of 2007Fox Vanilla R’s.

    Bar a wipe down and a spray of lube, neither have had any real maintenance and both are fine, running well and are still smooth.

    Premier Icon BigJohn
    Subscriber

    Light, Strong, Cheap – choose 2

    Its all driven by fashion and weight. Everyone wants light parts for their bike but unfortunately an open oil bath design like marzocchi used to do was heavy due too all the oil in them.

    Id prefer to have a fork that weighed 1/2lb more but didnt require servicing for a year.

    I think the 2010 marzocchis are looking promising as they are going back to the orinigal design supposedly

    Swiftacular
    Member

    Ive had a pair of Pace RC41’s for over two years, and bar none, they are the best forks ive ever had. No service issues, no faults, just work perfectly. New rockshox are almost faultless also (at least the ones ive got/had).
    Maybe im just lucky, but ive been given no cause to complain.
    I am also one of those that cleans my bike when its freshly dirty, and no jetwashing, maybe that helps.

    mickyfinn
    Member

    03 Marzocchi Z1 FR been on 3 bikes in their life and never been serviced to date. Had a lot of abuse and they still keep boinging away. If Marzocchi return to that kind of form I might upgrade them some day.

    JonEdwards
    Member

    Ive had a pair of Pace RC41’s for over two years, and bar none, they are the best forks ive ever had. No service issues, no faults, just work perfectly

    <<rolls round on floor laughing hysterically>>

    I have a pair of them too. Not exactly had the same experience! If they hadn’t cost me so much, yet now be worth so little they would have got flogged on ages back.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    had a mat with RC41s and his experience was terrible, that was in the alps though

    i suppose as riders get gnarlier forks get more abuse, i certainly ride stuff i wouldnt have dreamt of taking on back when i started

    retro83
    Member

    shock boots (or gaiters or whatever they’re called – those rubber things that cover the stanchions) and open bath damping need to come back into fashion.

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    Buy some coil Pikes instead then.

    My 04 Marzocchis were reliable but a little heavy and flappy, I’ve now got a Magura which has been fine for a year. I normally ride fully rigid when it’s seriously gunky though. I could do with a more robust headset for that one…………..

    Premier Icon robbo1234biking
    Subscriber

    My Marzocchis have been on my bike for a year now and I haven’t touched them once to do any maintenance. they were only supposed to be a cheap stop gap but as long as they keep working I cant see the point in replacing or doing anything with them. They are pretty heavy etc but work perfect for what I need. Maybe it is the newer technologies which are struggling as they haven’t had time to be fully tested

    Premier Icon neil853
    Subscriber

    The sealing on modern day forks is crap because the travel has gone up and weight come down at the expense of durability! Service intervals of 15 hours are ridiculous and negate any warranty issues for the manufacturer.

    I have had dirt get past the seal on my lyrics on one ride and mark the legs. And when I sent them back they said that they hadn’t serviced them enough (*cough* **** off). I guess once every two weeks isn’t enough!

    Annoyingly, all the manufacturers are the same so I can’t just boycott Rock Shox

    Premier Icon pypdjl
    Subscriber

    Exactly, people want lightweight long travel forks, there is inevitably going to be a compromise somewhere. Would be interesting to see how well forks would sell from a manufacturer willing to take a significant weight penalty to make them more durable.

    vernon-sez
    Member

    Erm, Pace – my one & only experience was laughable (but not that funny as they cost so much!)

    Fox – 2 pairs of coil Vanillas 05 & 08 – never been serviced. No probs (well nothing that bothers me!). Nice & cheap, simple coil – not much to go wrong is there.

    schrickvr6
    Member

    I noticed Fox have gone back to open bath damping on the 2010 36 Van R, but not on the RC2, probably other models as well but I didn’t check.

    hora
    Member

    First 125 Vanillas when they came out, developed play in bushings. 32 TALAS later- started packing down and needed pulling apart with force. 36’s in 2004. End cap of boltthrough on one end rotates the same way as the bolt though itself (it was held on with locktite). NWMB charged me for a new bolt through- otherwise I’d say they performed better ‘on the bike’ than the others?

    I still wouldnt buy another pair for as long as I live with the pathetic servicing schedule/warranty.

    philjunior
    Member

    I’ve got a nice pair of 2001 Marzocchi’s and another pair of 2005 ones that haven’t needed touching. The 2001 pair have outlasted 2 frames without yet needing a service.

    Rode a hire bike with some of last year’s Marzocchi offerings and they were utterly rubbish unfortunately. 4″ out of 6″ travel, didn’t feel right at all, 20mm bolt through axle was a bit wobbly giving just a touch of vibration I could feel that put me off a little bit (well not on the really rocky stuff, but on the slightly rough bits was annoying). I really hope they get the QC sorted out sometime soon so I can spend lots of money on MTB parts again 🙂

    tinsy
    Member

    On this topic is it possible to hard chrome the stanchions of MTB forks?

    Not sure why anodizing is used instead of a hardchrome finish.

    MX Bike stanchions dont disintegrate at the first sign of a bit of grit, the seals go but not the expensive bits (usually).

    Premier Icon UK-FLATLANDER
    Subscriber

    I’ve a pair of 13year old Pace RC36s, the ones with the twin arch design. Still the best fork I’ve had – one service and the odd squirt of oil. Not so impressed with the newer Pace or Fox – trying a PIKE now based on the reports on here and MTBR

    Premier Icon glenh
    Subscriber

    When you consider what we had to put up with just a few short years ago, I think modern forks are amazing:

    http://www.bikepro.com/products/forks/rockshox/rockshox_q21r.html

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    Of course it is possible to build forks that last – motorcycle ones don’t fail or need servicing so rapidly. However this does not provide the turnover for the manufacturers.

    Hard chroming would help but I guess would need steel stanchions hence weight

    I have 3 sets of zocchis – all still perfect after years of abuse – ( although we did still need to have one set repaired after some serious tandem abuse.) Annual oil changes is their lot

    I have a set of foxes bought cheap second hand with worn out bushes and stanchions

    1 set of pikes – no problems but need the regular servicing ( but not as often as foxes.)

    Mountainbikers accept many parts with poor longevity that would not be accepted in any other vehicle. I simply don’t understand why people continue to buy fox forks for example.

    Premier Icon brant
    Subscriber

    Toras have chrome steel stanchions. Fill yer boots.

    Smee
    Member

    I never thought it would ever happen, but I agree with TJ. If we were to stop accepting products that last 5 minutes they’d soon stop making them.

    tinsy
    Member

    Yup Tora’s and a few cheaper forks have chrome but I doubt its hardchrome, that usually has a ground finish to it, but the steel stanchions its on is part of the weight penalty. A quick Google has revealed its not possible to apply it to the ally of higher end forks.

    I don’t suppose this is a definitive answer but:-

    http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?p=331061

    It would be possible to have great forks & that last, but with that extra weight, I don’t know of any made that way though, but right now the more expensive and better performing stuff has anodizing.

    Premier Icon glenh
    Subscriber
    TandemJeremy
    Member

    One issue might well be that motorcycle type fork seals would have considerably more stiction

    ScottChegg
    Member

    OP didn’t mention Rockshox.

    Revelations – last years best fork ever. This year, bolt through version squirts all it’s oil out of the top cap on 2 pairs between my mates.

    Premier Icon glenh
    Subscriber

    Forks like this would probably last OK:

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    glenh – Member
    Forks like this would probably last OK:

    AMP & Lawwill! don’t forget Girvin or Look Fournales.

    Old Girvins still get silly money, but no disk mount.

    I’m happy that the Singular swift comes with rigid forks….

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    It’s very fortunate for fork manufacturers that the poor longevity of their product dovetails nicely with your average MTBer’s urge to buy the newest and shiniest thing.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    Thing is, you’re only really ever going to get posts on sites like this written by folk who’s forks have failed for some reason. Hardly ever do you get threads that start “My Forks have been faultless for years” . So relying on STW for unbiased fork reportage is pretty daft.

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