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  • Fork travel change
  • wulfybest
    Free Member

    Hi- I’m new to mtbs, many years of road cycling . I have recently acquired a Merida e Bike   As my hips and knees are giving out . It is the base model with a 140 travel  fork.  In The top  spec the bike has a DT Swiss F525 which has amazing write ups. I can’t find one second hand at a price I like but I have found the 160 mm travel version.

    how will it affect the bikes handling if I go to the longer fork- and indeed can it be safely  done?

    thanks for any advice- my only experience with  suspended forks to date is on a Santa Cruz Bronson of considerable age  with non standard forks that I left as they were because they seemed fine, and on a number of motorbikes- which had progressive springs and oil .

    Full Member

    It will slacken the head and seat angles by about 1 degree and raise the bottom bracket height by about 10 mm. It’ll be slightly more stable on fast descents and slightly slower steering through tight stuff. I’ve overforked pretty much every bike I’ve owned and found it to be an improvement overall so I’d suggest trying it and seeing how it goes. Good idea to check if it’s possible to change the fork travel though, some forks use spacers, some need a new damper shaft, others may not be easily adjustable so it’s worth checking out first.

    Full Member

    What fork does the bike currently have?

    Full Member

    Remember its the axle to crown length that affects the head angle and height, not, specifically, the travel figure.

    Forks have quite different axle to crown heights between manufacturers so you could find that the DT swiss forks at 160mm are not that longer than your current fork, OR they could be wildly longer even if you changed the effective travel to the same figure.

    And this is before we even start to look at the dynamic/sagged length, as some forks naturally sit at the top of their travel and are quite linear, others will feel best with sginifcant sag (and thus droop travel) with very progressive springing.

    Full Member

    If you want to upgrade the fork, you can go with any brand.

    No need to stick with whatever was on the top model, DT Swiss forks are somewhat niche and you can probably get a nice Rock Shox, Marzocchi or Fox that will do you just fine.

    Free Member

    just to add

    you are new to MTB, a “better” fork may not be the golden ticket you expect, in fact, a high end fork could potentially give you far too many setup options to play with and end up further away from where you need to be

    Unless you have a truly entry level fork, like a coil suntour or suchlike, you may find with more experience and tweaks, your current fork is adequate

    There is a lot of learning to how a fork should feel, and sometimes it can be almost counter intuitive. Ie, my fork is beating me up, let some air out, but what is actually happening is you are packing down, due to too soft a fork or you are struggling with grip, when it could be down to tyres, or even bad technique.

    Likewise, more travel isn’t always better, a better setup fork can trump more travel

    Full Member

    New to MTB, the fork will be fine – you won’t notice. I got a FS back in 2016 after mainly road riding. I’ve not changed anything as the bike is more capable than my brain let’s me do. I’ve played around with tyre pressures and rebound settings to best suit my riding.

    Free Member

    @wulfybest the manufacturer should have guidance somewhere about the maximum travel fork that they’ll cover in the warranty. Outside of that would invalidate your warranty if you had a frame problem and the manufacturer found out about it.

    20mm extra travel would make it a bit more wandery on the uphills, a bit easier on the downhills.

    If you’re not very experienced it’s worth making sure that your current fork is set up correctly following one of the online video guides on Youtube before spending money to upgrade.

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