Recommend me some short travel DH forks. 1.125" steerer, 20mm axle

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  • Recommend me some short travel DH forks. 1.125" steerer, 20mm axle
  • I want to put suspension forks on a tandem.
    I reckon single crown down hill forks would be best.
    100mm travel would be plenty. The option to reduce it to 80mm, or even less, might be an advantage.
    The frame’s got a 1.125″ head tube.
    I might as well go for a 20mm axle. I’ve currently got a Hope QR front hub, so I can easily buy the adapters.

    I know nothing about the world of downhilling, so what’s available and recommended ? Preferably second hand.
    Or is this Moon on a Stick ? 1.125″ steerer and 100mm travel = old, and 20mm axle = new, so I’m not going to get both in one fork ?
    Oh, and remote lock out would be handy too.


    100mm travel DH fork = around 1996, you dont want anything from era.

    Sounds like your best bet would be something like a travel adjust Lyrik or 36, wound down to it’s shortest travel setting.

    Funnily enough lockouts aren’t a popular feature on long travel forks.

    Are you sure this isn’t some weird troll?

    Premier Icon iamtheresurrection

    I’ve thought about this myself, closest I can find are probably Marzocchi DJ forks…

    Premier Icon chakaping

    Oh, and remote lock out would be handy too.

    This’ll be the tough bit, I reckon.

    The RS Domain U-turn dials down to 115mm travel without any modifications if you could live with that.

    They’re heavy but very reliable and should be cheap s/h.

    Premier Icon chakaping

    your best bet would be something like a travel adjust Lyrik or 36

    Yeah or a Fox 36 Talas which can be run at 100mm from an external adjuster and also has external compression adjust to stiffen it up if you need (but that might be at bottom of the leg).


    Coil u turn lyriks go down to 95mm iirc or you could space a 36 float down to 100mm.

    Why would this be a troll ?
    I’ve posted about our tandem before and I’m now building up another one and would like front suspension.

    Searching through ebay, these are the first Lyriks I found with a 1.125″ steerer.
    So, would something like that be suitable ?

    Another beginner’s question, when it says 115mm to 160mm travel, is it the fully extended or the fully compressed length that varies ?

    Premier Icon Pridds

    2010 fox 36 talas rc2 had 100-120-160 travel modes but no lockout just compression damping adjustment at the bottom of the leg, the 2011 and 12 36 talas rlc had 120-160 travel modes and a lock out so nothing that exactly fits the bill


    I’ve always taken ‘travel’ as the travel available on compression (so at 90mm, you have less movement available than at 130mm), hmm, which probably sounds like I’m stating the obvious.

    Anyway … If you can find any now, Manitou Sherman Flick’s came in a 90mm-130mm version, as well as the 170mm travel version. They are 20mm bolt through – I’m still using my 2004 set, and they have proved to be exceptionally robust (even with my 15yr old cousin riding my 4X bike off everything (rather than break his own I think … 🙄 ).

    For reference only now of course, but there was a set offered in the classifieds on here 12 months ago. That model came in that urban DPM, or a kinda flat, mid-grey colour.

    There is a set of Manitou Sherman Firefly forks on ebay now too – they had some upgrades over the Flick’s, but are pretty similar.

    The Nixon that followed it was 115mm-145mm, and 20mm versions exist(ed).

    Remote lockout wasn’t available on either, as the (crazy ‘shore riding) target-market almost certainly wouldn’t need it – Hell, what else was that pickup truck for ?



    iirc tj’s tandem had a marzocchi 4x or dirt jump fork. As above you will struggle to find a hardcore fork with a proper lockout, (let alone a remore one) even on the lyrik.

    Best compromise for me would be an original RS pike ether with coil u-turn wound down to 95mm (but you will also need to find at least a firm if not an x-frim spring, as the coil ones seemed a bit undersprung at the time) or a dual air with travel spacers to space it down to 100-110mm. They were the reliable fork to have (barring the air-u-turn) when marzocchi went to the far east and went all rubbish fr a couple of years. All options of the pike came with remote lockout as an option (I certainly had one with a bar-mounted lockout), and if you only find a crown-mounted lockout, the MC damper is a five minute job to swap out for a remote lockout/poploc/pushloc damper from pretty much any 32mm RS fork from that time.

    [edit] oooh, also i forgot that if you can stand the crazy colours they came in, and you had a fiddle with the oil heights in the damper side there is no reason why you couldn’t fir a remote lockout motion-control damper to an older RS argyle (this was rather like a cheaper simpler 100mm-only pike) if you found one cheap. Again, you’d also need to worry about spring weights and availability for a tandem though)

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu

    Go for any fork that has a larger diamiter stanchions and is preferably air sprung.
    We’ve had loads of different forks on our tandem but could never get a firm enough spring for any of the coil forks we tried.

    Got a lyrik solo air that’s lowered from 170 to 150 on atm and it seems prety good but could still do with a touch more slow speed compresion damping.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Spacered down Float 36s I reckon- older ones can be had for sensible prices. I’d stay away from TALAS ones though, TALAS has always been a climbing mode, the fork doesn’t work as it should in the lower setting, which is where it’s going to live, makes no sense to me.

    Old Pikes could do everything you want, and quite cheaply too, but I don’t think they ever came with a remote lockout. However, people with remote lockouts on other compatible forks used to want rid of them so maybe a swap could be arranged. Might be harder to do these days as fewer people are using these older forks.

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu

    We had an old pike in ours for a while.
    It didn’t stay in there very long.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    No? How come?

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu

    Flexed all over the shop and we couldn’t get a stiff enough spring. I recon a Lyrik air or 36 Float is the best bet.

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago

    IIRC White Bros (now MRP) made or make a tandem version of the Loop, which is 100mm, dual crown and (presumably 15mm) through axle. How easy it is to get hold of one…

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Fair dos- that’s going to rule out pretty much anything skinnier than a Lyrik or 36 I suppose?

    Thanks all, I think I know what I’m looking for now.
    I’ll go for my usual tactic now of watching everything suitable on ebay for a while until I get some idea of prices before I bid on anything myself.


    Shame you can’t fit a 1.5″ steerer, I would have thought a tandem would be a great application for those big steerer forks.

    The tandem world seems very conservative.
    I’d have thought 1.5″ steerers, hydraulic disc brakes and 20mm front and 12mmx150mm rear axles would be the obvious choice for tandems by now, as they are for down hill bikes.


    We use marzocchi z150 – coil sprung, 150mm travel, no preload so they sag down to about 50% of the travel. Another one to watch out for is the rockshox argyl, comes in 100mm flavour with 20mm bolt-through and dual air so you can tune it right

    I had a look at a pair of used Marzocchi Bomber 66 forks in the LBS today.
    £200, which I thought was a bit high anyway, but only a 190mm steerer as well, so I came back home to measure the frame.
    The tandem head tube is 165mm. Add on 30mm for a headset and 40mm for a stem and I’m going to need at least a 230mm steerer.
    Looking again at what’s on ebay, that’s seriously reduces the second hand options.

    At £150, I’d give a Marzocchi Dirt Jumper 1 a go, but not without a lock out.
    One of my pet hates of mountain biking is suspension forks that bounce up and down when I’m pedalling.
    Most of the time on a solo I ride with the suspension locked out and relay on the threshold valve to save me from the unexpected big hits.


    I don’t recall ever using lockout on any forks ever – so I may not be the best person in this case, but, don’t forget that the tandem is much longer than a solo bike so pedal bob I think will be less pronounced? In any case, I personally would want suspensio to be active all the time on a tandem – you can’t manouvre the tandem as easily as a solo, so you need the suspension to soak up those rocks you’re hitting, and that’s not happening with lockout

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu

    The Dirt jump fork you linked to was the fork that originaly came on our tandem.
    The main problem with it for us was that i needed to put so much air into it to help with the very basic compression damping that it was almost like a rigid fork.
    Sounds like that’s what your looking for though?

    Maybe the Dirt Jumper would do the job then.
    I know it goes against all the official advice, but I like a bike to feel like a fully rigid, until I hit something big, when I want it to take the worst of the shock off my wrists. So, I always run zero sag and more air pressure and compression damping than recommended for my weight.

    Marzocchi don’t list any alternative springs for the Dirt Jumper, so I guess it would have to be done with air pressure, possibly beyond the 15psi recommended maximum.

    I never stand up to pedal on the tandem, so pedal bob won’t be so much of a problem as it is on a solo anyway.


    Rockshox argyle might do the trick for you


    jonk – Member
    Rockshox argyle might do the trick for you

    Yep, this was what I was going to say.

    Argyle looks good and, once again, Winstanley are cheapest at £250, plus another £20 for an XXXFirm spring.
    The RCT looks better, as it would be easier to adjust an air fork for the tandem’s weight, but £450 is a bit more than I was planning on spending.

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu

    Don’t take this the wrong way but pictures i’ve seen of you show you to be quite a “big bloke”
    I think you’d be making a mistake going for a coil spring on a tandem.
    Specialy if you like running your fork overly stiff.

    You don’t have to worry about offending me like that. 😛
    I used to enter races as Team Pale Skinny Vegan which would usually get a laugh once people saw me and realised I was one of the most unskinny riders there.

    Maybe I should just go for a brand new Argyle RCT then.
    Considering what I spent on a brand new Lefty for my Qoroz, £450 is a bargain.

    The correct answer is to find an old set of Risse Roxxxys and upgrade the internals.

    Stiffest fork I ever had. Although a mate with a set of SC Dorados contested that and said his were stiffer (oo err). So either of them.


    Rockshox Domain? (Totem air would be awesome but very rare; especially with a long 1-1/8″ steerer)

    Two Domains with long steerers on ebay

    Linky 2

    Linky 1

    Pretty basic inside so with a bit of mechanical know-how you could reduce the travel to whatever you desire.

    Pinkbike how to lower a Domain

    Or fit a U-turn spring which I think goes to 115mm – TFT have them listed.

    Just to chuck our experience in there-

    We’re running a Marzocchi 66 from about 2006. Coil sprung but air preload. Travel is about 140mm but set to sag to about 90mm. We’ve found damping is the most important factor. Two of you peddling hard (well us anyhow) gets to fork bobbing unless the damping was dialled in correctly. Same on fast berms(thinking “berm baby berm” & GT freeride park)- the front would try and tuck under (v scary!) until the damping & preload were spot on. Seems a narrow window of optimum performance but they are so adjustable you can make them work brilliantly, I didn’t understand the phrase ‘bottomless travel’ until we had these. I have no idea what we’d do if they die!

    I recall TJ did run dirtjumpers. I recall Alex @ MTB Tandems in the USA offers the White Bros as the best tandem fork.


    I’ve got a set of 2005 66’s that might do you, mechanically sound with new enduro seals!.they look a wee bit tatty but they’re coil sprung with the air assist, rebound damping you need to change the oil weight. not sure about the steerer length just now think should be about the right length do em for £90 plus postage…


    Fox 36 Float with long 1-1/8″ steerer over on Pinkbike.

    Premier Icon cookeaa

    Mid 00’s Dirt Jumpers (Dj2 or 3) would be a good bet IMO, they came in Qr and 20mm flavours, ~100mm travel and were designed to be robust rather than light to suit the target market’s needs.

    Simple open bath damping which is basic but less likely to go pop, and they are coil sprung with “air assist” so you can set them to suit the mass of a tandem…

    How about the Society DJ or 4x forks that Billys do? Cheap on special at the moment, 80 or 100mm flavour with 20mm thru, 36mm stanchions, coil and air. Probably not perfect but will work.

    I run 66sl ATAs on mine at about 140mm travel which feels about right for us, used to run a set of sherman triple crowns at 150mm which were lovely for years til they went pop. Alex at mtbtandems did used to recommend the Marzo DJ1 and 2 forks, he ran them at either 130 or 100mm travel dependant on the bike\buyers needs\weights, that was around 2002-03, he’s always worth emailing if you want to check on what he used to use.

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu

    Seriously Graham I’d go for the Float messiah has linked to.
    It’s got everything you need.
    36mm stanchions,easy to lower, rebound adjust, lockout and most importantly low speed compression adjust.

    Already done, stu. 😉
    Along with a 30.9mm Thomson post and a 1.125″ Chris King headset. 8)

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