MTB Fork Upgrade for a Roadie

#1

I’d like to begin by apologizing if this post seems trivial to some, but the forum has been my go-to site for legit advice. Here goes…

Most of my riding (90%) is on the road but I do enjoy hitting the trails on occasions. Nothing too extreme nor technical though. No steep descents and certainly no jumps!

I’d like to upgrade my stock fork but I’m not sure if a high end one is justified. I’m considering 3 options: (1) Fox 32 step cast (2) Rockshox Reba (3) Suntour Epixon Stealth.

My 2 main objectives for upgrading are that these 3 look better than the stock coil fork (so yeah, shamefully upgrading for aesthetics, sorry) and that these allow for customization in rebound, sag, etc. That said, the first objective is really the main goal if I’m being honest.

If it helps, my mtb is a Specialized Pitch 27.5. I don’t have an unlimited budget. My road bike is around the USD6000 range.

Thank you, TR Community. Cheers!

0 Likes

#2

You don’t have to apologize for being concerned about aesthetics, just ask @Jonathan. If you have a 6k road bike, use TR and are on the TR forum, then it appears you are more than the occasional recreational cyclist just enjoying the ride. So not only do you strive to dial in the fitness side of cycling through your training, dialing in your equipment can be equally important (for some, self included).

I ride/race solely MTB and I want my bike and my kit to represent me and my fitness. They represent who I am (if only in my mind) and make a statement that I take cycling serious. Not to mention it makes me feel great come race day that I look and feel squared away. However, if you hit the trails with recreational MTB guys they’ll tell you it doesn’t matter and ride what you got and enjoy the trail. Which is all well and great, but that doesn’t work for me and probably not for you either. For some that is truly how they feel and good on them.

So yes, if a new fork is in your budget then by all means get a new fork. It will not only improve the bike aesthetically, but you will get all the benefits of new suspension adjustments and will give the bike better handling and feel.
My bike…

2 Likes

#3

Coming from the guy with a spark RC :grinning:

2 Likes

#4

I’ve been riding rockshox for years…totem’s, lyrics, pikes, Reba’s and the SID …Always been reliable and the forks are sturdy…you can do most of the service yourself. My experience with Fox products has been the opposite…very complicated and hard to work on and I hear the stepcast is a flexy fork…I would get the Reba.

0 Likes

#5

Since my first post didn’t add anything besides oggling over the bike I really wanted - had the Spark 910 - it was light, but not RC light. Even had the RS1 - okay fork. I enjoy my SID more.

Anyway, you could probably find someone unloading a SID on pinkbike/ebay/craigslist/FB for cheap and probably not used much if you look around.

0 Likes

#6

I really like the SID as well.

0 Likes

#7

Fox SC 100 is a great fork. It’s light, easy to tune, and performs well for XC riding. It looks like it was just revised to improve the stiffness.

I had a prior generation SID and it as good too but I would give the edge to the Fox SC. However it is not a fair comparison because there is a new SID now and this is the one that should be compared to the Fox SC.

0 Likes

#8

I’ve had the same reasoning for upgrading forks in the past. Right now I own a Reba and a Fox SC 100. The Reba is on my hardtail race bike, the fox is on my full squish racer. They are both great forks. Budget-wise the reba wins. I think fox feels better in the initial travel, though. They both work well, but I’d say the sc100 is more in line with Rockshox’s Sid, rather than the Reba.
Go with the one that’s offered in the color you want. Unless you’re really pushing them hard you’re not going to notice a significant difference.

0 Likes

#9

Not sure what model year your Specialized Pitch is however I am going to assume it is a 2019. I looked up the Geometry numbers and it is currently spec’d with a 42 offset fork. If you go to the Reba you will be increasing your for offset to 42. The Fox offset is available in either 44 or 51. The Suntour is an offset of 42. If you increase the offset from 42 to 51 you will notice the steering quicken. You may like this, you may not. Given your description of your riding I don’t think going to a 51 offset will matter but it will change the bike handling.

I thought I would throw out this information to be aware of when you are purchasing.

edit: @kelseyh pointed out I was wrong about the 51 offset on the Reba so I changed the post

2 Likes

#10

I believe the Reba comes in a 42mm offset for 27.5 wheels.

1 Like

#11

I just looked again and you are right. My bad for putting out bad information.

0 Likes

#12

Thank you all for the responses. Not feeling as guilty with the upgrade after all! :slight_smile: @MI-XC I’ll keep these in mind when I’m on the fence and need some convincing to justify for myself. @craigmanning Appreciate this, looks like I’m indeed getting the Reba. @abundanceNW This is helpful nonetheless, made me aware of these factors.

3 Likes

#13

Bringing up fork offset is a good point though. Most people usually think about geometry changes that come with changing fork travel, but offset is one to keep in mind too.

To contribute some input on the original topic, I think any of the listed forks (in the original post or in subsequent comments) will be a noticeable improvement in ride quality over an entry level coil fork, which I am assuming is what is on the bike currently.

1 Like

#14

+1!

You can’t go wrong with Fox imo. If you like taking things apart, it’s easy to do your own lower leg service too - or just send it to your LBS :smile:

Make sure you consider the offset/rake of the fork when you buy. Ideally going for the same as you already have, to keep the ride characteristics of the bike the same.

Edit: Looks like Performance Series 32 FLOAT 27.5 only comes in 44mm rake. :call_me_hand: This will work well.

1 Like

#15

I’ve got a 2018 stump jumper, which came with a Reba RL. It’s been solid and reliable, but it just doesn’t work all that well. Lots of flex and stiction, since the day it was new. My old Trek had a SID, and it was a much better fork. I’m looking forward to upgrading the Reba, but have been buying bikes for the rest of the family, so it’ll have to wait.

0 Likes