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Upgrading forks

steveleverton76's picture

By steveleverton76 - Posted on 22 November 2010

Help! Would anyone know if upgrading my standard forks on a 2010 Norco fluid 2, 140 mm travel, to 180mm travel forks destroy the frame? I just want more room on the front for bigger rock roll offs as I I've already been over the bars more than once. And yes, I have tried getting my ass over the back wheel! Any advice is appreciated, cheers.

Jimbo's picture

If you're rolling off and going over the bars then it's probably a technique problem. Changing to 180mm fork will not necessarily destroy the frame (although it will place more stress on the downtube/headtube junction which could be a problem) but it will destroy the geometry. Are other people able to roll off the same rocks without going over the bars? If so what type of bikes are they riding? The fluid already has a pretty slack head tube angle so it would be a fairly radical geometry change to add another 40mm. Maybe you just need to start smaller and get your technique right before moving up to bigger stuff - failing that maybe you should be thinking of a different style of bike.
Hope this helps Smiling

hawkeye's picture

... - 40mm. I'm thinking that might be going a bit far.

Normally, manufacturers specify a maximum distance from axle to bottom of headset, since it's the length of the lever being applied to the headtube area that matters. See if you can find that l;ength for the fork you're thinking about, and then see what you can find in the frame manua. Cannondale specifies it for their frames. At least, they did for mine.

The actual travel of the fork is secondary.... a longer fork with less travel is more of a problem than a more compact fork with longer travel... does that make sense?

Following from Jimbo's post, you might consider a shorter stem. This moves your weight a bit more to the rear and also sharpens steering response.

steveleverton76's picture

All my mates have better bikes, reign2, cannondale moto 09, specialized stumpy etc. Most of them are 160mm with a few exceptions. Mine has Rockshox 351 Recon Solo air 140 mm. So I'm thinking of getting fox shocks, they come highly recommended by anyone I talk to. Maybe I only need 160mm, but better quality ones. Maybe talas, I just wanna try a few downhill sections like ourimbah and eventually thredbo, but mainly all mountain riding. Cheers for your input.

Logan's picture

I rode the Alps in Les Arcs for a week with my mates on a 100mm Giant Hardtail and they were all on 4-5 inch trail bikes and I was keeping up and in some cases descending quicker than them.

Its less about the bike and more about the rider, personally I would suggest you concentrate on your technique etc and I guareentee you will be nailing drops the same as your mates with less travel.

ADZA's picture

oops then my move from 100mm to 150mm on my old alias... wasn't necessarily wise...
definately felt the change in head angle, never had a problem with my fat ass on it though...

nath69's picture

Hi Steveleverton76

If you look in the NORCO Bikes catalogue, you will see the Fluid SE has fox32 Float FRLC FIT 150mm with 15mm axle. Whereas the Fluid 2 has 140mm and Fluid 3 130mm forks.

I would think 150mm will be sifficient on the Fluid. I have the Fluid LT6.3 with 150mm Revelation forks with 20mm Maxle, but I would like to go to 170mm as fitted to the LT6.2.

The Revelation forks don't feel as re-assuring as the Nixon 160mm on my old DiamondBack Mission.

Measure the height of the crown and lower bearing race on the Fox 32 and see if you can find a 160mm travel fork that has the same crown height and you will be right.

The boys at the HUB are good for technical details.


muvro's picture

How tall are you?

What sized bike are you on?

When I got back into riding I got myself a lge sized Spech enduro. Great bike, but I was constantly going over the bars. Every ride it was expected and a good laughing point (as I never hurt myself, and I was the one doing most of the laughing).

I was told my bike was too big for me, so I found a medium Norco 6 ('08) frame. I swapped all my gear over to it, Everything was swapped over, forks, wheelset, drivetrain stem, bars etc.

The first ride out, I didn't go OTB, and the next and the next. No technique change, no different lines. All the same tracks and speeds. Just a simple reduction in bike size and problem solved.

Now, I'm not saying this is your problem, but it's certainly something to think about.

For the record, I have taken my cannondale rush with 130mm 32's in the front of it off 4ft and 5ft drops with out any problem, I've also done some pretty gnarly roll downs on it and never had a prob. I can and do ride my rush anywhere I ride my 6, but don't make a habit of it as I don't want to trash my good bike and would rather thrash the ass out of my burlier more robust bike. This is just to reinforce the fact that more travel doesn't mean you can handle the bigger stuff. It's not as fun on a smaller travel bike, when compared to a larger travel bike, but it's not the be all and end all.

One other thing, going to a 180 fork, you'll be looking at either a set of Marz 66's or RS Totems, they are HEAVY!!!

If you are dead certain on changing forks and can't be swayed into thinking it might be something else, do youself a favour and don't buy 180mm forks. Just simply go a set of Fox 36's. Either the older 150's or the later 160's. These will do anything and everything you could possibly ever ask of them and more. The ability of these forks will out perform your skill level and pretty much everyone else's. You'll be able to do 6ft to flat drops, massive roll downs ride up massive hills and cruise fire trails. After doing all that, these forks won't have even worked up a sweat. If you go a set of 36 Floats the weight is light as well.

Hope that helps and make sure your technique is right by getting your mates to watch you do these techy sections.


steveleverton76's picture

Thanx to everyone for their advice. My bike is a medium frame and I'm short.... Only 5'6"! I just bought a shorter stem to try that ( coz it's the cheapest option first). Then eventually try some 160mm travel forks down the road. Maybe find some second handys off a fluid LT, not sure of their size but it's gotta be bigger than what I got! Otherwise I will just bite the bullet and buy a Norco range 1!!! Eventually!

Cheers again for the help,

muvro's picture

If you're 5,6 on a medium, it's way too big for techy all mountain/light freeride riding. I'm 6ft on the banger and I ride a medium with a 40mm stem on my Norco 6 and a 70mm stem on my Rush.

A larger bike can be gotten away with for XC and trail riding. Makes climbing and putting power down a bit easier being stretched out. But when you need to get your ass and weight back, you'll never get back far enough.

Try and see if you can borrow someones sml bike of the same model/sus travel. Then do some known rolls that you currently can't do. I'd put good money on you being more confident and able. Smiling

Also keep the short stem. The shorter means gives heaps better decent feel. not as good for climbing, but the benefits and fun factor, I think far out weigh this.

nath69's picture

Or you could just buy a Joplin seat post and drop it on the fly when going down and let it come up when you are at the bottom.

One of these are my next investments. Guys I ride with swear by them.

muvro's picture

They are great! I've got one on my 6, but unfortunately it's the non-remote one. So you have to think ahead. lol

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