Long travel fork on a hardtail

Discussion in 'Mountain Biking' started by Grape Ape, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. Grape Ape

    Grape Ape Younger than Hack Tavern Member

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    Yesterday I saw a hardtail MTB with a very long travel fork. I am talking 4-6 inch downhill type fork. It caught my eye due to the way it looked with the fork on it.

    I have been thinking about it and wonder what the advantage of long travel such as that would be on a hardtail. I can see 80 - 140 mm of travel to help soak up some little stuff but you still have the hard tail to deal with. I think a long travel fork such as that would be a hindrance the front is soaking up big hits but the back is bouncing hard through the same spot.

    I have ridden hardtails all my life and can see how with proper handling you can get over some of the big bumps by being loose on the bike but with the front soaking up the hit it seems it would be hard to be loose as needed to ride the rear out.

    Some one with more experience help me understand it. How effective is a long travel fork on a hardtail?
     
  2. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    On most frames, it's going to jack up the geometry. Would suck for climbing, but great on downhills where you don't need to use the brakes.

    This bike had a 6" dual crown at the time this photo was taken. It worked quite well.

    [​IMG]
     

  3. Grape Ape

    Grape Ape Younger than Hack Tavern Member

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    That was what really caught my attention was how out of whack the geometry of the bike looked. Everything leaned way back. Now mind you it was on a bike carrier on the back of a vehicle but it looked so out of sorts you couldn't help but look at it. I could see where it could help geometry wise going down a hill but still don't see the advantage of all of that travel up front without a high travel rear to help you benefit from it.
     
  4. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    Uh, back in my day, Rock Shox came out with a fork that had like 1" of travel, and people thought that was awesome. Poor folk like me had to stick with their fully rigid bikes...
     
  5. Grape Ape

    Grape Ape Younger than Hack Tavern Member

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    Same here my first MTB was a rigid "General" It had good components and a steel frame. I learned how to be smooth on it. I do like the paltry 80mm on my Cannondale it does take some of the jolt out of the little bumps and rocks but I still have to ride smoothly to keep it under control. I also have to flow with it to keep the rear tire from bouncing around uncontrollably. That is why I can't see the long travel front. I see it soaking up a lot of hits that the rear then has to be worked over and if the front is compressed way down and then rebounding it has to be a wild ride. I would say if you learn to ride it it would be nice but it seems like if you can ride a hardtail with a long travel front efficiently then you could even do better on a rigid bike.

    Anybody out there riding this kind of set up that can put it into perspective for me my mind is running in circles around it and can't see why.
     
  6. CTD50

    CTD50 DX's Biggest Member

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    There were some hardtails, like the old Litespeed Kitsuma (god, how I wanted one of those!), that were made specifically for long-travel forks. They could easily handle the current Rock Shox Recon or the Manitou Nixon.

    You'll hafta ask the old-school North Shore boys about the usefulness of it; maybe they could do the tricks out in the forest with more precision, I dunno....