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  1. #1
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    Travel Adjust Reliability - comparing different brands

    I'm currently running an 08 Lyrik Coil U-Turn that theoretically will be replaced once the right funds come along followed by the right deal. I wind down the travel quite often during extended climbs, though a 2 position system would work well (I rarely ride between max and min travel). I was wondering what the word/experience is with the different systems out there.

    Rockshox Dual Position Air - I know the old 2 Step Air system was basically non-functional. How's the newer system in comparison?

    Rockshox U-Turn Coil - what I'm currently using. Bomber but heavy.

    Fox Talas - from what I can tell, this is the gold standard in travel adjust systems. Any known issues? How does the older 3 position system compare to the newer 2 position system?

    X Fusion DLA - from what I have read, it sounds reliable. It's a simpler system that basically locks the fork down in a lower travel position without attempting to mitigate increased spring firmness. This is not necessarily a bad thing I'm not seeking an active suspension in times where I'd reduce travel.

    Marzocchi - don't know much about their trail forks.

    Anyone have any further on which systems work well and which should be avoided?

    Also, in general, is there a loss in suspension performance compared to non travel-adjust counterparts?

  2. #2
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    Kind of in the same boat as you, lots of time on a Lyrik UTurn upgraded to MiCo DH dampers and been happy with it other than weight. If I was to change to an air fork with travel adjust it would be Lyrik Dual Position or Vengeance DLA for sure. 2 Steps were way too complex a system, dual position is much simpler and early reports on them are very positive. The Vengeance is probably my favorite of the forks in the 160-170 range, I'm likely going to pick one up as soon as the gold slick stanction versions are available. I haven't played with DLA myself but I haven't really read anything negative about it that would concern me. I can't even get myself to consider a Talas because every one that I've had the chance to ride felt like poo compared to the competition, too bad because the adjustment feature is probably as good as it gets.

  3. #3
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    Anecdotally, my experience is that RS u-turn air or coil is the most reliable. Pretty much everyone I know with a Talas has had serious issues. I have a 5 year old Pike 454 that's NEVER been services that is easily as smooth as my regularly rebuilt float 150. I've never bought a Talas due to the horror stories my friends tell me.

  4. #4
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    My $.02: any travel adjust system in an air fork is going to be prone to failure. You're necessarily adding a bunch more valves, seals, etc.

    A purely mechanical system like the coil u-turn is going to hold up the best, it's just heavier. Coincidentally, I've also found that bikes with modern geometry (low BB, slack HT) climb ok even at full travel. My solution is to go with fixed travel forks. So far, I'm a happy camper with more money left over for beer.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    I've also found that bikes with modern geometry (low BB, slack HT) climb ok even at full travel. My solution is to go with fixed travel forks. So far, I'm a happy camper with more money left over for beer.
    My Reign came with a fixed 150 mm travel fork. It didn't climb badly per se, but I definitely felt more comfortable climbing steeper grades once I got the U-Turn fork. I could maintain a more neutral position on the bike without having to lean over the front wheel as much. It's definitely a nice to have and something I could live without, but I've definitely appreciated it.

    So maybe the U-Turn coil is the best option. The extra half pound of weight is probably overcome by the increased climbing ability.

  6. #6
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    It's been a while since I've looked, but I remember the weight difference between a coil and adjustable air Lyrik being something like 100 grams, maybe a bit more. It wasn't enough of a difference for me to drop for a new fork.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  7. #7
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    yeah, stick with a mechanical system. The U turn flat out works. My old pike got beat on like the floor at a flogging molly concert and took it no problems. My friend with a u turn air? Every season or so some pretty serious failure happens. The last one shot his dust wiper out of the fork and all the way up the stanchion

    anything marzocchi besides the old ETA is a no no. They do Ti coil well, but the rest? It's usually not if you'll have a problem, but when.

    Search over on MTBR, a homie dropped his lyrik U turn into a vengance HLR fork with a couple washers from the hardware store, and no permanent mods. Badass twin tube dampening, U turn adjustability.
    Quote Originally Posted by 3centshort View Post
    I figure when he realized he was still 10-15 feet off as he flew the K his asshole puckered so hard it ate his nuts
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    In the other scenario, you would be like "Peanut Butter, cool, fuck I'm stuck HELP ME HELP ME HELP ME HELP ME oh fuck I'm screwed, but at least I have time to think about how screwed I am. I guess that is a blessing. FUCK NO IT'S NOT A BLESSSING I'M STUCK AND I'M DYING.

  8. #8
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    I used (and beat the shit out of) a RS Domain with U-turn for 4 season. The fork was on 3 different bikes and used a lot and the U-turn never failed. It was heavy, but had a simple mechanism that would probably work forever.

    I also had a Fox 36 with the Talas for a year. That worked very well and was quite a bit lighter but only had 3 different settings, while the U turn you you could set anywhere from 160-100 mm.

  9. #9
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    I had an old 32 TALAS that I rode for years without any failure issues. I really didn't like it though, way too much stiction. It was fine on big hits, but the stiction kept it from ever having good small bump absorption.
    All I know is that I don't know nothin'... and that's fine.

  10. #10
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    RS U-turn air on my Revelation works like a charm every shore ride. Thumbs up.

  11. #11
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    I'm going to be building up an enduro bike this winter (well the shop will be - using my money)and have been researching fork options. Currently I'm on a Stumpjumper with a Talas RL that can be switched between 140/120/100mm. I find that riding in the Vancouver to Pemberton area I'm changing the fork to 100 for the climbs and then opening it up for the descents. Even in places like Moab I usually didn't even think to adjust the middle travel setting for XC trails ( I probably should but I'm more a get on the bike and ride rather than adjust travel/tire pressure/shock settings kinda guy)

    Looking at the new Float 34 160mm - this model has the CTD Climb/Trail/Descend adjustability - as does the similiar Talas which also has adjustable travel (160/120).

    With the Float having the CTD can someone explain why/when the adjustable Talas would be a better choice - seems like slightly more weight (not enough to matter to me) and more moving parts to break. But I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to how suspension works beyond length of travel (damping/compression/rebound...not really up to speed about theses things - perhaps I'll spend tonight researching instead of blogging on here
    Last edited by bennymac; 12-25-2012 at 10:37 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by commonlaw View Post
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bennymac View Post
    With the Float having the CTD can someone explain why/when the adjustable Talas would be a better choice - seems like slightly more weight (not enough to matter to me) and more moving parts to break. But I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to how suspension works beyond length of travel (damping/compression/rebound...not really up to speed about theses things - perhaps I'll spend tonight researching instead of blogging on here
    travel damping vs length. CTD changes the damping, and allows for a stiffer platform to pedal against. This is different than the TALAS which actually changed the stroke length, and this the geometry of the bike.

  13. #13
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    Gotcha thanks, I did my homework last night so your answer makes sense.

    My current understanding of what would be an ideal trail/enduro fork (for me) = 3 settings

    120mm travel with damping optimized for climbing
    140mm travel with damping set for "trail" riding
    160mm with damping set for descending

    If there was a single switch to go between these 3 that would be the is simplest solution. With current forks like the Talas CTD you have 2 separate adjustment points - I assume its not likely someone would ride for a prolonged period of time in 120mm travel with descending damping or 160mm travel with climbing damping. Maybe some would just leave it in 160mm full time and just switch the damping (at which point the Float would be a better fork - less weight/parts to break). As you mentioned you would lose out on the geometry altering benefit of the Talas for climbing.

    The Talas 160 fork actually has 10 different set ups you can select from on the trail!

    I've tried to figure out the Rock Shox fork options via their website but, compared to the Fox website, the Rock Shox fork descriptions might as well be in Japanese.
    Last edited by bennymac; 12-26-2012 at 10:50 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by commonlaw View Post
    If I took a principled stand on every aspect of my life, I'd be too busy to live it.

  14. #14
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    7-years later BUMP!

    I'm wondering why both manufacturers and market are slowly trying to kill off dial-travel-adjust forks. It's now somewhat difficult to find certain Dual Position Air builds of Pikes and Lyriks (like Lyrik 29 DPAs never seem to be in stock), but at least they are out there ... but it's almost impossible to find a FOX 36 or FOX 34 TALAS anymore?

    I have loved all the Pike DPA's I've ever owned, and if I ever find/get a Lyrik DPA I'm sure I'm going to love that too. And my wife loves her 2012 Fox 34 TALAS. And I happen to be getting my hands on a Fox 36 TALAS 29" RC2 (but I'll probably be selling it because it's not boost and I probably won't need to hold onto it as a spare) - but it seems like a unicorn fork that's impossible to buy new?

    Here are my thoughts on dial-travel-adjustable forks made from 2014 onward:
    1) They work. Really well.

    2) Yeah the dial-adjustable air spring is maybe not quite as smooth and perfect as a fixed travel air spring or internally adjustable air spring (like MRP, X-Fusion) ... but for lighter riders like me the air spring feels totally adequate and I've never had problems on gnarly trail terrain (not talking about stuff that would be freeride territory). And pulling lowers and wrenching to change travel is nice if going on a specific road trip, but totally inhibitive for actually being able to use it during a ride!

    3) Yeah maybe in the short-travel position you are more likely to bottom out, and maybe your BB clearance height has dropped by 15-20mm, but you're also more likely to be going about 1/4 of the speed uphill that you would be going downhill, so you can manage pedal-chainring strikes / bottom out with careful riding. Also, who cares if you bottom out when you're not gunning it? Also, put tokens in, Rokshox finally started making them for DPA air springs in 2016.

    4) Sooo many of us live/ride in the mountain west where we have long grinder climbs and then steep fast downhill runs. Dial travel adjust is PERFECT for this because of the head angle change and steering response change when climbing vs descending. I don't get why more consumers, most of whom aren't going to their local jumpline / feature park, aren't clamoring and asking MFRs for better/more available dial-travel-adjust options???

    More relevant discussion in this thread:
    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...e-Dual-or-Solo
    _______________________________________________
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  15. #15
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    yeah I actually run a 140/160 DPA Pike RCT3 in the east and when I got it I drilled some solo air tokens so I could use them on my DPA. After some fiddling I was able to get a pretty good 140 Trail fork that could be ridden most of the time and then be able to get it into 160 for chunky/droppy downhills.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SchralphMacchio View Post
    7-years later BUMP!

    I'm wondering why both manufacturers and market are slowly trying to kill off dial-travel-adjust forks. It's now somewhat difficult to find certain Dual Position Air builds of Pikes and Lyriks (like Lyrik 29 DPAs never seem to be in stock), but at least they are out there ... but it's almost impossible to find a FOX 36 or FOX 34 TALAS anymore?

    I have loved all the Pike DPA's I've ever owned, and if I ever find/get a Lyrik DPA I'm sure I'm going to love that too. And my wife loves her 2012 Fox 34 TALAS. And I happen to be getting my hands on a Fox 36 TALAS 29" RC2 (but I'll probably be selling it because it's not boost and I probably won't need to hold onto it as a spare) - but it seems like a unicorn fork that's impossible to buy new?

    Here are my thoughts on dial-travel-adjustable forks made from 2014 onward:
    1) They work. Really well.

    2) Yeah the dial-adjustable air spring is maybe not quite as smooth and perfect as a fixed travel air spring or internally adjustable air spring (like MRP, X-Fusion) ... but for lighter riders like me the air spring feels totally adequate and I've never had problems on gnarly trail terrain (not talking about stuff that would be freeride territory). And pulling lowers and wrenching to change travel is nice if going on a specific road trip, but totally inhibitive for actually being able to use it during a ride!

    3) Yeah maybe in the short-travel position you are more likely to bottom out, and maybe your BB clearance height has dropped by 15-20mm, but you're also more likely to be going about 1/4 of the speed uphill that you would be going downhill, so you can manage pedal-chainring strikes / bottom out with careful riding. Also, who cares if you bottom out when you're not gunning it? Also, put tokens in, Rokshox finally started making them for DPA air springs in 2016.

    4) Sooo many of us live/ride in the mountain west where we have long grinder climbs and then steep fast downhill runs. Dial travel adjust is PERFECT for this because of the head angle change and steering response change when climbing vs descending. I don't get why more consumers, most of whom aren't going to their local jumpline / feature park, aren't clamoring and asking MFRs for better/more available dial-travel-adjust options???

    More relevant discussion in this thread:
    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...e-Dual-or-Solo
    I loved my two travel adjustable forks when I had them, then I got used to (for the most part) the fork I have now.

    Probably my smoothest fork to date was the TALAS 36 with 3 positions that I had PUSH rebuild... that thing was dreamy.

  17. #17
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    I'm sticking with my 2012 opinion. Fixed travel for the win. Especially with modern steep seat tube angles.

  18. #18
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    I'm with Toast. Adds cost, complexity, and weight, and degrades performance. Also totally unnecessary.
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

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