Bad idea: Long travel fork on trail hardtail

Hi Lee,
I just got myself a 2008 GT Avalanche 2 2 months ago and now I’m planing to upgrade the fork. I’m looking into 2008 Marzocchi 55ATA2 and 2008 Fox 36 Talas for all mountain and DH rides.

Could you kindly advise which fork is more suitable? I heard FOX have issue with the seal from my LBS.

Thanks. Skyler

Dude, don’t do this.

Here are some reasons:

Warranty. I promise this will void your factory warranty. Don’t be one of those kids who hucks off a building, sheers off his head tube then tells his LBS he “was just riding along.”

Handling. Your bike came with a 100mm fork. I can see going up to maybe 120mm, but those 160mm forks will seriously jack up your handling. The slackness and high bottom bracket will make your bike steer like a tugboat. I’ve seen kids do this, just riding along.

Cost. Are you insane? Your complete bike retailed for $630 U.S. Each of those forks costs more than your bike. When you add the required 20mm-axle wheel, you’re looking at close to $1,000 in upgrades. If you had $1,600 to spend, you could have gotten a lot more bike.

Your Avalanche 2.0 is spec’ed for trail riding. For serious all mountain and DH riding, you bought the wrong bike. My advice:

– Leave your bike stock.

– Ride it as much as you can. Really learn to ride it.

– Save money for your upgrade. This time, buy a bike that’s designed for the type of riding you envision yourself doing.

— Lee

Regarding seals: Given enough time and wear, all forks develop leaks. I have two seasons of almost daily use on my FOX F100, and it just started weeping oil. Marzocchis tend to be very reliable.

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