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 Post subject: Early suspension forks
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:53 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:24 pm
Posts: 303
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
The closing years of the '80s and the early '90's were a golden era in the development and popularization of bicycle suspension forks.

To my mind, the early era of mountain bike sus. forks runs up to 1994, 1995 bringing the entry of the early "modern" forks, Judy and others, bringing to a close the era of the early forks.

What was your favorite fork of this era (say, 1988 - 1994)? Which offered the sweetest damping, the best tunability, the lightest weight, the coolest looks?

I'd list:

Specialized FSX carbon/ti air-oil (duh... It's in me name, eh?)
- It's light! (I seem to recall something like 1.9# dry, no steerer, but have never weighed mine)
- It's reasonably stiff
- It's wonderfully tunable - Nice damping gave the 60mm (LT kit) a bottomless feel
- It used pretty accessible parts (RS Mag bits)
- It's worst feature was the lack of top-out springs (thuck-thuck-thuck)

Amp linkage forks (never rode one, always lusted after them)
- Oh, how cool they looked!

I remember when the first Judy's came out, I was working as a jr. wrench at my LBS. I recall being sooo excited as we unboxed the first bikes fitted with'em... And my disappointment at the feel of them in test rides.... Just didn't have that quality-damped feel that a good air-oil did...

What were your favourites?

J


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:46 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:25 am
Posts: 265
Location: bedfordshire. uk
i still own one of the very early setx of zzyzzx forks ... they were never that great a fork but had that
"wow look at them" effect on everyone.
mine were one of the first sets to be soold in the uk, i had to go and collect them from hotlines at a bike show in the Olympia hall. in london.. had to wait to the end of the show. the guy on the stall cot the zip ties of one of the show sets. re packed them in the box and off i went with a smile from ear to ear....

finaly got a set of their big brother the Hanabrink LT8´s... last year. still not a wonderfull fork... but very cool on their own way.
the ZZYZZX fork are about the righ time your talking of.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:57 am 
BoTM Winner / Gold Trader
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Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:36 am
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Location: Burlington, ON Canada
Z1

/thread


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:52 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 11:50 am
Posts: 824
Location: Middlesex
I had an amp b3 and the fork is indeed quite amazing, it has a slightly weird feeling when you ride it but you soon get used to it and carry on regardless. I'm in the process of building an amp b5 with f3xc fork, will be interesting to compare it alongside others forks. definitly the amp fork is at the top.

for me the main fork was the manitou one, I'm waiting on a decent sounding one coming from germany currently.

Both are iconic.

So for me:
Manitou one
Amp
Judy SL's

i tried the latter and they rode like spagetti.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:24 pm
Posts: 303
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
I remember seeing the ZZYZZX (Bullet Bros, right before their demise, no?) for the first time when I went to my first (and only) world cup event, at Mont. Ste. Anne in 1996... They looked SOO trick! I still have the little red bullet bros keychain they were giving out at their booth.

I raced Sportsman at that event, finishing dead-mid-pack. It was great fun! Highlights included a friendly "Hey there!" from Tinker as he passed me on a practice lap (man had an engine, I tell ya!), Palmer's bus, Missy stalking the pits in Missy style... And the epic leg cramps the day after the race, on the drive home!

I'd done a practice run the day before the race, but missed much of the course. I'd practiced only the shorter pro course, LOL. That mucky power line segment was killer, and I crushed my Mamoth Mtn pump on the bridge railing at the bottom of a fast, rocky decent... Blackburn warrantied it!

J


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:09 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 10:35 pm
Posts: 8423
Location: The desolate flats of Cambridgeshire
Pace RC35.

Had the looks dialed in (Carbon Fibre- before the FSX?), available with direct mounts for magura's, which back in 1992 were the top of the list for stopping you rolling.

Easy to swap out Elastomers, and seals that survived the English mud for more than 12 months without the need to rebuild.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:51 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:44 pm
Posts: 1934
Location: wirral
Mag21 sl ti's lusted after them could never afford them (then) and were they before the specialized fsx forks?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:57 pm 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:52 am
Posts: 149
JeRkY wrote:
Pace RC35.

Had the looks dialed in (Carbon Fibre- before the FSX?), available with direct mounts for magura's, which back in 1992 were the top of the list for stopping you rolling.

Easy to swap out Elastomers, and seals that survived the English mud for more than 12 months without the need to rebuild.


Another vote for Pace. Could be stripped, cleaned, lubed and rebuilt in about half an hour. Still got mine.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:25 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:24 pm
Posts: 303
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
The Mag 21 TI SL's are about the same time as the FSX, they share many parts. THe FSX was lighter, but the 21 had top-out springs...

J


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:10 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:04 pm
Posts: 1800
Location: A wretched hive of scum and villainy...
Lawwill Leader for me: Linkage-tastic :shock:
Proper air/oils shock, supple action and pretty light at around 1700g.

Image

All the best,


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