Replacement fork options for 1998 Orange O2

Knightrider

Orange 🍊 Fan
Not quite how I wanted to introduce myself to the forum - I was hoping for a nice "this is my bike" thread - but I've hit issues that I need help with!

I have a 1998 Orange O2 in polished aluminium that I have owned from new. In the mid 2000's I replaced the original RST forks with some Marzocchi Bomber air forks. I haven't used this bike much for quite a few years (kids, then more road riding rather than MTB) and have just decided to refurb it to get it running again.

I took it to my LBS last week to get it looked at with a view to a fork service and conversion to 1x, new cables, pads etc. The forks were completely seized, and they just called to tell me that the internal sealed cartridges are shot and can't be replaced.

So question is - what to replace them with? I am not too fussed at keeping it period (the forks were aftermarket anyway) - more important that it is rideable. I would be looking for a 26 inch 1 1/8 fork with 80-100mm travel, light as possible, with v-brake mounts. I weigh 72kg.

Options are:

1) Something used from the period/slightly later - Pace RC36? Fox F80/F100? Other options? Would need to be in good working order.
2) A new fork - options are limited for v-brake forks. I can still get RS Recon Silver TK or RS 30 new for £150-250 depending on model. But would this wreck the geometry?

Advice gratefully received - especially if anyone has anything in good condition that they would be interested in selling!
 

sam_white

Retro Guru
Personally I'd pick up another set of Bombers. Depending on your current forks you may not even need a whole fork, just unbolt the crown and slot in the stanchions from the replacement fork. Tonnes of options out there, air/coil, 70/80/100/130mm travel, some good second hand deals too.
 

Knightrider

Orange 🍊 Fan
Personally I'd pick up another set of Bombers. Depending on your current forks you may not even need a whole fork, just unbolt the crown and slot in the stanchions from the replacement fork. Tonnes of options out there, air/coil, 70/80/100/130mm travel, some good second hand deals too.

The idea of getting a donor set for parts is a good one. The forks are actually in quite good cosmetic condition. Just waiting to get them back from the LBS so I can check the exact model/year...
 

captaincowelly

Senior Retro Guru
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Manitou SX/SXTi could be an option for the era.The Ti ones have Ti springs,saves a bit of weight.Decent set can usually be picked up for £70-£80.Seem to go for less than money than Rockshox SID's.Other models around that era; SX-R,Spyder,Long travel,X-Vert,or the Mars with the carbon lowers (though I believe seals for some of those are unobtainable).
I'm more for Manitou but obviously Bombers/Rockshox have a big following,just don't know them so well.
 

captaincowelly

Senior Retro Guru
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Oh,and welcome to the forum by the way!Always good to have some fresh input.Hope you find everything you need here,will probably find a lot of things you want!
Repairing what you have is always a good thing but if you decide on replacement,here's an example.Very reasonable price too;
 

Knightrider

Orange 🍊 Fan
Oh,and welcome to the forum by the way!Always good to have some fresh input.Hope you find everything you need here,will probably find a lot of things you want!
Repairing what you have is always a good thing but if you decide on replacement,here's an example.Very reasonable price too;

Thanks! Just waiting to get the bike back from the LBS, and I think I am going to try to do as much stuff as possible myself. Once I have some pics, I will start a build thread in the hope that someone might find it useful! I'm sure I will have plenty of questions, as other than basic maintenance I don't have that much experience in bike building.

Big issue with bombers seems to be service/parts options are limited. I'd love to go more period and add some z2s. I think prior to the current forks I had z5 flylight airs on the bike for a while. The Manitou's look a good price and the steerer should be long enough, so might be an option if I can't repair the bombers...
 

captaincowelly

Senior Retro Guru
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Well whatever you choose,forks of that era are pretty common,plenty of options so worth a good shop around/wanted ad.Spares can be a bit hit n miss.
Good to hear you're gonna give it a go yourself too.I'm sure you're aware there's enough expertise and experience here,and a lot of jobs aren't that complicated with the right tools.Pics and build threads always appreciated!Best of luck! 😁 👍
 

FluffyChicken

Archivist
Retrobike Rider
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Await the version, most the Bomber airs I've played with don't have cartridges, just metal or plastic bits with holes in them, other than the super/xfly that are not too bad, (fragile to repair but not hard to service.)
Like them z5 airs you had as even easier.
So 99 to 2004ish.
Parts can be found.

An welcome to he forum. :)
 

captaincowelly

Senior Retro Guru
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There you go! There's usually someone who knows what they're talking about,ready to pick up the baton!
Shame I keep dropping it.😣😂
 

kraeMit

The Number Of The Beast
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If you go for Marzocchi Bomber's from that period : I have seals for all the 30mm Bombers in a few weeks.
 
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