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EDITORIAL

The Worst Purchase

Words Andrew Major
Photos As Noted
Date Oct 7, 2021
Reading time

Maligned & Memorable

Apparently, I talk regularly about my best value mountain bicycling purchases like I'm some kind of soothsayer of product supremacy; ancient Chris King hubs, magical multi-bike Race Face Turbine cranks, a twenty-plus-year-old King Ti bottle cage. But, let me stop the broken record there and pull back the curtain. The simple fact is, that for every epic win in my possession today, there is at least one skeleton, recycled ages ago, never to be spoken of again. There is no greater juxtaposition than my beautiful, bought-used, clear-over-raw, True Temper steel, Balfa MinuteMan single-speed, and the fantastic-looking Marzocchi Z150 FR SL air fork that was briefly married to it.

Ah yes, my 2004 Marzocchi Z150 FR SL air fork. It looked magnificent in the catalogue and I'd had such great Marzocchi fork experiences previously that I couldn't resist. To this day I think the one-piece battleship grey lowers, with their subtle M-Arch, and black crown-steerer combined to make for one of the best looking forks Marzocchi ever produced. Certainly, it shares more than a passing resemblance with the aesthetic that Fox chose for the brand when they acquired it. If you're not a fan that's okay, I'm absolutely not the arbiter of suspension cosmetics; however, when it comes to that fork there is one hill I'm willing to die on: Performance.

By a couple of massive miles with a 25% grade, this was the worst performing suspension fork Marzocchi ever made. Any ATA fork felt okay when it was working. The genuinely bad 44 TST2 Air was as plush as a 2002 Monster-T by comparison. The XC500 came in purple. Hell, that 2004 Z150 SL was actually worse than the rigid fork I replaced it with. They were equally stiff off the top and the rigid fork didn't suddenly dive-bomb itself on occasion. I had many a North Shore-inspired wreck that heavily featured that air-sprung Z1 fork and I may have owned it for a year.

*Cover Photo: Dave Smith

Marzocchi Z150 FR Retrobike Sam.jpg

The internet is filled with pictures of this 2004 Z150 coil I should have bought but I couldn't find a single usable shot of the Z150 FR SL. Almost like the web is trying to forget it existed as well. (Photo: Sam@Retrobike)

It still aches to recall the amount of time and energy I wasted trying to make that fork feel half as good as any budget Marzocchi product I'd owned previously. The truly basic Jr.T that it replaced was a remarkably better boinger. Never mind a refund of the fork's purchase price itself, if Marzocchi had compensated me for my time I could have called myself a professional fork tuner.

For the time, that massively overpriced Z150 FR SL could have been swapped for any single crown fork on the market like the original RockShox Pike, or a Manitou Sherman with their fantastic TPC+ damper. I could have happily taken the weight hit and ridden a Marzocchi Z-150 coil. I loved the 125mm Fox Racing Shox Vanilla 32 RLC! Despite all those excellent options, I took the SL home.

Eventually, I replaced it with a used Funn steel rigid fork off a Banshee Scratch that weighed just as much as the Marzocchi and matched the sagged axle-to-crown height almost perfectly. It was incredibly stiff and not a thought was spared for gram counting with a steel 20mm thru-axle and massive gusseting and I kept it significantly longer than the Z150 SL. And unlike the Z150, when I sold it, I did so with a clear conscience and no caveats.

That 2004 Marzocchi isn't the only time I've thrown cash into a flaming dumpster in the years I've been mountain biking, but more than any other hit to the treasury, it is the time I'd most like to get that money back. I'd bet my MinuteMan would have been so, so sweet with a 130mm Manitout Sherman Firefly TPC+.

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Comments

Keit
+2 Andrew Major brente
Keit  - Oct. 6, 2021, 10:33 p.m.

The first NP Scalp frame or RF Carbon Cranks. Both were made of cheese and burst into flames on the first ever ride.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 6:44 a.m.

My carbon crank failures have never been truly catastrophic but have also been very inconvenient. I don’t have budget for Ti EEWings so I’m full in the “RaceFace Turbines are light enough” camp.

Reply

velocipedestrian
+1 Andrew Major
Velocipedestrian  - Oct. 6, 2021, 10:47 p.m.

I had a Manitou Sherman Flick in 2004. 150mm travel and a qr, stand up to pedal and hear the rotor start to rub... Would have taken the weight hit of the Funn's steel axle in exchange for some stiffness.

Replaced with an '06 Pike U-turn. Far superior, and still occasionally regret selling it.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 brente
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 6:47 a.m.

Pike was a 20mm? Absolutely had to go thru-axle with the Manitou. 

Actually on an R7 right now and once you get over the optics of 32mm stanchions it’s impressively stiff (120mm) between the reverse arch and the Hex-Lock axle. 

Hex-Lock, with tool interface on the nut instead of the axle is so clean to use too.

Reply

mammal
+1 Andrew Major
Mammal  - Oct. 7, 2021, 7:15 a.m.

Yep, the Sherman with 20mm hex was the tits. 

I had that on a 2003 SC Heckler, my dream trail bike at the time. After way too many seasons without a service, it went to my new friend Zac (you know him) for some love, but needed a new upper by that point. Zac franken-forked it, and from that day on, it had zero rebound damping, so it was replaced by none other than a Pike U-turn Coil 20mm. Both those forks were the optimum of performance for the time, so I was beyond lucky to have made those educated choices.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+3 Mammal mtnfriend Sandy James Oates
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 7:33 a.m.

Those Hecklers - the various iterations of them - were great bikes. Solid values, took a beating, climbed well enough. My favourite Santa Cruz bikes of all time.

Reply

mammal
+2 Andrew Major mtnfriend
Mammal  - Oct. 7, 2021, 8:16 a.m.

I rode it from 2003 until 2011! By that time the geo was really holding me back when I came out to the mainland and rode with all my buddies who were Sea-to-Sky champions at that point. Sold it to some random super heavy guy (with stock 5th element coil, I kept the RP3) who was moving to the Shore. I shed a single tear, as I was certain it was destined for recycling soon.

Bonus fact: I still have a stripped/repainted Balfa Minuteman as my dirt jumper, complete with a 100mm Sherman 20mm Hex.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 9:15 a.m.

I LOVED my MinuteMan. That’s a sad story for another day.

LAT
+2 Andrew Major Mammal
LAT  - Oct. 7, 2021, 6:44 p.m.

hecklers  are the second and 3rd favourite bikes i’ve owned. i had my ‘05 for many years. 

bad purchase, maverick duc 32. amazing (especially for stoppies) until the kicked me out the front door. replaced with a used pike coil u-turn. those we’re happy days

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 9 p.m.

Maverick anything. I never as much as touched one of their products that weren't garbage.

Froggeror
0
Froggeror  - Oct. 7, 2021, 10:14 a.m.

Side question: Do you think the R7 will fit a 2.8 vigilante?

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 2:33 p.m.

No. I’m positive it won’t. No problem at all in the Mezzer though.

The R7 nicely clears a 2.4” DHR2 with the fender installed and clears a 2.6” Vigi with no fender. 

It’s an XC fork and XC Racers/riders are running 2.2-2.4” tires so I think that’s fair.

Reply

velocipedestrian
0
Velocipedestrian  - Oct. 8, 2021, 3:42 p.m.

Yup, it was my first 20mm fork, and until last month I've kept to that axle standard exclusively.

Reply

xy9ine
+4 Andrew Major Sean Chee Cr4w Derek Baker
Perry Schebel  - Oct. 6, 2021, 10:51 p.m.

oh man. i've been around long enough to have spent lots of $$ on questionable products. i had a mountain cycles suspender fork (circa 1991ish) that looked very trick - inverted single crown with one of the first production disk brakes - but (with only a qr front axle) was terribly flexy torsionally & laterally. and the elastomer springs compressed & hardened reducing the original 2.5" travel to half (i drilled holes in the elastomers to eke out a bit more compliance). it was both more expensive & worse than the OG rockshox RS-1 i had previously. but it sure looked cool.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+2 Perry Schebel mrbrett
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 6:51 a.m.

That Mountain Cycle fork with the big disc brakes looked SO AWESOME.

First shop I worked at had been a Mountain Cycle dealer and we had tons of spare parts for the brakes. In the early ‘00s it’s crazy how many folks were still trying to keep them going… it was like “have you tried Shimano XT 4Pots, Hayes Mags?! We also sold Grimeca brakes which were actually awesome.

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xy9ine
+1 Andrew Major
Perry Schebel  - Oct. 7, 2021, 8:15 a.m.

random - looks like the brake is more or less functional & someone is making reproduction elastomers for the fork (!), so I could *conceivably* get it rolling again...

Reply

cooperquinn
+1 Andrew Major
Cooper Quinn  - Oct. 7, 2021, 8:36 a.m.

DO THIS.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 9:16 a.m.

Hahahaha. What would you do with it? Probably even terrifying for gravel riding?!

Reply

xy9ine
+1 Andrew Major
Perry Schebel  - Oct. 7, 2021, 12:13 p.m.

i've run it cruiser mode on my schwinn (sans brake): 

Reply

xy9ine
0
Perry Schebel  - Oct. 7, 2021, 12:14 p.m.

here's the original installation (shudder):

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 2:34 p.m.

Photo didn’t upload?

dan
0
Dan  - Oct. 10, 2021, 6:12 p.m.

On a related note, my buddy Greg is a bit of a fork hoarder, and has done several tear-down vids of many of the classics. Here’s a look at a Noleen prototype.

Reply

fartymarty
+1 Andrew Major
fartymarty  - Oct. 6, 2021, 11:53 p.m.

- GT LTS team with fancy ti linkage and Judy DH.  That bike was always in pieces.  I guess the lesson is not to ride DH on a XC bike.

- Stratos MX6 - I cheaped out when I should have bought a Monster T (which I eventually did).  The Monster was a stella fork, the MX6 was the opposite.

- Hope 2 pot discs in the late 90s.  When they worked they were a ton better than the V-brakes they replaced.  When they didn't they weren't.

- Hope DH4 early 00's.  As above.  I bled those things so many times and couldn't get them to be consistent or even work at times.

- Hayes Ryde Brakes - not fun riding in the Alps with them.  I did make it down the Mega Avalanche with them tho.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Mammal
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 6:54 a.m.

Have to give it to Stratos though - forward offset crowns with straight legs/drop-outs were more knee friendly! And they looked sweet. 

Monster-T was such a reliable product. Really like the USD WhiteBros forks of that era too.

Reply

4Runner1
+1 Andrew Major
4Runner1  - Oct. 7, 2021, 8:23 a.m.

Unfortunately Stratos forks twisted if you ever landed nose heavy. Then one had to back off the crown bolts, twist the fork back and tighten. But you couldn’t tighten too much as it would cause binding. 

I also installed a stratos rear shock on my Norco Launch. ONE bunny hop onto a rock and it exploded. The shaft severed in two..

Stratos looked so hot but was just hot garbage. 

Shortly thereafter I threw on a Monster and never looked back….until I spotted that shiny silver Super T. Now that was a fork!

Reply

mammal
+1 4Runner1
Mammal  - Oct. 7, 2021, 10:50 a.m.

Shiny polished Super T! My first real dual crown fork (aside from a Judy DH that lasted about a month). It worked so well and stood up to everything. I didn't know how good I had it with that fork, and went on to probably the worst fork I've ever ridden (story below).

Reply

xy9ine
+2 Andrew Major Mammal
Perry Schebel  - Oct. 7, 2021, 8:46 a.m.

i had a couple USD WB forks - they were quite good (for the era). certainly one of the most reliable forks i've ever run, and decent dampers; lighter & stiffer than a shiver as well. 

my xvert carbon was on the other end of the maintenance spectrum - needed a tear down (to clean & lube) pretty much every race weekend, and ended up cracking the lowers. was quite light, and had a good damper, tho. 

my (1st gen) monster seals died in fairly short order (amazing the volume of oil that can puke past seals on a big open bath fork; i recall seeing people with rags tied to their monsters to catch the flow), and the upper crown broke; otherwise was a good-ish fork? 

i can just go on. we old guys do like to wax nostalgic from our rocking chairs.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+2 Perry Schebel tomis916
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 2:35 p.m.

Certainly I think “for the era” is the standard for any of this stuff.

Reply

DanLees1978
+3 kcy4130 Andrew Major mtnfriend
Dan Lees  - Oct. 7, 2021, 1:36 a.m.

I had the Z1 FR SL which were the QR 130mm cousin of the forks in the article. 

I rode them for 3  years or so including one summer where I spent the whole summer in the pointy bits of Europe. I got them to work acceptably well but OH MY GOD they were a pain to set up.

2 different shock pumps, a odd female to male adaptor to access the valves, I think an extra chamber that you had to remove the lockdown (not lock out, lock down) lever to access also vaguely affected the rebound damping. No Compression damping adjustment.

A less patient man would have thrown them into the sea!

They were replaced with a Rock Shox Pike U-Turn 454 which was better in every conceivable way.

Reply

kcy4130
+1 Andrew Major
kcy4130  - Oct. 7, 2021, 5:56 a.m.

Ha! I think that's what I had. Came stock on a 2003 Rocky mountain Slayer. My brother still has the bike I think. That fork was pretty annoying. The air in the negative chamber would leak into the positive chamber over a couple hours. Without negative air it felt completely terrible, like locked out, topped out until a big enough hit, then it'd blow thru it's travel. So on longer rides I'd have to stop to refill the negative air once or twice, or just ride it feeling like crap after the first hour or so of a ride. Plus positive air would become over pressured from the negative air leaking into it, so it'd have to be adjusted every so often too. Hucking it of retaining walls to flat, bottoming the fork with a hammer on anvil sound, good times.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 6:58 a.m.

Exactly!

The 2004 looked better than the 2003 though. Black stanchions. Hahahaha

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 6:57 a.m.

That’s the Z1 SL I’m talking about! What a PIA and total POS. Thankfully I moved on tout de suite. 

Couldn’t find a photo so used one of the Z150 coil that I should have bought (see caption).

Reply

inclag
+1 Andrew Major
Inclag  - Oct. 7, 2021, 5:09 a.m.

I've had a few regrettable purchases.  By far the most regrettable were the V1 Tannus inserts.  Absolute trash.  I experienced 3 flats after riding probably a combined mile of trail running normal pressures and 1150 gram rubbers.  Inserts removed immediately afterwards.

Kenda DH Nevegals and IRC Kujo DH tires were frightening, but then again anything without Maxxis or Michelin on the sides was back then.  

The Thomson 1.5 X4 stem was a splurge purchase, but any forged stem would have been better.  The stem required super high torque to hold it in place.  The screw heads were tiny, and underneath that beautiful anodize was some pretty poor machining of the steerer bore which compounded the challenges with keeping the handlebars straight.  That was a heck of a dud product as well.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Timer
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 7:07 a.m.

1.5” in general… 50mm stem minimum. Maybe a 45mm?

I had the best Tannus V2 moment this summer - at someone else’s expense - alllllmost feel like a knob for laughing. Guy obviously had a flat he could y fix, and Tannus does t run flat at all so there he is riding down mountain highway with this pink rubber insert bandoliered around him dripping sealant. He looked like the used-sex-toy delivery guy and I’m guessing he was done with inserts.

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LoamtoHome
0
Jerry Willows  - Oct. 7, 2021, 8:58 a.m.

you can certainly run Tannus flat...  buddy of mine did and it's in one of their promotional vids.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 9:14 a.m.

Jerry, is that like how you can run flat a DH tire with no insert until it comes off the rim? 

I’ve legitimately ridden down trails with a rear flat with CC Pro and I’ve ridden home with a front flat with CC Pro and both were very doable.

I’ve only parking lot tested Tannus (tubeless) with no air but I don’t see how that’s providing enough support to keep the tire on. Used-sex-toy-delivery-guy certainly wasn’t giving it a go. I know a few Tannus fans (no brain power required for install / weight savings) and they’d agree that run flat is the one place where CC is superior.

Link to promo video? Curious to see

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LoamtoHome
0
Jerry Willows  - Oct. 7, 2021, 9:51 a.m.

There was a video but can't find it but from their faq:

"One of the great features of the Tannus Armour is that if you get a flat during the ride you can ride a few miles without hurting your rim. However, if you do get a flat please avoid rougher terrain."  

The person I rode with down a very rough rocky trail (slowly) and no damage to rim or insert.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
+1 Andrew Major
Cam McRae  - Oct. 7, 2021, 11:27 a.m.

You can do it, just like you can ride flat with a flat and no insert; not very well. Unlike some other inserts, Tannus doesn't provide any sidewall support when uninflated but, as Jerry said, it should provide some protection. 

I use the term run flat the way tire mfgs use it, meaning you can run at a reasonable speed with decent control. Protection is obviously very important but if you can have that, run-flat at a decent pace and still have fun it means you can leave your tube at home.

Of the others I have tested in this regard, Cushcore Pro is certainly the best (you can ride surprisingly well with both front and rear flat) and Octamousse is very good in ( terms of straight-ahead running but without nearly as much sidewall support. As a result, it works well with a rear flat but would be more challenging with a front. 

Others I have ridden enough to estimate their run-flat potential are Rimpact (not quite as good as Octamousse but likely decent), Flat Tire Defender (approaching Cushcore Pro but not quite there), and Huck Norris (worse than Tannus).

Something that should be possible with Tannus is to slip in a thin tube, like Tubolito. The tube would be protected by the Tannus but should install and inflate without trouble. Something to experiment with.

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 2:37 p.m.

Thanks Cam, that’s what I was picturing for “run flat” - I can keep riding even if the performance/max speed is lower and with enough control to get down the trail.

Hadn’t considered others would read that differently.

IslandLife
+1 Andrew Major
IslandLife  - Oct. 7, 2021, 3:17 p.m.

Nope.  Have been running Tannus Tubeless Armour for a couple years now. About a couple months ago I had a flat after a tubeless valve gave up the ghost.  I didn't have a spare tube on me at the time and decided to try and ride it out to the parking lot just 5 mins of light XC style (lower Hornby Island) riding away.  After a couple mins of of being as carefull as I possibly could which was easy as it was Hornby... there was so little support that the tire unseated from the rim and started to peel off.  I was able to keep it on the rim enough to walk out, but that's all I was able to do.

I'm a huge fan of Tannus V2, and continue to run them full time, but that's the one downside compared with CC Pro for sure.

mammal
+2 Andrew Major Metacomet
Mammal  - Oct. 7, 2021, 7:31 a.m.

What's the difference between Tannus V1 and V2? I ran Tannus on my hardtail last season, between Nov-March, and loved them. Ran 2psi less than usual which allowed excellent grip on all-things, but not having flatted is perhaps why I loved them so much.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 7:34 a.m.

V1 had a tube inside and weighed a lot - a lot.

Any insert that you can’t limp home with a flat will become your worst enemy if you take it out to install a tube.

-

On my Walt right now I’m  running 2.4” rubber with CushCore XC and lighter sidewalls. Liking it but certainly there isn’t the same run-flat factor as Pro/Plus with my Tough WTB Vigilante. 

Probably the right time of year to go back to the 29+ up front anyways.

Reply

shoreboy
+1 Andrew Major
Shoreboy  - Oct. 7, 2021, 8:12 a.m.

There was (and still is) Tannus Armour (the tube within an insert which you are calling V1?) and what I assume you are calling V2 the Tannus Armour Tubeless (which is the more conventional CushCore type insert). I would not consider them V1 and V2 but two separate systems.

This: https://tannusamerica.com/pages/tannus-armour

vs

This: https://tannusamerica.com/pages/tannus-armour-tubeless

Reply

mammal
+1 Andrew Major
Mammal  - Oct. 7, 2021, 8:42 a.m.

That was my confusion. I wouldn't touch the tube/insert one with a 10ft pole.

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metacomet
+1 Andrew Major
Metacomet  - Oct. 7, 2021, 9:28 a.m.

I've actually had quite good luck with the tubed Tannus Armor on mine, and my sons DH bikes.  It's been very set and forget and has as good puncture resistance as I could possibly ask for within reason.  They're heavy, but I just want to ride DH with as little concern for puncturing as possible.  And they work well enough as a run flat to get down the mountain without breaking your rims, and are a quick and clean tube change once you get to the bottom.  I'm wondering if you kept pinching the tube during the install, as I have found the install process to be quite difficult since its so much material to cram into the center channel and keep organized, and also avoid pinching the tube when you are getting the last few inches of tire-bead back over the rim.  I have to first mount the tire either tubeless or tubed without the insert to get the bead seated, break the bead off one side, and then install the insert and tube.  That way I have the most amount of room possible for the insert and tube, and most importantly room to get the tire bead into the channel and over the last few inches rim without resorting to going full ape with the tire levers.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
+2 Andrew Major Metacomet
Cam McRae  - Oct. 7, 2021, 11:34 a.m.

I had a decent experience with Tannus tubed as well. I recently put one on the back of an e-bike I was testing and it worked as advertised. The problem is, as you mention, that they are very heavy. It's certainly nice not dealing with sealant.

Here are my thoughts after a day on them https://nsmb.com/articles/day-tannus-armour-inserts/ 

TLDR? They work well but they are too heavy because of the combo of tube and insert  (330g for the insert and ~250g for a tube = 580g).

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 9:08 a.m.

Thanks for the correction. I think of them as V1 and V2 as the tubeless version seemed like an obvious progression from the tubed one.

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mrbrett
+3 Andrew Major kcy4130 Cr4w
mrbrett  - Oct. 7, 2021, 6:33 a.m.

When I think back, some of my worst purchases were also fairly expensive. There was a good amount of time there, that so many strange mountain bike products existed with apparently no product testing whatsoever.

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AndrewMajor
+1 mrbrett
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 6:59 a.m.

Absolutely. The most memorable slag is the stuff I had to save for and then was mind blowingly depressing on the trail.

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kcy4130
+1 JVP
kcy4130  - Oct. 7, 2021, 9:14 a.m.

I've occasionally wondered how a lot of terrible products (in my experience anyhow) seem to receive a ton of praise in forums and such. I think some of it is post purchase rationalization, i.e. self delusion. And some of it is probably devious people very disappointed in spending a load of money on something they don't like and hoping to sell it to another sucker who believes the hype.

Edit: Maybe that is overly harsh wording, people focusing on positives is perhaps better. I know I've done it several times. Usually don't realize just how much I dislike a bike till riding something else more to my liking. Or riding my old bike only to realize how much better I liked it than the new.

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kcy4130
+1 Dogl0rd
kcy4130  - Oct. 7, 2021, 9:10 a.m.

Same, I think there's a common thread of the terrible expensive products often being from boutique companies. Not saying all small companies make terrible stuff, but some certainly do.

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velocipedestrian
+1 Andrew Major
Velocipedestrian  - Oct. 8, 2021, 3:48 p.m.

I'm currently feeling pretty burned by a Chris King headset. It's a delightful pink, and looks like it belongs on the 44mm head tube of a steel hardtail. But the process of tensioning the bearings is infuriatingly vague - I have to tighten it much more than feels right to prevent knocking.

It's pushing me towards a Works Components replacement, despite being happy with the bikes angles.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Velocipedestrian
Andrew Major  - Oct. 8, 2021, 3:55 p.m.

How old is the King headset?

Two easy fixes that will often resolve the issue you describe (or at least have in my Gen.1 purple ZS44/EC/44 headset):

1) replace the green o-ring in the bearing cap assembly. They do warp/compress over time. 

2) take off the snap-rings & seals and grease the bearings.

Reply

velocipedestrian
+1 Andrew Major
Velocipedestrian  - Oct. 8, 2021, 8:35 p.m.

Not sure how old (aren't they supposed to age like wine?) the two little diamonds on the bearing cap have a '2' and a 'K' in them.

I'll try your suggestions, cheers!

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AndrewMajor
+2 Velocipedestrian Karl Fitzpatrick
Andrew Major  - Oct. 8, 2021, 8:57 p.m.

Sure, just like wine. It's like a bottle of wine that you leave out in the sun, pouring rain, cover in sweat, etc. HAHAHAHA.

Always happy to help.

Znarf
+1 Andrew Major
Znarf  - Oct. 7, 2021, 6:39 a.m.

For me it is a toss up between a Wheeler Wasp full suspension frame I bought like new, but without warranty.

The seat stay snapped at the brake mount after two days of riding.

Close second: 

Marzocchi 66 SL (Air) fork. Beautiful monster of a fork. It was incredibly sticky. Turned out the mag lowers had a manufacturing defect. The through axle holes weren’t aligned properly. I could only insert the axle with considerable twisting force. 

Marzocchi claimed that tolerances were in an expectable margin, warranty denied.

I pedaled that boat anchor around for a year and it offered incredibly shitty performance.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 7:11 a.m.

My Marzocchi warranty experiences were good for stuff that could be fixed - surprises you didn’t get fresh lowers! 

I mean, thinks like ATA couldn’t be fixed permanently so there was never really any warranty satisfaction to be had there.

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craw
+2 Andrew Major Zero-cool
Cr4w  - Oct. 7, 2021, 6:58 a.m.

Accidentally adjusting a Marzocchi ATA (air travel adjust) fork from around 2008 but following the wrong order of operations and breaking the little kevlar fishing line that held the internals in place.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 7:09 a.m.

You and everyone who owned one! But when they worked they felt pretty good… at least compared to the SL… I mean… unless you had defective lowers obviously.

Reply

Bad-Sean
+7 Mammal Andrew Major Cr4w Cooper Quinn Zero-cool mrbrett Derek Baker
Sean Chee  - Oct. 7, 2021, 7:22 a.m.

ZZYZX. I’m pretty sure I win.

Reply

mammal
+1 Sean Chee
Mammal  - Oct. 7, 2021, 7:33 a.m.

Oh my...

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AndrewMajor
+4 Sean Chee Cr4w Cooper Quinn Derek Baker
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 7:39 a.m.

Hahahaha. That’s a bold race run to the hot seat but I think Cr4w might have you beat.

He had TWO Hanebrink forks at the same time! He once explained to me that each was good for THREE rides between rebuilds so having two meant he could ride six times before having to service them.

They sure looked cool though.

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Bad-Sean
+1 Andrew Major
Sean Chee  - Oct. 7, 2021, 7:52 a.m.

Yeah the hanebrink and zzyzx looked so awesome. I saved for almost two years to be able to afford them on a foes weasel. It was devastating to realise how bad they were. After six months I had saved a bit more so I sold them and got some super T’s. I still have them and the weasel somewhere in the attic.

Reply

xy9ine
+1 Andrew Major
Perry Schebel  - Oct. 7, 2021, 8:56 a.m.

we had a zzyzx come through the shop back in the day & somehow arranged to borrow it for a test ride; did a full disassembly, clean & lube prior to heading up to the bear mt dh track for some laps. after ONE muddy run it was sticky & feeling like shit. quite amazing.

Reply

manu_moisan
+2 Andrew Major Sean Chee
manu_moisan  - Oct. 7, 2021, 7:38 a.m.

ZZYZX, Girvin stem, RST Mozo hi-5, MEC spare tubes...

Reply

Fat_Tony_NJ
0
Fat_Tony_NJ  - Oct. 7, 2021, 7:43 a.m.

I had the '03 Z1 FR Sl. All silver, black & white stickers.... polished crown.... looked sweet, but was a terrible match for my Catamount URT bike. Replaced it with a Psylo. Much worse! LOL. That orange plastic travel adjust cap was designed to explode on impact.

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mammal
+2 Sean Chee AlanB
Mammal  - Oct. 7, 2021, 7:51 a.m.

My early-days success story of awesome single crown forks is mentioned above, so here's my worst purchase.

First to paint the picture. I was just transitioning from my Free-ride huckstible self, to my aspiring DH racer self in late 2002. I was going from a god-awful looking Norco VPS Buzz with an AMAZING Polished Marz Super-T, to a 2003 Norco Shore and convinced myself (or was convinced) I needed "A Racer's Fork". Well, this was the first year they did multi-teared models of the Boxxer, and I bought the cheapest one the offered, the Boxxer "Race". I rode it for two seasons, including my first several trips from the Island to Whistler, and MAN, was that thing complete garbage. For a guy trying to figure out how to go fast, that thing was probably only good for training you how to avoid unnecessary front-wheel contact. It worked at slow speeds, but it spiked like no other fork I've experienced. Eventually there was an "improvement" introduced by snapping one of the tabs off the garbage plastic damper, but it really didn't help. It was like there was a slide hammer coming up at the crowns, every time it needed some high-speed damping. I went from there to a full Norco DH bike in 2004 with the stock 888, and that fork was like a buttery dream-come-true compared the Boxxer "Race".

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trumpstinyhands
+4 Andy Eunson kcy4130 Andrew Major Pete Roggeman
trumpstinyhands  - Oct. 7, 2021, 8:08 a.m.

Marzocchi Star Fork (their first one). I installed the fork, pressed down on it, and the air valve / cap ejected from the fork and hit me in the face.

Answer Manitou (the first 'post Bradbury' fork). At least this stayed on my bike but it flexed more than it went up and down. 

Flexstem - I went to bunnyhop a log, and the area behind the elastomer snapped, sending me flying over the bar.

Specialized M2 Team Ed frame. Only 500 made, made from the same stuff as bits of the Space Shuttle (with hindsight maybe not the greatest of brags....), and super strong. In around 5 months I'd cracked it behind the head tube, bent the top tube, knocked the rear triangle out of line, and all the paint fell off. 

Tioga Farm John tire. Dear God..... Proves that pros will endorse any old shit for money. That stayed on my bike for one ride.

3T alloy bar. It would ben every other ride, so I'd just remove it, turn it upside down and re-install it! I guess it deserves some credit for not snapping.....

I could probably keep typing all morning :D

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mrbrett
+1 Andrew Major
mrbrett  - Oct. 7, 2021, 10:26 a.m.

Those Manitou Mach 5s with the ejecting top caps might fit into this list ...

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 2:44 p.m.

Early adopters / niche purchasers used to get burned soooo hard sometimes! 

I remember a call years back from a fellow with a Foes USD fork trying to track down a brake rotor for their 30mm (?) axle setup. That day. Hahaha

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blackfly
0
Peter Leeds  - Oct. 9, 2021, 11:58 a.m.

My 2001 Ellsworth Dare had a 20mm thru axle rear end; at a time only one other bike did: the SC Super 8.

One of only two I knew of hubs that would cut it was Razor Rock Racing.  They made aftermarket levers for Hayes brakes that were popular.  The hubs were shit.  Poorly sealed, poorly engineered with too few bearings in the rear for stability on the free hub.  20mm didn't leave much room for bearings of any sort....constantly had to take the wheel off to readjust the side load on the hub.  Front wasn't too bad but front hubs are impossible to screw up.  Company went under not long after.  Now you know why the 12mm standard is what it is.

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velocipedestrian
0
Velocipedestrian  - Oct. 9, 2021, 5:43 p.m.

12mm is the biggest that works with the Shimano HG lockring. How did the cassette work with a 20mm axle? Got a pic?

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blackfly
0
Peter Leeds  - Oct. 11, 2021, 8:27 a.m.

Unfortunately I don't.  This was 2001....I was using a Shimano cassette and RRR supplied a lock ring that was specific to the axle.  Tolerances were VERY tight.  It screwed into the free hub but was not that thick (obviously).  My first hub I had the free hub score the axle (which was also acting as a bearing shaft) and they warrantied the internals.  Seals were very poor.  The act of adjusting the side load every ride was tedious (this again due to the use of too few bearings and none could be used under the freehub).  Hub shells were well made, though, but so is anything CNC'ed.

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Bad-Sean
0
Sean Chee  - Oct. 12, 2021, 4:17 a.m.

My friend has one of those forks still in operation. I don’t know how, but I think he wasn’t really riding it outdoors properly. I’m surprised the seals on the old formula brakes still works. 

Another mate has a classic cannondale with head shock. He spent years looking for replacement needle roller bearings for it. It also has some coda cranks (the really nice Alex pong design) that used a proprietary bottom bracket. He ended up spending a fortune to get a replacement reverse engineered.

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Bad-Sean
0
Sean Chee  - Oct. 12, 2021, 4:17 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

WhistlerDad
0
Andrew Benson  - Oct. 7, 2021, 8:53 a.m.

I have a few gems:

- 9.8 dropper. Went through 4 warranty replacements before I gave up. 

- SID fork with lockout. The lockout was hydraulic and if if came off, which was a common occurrence, it's dafault position was full lockout. 

- Never bought a reverb but every time it came on a new bike they with never ceased to disappoint. Now I just take them off and sell them right away. The last one I sold for $175 unused. They retail for like $500-600.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Timer
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 2:45 p.m.

Push-to-unlock anything is a non-starter in my book. Default has to be open.

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IslandLife
0
IslandLife  - Oct. 7, 2021, 3:23 p.m.

Everyone shits on the Reverb, but the one that came on my 2019 bike was the best performing dropper I've still ever had (only Reverb I've owned).  Worked perfectly the entire season without any service...and then I sold that bike.  Maybe I was lucky...

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andy-eunson
+2 Andrew Major IslandLife
Andy Eunson  - Oct. 7, 2021, 5:19 p.m.

Mine is in the midst of its fourth season.  I bled the remote I think the first month I had it because the shop didn’t do it well enough. Zero service since. Still functions like new.

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AndrewMajor
+1 IslandLife
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 9:07 p.m.

Some folks get really lucky with their Reverbs. Some folks think the suspension motion is a positive attribute. Either way, they aren't _that e_xpensive to service at Fluid-Function. 

I will say, the newest versions (AXS and otherwise) seem to be a massive improvement.

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mammal
+1 Andrew Major
Mammal  - Oct. 8, 2021, 8:53 a.m.

I wouldn't call a $100 service inexpensive. And that was like 3 years ago.

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AndrewMajor
+2 IslandLife Mammal
Andrew Major  - Oct. 8, 2021, 9:02 a.m.

Yeah, I should have broken that down better. It’s not like suspension where folks who are on top of it are getting their fork/shock done every ~100hrs of riding. Reverbs just get serviced when they need service.

For most posts I deal with that works out to $25-50 a year. That’s a lot of service for the price of replacing the post.

It’s certainly not my first choice. I don’t love the aircraft carrier sized remote of the hydraulic version (prefer the old under bar plunger) and could never justify the cost of AXS - even though the new BikeYoke-esque revive system cuts that service interval by a pile more.

I just think the Reverb gets a lot of lambasting for what it was a decade ago v. what it is today.

The same way the Highline carries water for the Joplin, even though the Highline is excellent.

Ceecee
+1 Matt Lee
Ceecee  - Oct. 7, 2021, 8:55 a.m.

Many sold their worst purchases: pay it forward

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LoamtoHome
+2 Andrew Major mtnfriend
Jerry Willows  - Oct. 7, 2021, 9:02 a.m.

my worst products in around 25 yrs of riding...  e13 rims, Romic rear shock....  and RF carbon cranks.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Jerry Willows
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 9:20 a.m.

Romic! That’s a name I haven’t heard in a long, long time.

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LoamtoHome
+1 Andrew Major
Jerry Willows  - Oct. 7, 2021, 9:51 a.m.

felt great but didn't last for more than a couple of rides

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andy-eunson
+1 Andrew Major
Andy Eunson  - Oct. 7, 2021, 9:12 a.m.

I allowed myself to be suckered by those carbon brake rotors about ten or twelve years ago. Truly frightening on any north shore trail. “Same power but more modulation” they said. Then you realize the way the achieved that was with less grip. Reminded me of wet rim brakes but in this case, they never dried and started to work. 

Hope Tech X2 brakes were similar. Perfectly suited for XC they said. Between the lines “if xc equals gravel paths in the prairies”. 

These are all valuable lessons though. We learn to be sceptical and questioning of claims made by someone trying to sell us something.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 9:19 a.m.

Hahaha. You aren’t the only person I know of that threw down for an expensive reminder that power (pressure) and friction aren’t the same thing!

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Shoreloamer
+1 Andrew Major
Greg Bly  - Oct. 7, 2021, 9:19 a.m.

What was the name of the Marz repair shop ? Torca?  

Anyways I remember seeing hundreds of old damping carts ready to be recycled.  And an inverted fork with carbonfibre crown. Wade would sometimes be hanging around .  

I got lucky had Super T fork and many 55 forks. The 55 chassis could accommodate many different parts .  The ATA damper is a sealed piece of junk . Personally I still don't like how air springs feel.  For forks. 

My 55 rc3 ti has chrome bubbling off the stantions. It's done.  If I found another in exelent shape I would throw it on. I love a fork that stays consistent in feel and is easy to rebuild.  

Far too many reviews of new fork test were the fork had issues and needed to be addressed through warranty and a trip to the shop.  Not my idea of a reliable fork .

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AndrewMajor
+1 Greg Bly
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 9:10 p.m.

I know lots of folks who had great RC3 experiences. The nickel stanchions seemed to be hit or miss flaking wise where riders using roof racks seemed to get the shortest life span. But over time, they certainly all seem to bubble.

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mammal
+2 Greg Bly AlanB
Mammal  - Oct. 8, 2021, 8:57 a.m.

I had the '07 888 WC that came on my Norco Team DH until 4 years ago. I was only in use for the equivalent of 6 full seasons or so, but it never showed any signs of fading/flaking/bubbling. The silver coating on Boxxers however, those would flake just looking at them.

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AlanB
0
AlanB  - Oct. 9, 2021, 8:37 p.m.

No forks have ever matched the buttery smoothness of my Triple 8's. At 8" they were a little long and tended to wash out on corners, but after swapping internals for 7", they were perfect for my Norco Shore 2.

I really miss pedalling that 50 lb behemoth up to 7th... NOT!

Reply

Zero-cool
+3 4Runner1 ackshunW Andrew Major
Zero-cool  - Oct. 7, 2021, 9:39 a.m.

Too many to mention, but a brand new pair of Tioga Team DH tyres were possibly the worst thing I’ve ever put on a bike. As grippy as butter and when I eventually got fed up with them I had to cut them off the WTB rims with a Stanley knife after breaking 3 Park tool tyre levers, a Continental one, a pair of Pedros and bending the metal ones I borrowed from the local shop. 

And a pair of Marzocchi SL ATA 66s that performed great but they would have some kind of catastrophic failure on the first day of any alpine trip away. 

The penultimate year I was only saved because a friend of a friend knew one of the Marz DH mechanics was popping in to Morzine to visit his girlfriend the next day who had the (now obsolete) I needed  

The following year I added a few PSI to the mystery scrader valve on the bottom of one leg and something popped!  After that they never ever worked again. I could never find a service manual for them to this day  

Or the Marzocchi AM3s which felt plush as anything but had now rebound to adjust. 

Or the Thompson X4 stem with the tiny bolts. 

Still a fan of all my other Marzocchi forks I’ve had.

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4Runner1
+1 Andrew Major
4Runner1  - Oct. 7, 2021, 9:44 a.m.

Lol I also had a set of those Tioga tires. They were downright scary on wet roots as they would go sideways with zero warning.

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mrbrett
+1 Andrew Major
mrbrett  - Oct. 7, 2021, 10:28 a.m.

They were hell to seat straight too.

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ackshunW
+6 Andrew Major Pete Roggeman mrbrett kcy4130 Mammal brente
ackshunW  - Oct. 7, 2021, 12:58 p.m.

I put one on the rear of my hardtail, at 25, 30, or 20psi (didn’t matter) it felt like solid oak and rolled like a cinnamon bun! 

(On top of being slippery  and hard to get on and off)

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AndrewMajor
+1 ackshunW
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 2:47 p.m.

Hahaha, that’s one of the best one sentence tire reviews I’ve ever read!

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Andeh
+1 Andy Eunson
Andeh  - Oct. 7, 2021, 10:09 a.m.

My worst purchase, twice, has been Tannus inserts.  I just gave it a second chance last night, and both times the stupid thing causes a wobble in the tire.  I know the tire's fine because it's brand new and I test mounted it before I put the insert on.  The first time I tried it this spring, I gave it away and the person who took it said the same thing happened.  I cannot understand how Tannus gets such good reviews.  It's harder to install than Cushcore, and won't seat straight.  I now hate Tannus with a fiery passion.

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mammal
+1 Metacomet
Mammal  - Oct. 7, 2021, 11:02 a.m.

Interesting, I've had no such problem with mine. I've use them front and rear on my hardtail, only with Maxxis DHF 2.5 WT Maxterra, but with 2 different Duroc rims and one Reynolds Carbon rim. No issues. I also swap tires front-to-back as they wear, so lots of swapping back and forth.

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cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - Oct. 7, 2021, 11:40 a.m.

Interesting. This is the first time I've ever heard that. Are you sure the tire was seated completely? Otherwise, it's hard to imagine how that would happen because the pressure inside the tire wouldn't push the insert toward the outside of the tire. It seems like the issue would have to be at the bead. It's certainly possible that it was harder to get the bead to sit down with Tannus for you though.

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Andeh
0
Andeh  - Oct. 7, 2021, 12:13 p.m.

I've seen other people complaining about this issue on MTBR & TGR.  I'm certain the tire beads are fully seated (have pulled valve core out and visually inspected the bead).  My guess is that the insert itself is not evenly aligned in the center channel, or has a crease in it from packaging that causes it to push on the sidewall in a particular location.  I'm going to try removing the tire tonight without disturbing the insert to see if I can tell what's going on.

I'm running Union rims and it's a brand new Maxxis Dissector DD, so nothing unusual.  Same rim and I think a DHR DD when I had this happen in the spring.  That time, I seated the insert first, then the tire over it one side at a time like you would Cushcore.

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Shoreloamer
0
Greg Bly  - Oct. 8, 2021, 10:42 a.m.

Maxis does pump out some wobble tires out of the mold.  I've had a few Maxis tires that are impossible to roll perfectly straight. Maybe the insert amplifies the issue?

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andy-eunson
0
Andy Eunson  - Oct. 7, 2021, 12:14 p.m.

I had the exact same issue. Assegai 2.5 on a 29 mm rim. I put it down to the tires though because I found the Kevlar bead was loose in the rubber. I was wiping sealant off and I could see the sidewall of the tire bunching up. I found that they mounted OK. All I can think of is maybe my rim and the plastic Bontrager rim strip didn’t allow enough room for the insert. But the tell tale line on the tire was equidistant from the rim all the way around.

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andy-eunson
0
Andy Eunson  - Oct. 7, 2021, 12:14 p.m.

This comment has been removed.

ShawMac
0
ShawMac  - Oct. 7, 2021, 2:09 p.m.

My Tannus have had the same issue and I have been ignoring it. When I asked the brand ambassador about it, he did some looking into it and found out that the instructions to say to carefully massage the insert so the tire is centred all the way around. Next time I have to pop the bead off I plan to give that a try.

It is only evident on my front tire that ha a lighter weight side wall. I guess my Vittoria Martello rear, with stupid thick sidewalls, is to stiff for the insert to push out of alignment :)

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mammal
0
Mammal  - Oct. 8, 2021, 9 a.m.

The position of the insert and bead is key. Once the tire is on, I go around the tire about 5 times (one side, then the other), making sure the insert and tire beads are in the right place. It's in the instructions and the video.

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IslandLife
0
IslandLife  - Oct. 7, 2021, 3:27 p.m.

Weird... have been running them for two years now.. multiple sets of tire/rims.  1. Sooo much easier to deal with than CC.  I can unseat a single bead and push them in and pull them out without even dumping my sealant!  2. Never had a wobble, though I have heard another guy say he had a wobble.  I wonder if it's a defective insert that needs to be replaced... sort of similar to those minions with the same issue?

Reply

lamar454
+6 ackshunW Cam McRae IslandLife Pete Roggeman mrbrett Sean Chee
Peter Appleton  - Oct. 7, 2021, 11:02 a.m.

White Bros. UD 150 inverted fork, it came with NO DAMPING cartridges, they told me that would make it too heavy.

Full disclosure i had a sponsorship with them and the DH3 years later had damping but still imagine releasing a DH fork with no damping, just springs and a top out elastomer, and did it ever top out!!!

Reply

gdharries
+4 ackshunW Andrew Major Pete Roggeman IslandLife
Geof Harries  - Oct. 7, 2021, 11:43 a.m.

My worst ever purchase was a 1995 Marzocchi XC700 fork, featuring a glorious 2"of travel that was impossible to adjust and the world's flexiest lowers. I also bought the aftermarket rubber boots.

Reply

ackshunW
+1 Andrew Major
ackshunW  - Oct. 7, 2021, 12:44 p.m.

Beautiful fork! ;)

My LBS, mid-1990s, was a huuuuge advocate of those. They also sold Kona and put most of the factory rigid bikes on the floor with a Zocchi. My Lava Dome was paired with the next spec down, the Marzocchi XCR. At the time I thought it was great!

I think my worst purchase ever was also from that LBS, and pushed hard by the owner. Speedplay Frog pedals.   Ugh! Fragile and expensive cleats that had a pedal interface that relied on about half-a-millimeter metal-on metal overlap to hold tight. About 2 rides worth of mud wore away the metal enough for constant spontaneous foot release.

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xy9ine
0
Perry Schebel  - Oct. 7, 2021, 1:29 p.m.

i know people that loved frogs (ok, ONE person), but the free-floating / lack of positive retention was sketchy AF to me.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 2:49 p.m.

I was thinking compared to the competition those XC700 forks were pretty good… but then I remembered there was then, as there is now, the option to run a rigid fork instead. Much stronger argument to stick with rigid back then though, maybe.

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OneShavedLeg
0
OneShavedLeg  - Oct. 8, 2021, 1:13 p.m.

Had that exact XC700 fork on the first Norco dually (the one with the maple leaf cut outs in the frame around the rear shock). It flexed so far back one day it opened up the top of a water bottle I had mounted under the down tube. Took the fork off soon after.

Reply

shoreboy
0
Shoreboy  - Oct. 7, 2021, 1:47 p.m.

The 'mute responses to further replies' link doesnt work? I was hoping to be able to opt out of getting all the email notifications now and just come back and read the responses later, but the link is broken?

Reply

DaveSmith
+2 Andrew Major brente
Dave Smith  - Oct. 7, 2021, 1:59 p.m.

I concur. The z150 and 66 both share a special place in darkest corners of my heart along with the hayes hfx-9's.

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FlipSide
+1 Andrew Major
FlipSide  - Oct. 7, 2021, 2:33 p.m.

My two worst purchases were both forks:

Manitou Mach5 1998-ish I bought when someone stole the RS Quadra5 that came stock on my Spesh RockHopper Comp A1 FS. That fork was very bad, but all fork were bad in those days.

Marzocchi JrT 2002: 7" travel + very narrow width between stanchions + QR axle + crappy damper = Horrible fork. That's all I could afford when I bought my Balfa 2Step in 2002, but I promptly replaced it with a 6" Sherman Slider in 2003. That was much better!

Thankfully, truly bad mountain bike products are very rare these days.

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AndrewMajor
+1 FlipSide
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 6:13 p.m.

But that 2Step!!! Have you owned a bike you’re more nostalgic for?! I loved mine even with the quirky 27.0 seat tube ID.

Really vintage forks is hard, because they all sucked. I think there’s got to be an “I would have bought X instead” factor.

Reply

FlipSide
+2 Mammal Andrew Major
FlipSide  - Oct. 8, 2021, 5:13 a.m.

My 2Step was probably the coolest bike I ever owned. All the bikes I got afterwards were much better, but it was still a really cool bike. I have no regrets: I rode it until the frame cracked and I moved to something better. In that case, it was a Devinci Frantik with a Totem Coil fork. :)

Reply

IslandLife
+2 Geof Harries Andrew Major
IslandLife  - Oct. 7, 2021, 4:14 p.m.

Girvin Flexstem.  WTF Girvin... I was like 13 years old and must have weighed around 100lbs... and l broke 3 of them in a summer of riding.  Those drilled out metal side supports must have been made of butter and would just bend so easily.  Good thing my LBS (shout out to the old Bike Barn in Penticton!) was able to warranty replace them quite quickly.

Reply

gdharries
+2 IslandLife Andrew Major
Geof Harries  - Oct. 7, 2021, 4:25 p.m.

Oh man, I remember those. They were awesome and totally from the future....as long as you stayed in the parking lot.

Reply

rnayel
+1 Andrew Major
RNAYEL  - Oct. 7, 2021, 8:18 p.m.

2006 66 SL air. Hot garbage. After servicing them 4 times in a single year, Naz had pity on me and gave me a good deal on a set of replacement 888s as mine were out of warranty.

Reply

mammal
+2 Greg Bly Andrew Major
Mammal  - Oct. 8, 2021, 9:03 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

mammal
0
Mammal  - Oct. 8, 2021, 9:03 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

sanesh-iyer
+1 Andrew Major
Sanesh Iyer  - Oct. 7, 2021, 8:24 p.m.

My worst purchase is currently on my bike. I should have known better. I do know better. But I didn't want to be jaded. I bought it expecting a Ferrari (precision, high performance Italian engineering) and it's turns out to be a Lamborghini (precision, high performance Italian engineering that also occasionally spontaneously combusts). Failures have happened too many times and I've been lucky to walk away sans injury. Ill be warrantying it once more and swapping it for a Toyota.

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velocipedestrian
0
Velocipedestrian  - Oct. 7, 2021, 10:32 p.m.

EXT? Formula? Braking brakes?

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2021, 10:59 p.m.

You know it isn't Formula brakes. The most absolutely beautiful thing about them is how simple they are and yet that they're fully and easily rebuildable at the same time.

Reply

velocipedestrian
0
Velocipedestrian  - Oct. 8, 2021, 3:51 p.m.

I was thinking of suspension.

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mammal
0
Mammal  - Oct. 8, 2021, 9:05 a.m.

Do tell...

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cheapondirt
+1 Andrew Major
cheapondirt  - Oct. 8, 2021, 12:49 p.m.

I don't have any cool old school stories so I've got to go with Trickstuff Power+ brake pads, installed in winter in Chilliwack. Context is everything there. They probably work well in the dry and might even last longer than 10 hrs of riding. But in the wet there was no stopping power and the mud eroded them to nothing faster than I imagined was possible. Pick your pads for your conditions, not based on some German torque test.

Reply

Carmel
+1 cheapondirt
Carmel  - Oct. 8, 2021, 1:33 p.m.

Ground down two pairs (front and back) within 2 days of not overly excessive riding. Actually got replacements which I never expected, but they are collecting dust ever since.

Reply

cheapondirt
0
cheapondirt  - Oct. 9, 2021, 9:56 p.m.

Hardly seem worth installing, do they?

Reply

Fat_Tony_NJ
0
Fat_Tony_NJ  - Oct. 10, 2021, 1:55 p.m.

Way back when I also has a Scott Unishock. I was riding in Brooklyn and got hit by a car. Fork legs bent backwards, I unbent them and the fork may have performed better after that.

Reply

Fat_Tony_NJ
0
Fat_Tony_NJ  - Oct. 10, 2021, 1:55 p.m.

Way back when I also has a Scott Unishock. I was riding in Brooklyn and got hit by a car. Fork legs bent backwards, I unbent them and the fork may have performed better after that.

Reply

xy9ine
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Perry Schebel  - Oct. 13, 2021, 9:20 a.m.

i remember the unishock! soooo shit. they used a coil spring with no damper - just relied on the friction of snug tolerance plastic bushings for a modicum of rebound damping. of course, sealing & lubrication was nominal at best, so they seized within short order.

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