Struggling with fork upgrade decision

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Struggling with fork upgrade decision



This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of aasnowrider aasnowrider 1 year ago.

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    Hi.  I recently bought a Giant Talon 3 (2017), but am unsettled by the yellow sticker on the fork saying that I shouldn’t be riding the bike as hard as I had hoped, so I’m looking to upgrade the fork.  I’m thinking maybe the following…

    RockShox Recon Silver RL Fork: 27.5", 100mm, Solo Air, 9mm QR, Crown Adjustment, 1-1/8" Alum Steerer, Disc Brake, A1,

    My question is…if by some miracle I am able to do the installation myself, will my bike, with its new fork, then be considered a true trail bike?  I suppose a true trial bike would need more travel in the fork.  Short of that, would my bike be considered something that I can ride hard on the trails?  As it is now, I don’t think the bike is worthy of the trails I want to do on it.

    I wasn’t happy that the yellow sticker said “leisure cross country only.”  I thought I was buying a mountain bike.  I guess not.  I’ll know better next time.

    By chance, has anyone done a fork replacement on a Giant Talon 3?  How hard was it?

    Tools I might need: Rubber mallet, hack-saw, file, torque wrench, tube grease, allen wrench, shock pump, what else?  I don’t have a bike mount or a table with a vice-grip, so that may make things difficult.  I guess I can have a local bike shop do the tube cutting and spangle-nut stuff.  Any other advice?



    You bought a great mountain bike! The talon 3 offers a lot for the money. Lawyers told Suntour to put that sticker there as it’s a liability thing. It’s probably there to keep people from doing 5ft drops who don’t know better. I honestly would ride it into the ground as it is, and then upgrade. Suntour also does a fork upgrade program for some of the models on low end bikes too.



    My first bike was a Talon 3.  I still own it and enjoy riding it.  I upgraded the fork to a Rockshox 30 Gold TK Solo Air fork and it made a big difference in the type of trails (mostly intermediate/a few advanced) and the speed that I was comfortable riding. Had the shop mount the fork.  I also put on a WTB Pure Gel saddle.  These upgrades were good investments in my opinion and allowed me to be more confident and comfortable on the bike.


    Since you have new Suntour fork and you’re eligible for their upgrade program, you should consider that.  I used it to upgrade to a Raidon, which from my research is a great value.  It’s basically $100 off of a new fork.

    Being a newbie to mountain biking and bike maintenance, I found installing a new fork to be pretty easy.  A hacksaw would be good to use (I used a bandsaw at work).  I used a piece of PVC tube to set the crown race.  You can use a standard hammer because the PVC will absorb the impact.

    I had a LBS set the star nut for me because I live in a small apartment and don’t have all the tools I would want, but you could easily use a piece of all-thread or a long bolt to set the star nut.

    I had bought a new Trek Marlin 5 (super low level compared to what everyone here wants), but I have been riding it for the past 6 months and I wouldn’t believe it’s holding me back.  I feel like I’ve gone from complete newb to highly skilled newb in no time.  I’ve beaten the tits off of it, and myself in the process.  I’ve broken a few things (on the bike).  I had upgraded the fork because I practically got the bike for free due to a glitch in the store system, and I am happy with the upgrade.  I think the warning sticker is based on the frame material and construction strength, but there is probably more than enough safety factor used in design to handle aggressive use.  I would challenge you to break the bike with your current skills and riding.


    RockShox Recon is a great beginner fork, I’d highly recommend it. I noticed the same sticker on my SR Suntour P.O.S. and felt the same way. I thought it was pretty ridiculous. I hated that fork. You should notice a much better ride with an air fork.

    If your unsure about installation you can go to a bike shop and see if you could buy the fork through them and have them install it. My local shop does it for $20. That includes everything-cutting the tube, installation, and they’ll help dial it in. If you do choose to install yourself it’s really not too hard. You’ll need a 5 or 6 mm allen wrench, a rubber mallet, & grease. You can use a hacksaw but you can also get a special tool with a small circular blade that is made for cutting steerers, seat tubes, handlebars. This will be neater than using a saw. A torque wrench is helpful but I don’t think it’s mandatory, just make sure you still have movement in the heat set without any play. You’ll need a shock pump which is a good investment because it can be used for other bikes with air suspension you might have someday in the future. It’s possible to install without a vice but you’ll need someone or something to prop and/or hold the fork in place while you tighten everything up.


    Thanks, everyone, for the advice.  I ended up contacting the bike-shop I bought the bike from (Biker’s Edge) and they hooked me up with a discount deal on the Recon, and they’re going to install it for me for $15.  Total damage will be $240.  I debated quite a bit on whether to do it myself, but I just didn’t want to screw it up.  The toilet paper holder I installed a few years ago is a bit manky and falls off the wall sometimes.

    Maybe I should have been content with the Suntour XCT and not worried about it.  I just want any lack of confidence to be restricted to me, not the bike.

    I guess the sad thing is that if I add the original cost of the bike (about $550, if I remember correctly) to the cost of this upgrade, then that gives me about $800 I could have spent on a new bike to begin with that probably would have had better components overall.  Oh-well.  I’ll know better next time.

    Next time I want to get a real trail bike.  In the mean time, I have to build up the skillz for that anyway.  Not sure how far I can take this new mountain bike addiction.  Haven’t crashed yet, but it’s inevitable.  Once I’ve finally crashed once, I can stop worrying about it, I hope, if I survive.


    good thinking with the upgrade. i felt the exact same way with my rockhopper sport.  thought i was buying something more capable only to find out that i would need to upgrade and put money in right away.  i rode that suntour for about 9 months before i couldn’t take anymore and i purchased the recon as well. the LBS installed and out the door for around the same price you paid. after riding the recon for the past 7 months i still feel the “wow” sensation of buying that fork.  love it.  my RH is lighter and way more capable. i bought the RH for 700, then put on pedals for 50, then the fork for 230, so yes, i paid more but i know the bike so well and it handles anything i throw at it.  Including 6-10 days a year in pisgah and dupont here in north carolina.  point being, ride the hell out of what ya got.  it’s just awesome to be in the woods on a bike!!  Of course, i am constantly looking at full suss for my next bike but when i’m on the trail with my RH/recon i have no worries.

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