After test riding everything imaginable, I bought a Kona Cinder Cone that I absolutely love but I’m thinking of upgrading the fork from the stock Rock Shox Dart 3 that came on it. I’ve read a lot of user reviews about the fork and it seems worth upgrading.
I’m just getting into mountain biking at 41 years old and I have some weight to lose, I don’t plan on doing any downhill, racing or being airborne. I do plan on moving up from the basic beginner trails I’m starting out on, to more challenging terrain. Just want something durable and tough and reliable, with lockout. And preferably low maintenance.
I’ve been reading a lot of reviews on forks but there are so many out there, I don’t really know the difference, and how to narrow it down to what’s best for me. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
I’m sure there will be other responses from much more knowledgable folks, but in my opinion, I’d stick with the Dart 3 for awhile. Based on the riding you described that you’re doing/will be doing, I think it’ll hold up just fine. I have a gary fisher marlin with a Dart 2 on it, and it’s handled everything I’ve thrown at it just fine. I know this isn’t a top-of-the-line shock, but I’ve taken some decent-sized jumps that the Dart 2 has handled just fine. I’d save your money & roll with the Dart 3 until you don’t have a choice 😀 BTW, I looked up the Cinder Cone and it looks like a pretty sweet ride. Have fun!
I think I agree with droc. It is usually more expensive to upgrade single components and the shock is one of the priciest parts. The one on the bike is a decent enough fork. You bought a quality bike and should be good to go. You ought to take your money and stash it because you will eventually reach a level where you don’t just want a fork but a whole new ride, and then you will have money already set aside and you won’t be hampered by the "I’ve put so much into this one" problem. Either way keep riding and have fun……….
Devin and Droc both have sound advise. The second you start spending money on individual components like a fork it becomes a never ending story and in the end you won’t be happy..If anything enjoy the bike awhile longer and then maybe in a year or two or whenever a smoking deal comes along get a bike with a better group package…
Otherwise upgrading to a fork like a Rockshox Reba / Recon or a Manitou Nixon or Fox vanilla may do the ticket but your spending around $400.
If you wait you could probably find a whole bike for something like $1000 that is decent.
Thanks so much for the fast replies, and the compliments on my new bike! I absolutely love it, and love trail riding so far.
My concern about the Dart was based on reviews I’ve read of the shock breaking… my bike is last year’s model and I’ve read that many ’08 Dart 3’s failed. So I was thinking maybe just go ahead and swap it out now and avoid the hassle. I’ll keep it for now at least and see what happens this summer.
If you check out Jenson USA they have this month a Marzocchi XC for for sale for $189. Reg price $390…But like I said if you can wait and save up get a decent bike later..Once you get better as a rider and figure out what level of riding/type your doing on a regular basis.