New fork for my Rockhopper

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    • #206125

      Hey guys, so I’m trying to upgrade my shitty Suntour fork that came on my RH Comp. Obviously budget is an issue, otherwise I’d drop $1500 on something sweet. I’m browsing Jenson and saw Rockshox Yari RC 29 for about $659 USD. I’m sure people will rag on this fork but it’s all I can afford.
      My question is, since my RH is a hardtail and it came with a 100 mm fork, what is the largest travel fork I can slap on it, without compromising the integrity of the headtube/geometry? 120 mm, 130 mm, or what?
      Thanks for your input.

    • #206126

      Increase from 100 to 120 mm will slacken your head angle about 1 deg and raise your bottom bracket about 8 mm (5/16 in). Seems reasonable.

    • #206133

      I’d consult with the manufacturer before you go above 120. When I was gonna upgrade a Scott hardtail that I had I was warned by my LBS to verify with Scott that the exact fork I wanted(100 to 120) would not cause too much stress on the frame or void the warranty.

    • #206135

      What @NickHepler said. Putting a longer travel fork on a bike is one of the quickest ways to void your warranty. If you don’t care about voiding your warranty, 120mm is the max I would go. Any longer and you could end up with an odd-handling bike.

      Can I ask why you’re looking specifically at the Yari? It’s probably overkill for a hardtail. You’ll be pushing around extra weight that’s not really needed in that travel range. I’d steer you more towards something like the RockShox Reba or the Fox 32 Performance:

      A buddy of mine has that exact fork (29er @ 120mm travel) on his hardtail and has been very happy with it. It’s about $100 less than the Yari, too.

    • #206143

      Thanks guys.


      And i  as only looking at the Yari because it was on a good sale.   I will check out Reba as well.

    • #206150

      Good morning Buddy.  Make sure to check with your LBS to find out what you can get away with or call the manufacturer.  A longer fork will increase your head tube angle and could cause the bike to ride funny and void your warranty.  You should be ok to jump up to 120 or so but I would definitely check to make sure, first.  You can find some smoking deals on high end forks on Ebay BTW.  I know everyone is all about supporting their LBS but when it comes down to saving 300 to 400 bucks, its worth shopping around.

    • #206209

      I have a 120mm fork on my 2015 Rockhopper. It is a Rockshox XC32. Heavy, but a pound lighter than the Suntour pogo stick that was stock.

      I rode it at 100mm for a while then when the time came for its first service, I removed the travel spacer on the air spring shaft to increase it to 120mm. I weigh 220lbs and have had no handling or frame issue after nearly two years. Although it depends on how you ride. I have the bike set up singlespeed and only use it on tame trails for fitness, so little to no jumping or high speed rough sections.

      One issue you may need to consider when shopping for a fork for your bike is the headtube. I think the Rockhopper Comp came with a tapered headtube, but you need to make sure. And even though it may be tapered, those Suntour forks had 1 1/8″ steerer tube. So you may have to purchase and install a new headset. At the minimum a new lower cup to accomodate a tapered steerer.

    • #206213

      I just recently ordered a new fork for my 2016 Specialized Fuse Comp 6Fattie. It came stocked with the “SR Suntour Raidon 650+, air spring, S: 100mm travel, M/L/XL: 120mm travel, compression adjust, rebound adjust, tapered alloy steerer, alloy stanchions, 15x110mm thru-axle” fork. Reason for ordering a new fork is because I was within a nano inch of ordering a brand new Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert Carbon 6Fattie and plopping down $5K. But being birthed on a hardtail and that’s ALL I’ve ever ridden I just cannot find any valid excuse/reason to dive into the world of full suspension even at 53yrs old. Well, not yet that is. lol. So, I’ve made a command decision to love my current bike more and start upgrading it. AND, save some money for myself.

      The fork I just ordered is the “RockShox Pike RC 27.5+, Solo Air, compression and rebound adjust, tapered steerer, 15x110mm Maxle Stealth thru-axle, 51mm offset, 150mm travel” from my LBS. He suggested only going with 120mm travel. Not being a big component gear head on different bike parts, pros/cons, operations, etc. I have to lean on and trust in my LBS and I do.

      But some of you above suggested making sure that any new forks are right and fit otherwise you compromise quite a few things. Can anyone of fine fellow bikeriders please tell me if these new Rockshox Pike forks will fit my bike and not have any potential problems or issues? I trust my LBS and have no doubt they would sell me something just for a sale as I’m a long term customers of theirs. But spending the $$ I am on these new Rockshox is not something I want to regret later on.

      Thanks guys!

    • #206230

      @kenwrightjr that Pike should fit your bike in terms of the head tube. But listen to your shop about not going beyond 120mm. The 150mm will slacken your headtube by at least a couple degrees, slacken your seat tube angle, and also raise your bottom bracket height. Probably to the extent that it will be detrimental to your bike’s handling.

      You can still buy the Pike and drop the travel down to 120mm, but you’d have to get a new air shaft for it to do so. The good news is an air shaft is only around $30-$40 for the part.

    • #206231

      I’d sell the rockhopper and use that money and the money you were going to spend on the fork to get better bike.

    • #206236

      Just did this same thing 3 weeks ago.  I have 2016 rockhopper sport.  Upgraded to Recon silver 100mm for about $220 with labor.  this was a perfect upgrade for this bike.  The solo air will amaze you from the get go, not to mention the bike is a little over a pound lighter.  So much more fun and smooth. Decided not to go with 120 due to the fact that this bike is what it is, perfect for trail riding, great climbing, and faster downhills.  I held off on 120 also so i could just go with a full suspension next.  Was also thinking of going 1X next but its just too much work to put into this hardtail.  Put the recon 100mm on and there you go. save up for a FS and use the rockhopper for fun quick local rides.  I ride this bike in pisgah, dupont, and the local trails in charlotte, NC.

    • #206283

      Thanks guys for your input.   I appreciate all your opinions.
      crackerman I wish I could do that, but the lack of funds is preventing me from buying an FS bike in the near future.
      aasnowrider i also thought of putting a 1x on there but that money I will save to put towards a new bike.   Where did you get he Reckon Silver from, your LBS or online?

    • #206285

      I absolutely despise when someone says “sell it and but a better bike” !! Really? like everyone has the disposable income to run to the LBS and drop 5k on a “Better Rig”….. screw that!! the Rockhopper has been around for a zillion years and is staple in the MTB world. The frickin’ Industry has everyone “Brainwashed” that they need the next best bike. Personally I’d keep the Rockhopper and upgrade it like you want, it’s your cash and your bike.

      I personally been riding Hardrocks since maybe ’89, when I was 1st introduced to the magical “mountainbike”  I have thrown filthy money at em’ all and besides being called crazy, I hoon the local trails with the best of em’. Whatever happened to the plain simplicity & innocence of just riding a bicycle? Do what you want to your bicycle man, it has been my experience over the years, it’s always the kid on the “junker” that will destroy your hopes and dreams with a song in his heart & a big friggin’ smile on his face.


    • #206288

      Cliffdog you got lost on what I said. No where did I say run out an buy a 5k bike. I started out on a Hardrock as well. All I’m saying I wouldn’t drop a ton of money in the rockhopper, unless you can use the parts on a different bike. If you fine with the rockhopper that’s great, nothing wrong with that. What I’m saying is sell the bike, say $500 and then use that extra money you were going to spend to upgrade for a used bike on pikebike or whatever site. But hey your asked the question, I’m just giving you my opinion.

    • #206289

      Aaron, thanks for the information and I did exactly as you suggested. I contacted my LBS and suggested to him what you said and he did tell me that he was getting me this fork in the 120mm travel version only. I suppose you can buy it just like you can the 150mm version. So thank you so much for pointing that out to me to ask. This is exactly why I enjoy checking out the forum every day because there are folks here who have tremendous knowledge and experience to share with others.

      I’d like to respond to what Cliffdog said above in regards to how there is a unspoken, if you will, pressure to always be upgrading your bike. I second how you feel what your response to that very fact. So many people who are in this sport and especially those just beginning lots of time simply do not have that disposable income because they *GASP* happen to live on a budget. I remember that special moment I purchased my first bike. I glowed for days and weeks afterwards and it happened to be a Rockhopper as well. I work around a few guys who happen to have this disposable kind of money and own some very VERY nice carbon, FS bikes as you can imagine costing big money. Now I own another Specialized (27.5+) hardtail bike because it just fit me better at my older age and I felt safer on the trails than my 29er. I’ve been talking about upgrading it with newer, better brakes as well as upgrading this Fork. These guys were incredulous to the idea and said I was crazy, and that I should just plop down money to get a new bike that already had certain components on it. To me, the beauty in owning your own bike is taking pride in it and taking care of it. And taking care of it is maintaining it, cleaning it regularly, and the funnest part is finding ways to upgrade it like EndoPro is above WHEN YOU HAVE THE FUNDS AVAILABLE to do so. Your reply really set me off in a good way to not always be forced or pressured into selling your current bike and buying a new one. I’m sure crackerman had nothing but good intentions but I think it is worth here letting others like EndoPro knows it’s quite alright to do what he is doing and I applaud you for taking baby steps in making your baby rock. Own that and when you’re done EndoPro PLEASE PLEASE send us pics of her! I’m pulling for you dude!

    • #206290

      I guess I’m a bit of a Luddite when it comes to bikes. Plus, Ima addicted to upgrading junk, A 500 dollar bicycle is like crack to me. I guess I wouldn’t recommend my practices to everyone but, I love riding what everyone considers a “Junker”  with nice bits. It’s just a lot of ppl, on various forums, chastise some for putting sweet pieces on what’s considered unworthy. Nothing Directed at you Crackeman, sometimes I get a lil out of sort.

    • #206292

      if you do the math, there is no way adding 20 mm of extra suspension will stress the frame any appreciable amount.

    • #206293

      Alvin, you are opening a can of worms that I am afraid I will not be able to participate in my friend. lol. Math was NOT one of the classes I ever looked forward going into during high school and college for that matter. And throw that dirty word into the world of bike geometry, components, et al then you might as well be speaking to me in Swahili. So in cases like this I have no problem deferring and listening to someone such as Aaron. If my LBS Tech even told me that he had ordered me this fork in 120mm that alone echoes how this must be something that would be best ordering correctly.

    • #206294

      Most bikes do well being “overforked” by 20mm, and you should generally stop there (for geometry and warranty/frame strength reasons).

      Roughly every 20mm increase in fork length (A2C) will slacken the head tube angle by 1 degree, lengthen the wheel base (front center, really) by about 7mm, and raise the bottom bracket by about 7mm. The slacker HTA will will be the biggest handling change, slowing steering inputs and providing more stability at speed.

      After you make the change, you’ll probably feel it on the bike for the first 20 minutes of riding, then your brain will readjust, and it’ll feel completely normal. I wouldn’t expect any problems.

    • #206299

      I just recently replaced the original shock that came on my 2006 Gary Fisher Tassajara Disc with a Fox Factory 32 120mm travel w/ remote, replacing a Manitou 100mm platinum air.  It was the best upgrade I have ever made!  It takes about 5 mins to get use to the new angles and while I’m sure it slowed my steering down a bit, it has made the bike much faster everywhere else.

    • #206335

      Thanks @kenwrightjr, I have no intention of getting rid of My Precious, as that’s what I call her.    An FS bike will happen when the stars align, but for now I will ride her like a rented mule.

      So far I put new flat pedals, new Race Face low riser bar, getting new grips, and my new SLX brakes just came in the mail.   A new, shorter, stem will complete my projected upgrade and drain my budget.  Then onto a new fork and possibly a dropper post.  But that’s later down the road.   Thanks for the input and I appreciate all the positivity, especially as I am a noob in the MTB thing, but loving every minute of it.

      Side note, I played soccer all my life, even played on an international level, and only started mountainbiking after 3 knee surgeries, and no longer being able to run. I don’t ever remember thinking I was superior to anyone just starting to play soccer or not having the Gucci gear I had, and being a “soccer snob”, so I can’t stand when people get “gear snobbish” about someone starting to MTB, like myself.   This is not directed at anyone, just a general statement.

      So, thank you all for your comments.  I am now saving for a new fork……just because th one I currently have is not good.  No other reason.

    • #206353


      I got my recon from a LBS.  It was actually a trek shop where i get my 10 year old sons bikes. They are just nicer and seem to understand the upgradeitis a little better than bikesource. Honestly, i probably would have even went with a sector or 30 but they found a great deal on the recon.  Bought it in December so i don’t know if deals are better then or not.  Good luck and i rode yesterday and really have fun on this bike.  I have also upgraded pedals and grips and its getting dialed in.  I still have problems with my 3x system but am holding firm in just having regular maintenance to solve those issues.

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