Struggling with fork upgrade decision

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Struggling with fork upgrade decision



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  • #224245

    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?


  • #224246

    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.


  • #224247

    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.

  • #224248

    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.

  • #224249

    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.

  • #224261

    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.

  • #224262

    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.

  • #303937

    I’m in the same boat, I have an 18 giant talon 2 and looking to upgrade the fork. Any suggestions? A lot of the used forks I’ve been looking at are tapered, that won’t work on the talons right?

  • #304215

    I was in a similar situation when I got serious about mountain biking in the mid-2000s.

    I was riding a 2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara in blue, yellow and red — what a great looking frame.  I think I paid $500 for that bike in 2005.  I was very happy riding that bike and my skills quickly improved.  Eventually, the fork (Rockshox Pilot) started leaking.  I quickly learned the fork was not really worth fixing and started saving for an upgrade.

    A short while later, I saw a Craigslist ad for a 1996 Stumpjumper M2 for $250.  The bike was 10 years old but it was cheaper than a decent fork so I decided to check it out.  WOW, what a difference!!!  Just riding in the driveway, I could tell that the old Stumpjumper was a much better bike than my now 3-year-old Tassajara.  In addition to feeling faster, the frame fit like a glove, the XT components shifted like butter, and I could actually feel the fork working.

    I happily rode that bike for the next 5 years with minimal upgrades — a good friend gave me a Rockshox Sid and I started using tubeless tires.  I would probably still be squeezing those old Shimano XT v-brakes around FATS with a smile on my face if I had not moved to Colorado.


    In my opinion, entry-level mountain bikes are perfect to learn on.  There is no point in spending more for a bike that may end up just wasting space in your garage.  However, if you ride enough to start wearing out components I believe you would really appreciate everything that comes with a nicer bike.  Before spending $250 to $500 to upgrade an entry-level fork, I highly recommend throwing a leg over an older high-end bike.


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