Help: Rockshox Recon RL or Manitou Machete or Other?

TimBay

Well-Known Member
#1
Hey Peoples,

I'm looking to upgrade my shitty Suntour Coil pogo stick (yes, I know it would probably be better to save the money for a better bike, but if I don't spend it my wife will buy something stupid for the house that we don't need and it will not go toward a better bike. I'm not being sexist, she just will. I'm figuring on upgrading in about 2 years after I've been riding for sufficient time that I have the skillz to justify the investment in a solid mountain machine.). I ride a 29er hardtail with 100mm (I could go to 120), straight steeerer and 9mm QR. I'm trying to figure out which is the better budget fork, the Recon or the Machete, or even one of the "better" Suntours through the upgrade program a la Epixon/Raidon (or anything else as I abuse parenthesis). Any experience or advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm a noob and I've read how much better even an entry air fork is than a low end coil fork. If you all think it's a total waste of time, I'll just get a dropper instead (next on my list).

Thanks!
Tim
 

Paul H

Fearless OOS Poser
#2
Upgraditis... very contagious and can be very costly.
I was in the same situation couple of years ago and went with a recon solo air. I also ended up upgrading every component possible except the seatpost. I am not exactly sure if i regret going down this road but I will say that it's difficult to unload this bike now because no matter what dressing and toppings you add, a kale salad is still a kale salad. If you are planning on keeping the said bike, i say go for it. Better components will improve your riding experience and you will learn how to wrench on the bike. Having said that, I think a dropper makes better sense. Let me also add that I ended up getting a better bike and the bike I upgraded doesn't get much trail time these days.

Happy riding and hope to see you on the trails!
 

JDurk

Well-Known Member
#4
What @pooriggy said.

Is the fork setup properly for your weight? As in sag, usually set to 25% of total fork travel. Next would be rebound, you mentioned pogo stick. Plenty of info available on-line for this.

Ride until things wear out and need replacing. Ungrading a low end bike does not end well in the long run. As you become a better rider, you'll want a new bike.

If the bike in question is your avatar, fork upgrade or wheels would be more cost effective, not a dropper. Maybe stopping for a chat at the LBS would be helpful.
 
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Tim

aka sptimmy43
#5
Upgraditis... very contagious and can be very costly.
I was in the same situation couple of years ago and went with a recon solo air. I also ended up upgrading every component possible except the seatpost. I am not exactly sure if i regret going down this road but I will say that it's difficult to unload this bike now because no matter what dressing and toppings you add, a kale salad is still a kale salad. If you are planning on keeping the said bike, i say go for it. Better components will improve your riding experience and you will learn how to wrench on the bike. Having said that, I think a dropper makes better sense. Let me also add that I ended up getting a better bike and the bike I upgraded doesn't get much trail time these days.

Happy riding and hope to see you on the trails!
I think this is right on. I dumped some money into a shitty hardtail that looking back at it was pretty much a waste. The bike is still shitty just with more expensive parts. It isn't a real alternative or backup to my trail bike since the geometry and frame suck. I ride it on the road from time to time but it kind of sucks for that too.

All that being said, I bought the Recon.

My vote is to get a new bike, though.
 

TimBay

Well-Known Member
#7
What @pooriggy said.

Is the fork setup properly for your weight? As in sag, usually set to 25% of total fork travel. Next would be rebound, you mentioned pogo stick. Plenty of info available on-line for this.

Ride until things wear out and need replacing. Ungrading a low end bike does not end well in the long run. As you become a better rider, you'll want a new bike.

If the bike in question is your avatar, fork upgrade or wheels would be more cost effective, not a dropper. Maybe stopping for a chat at the LBS would be helpful.
Its just a suntour xct. No real adjustments. The damper doesnt really work much on it. That's why I was thinimking of just throwing something relatively cheap on it. I'm really not planning on doing too much to it. Mainly just the fork and dropper (the dropper because I want to try and learn ride properly in all positions and stopping to adjust the seat blows.

Then I'll just swap the stem, bars, gearing, brakes, probably get a new frame. Wheels, a 1997 Dodge Durango, and a cool looking bell. Haha. Jk. I like a lot about the bike. It's tubeless stock, 2x9 shifting which aint bad, not the worst or best geometry. Definitely would have bought a dofferent bike after all ive learned from riding and farting around online, but I couldve bought worse. Just looking to do a couple things and hopefully stop myself before it's a huge waste.
 

Juggernaut

Master of the Metaphor
#8
Sooooo, forks.

Forks, all forks require maintenance. Parts availability and “know how” need to be factored in to the equation. So I would go with whichever one you can get better local support. A busted fork serves no purpose.

Just my 2c.
 

pooriggy

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#9
Hartshorne and Huber. Will probably get out to allaire once the days get longer.
If you can ride out what you have and save for a new bike, that's the best option.

I ride Hartshorne, Huber, Allaire during the week on a rigid SS. IMO these trails don't need much suspension. I know this thinking isn't for everyone, but don't assume you need suspension.

Upgrading parts on an old bike is never a good idea. What ever you upgrade, will most likely not fit on a new bike. Despite this every new rider does this and then learns later.

If you are burning to spend money, upgrade your clothing. Winter shoes, gloves, helmet...what ever you feel you need to be more comfortable on a bike. That will never be a waste of money.
 

Paul H

Fearless OOS Poser
#10
I am going to throw this out there to confuse the OP
I see that OP owns a Giant Talon?
Well... my 2015 Talon is a better climber than my 2018 Hightower... yeah yeah yeah… 2 totally different bikes... I know but just saying
I am here to confuse.... not to provide any meaningful info :p
 

Juggernaut

Master of the Metaphor
#11
To further @pooriggy’s point. I just re-read the original post. You’re not going to transfer a straight steerer QR fork to a new bike.... you just won’t. So, if you can stand it a little longer, put the money towards something you’ll actually get a long term benefit from. If it has to be a bike part, a dropper maybe one of the new PNW ones (few parts to break) might be in order.

https://www.pnwcomponents.com/?variant=12731382825037
 

Paul H

Fearless OOS Poser
#12
To further @pooriggy’s point. I just re-read the original post. You’re not going to transfer a straight steerer QR fork to a new bike.... you just won’t. So, if you can stand it a little longer, put the money towards something you’ll actually get a long term benefit from. If it has to be a bike part, a dropper maybe one of the new PNW ones (few parts to break) might be in order.

https://www.pnwcomponents.com/?variant=12731382825037
You know better than I do that when there is a will... there is a way
Correct answer is... get the tapered TA fork and buy the appropriate headset and adaptors :p
 

Magic

Formerly 1sh0t1b33r
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#13
Save up for new bike. QR is old school. Whatever fork you buy now will likely end up in the garbage. You're better off asking around for a used air fork if you want an upgrade in the meantime.
 

TimBay

Well-Known Member
#14
You know better than I do that when there is a will... there is a way
Correct answer is... get the tapered TA fork and buy the appropriate headset and adaptors :p
So, I was thinking of doing this, but that means buying a new front wheel (i'd go set, but my back wheel is drop out as well, so a 15mm won't work there at least I don't think it will). Also, to get a fork I'd transfer to a new bike, I'd probably be looking at something more in the $500 range, plus headset adapter ($35 or so), plus wheel ($100-$1000). My car is paid off in approx 2 years. At that point, I'll probably finance a nice 2-3k bike, so I ain't transferring shit from this one. But, I gotta live with this one for around 2 years because I got wife, kids, mortgage and that whole bag. Plus, I want to make sure I stick with it for sufficient time to justify that investment.

I did find this fork, that's tapered, so I'd have to get the adapter, but they have an additional $20 off, so all in with the adapter I'd be at $172 or so.

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/manitou-markhor-forks-9mm-qr/rp-prod178662

I'm just worried it won't be an improvement I'll even notice. When you guys switched from an xct to a recon, did you feel and enjoy the difference? I know looking back it was a waste of money, but if it felt better while you were riding it, maybe it was worth it at the time? If it doesn't feel much better riding, then I'm just gonna get a dropper because I know that's something I'll feel some value using since it's annoying having to stop to adjust it. I don't really care about resell. Maybe my upgraded bike will get someone new into the sport if I sell it after my new bike. Thanks for all of the help here. I really appreciate the advice and experiences.
 

Xler8

Well-Known Member
#15
Based off experience, I’ll chime in and recommend what others have suggested... put the money aside for something that could transfered over to a new bike or invest in better gear or save up for a newer bike.

Then again, if you got it like that and make it rain benjamins then don’t let anyone stop you from the joy of getting new bike parts. Probably lean more towards RockShox.

As a side note, don’t expect a new/different fork to bring your riding to the next level. It just doesn’t work like that...
 

Paul H

Fearless OOS Poser
#16
What others have said is better for your wallet. Its the sensible and smart thing to do.

Now... lets talk about the rest of us with shit for brains.
IMO... you cant beat the feeling of hitting the trails for the first time with a new upgraded part. Yes, you will immediately feel the difference. You know why? 1. Because its lighter and plusher and most importantly 2. Because its a new UPGRADED part! Your brain has been already pre wired by the time it has been installed on the bike to think its the best thing in the world. But once the novelty wears off... its like... eh....
 

Tim

aka sptimmy43
#17
I'm just worried it won't be an improvement I'll even notice. When you guys switched from an xct to a recon, did you feel and enjoy the difference? I know looking back it was a waste of money, but if it felt better while you were riding it, maybe it was worth it at the time? If it doesn't feel much better riding, then I'm just gonna get a dropper because I know that's something I'll feel some value using since it's annoying having to stop to adjust it. I don't really care about resell. Maybe my upgraded bike will get someone new into the sport if I sell it after my new bike. Thanks for all of the help here. I really appreciate the advice and experiences.
The Recon is a better fork than the XCT. It's still not worth the $250 you will spend on it. The quick release axles are severely affecting the stiffness of the fork in a negative way. To further muddy the waters you are going to throw what I assume is a low quality wheel on it so the new one will still not ride the way you are expecting.

Bottom line: The fork is a waste of money.

I would buy a dropper over nearly all other bike upgrades other than hydraulic disc brakes. A dropper will truly change the way you ride.
 
#18
I would buy a dropper over nearly all other bike upgrades other than hydraulic disc brakes. A dropper will truly change the way you ride.
I've never ridden those parks the OP mentioned, but they're not exactly known for technical challenge. If forced to choose, I'd rather go rigid in a park like that with a dropper than having the best suspension fork money can buy sans dropper. A dropper will instantly improve cornering and other skills.
 

TimBay

Well-Known Member
#19
well you guys and your sensibilities and experience. ugh. I'm gonna go with the dropper, especially since it's something that I actually notice. I don't notice how shitty my fork is because I truly don't know any better. Even though a new fork would look much cooler. Thanks all.
 

JDurk

Well-Known Member
#20
Dropper posts can be bigger P.I.A. than a fork, maintenance wise. I have a dropper on my FS bike. It's great to have as I use that bike at more tech riding locations. Works great, til it stops working great.