Improving performance of entry level suspension

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Mububban
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Improving performance of entry level suspension

Postby Mububban » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:38 am

I know kids suspension forks are heavy and rubbish but my boy loves his bike looking like a grownups bike, so I'm hoping to improve its performance if possible.

His 24" bike is a bit big for now so I've got time to play with it. I'll give this "strip, clean and re-lube" service a go on his Suntour XCT Jr fork:




What sort of fork lube/grease do people recommend? How far does one of the small 30mL tubs go?

Has anyone ever sourced softer springs for kids forks? Some parents have tried removing one of the two springs to lighten up the action.

It'll be a hard sell, but can anyone link a budget 24" rigid fork that would make the bike significantly lighter?

I know you can get 24" air forks for under $300 but considering his Scott Voltage Jr cost $80 off Gumtree, it seems like over capitalising.

Thanks for any advice.
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ValleyForge
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Re: Improving performance of entry level suspension

Postby ValleyForge » Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:35 pm

I have a 24" Cube 240 Race with a Suntour SF fork in storage for my littlest. My older son was riding it and used it well, but he weighed ~ 48kgs.

But I got to the stage with 4 suspension bikes in the family that I needed a ShockWiz. And it improved everyone's ride astronomically.

So I'd just dangle the carrot of air fork when he starts to grow out of the Scott Voltage.
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MattyK
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Re: Improving performance of entry level suspension

Postby MattyK » Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:41 pm

Get some fatter tyres and a cup of concrete.

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't there usually a single spring in only one tube, and a damper in the other?

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Mububban
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Re: Improving performance of entry level suspension

Postby Mububban » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:14 pm

MattyK wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't there usually a single spring in only one tube, and a damper in the other?


I don't know, hence me asking.


ValleyForge wrote:So I'd just dangle the carrot of air fork when he starts to grow out of the Scott Voltage.


I think if he's still keen when he outgrows the 24" bike (2 years at least) then he can save up his pocket money and I'll go halves to get him an air fork for 26". I'm just hoping that cleaning and lubing the 24" fork will make it work better.

That and it'll give me something to tinker with.
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Mububban
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Re: Improving performance of entry level suspension

Postby Mububban » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:28 pm

ValleyForge wrote:But I got to the stage with 4 suspension bikes in the family that I needed a ShockWiz. And it improved everyone's ride astronomically..


Wow. I just read a review of the Shockwiz. Sounds pretty impressive.
I haven't even got my new bike yet so I'm definitely in the stage of "don't know what I don't know" about how the bike should feel at both ends, short of just seeing how much travel the O-ring shows.

split the purchase cost with some mates and share it around.


That sounds like a plan...
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ValleyForge
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Re: Improving performance of entry level suspension

Postby ValleyForge » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:37 pm

Mububban wrote:
ValleyForge wrote:But I got to the stage with 4 suspension bikes in the family that I needed a ShockWiz. And it improved everyone's ride astronomically..


Wow. I just read a review of the Shockwiz. Sounds pretty impressive.

For me (88kg) it has made a good deal of difference, but it has benefited my youngest girl most - at 34kg wringing wet, it's really easy to set her suspension up wrongly I discovered.
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jackthelad
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Re: Improving performance of entry level suspension

Postby jackthelad » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:56 am

26 in fork, no issues, a bit more agressive angles though
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Duck!
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Re: Improving performance of entry level suspension

Postby Duck! » Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:23 am

MattyK wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't there usually a single spring in only one tube, and a damper in the other?

In good (or even vaguely, slightly, a little bit reasonable) forks yes, but the "suspension" forks in most kids' MTBs are a long way from even resembling a little bit decent. The absence of damper more than anything is what makes these forks crap, to put it politely, but the massively excessive spring rate doesn't help. Even with an appropriate weight spring they'd still be rubbish because there is no damper; it is the damper mor than anything that dictates how good the suspension is.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Mububban
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Re: Improving performance of entry level suspension

Postby Mububban » Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:43 am

My son's had a couple of rides on his 24" bike, but he currently feels safer on his 20" so I'll keep him on that for the time being. His 20" has some REALLY rubbish 30mm forks with what feels like concrete for suspension. If I can open the plastic top cap somehow then I'll at least try and clean and lube them up.

What sort of grease do folks recommend? Something that can also be used for other bike related maintenance?

I backed the preload right off on his 24" bike's 50mm spring fork and that at least has some squish to it. But give it another year or so, when he's properly on the 24" bike I'll keep my eyes open for a used 26" air fork with maybe 80-100mm travel and whack that on there :)
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jackthelad
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Re: Improving performance of entry level suspension

Postby jackthelad » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:32 pm

i have the sockets for suspension forks,
any grease really,
u could also source some lighter springs on ebay or local spring shop
SantaCruz HighTower LT
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