Ask MBA – Popping Forks & XXL Bikes



Q: I recently purchased a Calibre Gauntlet, and it came with a RockShox XC 30 Solo Air front fork. I noticed that when
I compressed the fork, at a certain point, it would make a loud popping noise and the compression would become easier. The bike and fork are brand new, and I have not adjusted any of the fork’s settings. Can you diagnose the problem and direct me to a solution?

—Cameron, whose fork is popping more than Orville Redenbacher

A: Air-sprung forks should not be making loud popping noises halfway through their travel. It’s true that coil-sprung forks usually experience some spring slap when the coil inside the fork bows slightly and taps the inside of the stanchion tubes; however, your fork doesn’t have a spring to make that noise. It sounds like you need to have this evaluated by a professional suspension mechanic, as it could be a number of things—from loose internals in the damper to broken piston rods. It certainly sounds like something is not right. Since the bike and fork are brand new, they should be covered under warranty without issue.


Q: I ride MTB with a buddy who is 6-foot-8. The current bike he is riding
is custom-made by Lennard Zinn. It’s a 16-year-old hardtail. A few years ago he did an overhaul to all XT components, but now it’s time for full suspension. He did buy a Specialized aluminum hardtail about seven years ago in XXL, but it was small on him and he sold it. He’s 60 and could use some advice or direction on purchasing a full-suspension bike. Any companies that can solve this problem without breaking the bank?

—Hobie Shoquist, who rides no mountains and only beaches

A: Specialized is one of the only companies we know of that makes a double-extra-large, full-suspension frame to fit tall guys, so we’d have to recommend he stick with them. If he’s willing to try a hardtail, he might want to try a 36-inch-wheeled bike. While these bikes are fairly unique and don’t offer suspension, the wheels would fit his stature quite well.

Have a question for the MBA crew? You can send your brain busters to [email protected].

“Ask MBA” peeve of the month: When your riding buddy drops his bike as he’s loading it into the back of your truck and the pedal leaves a huge gash in the paint.


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