Hightower LT: What the Fork?

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Hightower LT: What the Fork?
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Posted: Jul 10, 2019 at 13:11 Quote
This discussion started in another tread, but i thought a topic as important (to me) deserved it's own thread.

What fork are folks running on their Hightower LT, and have you tried different offsets and travel? if so what are your impressions on how those changes affect the geometry.

Me, i built up a XXL with a 51mm offset, 160mm travel pike from another bike. This ride hauls ass, but can be a handful to get through the tight stuff on. I also feel it could be a little better on the really chundery, rough and steep sections. I have been adding spacers and dropping pressure, but have yet to find the sweet spot that allows the fork to work well at any speed.

My next fork, thinking Fox36 in 44mm offset and 170mm. My thinking is it will (hopefully) make the bike handle a bit sharper AND give me a bit more travel to play with. I realize that more travel equals slacker HT angles, and am hoping the offset change will not only compensate, but actually sharpen the handling.

What are folks running, what are folks thinking.

Posted: Jul 12, 2019 at 13:32 Quote
I replied to you in another thread about this topic. Please don't take my advice as gospel since I am not a pro but I have been riding for a long time and I am quite finicky with setup.

I recently switched from DVO (160mm) 51mm offset to Fox 36 (160mm) 44mm offset and am very pleased with the result on my HTLT. Reduced offset forks seem to provide more stability on steep loose stuff and help hold your line in corners much better.

I have only run 160mm travel on the HTLT so I can't share any feedback about how the bike feels with a 150 or 170. I would think the 170 may be overkill and could slacken the seat angle too much. Since you are on an XXL I assume you are tall and need to run your saddle pretty high which could affect climbing comfort and efficiency. I am 6'2" and run my saddle very high on my XL frame with my seat moved forward all the way on it's rails. The bike climbs great for me.

Back to reduced offset... I had a 150mm Pike with 46mm offset on my 2016 Nukeproof Mega 290 (long travel 29er) and I loved the handling but wanted more from the fork. So I switched to a DVO Diamond 150 with 51mm offset. The fork was better and handling was fairly similar. I then increased the travel on the Diamond to 160mm and things seemed out of whack. I could never get the bike to feel the way it initially did with the Pike. It seemed to mess with my confidence too.

Fast forward to 2019... I picked up a HTLT frame earlier this year and built it up with the 160mm Diamond. It felt good but it still felt like it was missing something. I was reading great things about the FOX 36 Grip 2 so I picked one up in 44mm offset. Very pleased with the result. Being a heavier guy (225lbs.) I have always struggled with small bump compliance and bottom out resistance. This fork solved both problems.

An observation I would like to mention is that the reduced offset fork requires you to lean instead of steer which I feel is a good thing. The 51mm offset has an over-steer tendency which promotes bad riding habit of steering instead of leaning.

Based on my experiences, I would recommend 44mm offset for you regardless of what travel you choose to go with.

Posted: Jul 14, 2019 at 7:13 Quote
That does make sense regarding offset to me much more than anything else I have read online so thanks for that! :-)

Posted: Jul 23, 2019 at 12:38 Quote
Thanks Ed, I think going to a grip damper I won't need another 10mm of travel anyway. My Pike is hard to tune supple but firm enough to have travel left on the bigger hits. I've ridden the 36 on bikes that don't fit me, but i get the impression it has a lot more to offer in terms of progression and versatility.

Posted: Oct 5, 2019 at 20:03 Quote
i started with fox36 160 at 51 on my hightower lt, it felt great going downhill but choppered out in tight technical stuff. i dropped in a 150 and it feels much more balanced out. still charges downhill, and doesn't feel as if i gave up any stability at speed. thought about a reduced offset option, but with the head angle i don't think it needs it. on the more slacked out head angle bikes, the reduced offset makes more sense.

Posted: Apr 3, 2020 at 11:07 Quote
huckfin wrote:
i started with fox36 160 at 51 on my hightower lt, it felt great going downhill but choppered out in tight technical stuff. i dropped in a 150 and it feels much more balanced out. still charges downhill, and doesn't feel as if i gave up any stability at speed. thought about a reduced offset option, but with the head angle i don't think it needs it. on the more slacked out head angle bikes, the reduced offset makes more sense.

I have the current 160 on my HTLT and was contemplating on lowering it down to 150 to follow the standard set up on SC builds. Did it feel much better? Also, I feel like the slack seat angle has a bit annoyance on my end.

Posted: Apr 4, 2020 at 15:41 Quote
When I had my HTLT I raised the fork to 160mm to get better downhill performance. Honestly it just made the seat tube that much more slack and harder to climb without changing the descending performance enough to really matter. I definitely preferred it with 150mm.

Posted: Apr 5, 2020 at 9:44 Quote
entoy75 wrote:
huckfin wrote:
i started with fox36 160 at 51 on my hightower lt, it felt great going downhill but choppered out in tight technical stuff. i dropped in a 150 and it feels much more balanced out. still charges downhill, and doesn't feel as if i gave up any stability at speed. thought about a reduced offset option, but with the head angle i don't think it needs it. on the more slacked out head angle bikes, the reduced offset makes more sense.

I have the current 160 on my HTLT and was contemplating on lowering it down to 150 to follow the standard set up on SC builds. Did it feel much better? Also, I feel like the slack seat angle has a bit annoyance on my end.

the 150mm made it feel a lot more balanced. the htlt geometry just feels like it was built for a 150mm fork. it turns and climbs noticeably better, and i don't feel as though i sacrificed a single thing going downhill, it feels better in every terrain.

it flat rips

Posted: Apr 7, 2020 at 17:36 Quote
I've always run my HTLT with a 160 36 (with a Push ACS coil) and, for the last year, with an ElevenSix on the rear. It handles and rides great. After 2 plus years, I now have the CSU steerer tube creak. A new 170 Fox 38 could make it a real descending beast. See what Ben did https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6vw6PE7bUM

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