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I have a Cube Reaction Team 2011. It came with a Fox Alps 32 fork, 100 mm travel (26"). The fork is now ruined and I need a replacement (on a rather tight budget) and I found a good price for a Rockshox Reba RL Solo Air fork. It's 120 mm, but I think it can be adjusted to 100mm - I'm wondering though, would the extra 20 mm travel be a problem for my frame?

My point is basically these two questions:: firstly, would it ride/handle worse, and secondly - would it put more stress on my frame, especially if the stress could be potentially fatal for it (it's a carbon frame and it's one that's difficult to get anymore, so I'd rather keep it intact).

Also a side-question - is there any possibility that a 100mm, 26" fork would NOT fit my bike? I probably cannot install the fork myself and I'd rather not buy one and then find out at the bike shop that it cannot be installed on my frame.

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Before starting, your fork looks pretty nice. Are you sure you can't send it to FOX and rebuild it? Why do you say it is ruined?

About the fork size, please check the cube FAQ:

CAN I INSTALL FORKS WITH MORE TRAVEL AS PROVIDED IN THE STANDARD EQUIPMENT?

NO. The installation of a fork with more travel will void the warranty. The bike geometry will be changed in a negative way, which leads to a different handling of the bike and can damage the frame permanently. It is also not approved to install double bridge forks into CUBE bikes.

If your bike is still under warranty, I don't think it is worth it. If it isn't, it will for sure put more stress on the frame but I don't think it will brake. This depends a lot of your weight and ride style, and keep in mind Cube says not to do it, so it is your entire responsibility. I wouldn't do it.

I am pretty sure you can change your suspension between 80, 100 and 120mm of travel. Please check here. Rock Shox has really good manuals so you might even be able to do it yourself, otherwise take it to your bike shop.

Changing a suspension is simple, if you have the patience and the time to learn, and you just need one or two allen tools for most of it. However, sometimes taking the bottom part of the headset from the old fork is a pain. Search on youtube for fork replacement. If you feel like it, I think you can try and if something goes wrong take it to a shop in pieces. They will figure it out :)

Before buying, confirm with the seller the fork will fit the frame, specially if it is an used fork he might have shorten the part of it that goes into the headset and it's shorter size might not fit your frame or your favorite stem position.

IMPORTANT: Please see @mikes comment below.

  • For clarification: I have no warranty for any of the parts anymore. I asked at my LBS about chances of repairing the fork, they said it would cost 350 PLN (92 USD) and I can get the Reba for less than 200 USD. Also, they stated there's no guarantee it will work long-term and that it will certainly not work as well as it did before. The fork leaks a lot of oil, the seals are ruined and quite a bit of the teflon coating is stripped, it squeaks horribly while riding and handles poorly. Thanks for your reply, I will certainly take it into account :) – Lasooch May 27 '15 at 21:38
  • Also, I assumed that replacing a fork requires more knowledge. I have a set of allen keys and I actually do a lot of smaller repairs/adjustments myself, so I guess I may as well try my hand at this. Thanks! – Lasooch May 27 '15 at 21:39
  • If your LBS told you that, then change it seems a good idea. If you do small repairs, trying to change a fork is a good next step. Just buy a pack of beers and spend a nice afternoon around the bike :) Worst-case scenario, just take all the bits to a shop, but I am sure you can pull this of with the help of some web searches. Good luck! – super May 27 '15 at 21:54
  • You must also verify that the steerer tube diameter size is compatible with your frame. The standard sizes range from straight 1 1/8" top and bottom, tapered 1 1/4'' bottom and 1 1/8" at the top, and 1 1/2" bottom. If the replacement steerer is smaller than your headtube there are adapters that will allow it to fit. However you can't fit a 1 1/2" steerer in a 1 1/4" headtube. – mikes May 27 '15 at 22:56
  • Yes, I completely forgot this. Thanks for pointing it out. You can find more info on headset sizes here: parktool.com/blog/repair-help/headset-standards – super May 27 '15 at 23:02
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+20mm you should be able to get away with. Ride wise you're weight will be a tiny bit further back so will make hopping/manuals a bit easier, your front could be more likely to wash out in corners though. Really depends on the rest of your setup though and how you ride. All in all i don't think it will make a massive difference. I'd go for it.

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I would say sell and buy a full bike (even second hand).

Components on bike are chosen to work together with the frame geometry. Parts are way more expensive alone than as part of a bike.

You could change transmission, seat post, and maybe handle bar. But don't mess with frame and suspension unless you know what you do. As a guideline you can choose components that come with a superior version of your bike (same frame, better components). But take care, on high quality bike those component are often customized to suit the geometry of the bike (especially rear dampers).

And for your information a Reba RL is far from real Reba. You got the stifness and the look but the damper is not good at all, not reliable and hard to tune. I got this fork, I liked it at fist because it was my first real mtb, but since then I always have problems with it.

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    Well, it's been a while since I asked this question. I did end up getting the fork and set it to 100mm. It feels better than the previous fork - because the previous fork wasn't working very well by the end of it's lifetime ;) I haven't ridden with other forks, though, so hard to judge objectively. – Lasooch Apr 4 '16 at 21:27

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