SR Suntour ships its SF9 Epicon RLD and Axon RLD forks with 100mm of travel, however, both can be adjusted to 80mm, 120mm, or 140mm if you need more or less travel. For this How-To, I’m using my 2009 Epicon RLD, but the Axon’s travel is adjusted the same way. The only difference between the two is how much torque you use when tightening the lower bolts during re-assembly, so pay attention to that part.
First, you’re going to need a few things:
— 5mm and 8mm Allen wrenches (or 8mm & 10mm for the Axon)
— large adjustable wrench
— rubber mallet or dead-blow hammer
— fork air pump
— in-lb torque wrench with 5mm and 8mm bits (or 8mm & 10mm for the Axon)
— various shop towels
— pin driver
— bench vise or something similar
** Don’t even bother with this if you don’t have all the above tools already at hand, unless you want to end up with a (partially) disassembled fork, broken parts, and a bike that can’t be ridden until you have it put back together again.
As I mentioned, my Epicon came with 100mm of travel. It raised the front end of my bike about 1.5" over my rigid fork, slowing cornering response. I ended up lowering it to 80mm, and I’ve been riding it like that for the past few months. After my little flight over the handlebars last week, though, I thought I’d raise it again, giving me less of a forward-leaning stance, and perhaps lessening my chances of that happening again. Besides, I’m close to giving this fork a full review, and I figured it’d be better to try it at different travel lengths to see how it performs overall.
Instead of going back to 100mm, I decided to go to 120mm, which is the most amount of fork travel I’ve ever had (as a long-time XC rider, I spent about a decade at 80mm, or on a rigid fork). My frame came stock with a 100mm fork, so going to 120mm adds some stress, but not so much that the frame can’t take it. However, I think 140mm would be pushing it a bit much, and I don’t want to take a chance with snapping my head tube.
Here’s the fork before I took it apart, still set at 80mm of travel.