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What the heck is up with stratos?

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,827
1,466
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Does anybody ride these guys' stuff anymore? Always seemed like quality kit if not a little overly hardwarestore/overbuilt. I've seen the ID cartridge come out, and have been expecting good things (they use similar kit on rally cars, right?), but haven't heard much since the magazine review. Now I see that it's a $250 upgrade even on their factory forks. Why bother, with such good stuff coming out of the big3 for the same price?
 

ChrisRobin

Turbo Monkey
Jan 30, 2002
3,113
89
Vancouver
Sandwich said:
Now I see that it's a $250 upgrade even on their factory forks. Why bother, with such good stuff coming out of the big3 for the same price?
I don't think everyone wants that type of speed sensitive damping in their forks. What would be good is if they installed their high speed dampers in their forks and sell them at the same price. Right now, you have to pay $150 extra to get better damping.

The S8 is still a nice fork...a little tall (there are ways of shortening it but requires machining the internals) and a little heavy since everything is machined aluminum. The right side up fork series were kinda flexy. Pre-2005 Boxxers were stiffer.

Their rear shocks are supposed to be good. I think Stratos was the first to bring air-assist to DH shocks. Then they came out with the El Jefe which is good...although it's tough to fit in a lot of different bikes since it's bigger than the Avalanche shocks (and those are pretty big to begin with).

They need to put time/energy/money into one DH fork that's light and has amazing damping qualities. That company's fork line is pretty much outdated.

edit. Look at the motocross section of their website. They have a cool 50cc fork called the SR6 or something. THAT's the type of fork they need to make for MTB...something with forward dropouts.
 

Cant Climb

Turbo Monkey
May 9, 2004
2,687
10
I had an MX6 back in 99......to this day it was the most adjustable, best damped fork i ever owened. Seems like they are susupension gurus but pretty clueless on the construction of the forks........they should sponsor a pro and get some good feedback.

I would love to test out a EL Jefe.......is made from Showa parts.......
 

ChrisRobin

Turbo Monkey
Jan 30, 2002
3,113
89
Vancouver
Cant Climb said:
I had an MX6 back in 99......to this day it was the most adjustable, best damped fork i ever owened. Seems like they are susupension gurus but pretty clueless on the construction of the forks........they should sponsor a pro and get some good feedback.

I agree with the fact they don't know how to make a right side up fork. Someone that's mechanically inclined could figure out a better way to make the fork.

For some reason, they were making the lower crown with only one pinch bolt on each side. The newer crowns they came out with now have two...BUT, they're thicker and heavier. They could of added more clamping surface (just enough room for an extra bolt) without adding weight.

Their brake arch idea is somewhat ghetto. They need more clamping surface but instead of having bolts on the inside of the arch (which is why the arch clamps are low on the lowers...to get more tire clearance but that reduces stiffness on the arch itself). Having pinch bolt-style clamps would be nice where the clamps would wrap around the inside of the fork lowers and the bolts would be on the outside. That way they could run a shorter arch higher up near the seals. Wow...rant over. ;)
 

Jayridesacove

Turbo Monkey
Feb 21, 2004
1,336
0
Falls Church, VA
I'm riding off an old s7[I bought off a monkey] until the 06 marz 66rcx2 is available for purchase. It's not the most spectacular fork, but for now it's all I've got.
 

Bacardi

Monkey
Aug 16, 2002
395
0
Santa Barbara, CA
I rode a 6" Kona with a LR1 (6" fork) and it was very comparable to a marz superT in terms of performance and maintenance. It was a Heavy and overbuilt, but very stiff. I also ran the Helix Pro shock on the back for 1 year with no probs.

Later I added a compression sleeve to the Fork and it would ride light, or I could turn up the compression and do some drops with it. So, I was pleased the Product performed GOOD.

The other thing about this company is that it has a parent company that does a bunch of other things besides MTB suspension. So MTB development is not priority #1.
 

dropmachine

Turbo Monkey
Sep 7, 2001
2,923
10
Your face.
While STratos had a few good products here and there, thier customer service is what really stinks about them.

It took them 12 WEEKS to ship me seals for my S8, which is just ridiculous.


Stratos can eat it. THere are way too many products out there that are much better then what they offer.