Project Frankenbike PT 1 | Longterm
March 30th, 2016
Project Frankenbike PT1 – Fork tune by TF Tuned Shox
TF Tuned were established in 2004 by the infamous Tim Flooks, and since then have grown to become one of Europe’s leading mountain bike suspension specialists.
They are the only European company to offer custom Push tuning as well as servicing and repairs on nearly every brand of fork or shock you can think of.
Based in the little rural English town of Westbury and consisting of a small team of passionate bike lovers, they’re a humble close-knit business with achievements to be proud of.
A mixture of biking memorabilia, and forks spanning over two decades combined with the most accomplished new equipment, tools and flat screen TV’s. TF Tuned is quite literally a bike geek’s ultimate man cave – only far cleaner!
The work shop is meticulously cleaned, and each work station has it’s own complete tool set for all the jobs at hand – no borrowed tools in this set up.
Considering the fact it’s essentially a massive garage full of mechanics, there’s a real warm and welcoming feeling about TF’s workshop. They’ve got the welcoming, yet professional and productive feel down. Everywhere you look is cool memorabilia – framed anecdotes; signed T-shirts and cool one-off randoms every where.
I’ve been using TF for years, long before I ever started racing or scribbling my ramblings on paper and tapping them out for Factory Jackson.
I’ve used them since back when I knew nothing about MTB suspension – other than that it went up and down, in and out and stopped me killing myself when I ran out of talent. Which was quite often! I regularly sent my forks and/or shock to them for basic servicing and repairs, something that would be fair to say is any suspension company’s bread and butter.
However whilst TF will happily take care of these more basic tasks with consistently great customer service and utmost efficiency, their expertise enables them to offer way more – should you want to get more out of your bike and have something truly bespoke.
So, now slightly better on a bike and with a more informed opinion on the aforementioned bouncers, I’m back to see the guys at TF. And what better time to do so than with my new Mondraker Crafty r+ – the Factory Jackson Project Frankenbike.
Let the fettling begin!
Once I’d spent some time chatting with Murray (one of TF’s senior technicians) and describing the shortcomings I could feel with the Crafty’s stock set up, his eyes lit up and the black nitrile gloves were donned.
It’s immediately clear how passionate the team are here – they’re basically bike geeks themselves and quite literally love what they do. Each technician is contactable directly should you need to speak with them in person about your suspension – a small yet undeniably rare option in today’s ever-increasing automated world of answerphones and emails.
With a little Murray magic, the Rockshox Yari’s Motion Control damper gets a slight modification to improve the feel throughout it’s range of adjustment. My front end was a little lower than I liked, so we swapped the air shaft to raise travel by 10mm to offer 150mm. Subtle, but makes enough of a difference for me.
I don’t think I’m alone in saying as a mountain biker who just likes to get out and ride, I’m guilty of ignoring the finer details at times. Sure, I love to talk graphs, angles and figures but I’m often making educated guesses at what I’m trying to describe.
However, the beauty of using a company such as TF to tune the two main components keeping your bike’s wheels in contact with the ground, the guess work gets removed. They literally obsess over the finer details to get your suspension feeling how you want it. Which is an important point here often overlooked in an industry of should haves and should do’s.
TF will advise you based on their experience, but the unequivocal motivation within TF is crystal clear – to get your suspension feeling how you want it and to enable you to have the most fun you can on your bike.
TF Tuned really is a well-oiled machine. It oozes a sense of calm and efficiency – which is why they generally turn your forks or shock around within 3 days. Even if you don’t actually need to employ their services directly, they’ll be more than happy to have a chat with you on the phone and advise you best where possible.
Keep your eyes peeled for part 2 of the TF Tuned meets the #frankenbike dropping soon where we’ll be talking shocks and push tuned goodness.
For more info on TF Tuned and their associated services and sales, check out TF Tuned here*