Soliciting Suspension Soliloquy



I'm finally joining the modern age of mountain biking and am going to purchase a front suspension fork. but I am overwhelmed by the availability and diversity of forks on the market! Help!?

Here is some info that might be relevant:

17.5" park pre superlight chromo frame
125 lb female (fairly mellow rider)
ride long single track trails, logging roads, snowy trails in the winter
starving student so thriftiness necessary in any purchase
low weight of shock somewhat of a concern

I have checked out forks on various internet sites and am leaning towards Marzocchi (esp after reading other postings herein) but don't know which Marzocchi, or how to compare across brands.

any advice would be welcomed!
everyone you ask will of course give you a different opinion. I love my marzocchi.

here's a suggestion.... pick a few major brands you like, then pick some models. then if you can, find out what bikes come with them STOCK - and then go to your local bike shop and ask to test the bike.

as for price - you can almost always get a great deal on a prior year model. I've never bought a fork that didn't COME with the bike so I don't know the best place to buy one - but some of my favorite sites in general for prices are and . Also, you can go to QBIKE.COM and compare prices across the Internet for what you are looking for.

GOod luck.