Mountain Biking - Putting a front suspension fork on "urban" hybrid
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Looking for feedback if this is a reasonable venture to pursue. In my bike stable i'm short a suitable mountain bike and the wife isn't very keen on me adding another bike. Here is an old link for the bike (http://www.rei.com/product/760870) I have that i'm considering modifying.
I have already swapped out the road tires with some more trail friendly 700x37 knobby tires. I'm pretty sure I have additional clearance to go to a 42 and possibly a 45 width. Now i'm considering going with a front suspension fork to make it a bit more hardy off road. Not looking to be doing any hardcore downhill assaults or anything.
So would putting a decent 29'er suspension fork on this thing be a reasonable pursuit? Any opinions on a decent fork, say about a $350-$400 ceiling?
It would really depend on the type of riding you are planning to do. There are many MTBers that ride rigid mountain bikes, and there are many CXers that ride trails. You would limit your riding style with this type of build but you can still have a whole lot of fun. I would go with the biggest tires you can find for now and find out what style of riding really interests you. Then figure out what about your current setup is limiting you so you can address these limiting factors. Just keep an eye on your frame as I am not sure as to the offroad capabilities of that.
I went from rigid hardtail to hardtail to XC FS to All mountain FS and am back to the hardtail. I have found out the hardtail is the perfect balance for the style of riding I do. So do some trails and find out where you want to be.
I would have left that bike alone and found an older mountain bike used on CL or something ? You were going $ 350-400 for the fork. Found a CL with minimal effort for a $ 350 Canondale F7 that MSRP's for $ 650
Cannondale F7 Mountain Bike - $350 (ft lauderdale)
More just in this area:
Raleigh Aluminum Mountain - $199
Fuji MX-180 Mountain Bike - $80 (Miami)
DiamondBack Mountain Bike (21speed)) - $130 (sw miami)
Anyway, some of these have solid forks, others have front suspension. There are others that are $ 50 and need some work ? But you might've been able to horse trade or sell the one you have to pay for the one you want ? If the wife will let you go to $ 400 for a fork, save a couple/few hundred and use the savings for a dinner or buy her another pair of shoes, maybe even an outfit ? That's a win for everyone. A big enough bribe and she'll begin to see it your way ?
12-02-10, 10:05 PM
I'm not sure about the details on your bike, but I was in a similar position not too long ago. Full rigid hybrid and wanting to hit some trails.
I did the math... and in the end, it was simply cheaper to buy a used mountain bike than it was to toss on a suspension fork and fatter tires on my hybrid. Not only was it cheaper, but I had two bikes instead of one when the money was spent.
Ahhh, the n+1 rule. I've been eyeing my local CL (San Diego) but this area is a bit over inflated pricewise.
I'm not sure where I would store it, already have 4 bikes, wife has 2, son has 2 and daughter has 1 :innocent:
Not sure of the distinctions between XC, Trail et.al., but I would not be planning on doing any really technical stuff like climbing over big logs/rocks and my jumping days are behind me, shattered metacarpal and 3 pins a few years ago, I prefer to keep both wheels on the ground most of the time. Just looking for something to absorb some pounding from smaller roots, rocks, ruts, washboard etc. typical stuff you encounter on moderate trails.
12-03-10, 11:56 AM
Don't know what size you'd need, but:
As for where to put it? Well, huh...you won't be needing that urban hybrid anymore, right? :innocent:
I vote to ditch the hybrid and use the cash from that sale plus what you've got to buy a decent MTB. You can always throw a pair of hybrid type tires on the MTB and lock the fork for hybrid style riding, but I wouldn't really want to go rock on hybrid on a MTB trail. Even light trails. Sure, it probably won't explode or break in half, but it's still far from ideal.
Well, since you're in it for tires to this point, it sounds like you're going to change to a suspension fork. For what you were after, a BD mtb, would've been ideal and you could've, even still can sell of the hybrid to have made that transition ?
From the REI website, the Novara mtb's:
I know when I went after the atb/mtb I currently have, made sure the bike type I chose would be the all purpose bike for cruising, hybrid on/off road and even be able to hold up to more demanding off road riding. My brother put narrower urban tires on a Schwinn mtb and I thought perhaps that would be what I'd do eventually. Thinking more about, more air pressure and knobbies is what I'll replace any worn tires with. I even toyed with the idea of quick release wheels with urban tires. But I realistically am too lazy to swap out wheels.
Anyway, your Novara, can you get one of the suspension forks they use in the REI link for the money you indicated, perhaps even less ? Maybe even one of the suspension forks BD has on their models ?
Somehow, just a gut feel, after some trail rides that you'll come away less than 100% satisfied ? One of those feelings that you accomplished a lot with your conversion, yet perhaps in the back of your mind, wondering if a true mtb would've made you happier ?
12-05-10, 10:51 AM
I agree with some of the guy here that you should sell the hybrid and get you a MTB. You can always have a second set of tires to switch on if you want something that will have less rolling resitance for the urban enviroment. If you get a MTB with lockouts on the shock or shocks, you can even ride it ridiged during urban riding also.
Thanks for the feedback. I've decided to not do it to this bike. Some things that came to mind: 1) while it is a nice light frame and I like the geometry i'm a bit suspect of how well it would stand up as a dedicated off-road bike, 2) The tires would max out at 42 to 45 c which is ~ 1.65" to 1.78", I will probably quickly realize that is too narrow, 3) It is set up with a 50/36 double crankset, I would probably find that not to be the most optimal set up.
So I will probably put this bike and another bike out of my stable up for sale that should net me $600-700 to go into the bike fund.
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