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Old 12-27-06, 04:55 PM   #1
50 tooth Cannon
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Lo-Budget, Retro build–opinions please

Is it worth the bother?
I aquired a great old frame, but it fits only a 1" steerer. I realize that forks with a 1" steer tube are rare these days. I want to go lo budget (ie: ebay, not new). Is it worth it to continue? And what about replacing a 1 1/8" tube with a 1" tube on a marzocchi fork?
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Old 12-27-06, 05:06 PM   #2
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What are you trying to accomplish?

I suppose there may be an exception but I don't think that "low Budget" and "suspension fork" go together very well. Frankly, the cheap ones don't really do much. If you have budget limitations I think that I'd put my money into something else.
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Old 12-27-06, 05:23 PM   #3
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I live in bike theft country, that's why the budget restriction. I want to build a city bike (based on XC). I've got lots of hills, train tracks and pot holes to deal with, so I want something to keep my teeth from chipping away slowly. I'm not building up to impress, nor is weight a factor. I can maintain a bike myself, the reason I'm looking at cheap & used. As all I have is the frame I bought for cheap (real cheap), this is a good time to decide wether to build it up or not.
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Old 12-27-06, 06:04 PM   #4
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Well, you can't convert the bike to 1-1/8" without welding in a new head tube so forget that route. Your best bet is to find an old 1" suspension fork or ditch the frame entirely.
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Old 12-27-06, 06:17 PM   #5
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Or just get a regular steal fork for cheap for even less maintenance. Lots of them in use for commuter apps with satisfactory results.
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Old 12-27-06, 06:19 PM   #6
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Something to think about. Not all bikes are designed for suspension forks. Even a few degrees of rake
can make the fork not work correctly. If the frame is a mountain bike style frame you might be okay.
I'm not saying it won't be safe or anything, but it could stop the fork from working correctly. IE absorbing
bumps. I would imagine also that a suspension fork would draw a lot of attention to it, if it's a nice brand. That would up the theft factor. I don't recommend ditching the frame, just build it in a usable way. I ride in a bad pavement area as well, and I've learned to steer around the bad stuff.,,,,BD

I have 25-30 bikes at any given moment, and not one of them has even a front suspension fork.
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Old 12-27-06, 06:45 PM   #7
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Just go for a steel fork and if you feel like it put a bigger tire on the front to help cushion the potholes and rough roads. Don't forget we used to go offroad with those forks in the pre-suspension days and did just fine!
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Old 12-27-06, 07:07 PM   #8
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If you do decide to go the suspension fork route, consider the SR Suntour 3000. nycbikes.com used to sell them for reasonable. I picked mine up for about $35 with shipping. This is a basic entry level fork, nothing fancy, but it does have a 1" threaded steerer and it is new. I found that this fork worked just fine for me. However, as Bikedued stated a suspension fork on a bike not designed for one will almost certainly affect handling and geometry of the bike. Those changes did not bother me when I converted my Nishiki and I was satisfied with the change from rigid to suspension, YMMV. Be sure to measure the length of the steertube needed because that is critical if you use a threaded head. Also consider the type of brakes because the SR Suntour is V brake specific. Yeah, I rigged canti's to work, but that is strictly a jury rig until I can come up with something better, probably converting to V's.

If you decide to go ebay, be careful if the fork is an old elastomer fork. I've been told replacement elastomer is no longer available or hard to come by so I never went that route.
Finally, I've attached a picture of the Nishiki with the Suntour fork. Good luck with your decision.
Edit: I made the change because I used to take this Nishiki on technical, single track trails. It is now relegated to multi-use path duty.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Nishiki Ariel 1989.jpg (72.2 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Nishiki.jpg (86.6 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg Nishiki Fork.jpg (97.3 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Nishiki Fork (1).jpg (95.4 KB, 6 views)
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Old 12-28-06, 05:22 PM   #9
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Thanks, everybody. I think this frame is going back on CL.
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Old 12-28-06, 07:16 PM   #10
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What type/brand is it?,,,,BD
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Old 12-28-06, 07:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 50 tooth Cannon
I've got lots of hills, train tracks and pot holes to deal with, so I want something to keep my teeth from chipping away slowly.
Get yourself a pair of Schwalbe Big Apples, 2.0" or 2.3", and you won't need a suspension fork at all. Also, a comfy seat (I love those big-ol springed ones) will help.
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Old 12-29-06, 11:44 AM   #12
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Cannondale M500 (I think) medium. I believe the SN was marked as a '98 model. It doesn't have the dropouts that stick out. I saw it on CL, cheap, so I grabbed it with out checking more than for cracks & BB thread damage. Want it?
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Old 12-29-06, 11:46 AM   #13
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If you like the frame and want to build it on the cheap you can always go singlespeed. I assume it's a mountain frame?
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Old 12-29-06, 06:23 PM   #14
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Nah, I was hoping it was more in line with a bike I have with a bad frame. It's a specialized rockhopper
hardtail. Everything was good, but the frame was shot. rust holes around the seat tube. Yours is probably "too" nice.,,,,BD
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