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Old 06-14-09, 12:38 PM   #1
ecovelo
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Limited Fork choices...

...I need help.

I want to build a [I]nice[I]commuter bike - (my commute has doubled and bike security at work has been improved greatly - so I no longer want to ride my "beater".)

I'm starting with a 97 C'dale M300 frame (alum mountain) and was hoping to upgrade to with some lighter, more modern components. I'm having a difficult time finding a 1" fork with the proper rake (45mm) and length (400mm). I wanted to go carbon for the road dampening... and to be honest because it looks cool. Any ideas? Or does anyone know of any other fork choices?

I thought I could use EITHER 700c or 26" wheels - 700c wheels [I]appear[I] to clear the brake bridge ok. Am I dreaming about this? Should I just stick with 26" wheels and fork that came with the bike as the bike was intended?

I don't mind spending a little $ - I just really want to make something comfortable for a longer ride and I'm excited about making use of an older frame I already have. Any input is welcome.

And thanks really to all that make these threads possible! I have learned so much from this forum!!
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Old 06-14-09, 12:46 PM   #2
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Give "Wound UP" a call.
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Old 06-14-09, 01:08 PM   #3
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I thought I could use EITHER 700c or 26" wheels - 700c wheels [I]appear[I] to clear the brake bridge ok. Am I dreaming about this? Should I just stick with 26" wheels and fork that came with the bike as the bike was intended?
There's a third choice: 650b.

Going with 700c may clear, but you won't have any room for fenders. 650b is a larger rim with a smaller tire and overall height comes out right around 26". The geometry of your frame would be affected very little if at all.

The closest forks I can find to your specs are the Alpha-Q GS10 and CS20, both with a 44mm rake and 374mm length. The Ritchey Comp is a close contender at 43/370. Neither will accommodate anything but a caliper brake.
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Old 06-14-09, 01:34 PM   #4
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I fear you may be mistaken about the size of fork you need -

AFAIK, Cannondale adopted the 1-1/8" steerer tube standard along with the rest of the bike industry in the early 1990s (or late 1980s) - except on their Headshok equipped bikes. I think you might have a 1-1/8" fork and should be looking for another 1-1/8" fork to replace it.

Anyhoo, if you find a fork with dimensions close to what you seek, it will work.

It will also 'work' to put just about any wheel that fits into the fork, although you might have trouble getting brakes to work... and any change will affect the handling, but it hard to say if it will be a change you can get used to in two rides or if it will make the bike unpleasant or dangerous to ride. However, changing fork length from 400mm to 375 or 420mm will definitely make less of an impact than switching to 700c.

IMHO, you should look for a rigid 26" suspension corrected fork (probably available to order for $40 or less from any LBS). 26" commuter tires are readily available.

Good luck!
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Old 06-14-09, 01:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
I fear you may be mistaken about the size of fork you need -

AFAIK, Cannondale adopted the 1-1/8" steerer tube standard along with the rest of the bike industry in the early 1990s (or late 1980s) - except on their Headshok equipped bikes. I think you might have a 1-1/8" fork and should be looking for another 1-1/8" fork to replace it.

Anyhoo, if you find a fork with dimensions close to what you seek, it will work.

It will also 'work' to put just about any wheel that fits into the fork, although you might have trouble getting brakes to work... and any change will affect the handling, but it hard to say if it will be a change you can get used to in two rides or if it will make the bike unpleasant or dangerous to ride. However, changing fork length from 400mm to 375 or 420mm will definitely make less of an impact than switching to 700c.

IMHO, you should look for a rigid 26" suspension corrected fork (probably available to order for $40 or less from any LBS). 26" commuter tires are readily available.

Good luck!
Good call. I missed the frame vintage, just searched for 1" forks. I should've known as I had a 1" steerer C'dale MTB and broke the frame in the early 90's. The replacement was a 1-1/8" steerer which required me to upgrade the fork, headset and stem.

It's definitely a 1-1/8" steerer as LarDasse said. You may want to check out the Ritchey WCS mountain carbon fork.
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Old 06-14-09, 02:11 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the input! I actually purchased a Ritchey 1-1/8 (cart before the horse) because I thought I got a 1-1/8 measurement when I initially measured the diameter of the head tube. Not so. It definitely does not fit through the head tube. The cups (is that what they are called?) are still "installed" at both ends of the head tube - maybe they are there to fit a 1" steerer? The steerer on the old fork is definitely 1".
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Old 06-14-09, 02:22 PM   #7
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Hmmm...could you post a photo?

It could be that some adapter cups were applied. That was (and is still) often done to adapt standard forks to a Headshok-equipped Cannondale.

Could it also be that you have the vintage of your frame wrong? To my knowledge and as previously stated, Cannondale went with the 1-1/8" wave. When I broke that frame I specifically requested a replacement with a 1" steerer. I was a bit miffed when they said none were available. I was even more miffed when they stopped making frames in anything but a Headshok and stopped riding Cannondales altogether.
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Old 06-14-09, 02:38 PM   #8
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Bikepedia lists the 1997 M300 models with 1" headsets: http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...0+SE&Type=bike

Since (presumably) you don't have the rest of the original headset parts, yes, you will have to remove (or probably better, have removed at a LBS) the pressed-in cups from the head tube. Is your new fork a threaded or unthreaded fork?
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Old 06-14-09, 02:46 PM   #9
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No disc brake mounts on that frame, so a different sized wheel from the original 26" isn't a good idea.
You can always install skinny tires and faster gear ratios though.
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Old 06-14-09, 03:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ecovelo View Post

I thought I could use EITHER 700c or 26" wheels - 700c wheels [I]appear[I] to clear the brake bridge ok. Am I dreaming about this? Should I just stick with 26" wheels and fork that came with the bike as the bike was intended?
There may be clearance but the cantilever brakes won't match up with the rim. With all the great street tires available for 26' wheels, there's really no reason to go to all the hassle (even if it were possible) to put 700c wheels on this bike.
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Old 06-14-09, 08:57 PM   #11
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Good call. I missed the frame vintage, just searched for 1" forks. I should've known as I had a 1" steerer C'dale MTB and broke the frame in the early 90's. The replacement was a 1-1/8" steerer which required me to upgrade the fork, headset and stem.
I don't believe there is any way to replace a 1" steer tube with a 1 1/8" steer tube. I won't fit the head set or the head tube.
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Old 06-14-09, 09:27 PM   #12
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I don't believe there is any way to replace a 1" steer tube with a 1 1/8" steer tube. I won't fit the head set or the head tube.
No, you're correct.

When my M2000 frame broke the dealer told me there were no 1" frames available...of my model. Apparently Cannondale did not make the switch to 1-1/8" unilaterally. My bad.
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Old 06-15-09, 12:51 AM   #13
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Sorry...I was running late to work and had to bail. Having trouble posting my pictures. I'll probably stick with 26" although I will look into 650c as a possibility. Definitely going with cantilever - no disc. I do have the parts to the original headset - steerer is threaded 1" and a bit rusty. New fork is 1 1/8 so will not go on this bike, obviously. (Anyone wanna buy a Ritchey Carbon fork? Planned on changing out fork/stem/handlebars, etc. with lighter, threadless system. Checked out Wound Up components - might find something there. Thanks for all the help. I will continue researching and eventually post before and after photos - although that will be awhile to be sure.
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