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Old 09-12-12, 12:15 PM   #1
chagzuki
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Hybrid fork swap: suspension to rigid

A friend is asking me to do some work on their bike & I've suggested ditching the front suspension. The bike is a low end halfords/carrera job, is it safe to assume that geometry won't be much affected by swapping to some sort of generic hybrid 700c fork? I'm talking bottom of the range, perhaps second hand. Or does the geometry of hybrid forks vary enough that I should research dimensions carefully before proceeding?
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Old 09-12-12, 12:51 PM   #2
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Should just be a straight swap, dependant on the headset type, a low end bike will only have a short travel fork, and any generic rigid fork will be as close to this to not notice the difference. A quick Google search shows Raleigh forks for around £25 (take it you are UK based due to the bike brand).

All you would need to do is remove the crown race, cut the steerer tube to size, install a star fangled nut, and fit (based on 1 1/8th Aheadset) then refit the brakes
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Old 09-12-12, 02:12 PM   #3
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That's good to know. I figured measuring crown to axle blah blah might be overkill on a bike that probably wasn't particularly carefully designed in the first place.
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Old 09-12-12, 03:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by chagzuki View Post
That's good to know. I figured measuring crown to axle blah blah might be overkill on a bike that probably wasn't particularly carefully designed in the first place.
You should match it as close to the original but yeah, for the type of bike it is, it probably doesn't matter much.
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Old 09-12-12, 03:59 PM   #5
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I can open either vendor catalog and have a choice of 5 different rigid forks for a 700c hybrid. Retail prices between $35-$100. (Inexpensive steel up to carbon fiber)
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Old 09-12-12, 07:24 PM   #6
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Figure even a bottom end fork to have roughly 2" travel. Going standard rigid fork will drop the front end by about that much. So the head and seat tube angles will be roughly 2-3° steeper. A casual rider might not even notice. But he may notice that his handlebars are now 2" lower.

You might recover some of that height with an inch of added spacers under the stem (threadless, I presume), or you could use a high angle stem. But either way it's something to think about.

I wouldn't buy a low end suspension fork, but if it's working decently enough you might as well leave it in place until it dies.
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Old 09-12-12, 08:40 PM   #7
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you can get a suspension corrected fork for the swap, it's what I did on my bike. They are set up a bit taller tot take the suspension height into account. It had a cheap fork and a threaded headset, a steel threadless fork and headset put me back about $130. Before and after photos:
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