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Old 11-18-11, 12:10 PM   #1
gingi310
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1988 Bianchi Grizzly needs disc compatible fork for 26" wheels with 1" steerer tube

First of all I want to say "thank you" to the collective community on this board. I have learned a lot from the intelligent (and not so intelligent!) discussions I have found here.

Here's the deal: I have owned an old Bianchi Grizzly ATB (I believe it to be a 1988) for almost 15 years. When I bought it, I immediately put on mountain bike-style mustache bars and Conti 1.5" Town and Country tires and it has served as my "do everything" bike and general urban assault vehicle ever since. It has been ridden hard and has taken everything I can give it. I love the set up and it fits me great (no photos at the moment, but the frame looks like this:

Recently, I started commuting to work on it with my 4 year old on the back (in a Kettler Flipper: http://www.kettlerusa.com/bikes/child-carriers/2963). I live and work in San Francisco and go down some of the steepest hills in the city on my way to work and often come back in the dark, especially now with the time change.

Due to these factors, I have determined that I need to get a bike with disc brakes (at least on the front - especially with the wet season now here) and a dynamo hub and good lights. My first thought was to get a new 700cc commuter style bike like the Breezer Finesse or a cross-style bike like the Jamis Bosanova. However, I don't really like drop bars on a commuter and want to keep my current bar setup, so anything I get will have to have at least the bar setup modified..

After much thought, I came to the conclusion that I should determine whether I couldn't just made the appropriate modifications to my current bike. After all, it's already set up how I like it, it rides well, is a beautifully grungy celeste steel lugged frame on which I have a lot of good memories; why not try to salvage it? I realize that it is in some ways foolish b/c frame is worth maybe $50 and it will probably cost me more to build up the bike than it would to just buy a new one. So be it.

I've thought the the build and the only thing I haven't been able to locate is:an off-the-shelf curved blade disc-compatible fork for 26" wheels with a 1" steerer tube.

I would be happy with carbon fiber or steel. The current Cr-Mo Tange fork is about 400mm axle to crown and has a fair amount of rake (I haven't measured the rake, but you can see the curve in the above photo). The closest I have found is this one made for 700cc wheels: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...1#ReviewHeader but a 700cc conversion would be difficult because the bike utilizes a U-brake (and I am not sure what it would do to the handling). I realize I could get one custom made, but I am trying to keep the build cost down and a $400 fork would pretty much kill the project.

Does anyone know of such a part? My bike will thank you for it!

Cheers,

Jon

Last edited by gingi310; 11-18-11 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 11-18-11, 12:26 PM   #2
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Welcome to the C&V. Your bike is about 10 years older than 1998(as your post says).


Nashbar has some cheap disc forks.

(EDIT: they do not have 1" steerer tubes though)

Ebay is probably a good bet

Last edited by Roger M; 11-18-11 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 11-18-11, 12:32 PM   #3
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Good luck with that. 1" steerer tubes are getting harder and harder to find. I recently restored a Colnago MTB from '89 or '90 and ended up with a NOS Rock Shox Mag 10. Those celeste forks are really pretty. Are you sure you really want to replace them?
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Old 11-18-11, 01:24 PM   #4
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Those celeste forks are really pretty. Are you sure you really want to replace them?
I was thinking the same thing. That's a really nice looking bike. Why not look for a used bike already set up with disc brakes and keep this "original"?
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Old 11-18-11, 01:34 PM   #5
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Have you tried V brakes, most likely will have all the stopping power you need. You will need levers also.

Last edited by Fred Smedley; 11-19-11 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 11-18-11, 01:58 PM   #6
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I have a bike from that time frame (a 1987 Diamondback) with similar brake setup If you can't find a disc fork, you can get better stopping power from your current brakes by replacing the pads with Koolstop Salmon. I used Supra 2 on the U-brake and Eagle 2 for the front cantilevers on my bike. Also shorten the transverse cable on th e front cantis for better leverage.
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Old 11-18-11, 02:19 PM   #7
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Have you tied V brakes, most likely will have all the stopping power you need. You will need levers also.
I think so, too. I used to ride a converted Mtn. Bike on steep SF hills (although without the child seat and weight on the rear) and a V-front/canti rear was fine. You could get one of the "cable pull multipliers" like caramba or smooth operator and keep the same levers you have on your moustache bars. Or if you just have to have disks, there are several Bay Area builders that can add the mounts onto your existing fork (retouching paint required).
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Old 11-18-11, 02:51 PM   #8
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Try installing new cables/housings and adding Kool Stop to your existing cantilever brakes. You may be surprised in how much more stopping power you can generate. If not sufficient, maybe look for Suntour XC Pro (Scott Peterson self-energizing) cantilever brakes on ebay - you won't have to modify your bike at all, and have some crazy braking power - right up there with V-brakes. I have a non-self-energizing set lying around - they're good stuff (be careful to get the right type!).

Editted to add: I'm an idiot and didn't read your full post - not sure if the canti's would be fully compatible with your rear U-brake mount.
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Old 11-18-11, 04:01 PM   #9
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I would stick to freshening up your existing brakes, they should easily be able to supply ample stopping power if setup well with new pads and cables. If you are determined to switch to disks however, there is a good chance that you can find a framebuilder willing to braze disk brake mounts onto your exising frame (and remove the cantilever/Ubrake bosses).
Modern LED lights are amazingly bright AND long lasting, huge improvemnet over halogen. An LED light with rechargeable batteries should be fine for commuting, hub-dyno would give unlimited burn time but you might find that you dont need a dyno hub if you have a great lighting system.
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Old 11-18-11, 10:41 PM   #10
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+1 try new housing, cable and brake pads; read Sheldon or the Park site for proper canti setup.
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Old 11-18-11, 11:41 PM   #11
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You could always have a builder braze or weld on a caliper bracket onto your existing fork or pick up a spare fork and have that done. If you really like your bike have a custom fork built with what you want. You could then go threadless and open up more choices to stems and bars. You
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Old 11-19-11, 12:01 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Gonzo Bob View Post
I have a bike from that time frame (a 1987 Diamondback) with similar brake setup If you can't find a disc fork, you can get better stopping power from your current brakes by replacing the pads with Koolstop Salmon. I used Supra 2 on the U-brake and Eagle 2 for the front cantilevers on my bike. Also shorten the transverse cable on th e front cantis for better leverage.
+alot on freshing up with some Kool-Stop pads. They'll spook you the first couple times you apply the brakes.

BTW, I've got an '88 DB Ascent -- seems like there were a lot of common themes in mountain bikes of that era.

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Old 11-19-11, 07:23 AM   #13
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I agree with not changing the fork. if you could find one it is likely set up for a suspension ready frame and will change the geomentry and standover of your bike a bit.

if your going with a Dyno hub why not get one with an internal brake as well?

I am also in agreement with a good cleaning up or overhaul of your brakes. those U brakes are hard to get set up, especially under the stays like that, but have good stopping power.
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Old 11-19-11, 07:36 AM   #14
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....if your going with a Dyno hub why not get one with an internal brake as well?
And, if need be, you could also leave the canti brake in place, and pick up a dual pull lever. This way you would have twice the stopping power on the front wheel. It can be a little tricky to set up, but I did this on my old tandem.



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Old 11-19-11, 10:57 AM   #15
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It would be a shame to "update" a Celeste Grizzly like that. Get a different bike or throw on some salmon Kool Stop pads instead.
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