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!