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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-15-15, 08:37 PM   #1
RubeRad
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Recommend cheap suspension fork?

I've got a 1999 GT Backwoods hardtail, and I think the fork (RoxShox Jett) is trashed. Going off any drop it totally takes a dive. I've gone over the bars a couple times already, but fortunately have been able to unclip in time and somehow leapfrog the bike and land on my feet! I don't expect to always be so lucky, and I'm getting really tentative riding trails.

So rather than scraping up hundreds to replace the bike (or $1000+ to get a full-sus), I'm thinking about replacing the fork, maybe it can get me a few more years of use.

Can anybody recommend a good value (cheap, but not crap) suspension fork (1 1/8", threadless, 26", rim brakes)? Since the whole bike is worth only like max $200, I'd want to budget like $40 or $50. Being 250lb, I think I'd want it stiffer, or at least adjustable towards stiffer.
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Old 07-16-15, 05:24 AM   #2
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Maybe a suspension corrected solid fork???? Might be your cheapest option to keep it rideable. Won't dampen the ride at all, but I rode a non suspension bike for years. If you're not on any real crazy trails it might work out okay.
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Old 07-16-15, 05:27 AM   #3
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at 250 lbs, there is no cheap suspension fork that will work...go rigid.
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Old 07-16-15, 05:36 AM   #4
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^^Agree with this^^

The big name suspension fork brand's top of the line products max out at 220lbs to 250lbs.
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Old 07-16-15, 06:42 AM   #5
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Good forks are north of $500.00, as stated go rigid or buy a new bike. They can be serviced so that might be worth a chance if not too costly.
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Old 07-16-15, 09:09 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Can anybody recommend a good value (cheap, but not crap) suspension fork (1 1/8", threadless, 26", rim brakes)? Since the whole bike is worth only like max $200, I'd want to budget like $40 or $50. Being 250lb, I think I'd want it stiffer, or at least adjustable towards stiffer.
You'll be lucky to find a good rigid fork for $40-50. I've been looking for a good suspension fork for my mountain bike, my budget is 10X yours, and I still haven't managed to find anything worth buying...
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Old 07-16-15, 10:23 AM   #7
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Well that sounds like a consensus already!

If I go rigid, maybe I can do a 69er? I'd need a wheel too though. Really not that interested in putting money into this old timer.
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Old 07-16-15, 11:17 AM   #8
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Just turn it into a rigid hybrid. Keep it for messing around on or sell it.
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Old 07-16-15, 11:21 AM   #9
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If you don't want to put money into it, put it on craigslist.

If you want to do a 69er patch job, I have a 29er rigid fork for you. But disc brake only, so you will need brakes plus wheel plus rotor. 69er will ride a bit funky on a XC style bike, that was mostly around full suspension and dirt jumping bikes.
@sstorkel used to be $500 would get you near top of line stuff....now meh you need $800 for nice new forks from Rock shox or Fox. I used to ride some Manitou minute forks that were PLUSH up there with Fox. Great bang for the bucks but now even those are expensive..... Can probably snag a used Reba on Ebay for $300 or so, those are tried and true from forever!! And rebuild kits are decently priced. If you want rigid, don't skip past Niner carbon, its the $hit...I'll never go back to a steel or alum rigid fork ever (for dirt)
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Old 07-16-15, 11:44 AM   #10
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If you don't want to put money into it, put it on craigslist.
Well then I wouldn't have a mountain bike.

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If you want to do a 69er patch job, I have a 29er rigid fork for you. But disc brake only, so you will need brakes plus wheel plus rotor.
I appreciate that, but brake + rotor + wheel, that's more than the quick fix I'm looking for. It's cool you're in san diego though, if I reconsider I'll pm you.

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69er will ride a bit funky on a XC style bike, that was mostly around full suspension and dirt jumping bikes.
I don't understand that; are you saying a 69 configuration works better for full-sus or dirt jumping? What would make a ride "funky"? (And as for "lucky to find a good rigid fork for $40-50" -- I don't understand what could be bad about any rigid fork -- too stiff?)
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Old 07-16-15, 12:28 PM   #11
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69er raises the front end, bars 1.5" minimum, this changed head tube angles, seat tube angles. Added stress on the head tubes & weld joints because of the change in angle can cause failure in this area. DJ and some FS bikes have stronger tubes up front w/ gussets to take the extra stress of slacking only 1-2*. You will be changing much more than 2*, will downhill much better but anything pointed up will feel like a chopper in the mountains


Check out MTBR forums, they used to have a 69er section
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Old 07-16-15, 12:40 PM   #12
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Interesting. My GT does have a gussetted downtube up at the headtube. But this bike has always been very creaky (especially the old--standard narrow handlebars).

I assume a rigid niner fork with a 26" disc wheel would leave things the same?
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Old 07-16-15, 02:21 PM   #13
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The Axle to crown spacing is increased to the 29er wheel diameter plus at least 80mm, some 100mm corrected. By using the 26" wheel you may gain back some degrees in the frame but the fork legs are still at least 1.5" longer than a 26" wheel. So might still feel like a chopper motorcycle in techy sections. I'm not not, never tried it.

See post #18 for alist of fork AC 26" vs 29"
Standard rake/offset for suspension forks?- Mtbr.com

looks like a uncorrected 29er fork will work on correct 26" bike.
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Old 07-16-15, 08:10 PM   #14
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@sstorkel used to be $500 would get you near top of line stuff....now meh you need $800 for nice new forks from Rock shox or Fox. I used to ride some Manitou minute forks that were PLUSH up there with Fox. Great bang for the bucks but now even those are expensive....
I've been hoping to find a year-end close-out model for around $400-500, but even those seem to be $600 if you want Fox or RockShox, which I do.
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Old 07-16-15, 08:37 PM   #15
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+1 Suspension corrected rigid fork will be way better than any "cheap" suspension fork, especially for a 250# rider. Another option would be to check with your LBS. Sometimes they have a used entry level suspension fork cheap from a customer upgrade to a better fork. IMHO, still better to go rigid.
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