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  1. #1
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    Fork advice needed

    I have been having an absolute blast on my 08 Specialized Crosstrail. It is very comfy, quick and surprisingly nimble. That being said I have noticed that the RST Neon front fork seems to be getting "soft". I'm thinking about changing it out and am looking for suggestions. One thought I had would be a rigid type fork as I am primarily riding on the pavement, well actually all of my riding to date has been on pavement bar a gravel parking lot here n there.

    Appreciate any input you guys/gals have. Thanks! Anton

  2. #2
    It's all about the bike
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    I had my RST fork replaced with a Surly Karate Monkey fork when a seal went out of the warranty period - it was too hard to find a compatible suspension fork with the same height/travel. The Surly fork is a 'suspension corrected' rigid, ie. longer than a regular fork to give you roughly the same installed height as a suspension fork in the middle of its travel.

    Edit : Whatever fork you get needs to be roughly the same length as your current fork. Changing the fork affects the position of the seat and bars relative to the crank, so a fork which is too short/long compared to your current fork may require other changes such as an offset seat post or a longer/shorter stem for the handle bars.
    Michael

  3. #3
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjfwk View Post
    I had my RST fork replaced with a Surly Karate Monkey fork when a seal went out of the warranty period - it was too hard to find a compatible suspension fork with the same height/travel. The Surly fork is a 'suspension corrected' rigid, ie. longer than a regular fork to give you roughly the same installed height as a suspension fork in the middle of its travel.

    Edit : Whatever fork you get needs to be roughly the same length as your current fork. Changing the fork affects the position of the seat and bars relative to the crank, so a fork which is too short/long compared to your current fork may require other changes such as an offset seat post or a longer/shorter stem for the handle bars.
    That actually is only half true, a shorter fork will not affect the position relative the crank, what it does is make the front end much lower then the back end, similar to replacing a 29" front wheel with a 26" front wheel. It will also affect handling in that the front wheel angle vs the bars is different, It also makes it much easier to have an over-the-bars experience. The worst part of an OTB experience isn't the flying (which is kinda cool), but the landing, remember the heavier the rider, the shorter the flight. I've done it and I don't recommend it, especially for those over 40.....

    It's still a good idea to use a suspension corrected fork, or replace your suspension fork with another one, with a similar travel rating. Make sure though, that any replacement suspension fork is rated for your weight, most are intended for around 150lbs. Clydesdale friendly suspension forks are usually
    high pressure air shocks and they are not wallet friendly

    Partly related, does the Karate Monkey have rack/fender mounts?

  4. #4
    It's all about the bike
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    No rack mounts (from memory), but it has a hole drilled through the steerer which can be used to mount a fender.

    Re. shorter fork not changing the seat/bars position relative to the crank - it does. If you drop the front of the bike a couple of cm/inches, the seat tube angle becomes shallower, which is equivalent to moving the seat forwards slightly. Think of it as rotating the whole frame forwards slightly. The problem comes when slightly is too much for the seat rails - I'm already back as far as I can, so any drop at all to the front of my bike can't be handled without changing to an offset seat post.
    Michael

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjfwk View Post
    I had my RST fork replaced with a Surly Karate Monkey fork when a seal went out of the warranty period - it was too hard to find a compatible suspension fork with the same height/travel. The Surly fork is a 'suspension corrected' rigid, ie. longer than a regular fork to give you roughly the same installed height as a suspension fork in the middle of its travel.
    Beware when buying suspension corrected forks! Just because a fork claims to be 'suspension corrected' does not mean that it is the same length as your suspension fork! I found this out the hard way...

    There are two ways you can ensure that you're getting a fork that's compatible with your frame. The best way is to compare the axle to crown race length. This is a common spec, so you can find it on most websites. If can't find the specs for your suspension fork, you can always measure it yourself. If you can't handle the measurements, look for a rigid fork that specifically claims to be the equivalent of a suspension fork that has the same amount of travel your fork has. For example, "suspension corrected for 100mm travel" or "suspension corrected for 80mm travel".

    FWIW, I've used both the Kona Project 2 fork (suspension corrected for 0mm of travel, as near as I can tell) and the Surly Instigator (suspension corrected for 100mm travel). The Project 2 is built like a tank! And way too short to work with my frame, no matter what Kona says about it being suspension-corrected. The Surly Instigator is a bit lighter than the Kona, just as cheap, and very well built. It's also the right length for my bike!

  6. #6
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    Ugh. So it's not as easy as I thought. sigh. Should I contact Specialized and see what they recommend?

  7. #7
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    On my Sedona DX, I used a Tange fork (suspension corrected length) to replace my RST (I forget which model). It works well.


    I got it through my LBS, but it is like the ones sold here:

    http://webcyclery.com/product.php?pr...cat=319&page=1

    EDIT: THis fork would be OK if your bike uses 26" wheels.... and V brakes... I didn't look it up to confirm.
    Last edited by Little Darwin; 08-14-08 at 04:14 PM.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

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  8. #8
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    I got 700x45's and V-brakes.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crabster View Post
    Ugh. So it's not as easy as I thought. sigh. Should I contact Specialized and see what they recommend?
    Just get out a measuring tape and measure the distance from the center of the axle to the bottom of the head tube (= the location of the crown race). Convert from inches to millimeters. When shopping for a new rigid fork, make sure the length of the fork you're buying is similar to the length of the fork that's currently on your bike. If the length is off by a few millimeters, the geometry and handling of your bike won't change much. If you're off by an inch (= 25.4mm) or more expect to have problems.

    Alternately, look for a rigid fork that is suspension corrected for 80mm of travel, which is what Specialized claims your '08 Crosstrail has. Universal Cycles says that the Salsa CroMoto Rigid for $110 should work. It's axle to crown race length is 425mm, which might help you in tracking down other forks of similar size/design.

  10. #10
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Take the bike to your LBS, you might pay a little more for it but at least you'll get the right size. Most bike shops offer a break on parts and services if you bought the bike there, the difference might not be all that much for the peace of mind.

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