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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 06-14-09, 02:29 PM   #1
FZ1Tom
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Trek fork and brake options?

I ride my Trek 7200 hybrid on pavement only. Getting to dislike the fork, espescially how spongy it is when I stand up out of the saddle. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a lockout.

So where can I source a rigid fork, for example one from a Trek 7000?

Nothing on the Trek site that I could find. Also did a quick search and came up empty.

The brakes are also completely useless. I've badgered the LBS several times about it, finally got them to tighten it up a LITTLE bit, but when I got bar ends last week, yep you guessed it....the mechanic "readjusted" the damn things - worse than ever.

Dammit I want some REAL brakes

Anyone got any disc brake conversion advice?

Moreover, how much money would I be looking at spending here? Might I be better off just selling the bike (esp since I have a road bike on layaway) and getting another hybrid better suited to my needs, for example one of the FX series?

Tom
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Old 06-14-09, 06:19 PM   #2
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The V-brakes on the 7200 are pretty good stoppers. If you don't like how your mechanic has them adjusted, turn the barrel adjuster (the cone shaped nut where the cable comes out of the lever). You should be able to get them as tight as you like.

Watch this video from the Salt Lake City Bike Collective. At the very end (about 1:18 or so) he twists the adjuster that I'm talking about.
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Old 06-14-09, 09:03 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by FZ1Tom View Post
So where can I source a rigid fork, for example one from a Trek 7000?
Any local or Internet bike shop should be able to get you a rigid fork. Ideally, you need to order a replacement that has the same axle to crown race distance as your current fork.

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Anyone got any disc brake conversion advice?
If you buy a rigid fork that has disc brake mounting tabs, you can add an Avid BB5 or BB7 disc front brake pretty easily.

Seems to me you should be able to get your current brakes to work, however. What, specifically is the problem? Stopping distance? Feel? Which brake do you use most frequently, front or rear? Have you spent time practicing your braking technique?

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Moreover, how much money would I be looking at spending here?
A generic, rigid chro-moly fork with disc brake tabs should run about $70 or so. An aluminum fork is probably in the $100-150 range. Expect a name-brand carbon fiber fork to be $250+. Avid BB7 disc brakes are around $50 per caliper.
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Old 06-14-09, 09:24 PM   #4
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I put the Nashbar Carbon Cyclo-Cross Fork on my 7200FX. Replaced the steel fixed fork. Other then saving some weight, can't say it felt any different. Steel is back on 7200 and carbon fork is now on the Nashbar cyclo-cross frame.
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Old 06-15-09, 06:17 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by FZ1Tom View Post
I ride my Trek 7200 hybrid on pavement only. Getting to dislike the fork, espescially how spongy it is when I stand up out of the saddle. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a lockout.

So where can I source a rigid fork, for example one from a Trek 7000?

Nothing on the Trek site that I could find. Also did a quick search and came up empty.

The brakes are also completely useless. I've badgered the LBS several times about it, finally got them to tighten it up a LITTLE bit, but when I got bar ends last week, yep you guessed it....the mechanic "readjusted" the damn things - worse than ever.

Dammit I want some REAL brakes

Anyone got any disc brake conversion advice?

Moreover, how much money would I be looking at spending here? Might I be better off just selling the bike (esp since I have a road bike on layaway) and getting another hybrid better suited to my needs, for example one of the FX series?

Tom
Swapping the fork, you need one that is the same length, this is measured from the crown to the axle, this will possibly be called a suspension corrected fork. You need someone to sit on the bike while measuring though, because suspension forks are typically shorter when loaded, while solid forks are not. You also need to make sure that the new fork is the same type, threaded vs threadless. Looking at the Trek website it looks threaded, but I can't be 100% sure.

V brakes are usually very good, you need to have them adjusted properly though, and then learn how to adjust them for pad wear, using the barrel adjuster. Brakes should be adjusted with new pads, so that there is about 3mm (about 1/8th inch) between the pad and the rim with the brakes off, the barrel adjuster should be turned all the way in. As the brake pads wear you turn the barrel adjuster once in a while to bring it back to the 3mm. There are slots cut into the pads, when you can't see the slots anymore, you need new pads.

Some riders like me prefer using cartridge pads, the metal housing is permanently adjusted to brake properly, when the pads are worn, you pull out a pin and slide out the rubber part, then slide in a new one, restoring the barrel adjuster to it's original position.







There are only 2 times that disc brakes are really better then V brakes:

1) Under extreme loads, where there is extended braking, for example a steep downhill on a tandem. The problem is that rim brakes heat the rim, but the heat is quickly dissipated, under normal conditions. Under heavy loads with extended braking the heat can build faster then it can dissipate melting the tire or tube where it contacts the rim, this is not good for the rider or riders

2) Under very wet or muddy conditions, wet brakes of any type are less efficient (the hubs see less water then the rims do), and mud can grind a set of new pads to nothing in a single ride.
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Old 06-15-09, 07:09 AM   #6
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S
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
...You also need to make sure that the new fork is the same type, threaded vs threadless. Looking at the Trek website it looks threaded, but I can't be 100% sure.
My 7300 is threaded with an adjustable stem.


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There are only 2 times that disc brakes are really better then V brakes:

1) Under extreme loads, where there is extended braking, for example a steep downhill on a tandem. The problem is that rim brakes heat the rim, but the heat is quickly dissipated, under normal conditions. Under heavy loads with extended braking the heat can build faster then it can dissipate melting the tire or tube where it contacts the rim, this is not good for the rider or riders

2) Under very wet or muddy conditions, wet brakes of any type are less efficient (the hubs see less water then the rims do), and mud can grind a set of new pads to nothing in a single ride.
...and it does a pretty good job on the rim, too.
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Old 06-15-09, 01:37 PM   #7
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S

My 7300 is threaded with an adjustable stem.




...and it does a pretty good job on the rim, too.
Looks like the 7200 uses that same adjustable stem, which may make finding a suspension corrected solid fork a lot more difficult, because I think most are threadless.

Your right, mud and grit can do a nice job of wearing a rim as well as the brake pads, although the rim, even so will last longer then the pads.
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Old 06-15-09, 02:30 PM   #8
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Eh I can live with a squishy fork for now. The brake, now that's another issue entirely. It's exactly what I said it was - useless. I can (and did) squeeze both levers right to the grips and it'll barely slow the bike down, even on level pavement. What you think would happen the next time I hit the 20-30% grades on the MUP's? (and did I mention they have lots of curves built in to 'slow' things down? )

I'll see what I can do, update soon.

Tom
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Old 06-15-09, 03:19 PM   #9
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Eh I can live with a squishy fork for now. The brake, now that's another issue entirely. It's exactly what I said it was - useless. I can (and did) squeeze both levers right to the grips and it'll barely slow the bike down, even on level pavement. What you think would happen the next time I hit the 20-30% grades on the MUP's? (and did I mention they have lots of curves built in to 'slow' things down? )

I'll see what I can do, update soon.

Tom
If you can squeeze the brake lever right to the grips, then your brakes are not properly adjusted. Grab a ruler and measure the distance from the pad to the rim, it should be around 3mm or 1/8 inch, it should also be the same on both sides. If the barrel adjuster isn't all the way out, you can try turning it out a little this will cause the pads to move in slightly to try to get that 3mm.

If you can not properly adjust the brakes, you may need to do it differently. I suggest looking at your pads first, if they have some wear on them, get new ones. Install your new pads.
Grab a couple of nickels, stick them between the pads and rim one on each side, put a bungie cord or strap around the brake to hold the brake in place. Loosen the cable where it attaches to tbe brake, turn the barrel adjuster all the way in then out 1 full turn. Now grab the cable and pull it taut. Use some vise grips to hold it, while you tighten the nut. Now remove the strap holding the brake and work the nickels out, you can turn the barrel adjuster that one turn back in to help.

If your old pads still look like they have life to them, you can put them back on, if the wear is even (no grooves or ridges in the pad face), scrape out any metal flecks from the pads, before reinstalling them. Pads are usually quite cheap, so I would be more likely to just toss the old ones into my parts box, in case I need a set of pads for an emergency some time. They can be a pain in the donkey to get the 4 different directions of adjustment correct.

Now turn the barrel adjuster to where there is 3mm between pad and rim.

Now walk the bike along the driveway, give the front brake lever a good squeeze, the rear wheel should lift off the ground. Now test the rear, it should simply lock and skid. Get on the bike, at about 3km/h (2MPH) pull both levers, the bike should immediately stop.
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Old 06-15-09, 03:25 PM   #10
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grrrr, can't even get the brake to stay centered (still messing with the front) no matter how much I mess with it now. I can get it tight, but not centered and not to where it allows the rim to spin freely.

a few more minutes, then I just ride to another LBS (its pretty close, and I still have a half-ass rear brake).

Tom
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Old 06-15-09, 04:33 PM   #11
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ahhh, think I got it now. a lil' better at least

Tom
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Old 06-15-09, 05:35 PM   #12
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grrrr, can't even get the brake to stay centered (still messing with the front) no matter how much I mess with it now. I can get it tight, but not centered and not to where it allows the rim to spin freely.

a few more minutes, then I just ride to another LBS (its pretty close, and I still have a half-ass rear brake).

Tom
On V type brakes there is a screw, on the outside, this screw rides on the spring, to give more or less spring action. by checking the screws you will see that the brake will adjust side to side.
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Old 06-21-09, 08:58 AM   #13
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Tom do you ride alot in dusty/muddy conditions? it may help to wipe the rims and pads with some nailpolish remover or alchol oncein awhile to get gunk off them alos some emery cloth on the pads to get and glaze of them. I have never been able to keep any cantilever brakes on my bikes from squealing but they really stop well *giggle* OH I didn't see anything about tires? are you tires really fat? is the squish from them?
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Old 06-23-09, 09:53 AM   #14
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Following Wogster's instructions I was able to adjust the brakes to function reasonably well, although I did notice they seemed a little softer towards the end of my ride this morning (first time since I went to the LBS to get the bar ends).

It was very warm and muggy this morning (dewpoints over 72 degrees), but no rain in several days. Tires are Bontrager Select Inverts, 700x35 at 80-85psi. Nope, all the squish is in the fork Couldn't tell you about any squealing or not, as I wear a hearing aid and took it off b/c of the high sweat factor (kills HA's), without it I can't hear a thing (yeah, I have to be careful and keep my eyes open )

Tom
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