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Old 10-20-06, 07:38 AM   #1
Adiankur
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rigid fork

I currently have a trek 4300 that I will be using for commuting on paved roads. It comes with a low end front shock, and I was wondering if it would be worth the trouble of trying to get a rigid fork for my bike. anyone think it would make that big a difference over my commute distance of 10 miles, one way, with quite a few climbs and descents? Also, how much trouble and expense are those rigid forks to come by and install?
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Old 10-20-06, 07:55 AM   #2
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Yes, its worth it. They can be had for about $60. Check with your LBS on installation.
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Old 10-20-06, 08:02 AM   #3
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I got a rigid fork from Pricepoint for about $40. It's definitely worth it. Lighter, more efficient on climbs and sprints and still comfortable going over potholes and rough patches of road. You may be able to re-use the headset bits from the old fork on the new one. If it's threadless, you need to order the right size steerer or order a longer one and cut it down to suit you.
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Old 10-20-06, 08:31 AM   #4
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Probably worth it - I put the nashbar one on a trek 4300. I wanted the same height as the original. In hindsight, I would probably have gotten a slightly shorter fork, like the surly or something. Swapping out is easy enough, but you should probably consult your lbs. My fork needed to be 'faced.' That is, the part that holds the headset race had paint on it, and needed to be resurfaced to make the headset work well.
In addition to the fork, I got slicks, nashbar trekking bars, used wheelset, road cassette, and a new crankset (the old one was shot).

In real hindsight - after a year - I would have just sold the trek and gotten a nice road bike. I was happy commuting on the trek for a long time, though. It just feels a little odd at high speed, and feels cramped if you try to get low to go fast on the flats. For slower speed tooling around, it is great.
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Old 10-20-06, 08:45 AM   #5
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Yeah, Im thinking of going with the rigid fork. I have almost completely stopped doing any type of hard offroad riding. Im on Mups once in awhile, and theres the occasion to see stone and such, but nothing major. I wonder if I should keep the shocks, and when I get a road bike, maybe consider going back to the shocks for the mtb, but ill probably just keep the mtb as a beater then. Is the weight differential big with a rigid over a shock?
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Old 10-20-06, 08:49 AM   #6
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Definitely a noticeable feel in weight. A rigid is dirt simple so the weight savings could be 1-2 lbs. Plus there was a more nimble feeling to my bike when I did the swap.
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Old 10-20-06, 08:56 AM   #7
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You'll be surprised how nice a rigid fork feels, even over bumps and potholes. You will learn how to absorb the impacts with your body and you can ride much faster this way. I take mine on the trail and have a blast all the time, an MUP won't be any problem.
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Old 10-20-06, 09:08 AM   #8
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Yes yes yes... +1 for rigidity on the roads.

I know I'm going to get flamed by some atb'er for this, but I just think suspensions are ridiculous on a bike unless you're really doing some hardcore offroad stuff. I really think body-positioning and learning to take the bumps are better shock absorbers for what most people do.

What kills me is that almost allthe toy bikes at the xmarts around me are full suspension. People riding them on the street look so damn funny bouncing around. And if you're much of a clyde you'll bottom the things out just sitting on the bike.
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Old 10-20-06, 09:16 AM   #9
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well,Im close to 200lbs, but im in good shape, well beside the two sprained wrists, sprained hand and sprained elbow from a crash or two. Ill call my LBS and see if they happen to have a rigid fork lying around somewhere. If they dont, ill buy one. I heard one call for pricepoint's inexpensive rigid, and I noticed one on ebay, any other options? Im going inexpensive, but dont want it to fall apart.
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Old 10-20-06, 09:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krazygluon
Yes yes yes... +1 for rigidity on the roads.

I know I'm going to get flamed by some atb'er for this, but I just think suspensions are ridiculous on a bike unless you're really doing some hardcore offroad stuff. I really think body-positioning and learning to take the bumps are better shock absorbers for what most people do.

What kills me is that almost allthe toy bikes at the xmarts around me are full suspension. People riding them on the street look so damn funny bouncing around. And if you're much of a clyde you'll bottom the things out just sitting on the bike.
I'm an ATB'er, and I agree with you 100%. Suspension for regular road use is absolutely ridiculous. Something like 80% of all mountain bikes sold are never used off road, much like SUV's.
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Old 10-20-06, 09:30 AM   #11
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Well, my LBS said they could get the fork and have it installed in about two days. Total cost with tax would be about $100 with the fork being about $55-$60, so that means no riding the weekend I do it. Ill do it next weekend, as thats the time I go down to my grandmother's house to shop for her.
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Old 10-20-06, 09:50 AM   #12
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The one I got from Pricepoint was made of Tange cro-mo, cost $40, plus another $20 for a new headset + installation. $100 sounds a little high.
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Old 10-20-06, 09:59 AM   #13
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tried getting to pricepoint a bit ago, but couldnt get through to the site. Ill check again. Obviously there is shipping and such, but ill check another lbs in my area. It may just be that they are more expensive around here, but ill see what I can find. Most of the forks I have priced online have been mid $50's and up, plus shipping your talking mid $60's.
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Old 10-20-06, 10:20 AM   #14
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I have a rigid fork you can have if you pay the shipping. It is on a K2 hybrid frame right now. Do you need it for 26" or 700c wheels?
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Old 10-20-06, 10:26 AM   #15
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^his wheels are 26 inch.

Your fork probably weighs about 4.5 lbs. A rigid will probably be 2 lbs +- 10%
$60 for the fork sounds about right unless you wait for a deal. Mine was $35, but it is usually $50-60. $30-40 for installation sounds about right. Most LBSs are expensive, but that's what it costs.
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Old 10-20-06, 11:00 AM   #16
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Just a question about asthetics. How does a "hardtail" MTB look when you swap out the front shocks for a rigid fork? Is there a long extension of fork from the head tube to tire that you wouldn't see on an MTB that was originally designed rigid?
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Old 10-20-06, 11:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adiankur
Well, my LBS said they could get the fork and have it installed in about two days. Total cost with tax would be about $100 with the fork being about $55-$60, so that means no riding the weekend I do it. Ill do it next weekend, as thats the time I go down to my grandmother's house to shop for her.
Hey, good decision. Suspension forks on pavement suck.
However, installing a fork isn't black magic... If you have some mechanical ability and minimal experience, 4 and 5mm allen wrenches and an hour of free time, DIY. $40 is a lotta money for a 10min job imho. Sheldon and Park give you all the instructions you may need.
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Old 10-20-06, 11:09 AM   #18
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yeah, my wheels are 26" so thats the type of fork I need.

I think it depends on the fork if it is sized right and such. My lbs said something about having to cut something down. Maybe it depends on being threaded or threadless. Im mechanically inclined, but I have never worked on my bike to any serious degree before. Ill look at sheldon's page on that topic.
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Old 10-20-06, 11:09 AM   #19
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Oh yeah, you may need a suspension corrected fork. Here's the one I got. The price went up $3.

http://www.webcyclery.com/product.ph...1&cat=0&page=2

Your LBS probably meant if it's threadless, they'll need to cut the steerer tube to the right size. I think you can DIY maybe w/ a pipe cutter or hacksaw.
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Old 10-20-06, 11:33 AM   #20
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I may be mechanically inclined, but im not quite ready to bust out with the pipe cutter or hacksaw on my only bicycle. maybe when I buy a used bike to practice my skills on, but I really dont want to screw something up on the one I have.

thanks for the encouragement though.
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Old 10-20-06, 03:19 PM   #21
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I have a rigid fork w/ steerer cut too far for me (6 3/8"; I need 8"'; I didn't read the ebay auction closely enough). It has starnut and fork race installed, if anyone's looking for one. Weighs 2#2oz.
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Old 10-20-06, 03:32 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeakywheel
Just a question about asthetics. How does a "hardtail" MTB look when you swap out the front shocks for a rigid fork? Is there a long extension of fork from the head tube to tire that you wouldn't see on an MTB that was originally designed rigid?
Here's what my Schwinn Mesa GSD looks like with a Nashbar suspension corrected fork.

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Old 10-20-06, 05:29 PM   #23
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Rigid forks are great for paved roads.
Instead of getting a new one, you might be able to pick up a complete bike on craigslist and use that fork, with plenty of parts left over. All for the price of a new rigid fork.
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Old 10-20-06, 06:42 PM   #24
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Ill check the list. thats a pretty good idea there xeyedcrickt.
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