Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Logan, UT
Bikes: one bike for every day of the week
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is it for 26" or 700c wheels?
does it take cantilever or disc brakes?
is the steerer 1" or 1-1/8"?
is the steerer threaded or threadless?
how long does the steerer have to be?
threadless can be shortened by however much is necessary.
threaded implies buying a fork with just a little longer steerer.
neither type can be made longer.
is the offset or rake about the same?
don't replace a 38mm rake suspension fork with a 50mm rake rigid fork.
is the axle to crown distance about the same?
shorter forks will quicken the handling some and taller forks will slow it down.
The hub size will most likely be the same.
I'd say go into the LBS and say you want a basic, suspension corrected Tange fork for the bike. Unless it's Tange Infinity or Tange Prestige, it'll be relatively inexpensive. You need special tools to remove the crown race and install it on the new fork anyway. The tools for cutting the steerer aren't nearly so specialized or expensive but they aren't worth buying to use just once either.
In any case, with few exceptions, I don't buy stuff online unless I'm doing the work myself. My LBS doesn't give me any grief if I find NOS parts on closeout though. If I buy the fork from them, they'll swap the crown race for free. If I find a $300 fork $20 cheaper online and ask them to do it, I'll get charged $10 for the swap and the shipping cancels whatever I thought I might be saving.