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Old 11-08-08, 08:57 AM   #1
edwinbradford
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Road bike forks on mountain bike frame

Hi everyone, I just registered here

This question has been proving really hard to answer. I have a Litespeed Tsali mountain bike I bought second hand 10 years ago or so which is used only for commuting. The bike is customized to be more of a road bike, if I were buying a new bike it would be a road bike, carbon fibre but for now I'm sticking with what I have. It has a road group set, and low profile handlebars, you get the picture. It came with RockShox SID forks but I want to replace them with rigid forks, preferably carbon. OK so you're wondering why I don't just buy a pair of rigid carbon mountain bike forks.

The simple truth is I can't find any that I particularly like, I mean I'm sure they're great, its just that they don't appeal to me, but I have seen several carbon road bike forks I love. So my question is, is it possible to fit say an Easton EC90 series fork on a mountain bike frame which has of course 26" wheels? I was told its possible by a local retailer, the only constraint is the tyre size, a road bike fork has to take a tyre under 32mm width. I already run panracer 1.25" tyres which are 32mm exactly, I could come down in size if necessary. What about brake block positioning?

Feel free to laugh at me but please qualify it with the reasons why I shouldn't do it, or better still tell me it physically can't be done or that it's fine to do it. Thanks everyone.
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Old 11-08-08, 11:02 AM   #2
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The issue is head tube angle.

The front end of a mountain bike that was designed for a lot of travel is likely to drop quite a bit if you install a road fork. That'll steepen the head tube angle.

It might work out OK but you might also get a frequently recurring case of the front end shakes.
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Old 11-08-08, 11:06 AM   #3
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Ah, that's interesting, I was kind of hoping the front end would drop down but couldn't find any info online for the relative lengths between mountain bike forks and road forks. I don't know anything about the front end shakes though, I'm guessing its loss of control from the weight being distributed too far forwards. Sounds like a gamble, but it hasn't deterred me just yet.
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Old 11-08-08, 01:19 PM   #4
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You'll need an ATB fork that's suspension corrected, that is, has longer legs than a regular fork. Google "suspension corrected fork", theres tons of advice and how to measure & determine what you need. I got a chromolloy Tange fork last winter to do the same type thing to my old MTB. I recall seeing some carbon fiber ATB forks available then.
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Old 11-08-08, 02:24 PM   #5
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Hi, OK I checked it out. I see what you mean. Anyway, how is it possible to fit a road fork to a mountain bike wheel at all when the wheel sizes are different? Assuming you have to use the road forks fittings for brakes, then surely the brake blocks would be too high unless they have enough reach to accommodate a 26" wheel which I doubt.
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Old 11-08-08, 03:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by edwinbradford View Post
I don't know anything about the front end shakes though, I'm guessing its loss of control from the weight being distributed too far forwards. Sounds like a gamble, but it hasn't deterred me just yet.
I don't think that it's weight distribution so much as the relationship between the tire's contact patch and the headtube steering axis. If the contact patch winds up being in front of a line estended from the head tube, the wheel will flop back and forth like a grocery store shopping cart.
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Old 11-08-08, 03:48 PM   #7
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Woah, sounds like an interesting ride. OK, I think the root cause of the problem here is that I really want a road bike again. So I've made up my mind, I'm going to sell my Tsali as separate components, frame, forks etc., and then buy myself what I really want, a road bike

I was going to commute on it for a while but if I dismantle it now its a good time to sell it before christmas. Thanks everyone, this is a very helpful forum.
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