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Old 07-21-09, 06:06 AM   #1
UBUvelo
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NEED HELP! stiff fork to replace an RST shock fork? easy? pointless?

sorry if this has been answered elsewhere...

but i have an RST SHOCK on my Trek and i want a STIFF fork that would replace it. i want to shed the weight and have an easier go going uphill here in town. just a light trail/comfort bike becoming a hybrid/commuter/urban bike.

i know the RST shock has what i would call a forward offset....how do i deal with this in finding a comparable, lighter fork.

oh and the bike is an aluminum frame (16.5"). comfort is not an issue. slightly better performance is.

Last edited by UBUvelo; 07-21-09 at 07:25 AM. Reason: articulating the problem better and LOUDER ;)
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Old 07-21-09, 07:50 AM   #2
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Do you want a STIFF suspension fork or a RIGID fork?
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Old 07-21-09, 09:35 AM   #3
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Do you want a STIFF suspension fork or a RIGID fork?
yes, dan, RIGID is what i want , no more suspension !...now, after MUCH googling and doing all sorts of search permutations here,
i did find a discussion on the suspension corrected forks.

basic specs of what i have is: RST CT COM C4 suspension forks. i just want good old, retro stiffies.

i'll probably keep 26" tires on it, but will shift to a skinnier set, so i don't know what other conundrums i'll have
with regards to brakes, clearance, etc.
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Old 07-21-09, 12:07 PM   #4
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I just converted my C'Dale headhshock to a rigid fork. Bought a nice cro-mo Salsa job for well under $100.
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Old 07-21-09, 12:21 PM   #5
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I just converted my C'Dale headhshock to a rigid fork. Bought a nice cro-mo Salsa job for well under $100.
appreciate the response.

so it's kept the 'geometric' integrity and all?

did you do it yourself?

i am really split about doing this because, though, since it is a aluminum trek frame, it can't be that bad to hang onto...but it's a 'soft' mountain frame (as i see it): Navigator 200...a mountain with pee wee herman amenities! comfort seat is gone, stem adjusted to be more forward and aggressive as well as lowered...about to put skinnier tires on it. or at least the front.

if all fails, it's going to be an SS
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Old 07-21-09, 12:33 PM   #6
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I have modified a couple of bikes to move to rigid forks. One that I use(and like) is the Tange. That fork along with others are available here:

http://webcyclery.com/home.php?cat=319

It looks like your bike may have a threaded headset... In my case, I had one that was threaded, and I went threadless at the same time, which took a full headset change, and a new stem.

It is something that can be done on your own, but a shop would probably do it cheaply, especially if you buy the fork from them, and they have the right tools.
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Old 07-21-09, 03:03 PM   #7
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One of the best rigid forks around has always been the Project ll as used to be fitted to the Kona range. They now do them in such a variety to fit all types of "Suspension" geometry and brake fittings that they will have a fork to fit any bike.

And a change to Aheadset system- if you do not currently have it- would be a good move.
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Old 07-21-09, 05:33 PM   #8
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thanks again for the quick replies and variety of info. something to chew on and consider.

would most of this be at my LBS? i didn't personally buy this bike, but the LBS it came from is a few miles from me.
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Old 07-21-09, 06:13 PM   #9
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thanks again for the quick replies and variety of info. something to chew on and consider.

would most of this be at my LBS? i didn't personally buy this bike, but the LBS it came from is a few miles from me.
There you go. The best idea is to take it to the people who sell and service it. They may know more then you as well, so be prepared.
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Old 07-21-09, 07:22 PM   #10
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There you go. The best idea is to take it to the people who sell and service it. They may know more then you as well, so be prepared.
yeah, i've never been to the shop actually (this was my wife's father's bike which he passed on to me after he hurt his back). of course, it's about 6 miles away whereas there is a non-Trek shop a couple of blocks away...

i think i'll see what both have in stock, but i should probably scout prices online, do my homework and see if i can save a few bucks and time.
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Old 07-21-09, 07:28 PM   #11
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I just called my LBS today about this same issue. I have a Giant Cypress and they told me I can get a Chro-Moly Fork for $50 and $25 Labor. For $75 bucks that's not a bad deal. My fork is threaded so this is just for a threaded chro-moly fork so I wouldn't have to change out my headset and stem. Give your LBS a call who sells treks.
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Old 07-21-09, 08:34 PM   #12
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paco, are you simply changing to rigid forks or are you making other changes to the cypress? yeah, i figured it would be at least under $100...$75 would be super.
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Old 07-23-09, 12:52 PM   #13
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I did the change over myself. Considering the oddities of the C'dale unit (1.5"), I opted to go nuts and do a whole new front end.

Otherwise, you might just be able to pop in the new fork and call it good depending on how you fit the bike. I'd get a new headset and a spacer kit while you're at it just to be thorough.
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Old 07-23-09, 01:41 PM   #14
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About the forward offset, all forks have this to varying degrees. The amount of offset or trail affects the stability of steering. Its hard to tell exactly how any rigid fork will feel. I changed from one road fork to another and found it rode OK but wasn't quite as stable on big descents.
Tange, ProjectII, IRD are all good stock forks. Many older bike shops have a stash of old MTB forks from when people converted to suspension. Many skip-rescue bikes have a usable fork that you could try out.
Make sure the fork comes with the clearance, eyelets and brake fittings you want.
Threadless forks need to be cut but its best to leave some spacers in for adjustment.
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Old 07-23-09, 02:10 PM   #15
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paco, are you simply changing to rigid forks or are you making other changes to the cypress? yeah, i figured it would be at least under $100...$75 would be super.

Well for right now I'm starting with the rigid fork and then will probably add trekking bars. I would really like add drop bars but that adds considerable expense that I don't think the wife will agree with since I just bought a new/used road bike.

My ultimate goal with my cypress is to use it as a touring bike. While it is a heavy bike, I think the cypress has perfect gearing with 91" High and 22" Low, which makes it a nice bike for climbing WV Mountains. I've also ordered a rear rack that I'll be adding as soon as it arrives.
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Old 07-23-09, 02:39 PM   #16
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i just want good old, retro stiffies.
I couldn't help myself..
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Old 07-23-09, 03:04 PM   #17
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I just called my LBS today about this same issue. I have a Giant Cypress and they told me I can get a Chro-Moly Fork for $50 and $25 Labor. For $75 bucks that's not a bad deal. My fork is threaded so this is just for a threaded chro-moly fork so I wouldn't have to change out my headset and stem. Give your LBS a call who sells treks.
What year is your Cypress? I'm wondering if we have the same Suntour suspension fork. Since Giant tends to change the design just a little every year and I'd like to swap my fork out as well.
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Old 07-23-09, 03:31 PM   #18
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Well for right now I'm starting with the rigid fork and then will probably add trekking bars. I would really like add drop bars but that adds considerable expense that I don't think the wife will agree with since I just bought a new/used road bike.
I was thinking of converting my cypress as well, but I've since realized that since I need a winter bike and my previous winter commuter bought the farm, I'd just make my cypress a 4 season commuter. Than, I will be purchasing new touring road bike in the spring for the longer rides. I haven't decided exactly what I'm going to buy yet, might even be a single speed with a flip flop hub.
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Old 07-28-09, 01:23 PM   #19
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well, my two LBS didn't seem too interested in helping out...if anything i think they wanted to sell me a whole new bike which i really can't do for a few months. one said the only fork they could get was $130 (!) and the other store (where it was bought in 2004) said $80...all that before labor.

so......yes, i believe this is THREADED so should this be an easy replacement for me? i have never done this particular operation, but (uh) i like puzzles and i used to be a wordworker so i did do alot of router bit changing...can i do this on my own?

i think just finding a used one or something on ebay or craigslist is the next alternative...
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Old 07-29-09, 10:17 AM   #20
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Look at the directions on ParkTool.com and evaluate your odds of success. Threaded is just a different way of doing business, not particularly more complex.
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Old 07-29-09, 03:19 PM   #21
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Look at the directions on ParkTool.com and evaluate your odds of success. Threaded is just a different way of doing business, not particularly more complex.
nice link castiron, thanks.

now aside from taking mine off the bike, is there a way i can find out what size i need to look for? not the length, but where it goes into the headset. it's a trek navigator 200 from 2004. thinking it's 1 1/4" but...?
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Old 07-30-09, 11:18 AM   #22
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finally a stellar LBS helps

it is DONE. a bike shop that was helpful, friendly, inexpensive helped me out with my situation.

no trying to sell me a new bike.

they appreciated what slight modifications i had made.

spent 25 minutes helping me, answering questions, suggesting but mostly LISTENING.

what a great feeling. a shame the one down the street wanted to charge over $130...

$45 at this one. new cro-moly rigid fork.

i'll be revisiting them in the future. for parts. and new bikes.
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Old 07-30-09, 12:16 PM   #23
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so it's kept the 'geometric' integrity and all?

did you do it yourself?
Look for an aftermarket fork that says it's "suspension adjusted". It's a little longer from the dropout to the fork crown to adjust for the slightly taller static stance of a suspension fork.

It's about a "7" DIY project. Assuming you have a threadless headset you have to salvage the crown race off of your existing fork and reinstall it on the new fork. Your new fork also has to be cut to length. Measure carefully before cutting. Pretty much every bike mechanic who's not a liar will admit to having cut one too short.
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Old 07-30-09, 03:39 PM   #24
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My lbs sold me a surly instigator $60 installed...love it. Great guys there and I am a bit of a regular. Stick with the new lbs
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Old 08-03-09, 08:06 AM   #25
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UBU,

I was glad to read your original post. I am considering a very similar conversion. I have a Trek 820 MTB which has an RST 191 susp. fork on it (63mm travel). I have been able to find suspension corrected forks, but they seem to be corrected for 100mm travel forks. I've been looking to do this swap myself, but I think that I will follow up with one of the three LBS in town to see if they can find a compatible fork.

I had a similar experience with two of the three LBS here, in that they either outright questioned why I would want to put a rigid fork on the bike to begin with, or they tried to convince me that a new road bike was what I really needed. And this second shop was the local Trek dealer!!! Jerks! At least this other shop was willing to listen to why I was trying to convert this mtb into a bike to be used primarily on the local paved bike path. They just said that when I was ready to move forward with the project, just let them know. They are a new shop who is trying to make it through their first year, and in my mind, are doing things the right way.

I'll run down there today to see what they may be able to do.
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