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Old 01-13-04, 10:49 AM   #1
Mr Jerk
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no suspension

When I got my bike, it came with a very cheap suspension fork, so cheap it only lasted one year, so I had it replaced with a rigid fork. (I couldnt afford a new suspension fork)

I've been riding w/o suspension for a while, mostly of paved roads, I've only gone off-road a fews times.

If/when I do go off-road, do I have to worry about the frame bending or breaking, because of the no suspension factor?

Have you guys ever seen forks break or bend befor?
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Old 01-13-04, 11:27 AM   #2
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I bent the fork on my cheap old Renegade mtb a couple of years ago, does that count?
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Old 01-13-04, 11:32 AM   #3
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I seem to recall a point in history not too too long ago when bikes had no suspension (sans sprung saddles)...
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Old 01-13-04, 11:35 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Jerk
If/when I do go off-road, do I have to worry about the frame bending or breaking, because of the no suspension factor?

Have you guys ever seen forks break or bend befor?
It depends on what you're trying to do and the quality of that fork. I used to ride my fully-rigid bike on plenty of the same trails I now take my full-suspension bike on. The trick is that you need to pick cleaner lines and avoid a lot of hucking. Rigid forks can be pretty tough. Prior to around 1991, everyone was racing with rigid forks... even the downhillers.
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Old 01-13-04, 12:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Jerk
When I got my bike, it came with a very cheap suspension fork, so cheap it only lasted one year, so I had it replaced with a rigid fork. (I couldnt afford a new suspension fork)

I've been riding w/o suspension for a while, mostly of paved roads, I've only gone off-road a fews times.

If/when I do go off-road, do I have to worry about the frame bending or breaking, because of the no suspension factor?

Have you guys ever seen forks break or bend befor?
I believe it's the other way around as the suspension fork will transfer loads to different parts of the head tube.
I am running a logic force directional rigid fork and it's not going to break.
The older lbs tech's I've spoken to have said not to bother w\ the suspension fork as my bike is light. With heavier bikes they are needed.
If you downhill-yes a suspension is the way to go- an ex-racer friend said that the main need he found for front suspension was that without- a long race, the constant vibration will make your arm\hands numb. ( he said so bad one time that he was unable to sqeeze the brake anymore and had to ditch.)

Have you guys ever seen forks break or bend befor.....
All forks, suspension or rigid will destruct @ some point, kinda obvious.
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Old 01-13-04, 12:54 PM   #6
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With MTB forks being so ridgid and stiff, the usual point of failure is the head-tube. If you hit a log full on, the head-tube will be caved in, and the DT and TT will buckle, but the forks will be OK
Having your forks weaker than your frame is a plus, since you can replace the forks easily. Ridgid steel forks will fail by bending at the fork crown. You can unbend them using a cast-iron drain cover, just to ride back home.
The only evidence I have seen of broken forks on the trail were some dropout tabs from sus forks which were badly engineered and simply broke off.
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Old 01-13-04, 02:55 PM   #7
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There are pluses to rigid forks over most suspension forks. They are lighter so make the bike easier to propel. They are more rigid with no brake rub when honking.This shows how much suspension forks flex. They are more precise on steering and this coupled with lighter front end makes technical uphill a dream. They are a lot cheaper. They show how hard you are. They are better

The only disadvantage that I have found is the discomfort over rock hard ground at speed, but with practice, you can get used to the blurred vision that no suspension gives you.
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Old 01-13-04, 05:56 PM   #8
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The bike I have is a 1998 Specialized Hardrock. Both the frame and fork are steel, the frame size is 23" top tube (very big), the frame its self is kinda heavy (because of its huge size) the frame is also very VERY flexable. You can actually see it flex. Which may be a good thing, cuz if it didnt flex, it would prolly break. The tubing used for the frame is so skinny. I dont know how or why Specialized would use such skinny tubing on a mountain bike. This bike came with 1.95 inch wide tires, so it was meant for off road. If you were to strip the bike down to the frame, you would think its a road bike frame, thats how skinny the tubing is.
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Old 01-13-04, 08:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by stapfam
There are pluses to rigid forks over most suspension forks. They are lighter so make the bike easier to propel. They are more rigid with no brake rub when honking.This shows how much suspension forks flex.
The last suspension fork that I owned, that caused rubbing due to flex, was a Judy SL.

That was a long time ago...
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Old 01-14-04, 03:38 PM   #10
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Posted by justsomeguy. in reply to stapfam

The last suspension fork that I owned, that caused rubbing due to flex, was a Judy SL. That was a long time ago...

Running Discs or V's.? Not all of us can run to the Good forks. so Some of us have to Budget. The Marzocchi Dropoffs on the tandem are no problem, but even they Flex a bit with 400+lbs on them at speed.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy front suspension, but the disadvantages of a lot of "Suspension Forks", and even some of the better named ones, is that they are not strong enough to stop flex. That is the nature of them, but if they are strong enough, then they weigh a lot more, or cost a lot more. If you want an example of one of the better quality XC forks that still flexes, look at the SID's. I can get the pads to touch the wheels at rest, but for a smooth rider, for XC, they are superb. Incidentally, I run a pair of 95 Judy XC's. Old, scratched, cheap, but they work,(and flex) Never run Judy SL's myself so cannot comment.
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Old 01-14-04, 05:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Jerk
The bike I have is a 1998 Specialized Hardrock. Both the frame and fork are steel, the frame size is 23" top tube (very big), the frame its self is kinda heavy (because of its huge size) the frame is also very VERY flexable. You can actually see it flex. Which may be a good thing, cuz if it didnt flex, it would prolly break. The tubing used for the frame is so skinny. I dont know how or why Specialized would use such skinny tubing on a mountain bike. This bike came with 1.95 inch wide tires, so it was meant for off road. If you were to strip the bike down to the frame, you would think its a road bike frame, thats how skinny the tubing is.

narrow tubes have thicker walls, and thicker tubes have thinner walls. your narrow tubing is strong enough, dont worry.

i ride a rigid specialized hard rock single speed from the early 90's. i only use it for mountain biking and when i do i ride it hard, without worrying about it breaking. steel is real
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Old 01-14-04, 09:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by stapfam
If you want an example of one of the better quality XC forks that still flexes, look at the SID's.
Wow.

There is actually someone out there that thinks that those noodles represent "better quality" XC forks?
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Old 01-17-04, 07:58 PM   #13
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Don't worry about the fork. They won't bend/break before your wheels/spokes do....

I rode a N/S bike for about a year, 11 yrs. ago. At least get a front suspension fork. Brand won't matter in your case. Some are clearanced out now for about $75.

Here Ya go: http://www.nashbar.com/results.cfm?s...orderby=price1
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Old 01-17-04, 11:39 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Sonny*Daze
Don't worry about the fork. They won't bend/break before your wheels/spokes do....

I rode a N/S bike for about a year, 11 yrs. ago. At least get a front suspension fork. Brand won't matter in your case. Some are clearanced out now for about $75.

Here Ya go: http://www.nashbar.com/results.cfm?s...orderby=price1
My bike uses a 1" threaded fork, would those fit on my bike?
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Old 01-18-04, 02:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Jerk
My bike uses a 1" threaded fork, would those fit on my bike?
I didn't see a threaded steerer on any of those forks. I did see some forks with 1" threadless steerers however. The only problem is that they're fairly low end forks with a minimal amount of travel. While I don't think travel is that big an issue since your frame geometry probably wasn't set up for suspension in the first place and anything over 75mm would probably make you front end way too lax, the lack of adjustment and more sophisticated bump performance in general probably won't make the upgrade worth it. Additionally, to use a fork with a threadless steerer, you'll need a new stem and headset so be prepared to add a minimum of $50 (excluding installlation labour for things like pressing in the headset) to the cost of the fork.
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Old 01-18-04, 08:47 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by khuon
I didn't see a threaded steerer on any of those forks. I did see some forks with 1" threadless steerers however. The only problem is that they're fairly low end forks with a minimal amount of travel. While I don't think travel is that big an issue since your frame geometry probably wasn't set up for suspension in the first place and anything over 75mm would probably make you front end way too lax, the lack of adjustment and more sophisticated bump performance in general probably won't make the upgrade worth it. Additionally, to use a fork with a threadless steerer, you'll need a new stem and headset so be prepared to add a minimum of $50 (excluding installlation labour for things like pressing in the headset) to the cost of the fork.
Yeah, thats prolly true.

For $500 I can buy a new Specialized mt bike, with an aluminum frame, front suspension, and disc brakes.---at the local bike shop

Compare that to the price of upgrading my bike???? not to mention I need new tires!!!!!!!
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Old 01-18-04, 01:46 PM   #17
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Hehe, I've got a 21 inch KHS Alite 1000 frame I'll sell you for 50 bucks that will take a 1 1/8th threadless fork
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Old 01-19-04, 02:06 AM   #18
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mr jerk-- does your hard rock have vertical dropouts, or the short semi-horizontal drops that allow some wheelbase adjustment? if its the latter, you should stick rigid and go single speed!
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Old 01-19-04, 07:09 AM   #19
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mr jerk-- does your hard rock have vertical dropouts, or the short semi-horizontal drops that allow some wheelbase adjustment? if its the latter, you should stick rigid and go single speed!
vertical dropouts
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