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Old 07-06-10, 06:15 PM   #1
chaadster
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Help: lightweight XC suspension fork suggestions

Hey Y'all,

I'm hoping some of you can help bring me up-to-date with what's out there in the lightweight, XC suspension fork market these days. I've been a little outta the loop the past few years.

I've got an old Judy SL with Englund cartridges that, while still performing superbly, really must be on borrowed time. I've had it set up like this for at least ten years, maybe twelve, and while I keep it cleaned and lubed, I've never rebuilt it completely. It did a lot of miles for many years--though probably not more than 500 miles each of the past three--and really must be nearing the end of it's service life. What a great product though, those Englund Total Air cartridges!

It carries my early '90s Dekerf mountain frame, but most importantly, it's tied to a Dekerf 1-piece titanium bar/stem combo that I love and cannot do without! The rub in all of this is that the bar/stem is a quill setup.

Ideally, I'd like a short travel fork (80-85mm?) with a 1-1/8 *threaded* steerer to replace the Judy and to be able to keep the bar/stem. It's gotta be light though, because I'm on the edge of dumping the shocks altogether anyway given that I'm not travel riding like I used to and my local trails aren't particularly rough or steep.

Any suggestions for stock forks, or folks who do custom fork builds, is appreciated.

Here's a quick pic of my lovely, old girl:


Last edited by chaadster; 07-06-10 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 07-06-10, 06:28 PM   #2
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Sentimental journey, right there.

I'd leave it like it is and throw a Ti or Steel rigid fork on there.

Then grab something with a little more "up-to-date" geometry. I really think you would be surprised at how much more comfy modern fit is in comparison.
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Old 07-06-10, 07:36 PM   #3
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Threaded steerers are gone except on the most entry level forks. The only option I can think of is to find a 2007 or earlier SID and cut the crown off of it and slide the legs into your Judy crown.
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Old 07-06-10, 08:26 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by chelboed View Post
Sentimental journey, right there.

I'd leave it like it is and throw a Ti or Steel rigid fork on there.

Then grab something with a little more "up-to-date" geometry. I really think you would be surprised at how much more comfy modern fit is in comparison.
Oh, I dunno...nothing more comfy than this honey! This bike floats, and I can really crank on it. It's carried me swiftly from Moab, to New Hampshire, to the Italian Appenines. Really, it feels perfect to me, and I can ride comfortably all day on it. That's why I'm planning ahead for this fork failure; I wanna keep it going like it is!

That said, I've got an old Kona "Project Two" rigid that I used to put on every once in awhile back in the days when I had more time to futz and play, but anymore, I want a nicer rigid fork than that Kona. I'm seriously considering a DeKerf "Tuning Fork" rigid, but also contemplating the White Bros. "Rock Solid" carbon, but I worry it's too tall. I haven't measured my fork length yet (I have the stanchions of this Judy riding up in the crown to bring the front end closer to Earth), but I reckon that WhtBros is sized to accommodate "modern geometry," which seems to revolve around the tall, long travel forks that seem so prevalent.
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Old 07-06-10, 08:57 PM   #5
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Threaded steerers are gone except on the most entry level forks. The only option I can think of is to find a 2007 or earlier SID and cut the crown off of it and slide the legs into your Judy crown.
Yeah, that seems to be the case, and I thought about that route, too. Most modern fork stanchions are press-fit into the crown, aren't they? Cutting raises serious fit and safety issues, so I'll probably pass on that.

The other, and most expensive, option is to have DeKerf custom make a new Ti bullmoose bar for me in Ahead style, and then get whatever new suspension fork, like the Manitou R7 MRD. If I had a spare $2k, this would be the way to go!
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Old 07-06-10, 09:53 PM   #6
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You're not actually cutting the stanchion tubes, the process involves weakening the crown just enough to release the tubes.
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Old 07-06-10, 10:23 PM   #7
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You're not actually cutting the stanchion tubes, the process involves weakening the crown just enough to release the tubes.
Ah, I see. Much better! I'll turn that idea over a bit...thanks.
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Old 07-06-10, 11:26 PM   #8
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Ebay... your largest problem will be finding something threaded. After that the appropriate axle to crown height will present you with troubles.

There are currently no OEM products i know of that will fill your needs.
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