Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: South of Raleigh, North of New Hill, East of Harris Lake, NC
Bikes: Specialized Tarmac, Speialized Roubaix, Giant OCR-C, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR, Stumpjumper Comp, 88 & 92Nishiki Ariel, 01 Bianchi Campione, 87 Centurion Ironman, 92 Paramount
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I've made the swap from rigid to sus on a MTB with a 1" head tube. It didn't work out that well. You have to determine if the frame you're working with was designed for a sus fork. I made the swap on a 1988 Nishiki Ariel (not the raised chainstay frame). The fork, a Suntour, worked out well but the fork changed some critical dimensions resulting in instability. When riding on asphault, the bike would no longer hold a line, requiring constantly holding on to the bars. I now use this bike only on gravel rails to trails where turning/handling is not an issue.
Not all frames react this way. I also have a 1992 Nishiki Ariel, with a 1 1/8 head converted from a rigid fork. It steers fine, very predictable. As for finding forks, you can sometimes find a sus fork with a 1" steer tube, used on ebay.
As for RST, their spring forks are very low entry level, but they are sturdy, just lack any rebound control and can get spongy.
BTW, be careful with how much travel on the fork you use. I only used a 40mm on the 88 Nishiki. These bikes were not meant for 100mm travel forks.
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