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Old 03-20-06, 03:22 PM   #1
babysaph
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Newbie touring questions again

Is it absolutely necessary that I get a rigid fork to tour with? I am using a mtn bike frame and didn't want to change the fork. Also I was told I could not get fenders for my Giant Mtn bike because I have the new style brakes on it. Is that true. I would like to have some fenders.
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Old 03-20-06, 04:01 PM   #2
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It is up to you , if it works well enough for the style of touring you want to undertake, then you are fine with a set of shocks. The arguments against them are weight, the fact they aren't all that usefull at soaking up road vibration where there isn't a lot of deflection required, and the difficulty of mounting front fenders and racks. There are solutions to all of these problems, directly or indirectly.
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Old 03-20-06, 04:52 PM   #3
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I would say that you do not need to do anything to your bike unless you know you want to do it. It might just be a waste of money anyway. Some people tour the world with a suspension fork others shiver just thinking about it. As for fenders, there is always a way to put something on... ask your LBS or just browse online stores for ideas.
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Old 03-20-06, 04:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by babysaph
Is it absolutely necessary that I get a rigid fork to tour with? I am using a mtn bike frame and didn't want to change the fork. Also I was told I could not get fenders for my Giant Mtn bike because I have the new style brakes on it. Is that true. I would like to have some fenders.
What Peterpan1 said is correct. You don't have to go with a rigid fork but there are advantages. It is easier to mount a front rack on a rigid fork- and you want a front rack! It makes handling better. You can get a Surly 1x1 for around $60 just about anywhere (look here ) or, if you don't have threadless you can get a Tange threaded fork here (for the threaded one you will need to know the length of your current steer tube). If you bike doesn't have threadless now, I'd consider changing it since adjustment of a threadless headset is much easier especially when you are out on the road.

Changing a fork really isn't that hard either. Park tools is a good place to look for a procedure.

As for fenders, I assume you have V-brakes. This makes installing fenders harder but not impossible. Open the brakes when you are installing the fenders and get the fenders where you what them. The try closing the brakes, If they won't close, use a little sculpture to get them to fit properly. A sharp boxcutter or razor saw (hobby shop) works well. A Dremel works wonders if you have one.
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Old 03-20-06, 07:01 PM   #5
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Fenders on non rigid is do able, but I'm about to switch from threaded suspension to threadless rigid.
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Old 03-20-06, 08:27 PM   #6
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Spin first, spend later... If it's that bad, you will know it out on the road.
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Old 03-20-06, 08:29 PM   #7
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Fenders on non rigid is do able, but I'm about to switch from threaded suspension to threadless rigid.
ewww, are those toe straps? gross...

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Old 03-20-06, 08:29 PM   #8
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What does threaded and threadless mean? I guess I will go with a rigid fork then.
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Old 03-20-06, 08:48 PM   #9
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I could be mistaken on this, but I think that if you plan to use a front rack (to do the 60% of the load weight in front, and 40% in the rear, weight distribution thing), you would need a rigid fork.

As for fenders, I think you could probably use the seatpost/clip-on ones, like the ones on the bottom of the page here:
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_l...=1142909217543
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Old 03-20-06, 09:55 PM   #10
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ewww, are those toe straps? gross...

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Hey, I resemble that remark, I use clips and straps myself! I much prefer them over clipless!
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Old 03-21-06, 12:15 AM   #11
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There are a few racks made for mt. bike suspension forks. The Sherpa from Old Man Mountain is one, and the Swing from Tubus is another.

With that said, these aren't cheap and you may be happier if you buy a cheap rigid fork and mount a less expensive rack.
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Old 03-21-06, 12:32 AM   #12
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At the risk of starting this old debate, I would suggest you go for a trailer. For off-road the BOB Ibex or for paved go 2 wheeled like the Burley. I tried putting racks on a fully suspended disc brake bike but was never really happy with the results.
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Old 03-21-06, 10:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babysaph
What does threaded and threadless mean? I guess I will go with a rigid fork then.
A threaded fork is on that is held in place by a nut on the top of the headset. It is combined with a "quill" stem that goes into the inside of the fork (from the top) This is a threaded headset. It takes a stem that looks like this. The fork will have threads at the top of the fork for the nut on the headset

A threadless fork (most bikes made around 1995 and after will be probably be threadless) have a long smooth tube on the fork. The headset will look like this. Notice that there aren't any nuts or flats on the headset. The stem uses a pinch bolt mechanism to hold the steer tube of the fork which extends past the headset. The stem will typically look like this

If you want to see how to take either apart go to Park Tools. For threadless go here. For threaded go here.

Each system has advantages and disadvantages. For the threaded type, you have adjustability of the stem for height. If the bike doesn't quite fit, you can move the stem up and down in the steer tube (within limits). But if the headset comes loose, a common problem with threaded headsets, you need at least 2 tools and often 3 hands to adjust them. There is a lot of finesse involved in adjustment.

For threadless types, you lose the adjustability for height. The steer tube has to be cut to the proper length and, once cut, can't be made longer. If it's not long enough about the only thing you can do is sell it on E-bay But if the headset comes loose in the field, it takes one tool, a 5mm allen wrench, and loosening 3 bolts to adjust it. It takes longer to loosen the bolts and retighten them then it does to adjust the headset.

I hope this helps.
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Old 03-21-06, 10:05 AM   #14
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At the risk of starting this old debate, I would suggest you go for a trailer. For off-road the BOB Ibex or for paved go 2 wheeled like the Burley. I tried putting racks on a fully suspended disc brake bike but was never really happy with the results.
Infidel! How dare you suggest that we violate our sacred pavement with the impure tires of a trailer! The purity of our asphalt will only be preserved by the use of a 26" wheel (or larger)! Death to trailers!

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New! Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
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Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
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Old 03-21-06, 11:11 AM   #15
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Infidel! How dare you suggest that we violate our sacred pavement with the impure tires of a trailer! The purity of our asphalt will only be preserved by the use of a 26" wheel (or larger)! Death to trailers!

I've always wondered if anyone has toured with one of those plastic kid traillers. They seem light enough and my 180lb mass has ridden in one [why, I don't know] but possibly the bearings are no good? Educate me.
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Old 03-21-06, 02:52 PM   #16
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You can get fenders from T.H.E., a mtb accessory co. If you are touring light a front rack might not be needed. I have seen people pulling one of those kid trailers(with a kid in it) across country.
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