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  1. #1
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    Fork swap? Carbon to steel.

    Hi all. I have a 2008 Gary Fisher Mendota with the Bontrager Satellite Elite carbon disc fork (http://bontrager.com/model/05028/en). It has served me very well as a commuter and light duty tourer for two years and 2,500+ miles of commuting, touring, greenway riding, etc. I am getting to the point where I want to do longer tours (still probably only three days/2 nights, but all I've done so far is S24O's) and all day rides including gravel and doubletrack.

    I would like to run some 35-38mm tires and this fork is only suitable for 32mm tires (which I currently am running and the ride on gravel/doubletrack is super harsh).

    Also, I'd like to run something like Salsa's minimalist rack up front to carry a dry bag for better weight distribution/more storage compared to using rear panniers and a bag on the rear rack (makes the bike very light up front!).

    Would you guys just swap the fork (my dream bike is a Salsa Vaya, so I'm leaning towards a Vaya front fork) and get tires/rack or would you wait till a new frame/fork is in order and do it all at once? I'm on a budget and it will probably be another year till I could afford a new frameset. I just don't want to buy a fork now and realize later it's easier/cheaper to get a complete frameset.

    Also any thoughts on the geometry differences between the two forks? A2C is 405mm on the Vaya and 400mm on the Satellite. Not sure on the difference in rake.

    IMGP2519mod.jpg

  2. #2
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    I would probably just get the whole frame and fork when the time comes. However you certainly could put a new fork on your old bike. 5 mm is no difference at all. Offset is another mater, you would want those to be somewhat close.

    The main reason I would not go for just a fork is the cost of all the peripheral changes that go with it. You can also do perpetual tours with as little as about 10 pounds of gear, so you really don't even need greater capacity than your current ride allows, unless each additional day is in a direction where there is neither water or food resupply.

  3. #3
    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    Make sure the fork offset (rake) doesn’t change, or it could ruin your ride (I’m guessing that won’t be a problem, but you need to be sure). Seems like a lot of $$ for something temporary.

    Are the fenders important to ya? What I did is put oversized tires on, and a set of fenders that mount behind the fork (i.e. behind the brake calipers front and rear). Seems like a better solution to me, especially if it is a temporary thing.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmscheip View Post
    I would like to run some 35-38mm tires and this fork is only suitable for 32mm tires (which I currently am running and the ride on gravel/doubletrack is super harsh).
    I don't think moving from 32mm to 35mm tires will make much of a difference. I've run both sizes (32mm + fenders in winter, 35mm in summer) and can't really tell any difference...

    Would you guys just swap the fork (my dream bike is a Salsa Vaya, so I'm leaning towards a Vaya front fork) and get tires/rack or would you wait till a new frame/fork is in order and do it all at once? I'm on a budget and it will probably be another year till I could afford a new frameset. I just don't want to buy a fork now and realize later it's easier/cheaper to get a complete frameset.

    Also any thoughts on the geometry differences between the two forks? A2C is 405mm on the Vaya and 400mm on the Satellite. Not sure on the difference in rake.
    In general, increasing the axle to crown length won't adversely affect handling. The bike will feel somewhat slower to steer, which often equates to feeling more stable. Shortening the axle to crown length is where you get into trouble! That tends to make steering more twitchy and nervous.

    A 5mm difference in the axle to crown length won't even be noticeable assuming the rake doesn't change. It also sounds like it won't provide much additional tire clearance. To me it doesn't seem worth the expense, unless you really need the front rack.

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