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Old 03-28-10, 12:23 AM
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LarDasse74
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Grid Reference, SK
Posts: 3,768

Bikes: I never learned to ride a bike. It is my deepest shame.

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I have no advice to offer as to specific models of fork. You should know that the manufacturers do not really offer replacement parts for forks more than a couple years old - for this reason I would avoid buying a fork older than last years model (except for a rigid fork, which is always an option, and still likely an improvement over an indy*)

You concern about the geometry of the fork (placement of the dropout relative to the fork legs) is unnecessary. The "rake" measurement is the distance between the axle and an imaginary line drawn down the steeing axis of the frame (the head tube angle). On many older forks (like the indys) the rake is accomplished by having the legs leave the crown at an angle ahead of the stering axis, and the droputs are at the bottom of the legs. Most newer forks have the legs running paralell to the steering axis and accomplish rake by placing the dropouts forward of the lower part of the legs. If the distance in front of the steering axis is the same, it does not matter which of these methods is used - the fork will work without any major change to handling.

Luckily, the rake on most mtb forks is within a very narrow range, so just about any fork of roughly similar length will work on just about any bike without a major change in handling. So if you get a modern fork designed for 80mm of travel (only 17mm more than your current fork) it will work fine.

*An anecdote about RS Indy forks:

Back in the mid/late '90s I was riding with a friend in Whistler BC. I had been working in a bike shop in Ontario and was thinking about buying a new GT bike with an Indy XC fork. I saw a young woman on a mid level bike with an indy fork riding out of one trail that emptied out into a ~2 foot deep ditch on the side of the road. As I watched her approach the ditch I remember noticing how spindly and puny the Indy fork looked, and though to myself that she might have trouble making it through the ditch. Lo and behold, she got to the ditch and the skinny little legs on the fork visibly twisted and catapaulted her over the ditch onto the road.
I still bought the GT, but I replaced the Indy with a different fork before I ever rode it.
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