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Carbon forks.

Old 11-02-18, 12:48 PM
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Carbon forks.

I've been reading on the forum that carbon forks are a better idea for reducing vibration/shock felt at the bars. I am wondering if anyone can speak to this as having both a bike with a rigid steel fork and a carbon. I am a 70 year old with arthritis and nerve damage in my forearms and wrists and I find shocks to the front wheel, road seems, can be painful and numbing a few miles into the ride. I would imagine a front fork with suspension would be the obvious remedy but I am not a fan of this but will do it if it is the only solution. To this, can a suspension fork be swapped out with an existing steel fork on a Quick 7? I had posted on the forum elsewhere that I was looking to get a drop bar bike but after a test ride the weight on my wrists and the position is not going to work out.
Any input would be very much appreciated, Frank.
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Old 11-02-18, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
I've been reading on the forum that carbon forks are a better idea for reducing vibration/shock felt at the bars. I am wondering if anyone can speak to this as having both a bike with a rigid steel fork and a carbon. I am a 70 year old with arthritis and nerve damage in my forearms and wrists and I find shocks to the front wheel, road seems, can be painful and numbing a few miles into the ride. I would imagine a front fork with suspension would be the obvious remedy but I am not a fan of this but will do it if it is the only solution. To this, can a suspension fork be swapped out with an existing steel fork on a Quick 7? I had posted on the forum elsewhere that I was looking to get a drop bar bike but after a test ride the weight on my wrists and the position is not going to work out.
Any input would be very much appreciated, Frank.
No opinion on a carbon fork as I've never had one. Your bike geometry wouldn't work well with a suspension fork. Another easy remedy would be as fat of a tire as you can fit up front (run at lower pressure). Maybe a 40 or 42mm tire could fit?
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Old 11-02-18, 09:16 PM
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It depends on the specific design. but as a rule of thumb Cf is about as good as steel, so definitely better than aluminum. Most vibrations you deal with larger tires and lower pressures.

My toughroad with CF fork and 2" (700c) tires is about as good over pavement with frost heaving as a cheap MTB with cheap suntour suspension fork on 2" (26") tires. But the larger wheel also may help.

The larger the tires, the less the frame and fork material will matter.
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Old 11-02-18, 09:56 PM
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Thank you both. Larger tires is an option I can work with.
Thank again, Frank.
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Old 11-03-18, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
I've been reading on the forum that carbon forks are a better idea for reducing vibration/shock felt at the bars. I am wondering if anyone can speak to this as having both a bike with a rigid steel fork and a carbon. I am a 70 year old with arthritis and nerve damage in my forearms and wrists and I find shocks to the front wheel, road seems, can be painful and numbing a few miles into the ride. I would imagine a front fork with suspension would be the obvious remedy but I am not a fan of this but will do it if it is the only solution. To this, can a suspension fork be swapped out with an existing steel fork on a Quick 7? I had posted on the forum elsewhere that I was looking to get a drop bar bike but after a test ride the weight on my wrists and the position is not going to work out.
Any input would be very much appreciated, Frank.
An option for vibration reduction is swapping your handlebars out for a carbon flatbar. If you were using risers, go with a taller rise stem to compensate. If you can find NOS 25.4mm bars, those are better. Choose quality lightweight and strength over cheap or heavy. I run carbon bars on all my Al bikes (some even have Al forks) for the same reason.
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Old 11-03-18, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by DorkDisk View Post
An option for vibration reduction is swapping your handlebars out for a carbon flatbar. If you were using risers, go with a taller rise stem to compensate. If you can find NOS 25.4mm bars, those are better. Choose quality lightweight and strength over cheap or heavy. I run carbon bars on all my Al bikes (some even have Al forks) for the same reason.
Good information, I would never have thought of this. With this and the tire info I have a decent solution.
Thanks all, Frank.
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Old 11-03-18, 12:01 PM
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A couple more options are a ShockStop stem and RevGrips. I've never used either, but judging from comments I've seen from people using them, they seem to do what they're claimed to do.

https://redshiftsports.com/shockstop...Speed=noscript

https://revgrips.com
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Old 11-03-18, 07:55 PM
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I really like the idea of the carbon bars but I am lost as t what is good and what is just overpriced. I would like to have a rise as opposed to the flat bar and a rear sweep of a few degrees so any help in the idea of a brand and model would be much appreciated. And yes, I realize I am being a complete PIA but this is all new territory to me and I need help. I did a search for the NOS 25.4mm but had no luck understanding what I was looking at. I am guessing I should be searching for MTB bars??
It will co on my Quick so that is the application and I want to use the same shifters and brakes.
Again, fully aware I am a helpless pain but please help me out.
Thanks in advance for your understanding, Frank.
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Old 11-04-18, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
I really like the idea of the carbon bars but I am lost as t what is good and what is just overpriced. I would like to have a rise as opposed to the flat bar and a rear sweep of a few degrees so any help in the idea of a brand and model would be much appreciated. And yes, I realize I am being a complete PIA but this is all new territory to me and I need help. I did a search for the NOS 25.4mm but had no luck understanding what I was looking at. I am guessing I should be searching for MTB bars??
It will co on my Quick so that is the application and I want to use the same shifters and brakes.
Again, fully aware I am a helpless pain but please help me out.
Thanks in advance for your understanding, Frank.
You do want to look at mtb bars, essentially. 25.4mm refers to the diameter of the clamp area in the centre where the stem holds the bar. That is the old mtb standard. The new standard is 31.8mm; there are also now 35mm ones.

@DorkDisk rightly mentioned the old standard because a carbon bar in 25.4 is likely to have a little more flex (> comfort) than one in 31.8. All mtb bars have the same diameter across the area where shifters etc. clamp, so there are no other compatibility issues. However, you would need a new stem to reduce the clamp area from 31.8 to 25.4 -- yours is almost certainly 31.8, but you'd need to check. You could also use a shim with your current stem -- they are available.

Here's a selection of carbon bars in 25.4: https://www.bike24.com/1.php?content...c%5B11156%5D=0

Here's a selection of stems in 25.4: https://www.bike24.com/1.php?content...%5D=276;page=5
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Old 11-04-18, 09:52 AM
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Thank you all for your patience and information. Looks like I have found my over winter project.
Very much appreciated, Frank.
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Old 11-04-18, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
Thank you all for your patience and information. Looks like I have found my over winter project.
Very much appreciated, Frank.
FWIW, I have issues very similar to yours. I'm 67, and have degenerative osteoarthritis pretty much everywhere that matters, along with some new-this-year health challenges that pretty much wiped out my cycling season for the year. I've coped with the arthritis since re-starting cycling in '02. I normally ride about 6-7000kms/year, though not this year.

Anyway, I've decided to get a new bike, and went through a similar process -- deciding between full-on front suspension or something else. I settled on a new full-carbon version of my current bike, Specialized Sirrus, with what Specialized calls its 'Future Shock'. Silly name, but it really does work very effectively (test rides) to minimize road noise/shock. I don't like proprietary design/parts as a rule, but I've decided that for me this thing will be worth it.
What I ordered: https://www.specialized.com/us/en/me...=239583-159152
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Old 11-04-18, 10:29 AM
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Higher end of many Company's Hybrids use carbon forks, *
like the cabonaro effect? add carbon bars.

*Trek dealer, in town, no Specialized one in the County.
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Old 11-14-18, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by andrei_r View Post
Maybe a 40 or 42mm tire could fit?
Largest tire that will fit PLUS buy a higher thread count (TPI) tires. A higher thread count will be more supple and add absorb more road noise. Faster too. And if you ride on roads only, get a road slick. Knobs create vibration.
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Old 11-14-18, 10:49 AM
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Is it correct that if the problem really is just vibrations in the front, that the OP could ride with a wider tire in the front than in the back? Any drawbacks to that?
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Old 11-21-18, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Is it correct that if the problem really is just vibrations in the front, that the OP could ride with a wider tire in the front than in the back? Any drawbacks to that?
Not sure if its confined to the front, as my steel framed bikes are super smooth but I don't have wrist issues.

There are; however, differences between the roles of F vs R tire. It was common BITD in MTBsto run a "floatier" tire in front for cushion and traction and a "knifier" rear (like 2.1 F and 1.9R). Recognizing this difference in roles have led to "69ers" with 29" F and 26" R wheels, front suspension bikes, and F/R specific treads.

Drawback: more weight over smaller tires, and a very slightly increased headtube and slacker angle (not much)
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Old 11-21-18, 11:58 AM
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I have a cheap suspension fork on my hybrid (that I normally keep locked) and a carbon fork on my gravel bike

For normal riding where you hit a small bump in the road the carbon fork is about on par with the suspension fork. (And 1/10th of a the weight)

For hitting something big where you really smack into a bump hard the UNLOCKED suspension fork is better than the carbon fork by a long shot. The carbon fork and the locked out suspension fork feel about the same...hard jarring hit through the handlbars

But for most riding in normal conditions I find the carbon fork on my gravel bike to be just as comfortable as the cheap UNCLOCKCED suspension fork on my hybrid. Plus I can feel the road more. It deadens the vibrations without taking away the feel of the terrain if that makes sense

Of course it's 2 different bikes I'm comparing. The gravel bike has 32 mm tires. The hybrid has 38mm tires. So there are a lot of variables in play here.
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Old 11-22-18, 06:37 AM
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Thanks again to all that have responded. Much appreciated.
Frank.
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Old 11-22-18, 10:44 PM
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Also, run the biggest tire you can fit at the lowest pressure that doesn’t cause problems. Makes a huge difference for not much money...,
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Old 11-23-18, 04:50 AM
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^^^ Makes a lot of drag too.
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Old 11-24-18, 06:02 AM
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Very familiar problems. While I'm in better shape now than I was in 2015 when I resumed cycling after 30+ years off, I still have problems with neck pain from an old injury, aching wrists, etc.

Tire pressure is the first thing to try. The maximum tire pressure on the specs usually feels harsh. Costs nothing but a few rides to try. There's a sweet spot where slightly lower tire pressure yields a much more comfortable ride without sacrificing much to added rolling resistance.

For example, I weigh 160 lbs. For the Michelin Protek Cross Max 700x40 tires on my errand bike, Michelin recommends around 75 psi for my weight, up to 85 psi. That's way too harsh and jittery. I prefer 'em around 50 psi front, 55-60 psi rear.

Ditto the 700x42 Continental Speed Rides I used on my other hybrid for two years. The recommended pressure was around 75 psi. That's way too high for those tires. They're best around 40-50 psi front, 50-60 psi rear, depending on terrain -- lower for gravel and off-road, a little higher for pavement. They never feel sluggish at lower pressure. Highly recommended tires if they'll fit your frame (they actually measure closer to 700x38, narrower than the specs claim).

I recently switched to Continental Sport Contact II, mostly out of curiosity and to fit my old fenders. The 700x32 tires are much narrower than the Speed Rides. They felt way too harsh at 80-90 psi. Around 60 front, 70 psi rear feels about right -- comfortable without feeling sluggish.

After finding the right compromise in tire pressure, you might consider a few other cost effective equipment changes.

Grips are easy to swap and can make a huge difference. I just switched from a set of old foam cylindrical grips to a newer set of firmer but wider grips. I twist the palm support until it feels about right (using isopropyl alcohol under the grips to ease twisting, then let it dry overnight before riding). Spreads the road vibration over a larger surface, much more comfortable yet still feels secure -- not excessively soft and padded. Cost a whole $10 or so. Ergon grips with locking collars cost a bit more but you get top quality.

Small changes in stem/handlebar height and reach can make a big difference in comfort too. A small 1/4" change here and there may be all it takes. Easy with older style quill stems, a bit trickier with threadless stems -- your local bike shop will have spacers and can help you, or you can order 'em online.

You might also try another handlebar. Flat and riser handlebars are great for maneuvering, but not so comfortable over longer rides. Over the past couple of years I've switched my favorite hybrid from flat to riser and now to Nitto albatross bars with swept back grips -- a very traditional look but perfect for me on that bike. No more aching wrists, elbows, shoulders or neck after rides of 30 miles or longer. And I switched from thumb to bar-end shifters so the controls suit the new bar.

But depending on your bike and preferences, a different style bar with swept back grips might work better -- North Roads bars, etc. Some folks even flip their bars upside down for a more aero profile but it is a bit more strain. There's also the Velo Orange Belleville bar, swept back but with no rise -- a flat bar with lots of arc. Puts the wrists in a more ergonomically friendly position. And you can lean into the forward part of the bar for a more aero profile when riding into head winds, climbing hills, or just to change hand positions occasionally for comfort.
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Old 11-24-18, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Very familiar problems. While I'm in better shape now than I was in 2015 when I resumed cycling after 30+ years off, I still have problems with neck pain from an old injury, aching wrists, etc.

Tire pressure is the first thing to try. The maximum tire pressure on the specs usually feels harsh. Costs nothing but a few rides to try. There's a sweet spot where slightly lower tire pressure yields a much more comfortable ride without sacrificing much to added rolling resistance.

For example, I weigh 160 lbs. For the Michelin Protek Cross Max 700x40 tires on my errand bike, Michelin recommends around 75 psi for my weight, up to 85 psi. That's way too harsh and jittery. I prefer 'em around 50 psi front, 55-60 psi rear.

Ditto the 700x42 Continental Speed Rides I used on my other hybrid for two years. The recommended pressure was around 75 psi. That's way too high for those tires. They're best around 40-50 psi front, 50-60 psi rear, depending on terrain -- lower for gravel and off-road, a little higher for pavement. They never feel sluggish at lower pressure. Highly recommended tires if they'll fit your frame (they actually measure closer to 700x38, narrower than the specs claim).

I recently switched to Continental Sport Contact II, mostly out of curiosity and to fit my old fenders. The 700x32 tires are much narrower than the Speed Rides. They felt way too harsh at 80-90 psi. Around 60 front, 70 psi rear feels about right -- comfortable without feeling sluggish.

After finding the right compromise in tire pressure, you might consider a few other cost effective equipment changes.

Grips are easy to swap and can make a huge difference. I just switched from a set of old foam cylindrical grips to a newer set of firmer but wider grips. I twist the palm support until it feels about right (using isopropyl alcohol under the grips to ease twisting, then let it dry overnight before riding). Spreads the road vibration over a larger surface, much more comfortable yet still feels secure -- not excessively soft and padded. Cost a whole $10 or so. Ergon grips with locking collars cost a bit more but you get top quality.

Small changes in stem/handlebar height and reach can make a big difference in comfort too. A small 1/4" change here and there may be all it takes. Easy with older style quill stems, a bit trickier with threadless stems -- your local bike shop will have spacers and can help you, or you can order 'em online.

You might also try another handlebar. Flat and riser handlebars are great for maneuvering, but not so comfortable over longer rides. Over the past couple of years I've switched my favorite hybrid from flat to riser and now to Nitto albatross bars with swept back grips -- a very traditional look but perfect for me on that bike. No more aching wrists, elbows, shoulders or neck after rides of 30 miles or longer. And I switched from thumb to bar-end shifters so the controls suit the new bar.

But depending on your bike and preferences, a different style bar with swept back grips might work better -- North Roads bars, etc. Some folks even flip their bars upside down for a more aero profile but it is a bit more strain. There's also the Velo Orange Belleville bar, swept back but with no rise -- a flat bar with lots of arc. Puts the wrists in a more ergonomically friendly position. And you can lean into the forward part of the bar for a more aero profile when riding into head winds, climbing hills, or just to change hand positions occasionally for comfort.
This is all great information, thanks. The swept back bars you use, are they carbon and what do you think of a riser carbon bar with a swept back of around 7*-8*? I had read that carbon bars and forks for that matter help dampen the felt vibration. I have been working with my air pressure and have found some relief with just a 5lb difference to my front tire. The lowest recommended pressure for my tires is 55 lbs and all of my riding is on pavement with my Quick. Biggest known bumps are 11/2 inch change in pavement where the contractor has not gotten around to putting on the top coat of pavement. The swept back bars sounds like it might be the biggest help as the vibration is nullified mostly by changing my hand placement but also puts me in a lousy position to reach the brakes or secure my hand from sliding off the bar as I can not wrap my hand around the grip for any real time.
Thanks for the time to you and all of the people that took the time to respond and help.
Frank.
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Old 11-24-18, 08:13 AM
  #22  
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There is some adjustment to the swept bars in terms of hand position over the brakes. If you're accustomed to flat bars, you have that secure feeling of having the bar locked between your thumb and forefinger, a mechanically strong grip that's reassuring in hard braking scenarios. Drop bars offer a similarly mechanically secure position, with the hoods between thumb and forefinger, or riding in the drops.

But after a little experience the swept bar grip feels secure and has ready access to the brake levers. I've made lots of little adjustments to suit my braking preferences. It all feels very natural now, but I'll admit it did take some getting used to back in August.

Also, I dip the grip end of the albatross bar a bit below level. It's more comfortable for my wrists. But it also feels more secure in hard braking -- my hand can't just slide forward -- it also would need to slide up. And the new grips provide plenty of friction. Soft touch padded bar tape would offer the same grip.

The Nitto albatross handlebars come in steel and aluminum alloy. Both are good. The heat treated aluminum alloy is reportedly stronger, better suited to rougher rides on gravel, and lighter in weight. But I've never bent any bike handlebar, even the cheapest steel bars, and most of them are plenty strong enough.

Regarding carbon fiber handlebars, the main advantage is on drop bars for road bikes. The carbon fiber weighs less, a major consideration for serious amateur and pro racers, or anyone who's competing with Strava and his/her own best times. There may be some minor advantages in reducing vibration, but that can also be affected by bar wrap. I use padded bar tape on my aluminum drop bar and it's very comfortable even on rough chipseal asphalt. I've ridden a high end Specialized Tarmac with carbon fiber-everything and while it's an outstanding bike, I couldn't feel much difference in road vibration just from the differences in handlebar materials.

For a replacement handlebar for your bike, especially if you go with a swept back bar, look for a good heat treated aluminum alloy, or buy from a reputable maker like Nitto, Soma, Velo Orange or other comparable maker and you'll be fine. But even the very affordable Wald steel handlebars have an excellent reputation -- they're just a bit heavier. Walds are very popular on entry level cruisers, comfort hybrids, and errand bikes, along with their excellent and affordable folding and rigid metal baskets. Good stuff for the money.

Any difference in vibration will be solved with a comfortable grip and/or gloves. Check out Ergon grips. They're not the least expensive but I've never met anyone who was disappointed in Ergons. I got lucky with a $10 pair of grips that resemble the Ergons but lack the locking collar, and my no-name grips work great. But I've also bought cheap grips that didn't work well -- they slipped around, fell apart or were uncomfortable.

I have the pricier heat treated aluminum alloy Nitto albatross -- actually a gift from a friend who's a big fan of swept back bars and switched both of his hybrids from flat to swept bars. He prefers the narrower North Roads style bars, and flips them upside down to be more aero. I tried that for a week back in August but my shoulder hadn't healed enough and it was uncomfortable. I might try it again, although my next plan is to use a lower stem and keep the traditional albatross position. I prefer the look of the right-side-up bar, and the lower stem will also be more aero. Another win-win.

After he made those changes a couple of years ago not only was he more comfortable, he was faster. I struggled to keep up with him while riding my comparable hybrid with riser bars. It's a win-win -- a more comfortable riding position that's also more aero. Seems contradictory, but it explains why this style bar was popular for so many decades, and why it's still the most popular style handlebar in Europe.

When I tried it this August I wondered why I'd resisted the change for so long. I was hit by a car in May, breaking and dislocating my shoulder and aggravating an old neck injury. By late June I was back on my road bike with drop bars -- mostly on an indoor trainer -- but I was miserably uncomfortable. By July I'd quit riding almost completely and resigned myself to waiting months to heal. But after switching to the albatross bar the strain was relieved and I healed very quickly.

I still use the drop bar road bike, mostly on the trainer, once in awhile on the open road. But mostly I'm using the hybrid with the albatross bar. Right now I'm recovering from neck surgery earlier this week to remove my thyroid, but if I'm feeling okay this weekend I plan to try an easy 20-30 mile ride at a casual speed. I wouldn't do that on the road bike, not for a few more weeks -- the riding position is more demanding and stressful. But I enjoy the speed so eventually I'll go back to the road bike.

Keep in mind you don't need to sacrifice your bike's original style notes just to get new bars. Plain chromed or aluminum swept bars may seem a bit out of place on some newer style hybrids. But some folks will use bar tape to wrap their albatross and swept bars, or combine bar wrap with grips, including traditional cork grips and twine wrap. Plenty of options to make your bike look the way you prefer, even with different handlebars. Prowl through Google image view for inspiration.

After I've settled on the mechanical setup of my bike -- lower stem, lower profile cable routing -- I'm going to combine conventional grips and foam bar tape. Already bought the Arundel lizard skin wrap in blue to go with my '92 Univega's black and blue splatter paint, along with new blue cable housings.
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Old 11-24-18, 12:57 PM
  #23  
CliffordK
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Something like this could likely be adapted to your bike.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/RST-Single-...-/283168633939



They aren't real light. But not bad. It supports both discs and cantis.

Whew, the prices have dropped in the last 6 months.

I have one. I could try to estimate the tire size if you wish.
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Old 11-24-18, 02:37 PM
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That's pretty interesting. The stated weight is less than half of a conventional twin-stanchion fork (like a Suntour NEX). You have one? Have you been able to compare it to a typical hybrid suspension fork in terms of suspension action and stability?
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Old 11-24-18, 02:59 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
That's pretty interesting. The stated weight is less than half of a conventional twin-stanchion fork (like a Suntour NEX). You have one? Have you been able to compare it to a typical hybrid suspension fork in terms of suspension action and stability?
I did pick one up because I wanted to try it with a touring bike.

But, my current goal is to build a rough road touring bike around Surly Extra Terrestrial tires. Rigid rear, shock front. But, those are BIG tires.

I still like the headshock for a potential future build.

Most of the bikes I've been riding use 1" forks, but I think that fork might work on my Tricross. Perhaps I'll try it out shortly.
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