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Practical to replace suspension fork on old bike?

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Practical to replace suspension fork on old bike?

Old 12-15-18, 02:16 PM
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wheels78
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Practical to replace suspension fork on old bike?

I've got an old "performance" brand mt bike that I bought new in 1992. It's true temper Chromoly and all the components are XT. It's actually a decent bike, reasonably light and other than the obsolete front suspension it works just fine. Obviously it wouldn't be worth anything as far as resale goes, so I've just been holding on to it and using it once in a while (I've got a dual suspension bike I usually use). I suspect I'd use the old one lot more if the front suspension was any good. I got to thinking that there might be some older forks out there (maybe 5 years old or so) that would fit the bike and not cost more than maybe 100.00 or so? I know nothing about forks and how hard it is to fit an old bike. Any thoughts?


Thanks
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Old 12-15-18, 02:31 PM
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If you really like the bike, you might be far better off with a rigid fork than that thing or anything that replaces it. Also, time for some new brake cables.

I'm trying to think of a diplomatic way to say that it might not be worth putting money into it.
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Old 12-15-18, 02:40 PM
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Practical... no sorry likely not. Convert it into something else, definitely. Rigid fork and voila you breath different life into it
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Old 12-15-18, 03:08 PM
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I probably had roughly the same fork on my 1992 Specialized Stumpjumper FS. The seals started leaking, and it wouldn't hold air anymore, so I swapped it out for a rigid steel fork. Some old GT thing. But it works. The problem is that it's most likely a 1" head tube, and finding any parts for that (much less a suspension fork) seems to be a challenge to every bike shop I've taken it to. I can't imagine finding an old suspension fork that would (a) fit and (b) still be functional. Whenever I asked about refurbishing the original shock (which was a re-badged Manitou, IIRC), I always ended up with an estimate of over $200. And that was probably only because it would have been something of a labor of love. Yeah, go rigid.

Last edited by Chinghis; 12-15-18 at 03:21 PM. Reason: got the year wrong ...
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Old 12-16-18, 02:16 AM
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I did it to a 1990 Fisher and it was a waste of money. Like the others mentioned, go rigid if anything. It's very hard to find a non-tapered steerer, plush (i.e. airsprung) 26" fork now. All are coil-sprung which are heavy and a harsh ride.
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Old 12-16-18, 05:24 AM
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The real challenge here is finding a decent suspension fork build this centiry that has a 1 steerer, v-brake/canti bosses, a cable stop on the arch (for canti brakes), and is short enough not to significantly change the handeling of the bike.
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Old 12-16-18, 09:15 AM
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Go rigid. It shouldn't be that hard finding a used one too if you plan to go in that direction. Just make sure you keep the geometry correct.
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Old 12-16-18, 09:53 AM
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wheels78
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Best place to find a rigid fork? Ebay? What information will be required to find one (any measurements, etc.)?
Thanks
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Old 12-16-18, 10:56 AM
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You can find rigid 26" MTB forks on ebay. Ebay also has several threaded and non-threaded 1" suspension forks for under 80 bucks shipped to your door. The modern SR Sun Tour fork is likely better than the original fork.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/SR-Suntour-...n756:rk:4:pf:0

https://www.ebay.com/itm/RST-Fork-26...SZM:rk:29:pf:0
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Old 12-16-18, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by wheels78 View Post
Best place to find a rigid fork? Ebay? What information will be required to find one (any measurements, etc.)?
Thanks
A different perspective -- I went to a rigid carbon fork on a '90s MTB, purely for street use. Even though it was susp corrected and a perfect fit, I did not like the feel, far too much noise in the handlebars. I went back to a cheap susp fork that I picked up on eBay, much happier. Sold the carbon fork on eBay, almost got my money back, I rode the bike for a season, sold it on CL to a commuter, $250. It ended up working out OK, but the rigid carbon fork - not so much. On an MTB tourer, I dumped the susp fork and put on rigid Cr-Mo fork, probably made by Surly. it's been some 7 years or so, great ride, great utility bike. I think it compares pretty well with a Koga WorldTraveller.

My point is -- choose wisely.
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Old 12-16-18, 03:53 PM
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I probably have a 1" suspension fork if you need one. Also have rebuild kits for that fork if you can find someone to rebuild it for you. A rebuild kit would be cheap, but after finding a shop with tools + labor I think the budget would be blown. A complete vintage 1" suspension fork is going to be more than $100, rebuilt and fully functional anyway.
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Old 12-17-18, 03:20 PM
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wheels78
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I appreciate everyone's help on this.

Cheers!
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Old 12-19-18, 10:38 AM
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That looks doable. Not my first rodeo. Trying to find good 1" steer tube air fork is tough. You are competing against all the rest of us who are looking. Can it be done sure. Do you want to spend the money ...

Your crown has pinch bolts, so you can keep it and do a leg change if you can find the right legs ... Marzocchi is prolly best bet. Dr Marzocchi in the EU has all the seals and literature (in PDF format) for rebuilds for forks going back to the 1980's. He'll also rebuild your legs if you don't want to. But shipping to the EU ain't cheap.

Another choice is a good slightly more modern fork with a 1 1/8" steer tube. Have the local machine shop press out the bigger tube and make you a 1" steer tube with interference fit and press it in. Something like that could be done for $400 in shop charges and machine work. A more modern 100mm air fork in nice used condition would be ~$200 off eBay. So for ~$600 you could upgrade quite a ways. Is that too steep a budget for your bike ...
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Old 12-19-18, 12:03 PM
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wheels78
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>So for ~$600 you could upgrade quite a ways. Is that too steep a budget for your bike<

Yeah, there's no way I'm putting that kind of money into an old bike. But thanks for your input.
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Old 12-24-18, 07:40 PM
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That gold paint on the fork legs looks like Rock Shox Judy to me ... If it still has the OEM elastomers, they are prolly rock hard ...

Pull it apart and let's see what is inside? If Rock Shox, new elastomers are available here: Shox
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Old 12-24-18, 08:10 PM
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If my only alternative is a solid fork, I'd ditch the bike. I can't ride a bike on trails with a solid fork, my brain is too loose and bounces around in my skull making it hard to focus which is a bad thing. Oh wait, it's Xmas eve and that's the rum talking. Even sober, I don't like solid forks. Since you're not pushed to get it done by tomorrow, I'd put it on the back burner and keep looking for that deal on a suspension fork that fits. But that's just me.
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Old 12-25-18, 02:05 PM
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wheels78
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Originally Posted by BrocLuno View Post
That gold paint on the fork legs looks like Rock Shox Judy to me ... If it still has the OEM elastomers, they are prolly rock hard ...

Pull it apart and let's see what is inside? If Rock Shox, new elastomers are available here: Shox

Good idea, I'll check into it.

Thx!
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