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Fork/handlebar recommendation for building a tourer from an MTB

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Fork/handlebar recommendation for building a tourer from an MTB

Old 04-14-15, 12:54 PM
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Fork/handlebar recommendation for building a tourer from an MTB

I have a 2001 Raleigh M60 I picked up. I want to convert it to a touring machine. First thing that needs to be done is get rid of the front shock. What would be a good inexpensive fork that I can replace it with, not looking for a brand new fork? And what would you recommend as handlebars?
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Old 04-14-15, 01:28 PM
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Trekking bars .. Nashbar Trekking Mountain Bike Handlebar

Fork Nashbar Rigid Mountain Bike Fork
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Old 04-14-15, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
I like that price on those trekking bars! Before dropping $50 on a new fork...wonder if I could just find a MTB at a garage sale that would fit the Raleigh?
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Old 04-14-15, 01:40 PM
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I wonder about Texas in general..
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Old 04-14-15, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
I wonder about Texas in general..
oookay...lay off the sauce man.
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Old 04-14-15, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Flyboy718
I like that price on those trekking bars! Before dropping $50 on a new fork...wonder if I could just find a MTB at a garage sale that would fit the Raleigh?
I suspect most garage sale mountain bikes that are not suspension will not have the right fork length to go on your suspension frame. Or, did you mean to convert a garage sale bike instead of the Raleigh?

Originally Posted by fietsbob
Thanks for the info on that fork. I did not know you could get a suspension corrected fork that cheap.
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Old 04-14-15, 04:15 PM
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Vintage MTBs are cheap. I'd buy a good quality vintage mtb to convert to a touring bike. You can take off any parts from the Raleigh you want to keep and use them on your vintage bike. Then you sell the resulting franken raleigh M60 to recoup most if not all of your expenses.
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Old 04-14-15, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
I suspect most garage sale mountain bikes that are not suspension will not have the right fork length to go on your suspension frame. Or, did you mean to convert a garage sale bike instead of the Raleigh?



Thanks for the info on that fork. I did not know you could get a suspension corrected fork that cheap.
How do you measure your fork to know what size that you have?
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Old 04-14-15, 04:30 PM
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Go back far enough and the forks are not so long and the frames are made around them And for Just Rim brakes, not Discs.

forks have A crown race seat to axle~ blade length* : an off set from the steering axis or rake; steerer tube diameter, and length.

* suspension fork that varies as the fork Takes up The Bumps and sags under the rider's weight.
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Old 04-16-15, 07:17 PM
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I use moustach bars on my old cannondale mtb converted touring bike. I first saw them on Rivendel's web site. Riv is a big fan. I got mine off of Ebay for a lot less. I love 'em too. Lots of hand pos. I did have to stretch open the thumb shifters and brake leavers abit to fit the fatter road dia. No biggie though. Some day I'll get around to mounting bar-end shifters.
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Old 04-16-15, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Flyboy718
I have a 2001 Raleigh M60 I picked up. I want to convert it to a touring machine. First thing that needs to be done is get rid of the front shock. What would be a good inexpensive fork that I can replace it with, not looking for a brand new fork? And what would you recommend as handlebars?
Those handle bars you have are good,nice. You just need some ergo grips.

Or new riser MTB bars with bar ends etc.
Here is a link with some thoughts from another with experience as well.

Bicycle Touring with Straight (aka MTB) Handlebars - Pedal Power Touring

You have to obtain measurements from your bike geometry specs, on the fork, before you choose a rigid fork and match to it as close as possible. Salsa, Soma Fab,Origin 8, etc. and many more have steel rigid forks once you determine the proper fork. Or ask your LBS for help with that.
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Old 04-17-15, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
I suspect most garage sale mountain bikes that are not suspension will not have the right fork length to go on your suspension frame. Or, did you mean to convert a garage sale bike instead of the Raleigh?
Originally Posted by Flyboy718
How do you measure your fork to know what size that you have?
One of my bikes was sold as a touring bike where you could use either a 100mm suspension or solid fork, I have the solid fork on it at this time. And I have a touring bike that has a frame that was intended to be only used with a solid fork.

Do NOT assume that these measurements are perfect, I used a cheap yardstick and eye balled it. And do not assume that all forks for a given wheel size will have identical distances, each frame designer has flexibility to play with the numbers because they are designing a fork to fit the frame that they also designed. These measurements are for a bike with 26 inch wheels.

The fork on the bike that can also use a 100mm suspension fork is 16 5/8 inches from the center of the skewer to the bottom of the headset.

The fork on the bike that is intended to only be used with a solid fork is 14 3/4 inches from center of skewer to the bottom of the headset. This fork has a crown.

I also have an old Bridgestone MB-6 that I use for errands, solid fork and frame not designed for suspension, center of skewer to bottom of headset is 15 1/2 inches. This one does not have a crown, instead the fork blades are bent and welded directly to the steerer tube.

Touring bike equipment and gear (racks, panniers, etc.) are pretty good at busting a budget. That fork Fietsbob identified might be the cheapest and best way to go. Or, plan B - use the existing fork and if it can be locked out, do that, then if you like touring upgrade later. Or, plan C - find another old steel mountain bike with solid fork and long chainstays. I think none of these options will provide the mounts on the fork for a front rack, but there are racks that can be mounted without needing the mid-fork brazeons.

Separate from the fork issues, a lot of mountain bikes have short chainstays that will not give you much heel clearance unless you push the panniers pretty far back on the rack, and doing that can make for a noodly feeling frame when loaded down. So, think about your chainstay length too.
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Old 04-17-15, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Flyboy718
I have a 2001 Raleigh M60 I picked up. I want to convert it to a touring machine. First thing that needs to be done is get rid of the front shock. What would be a good inexpensive fork that I can replace it with, not looking for a brand new fork? And what would you recommend as handlebars?
Per Bikepedia your bike has an 80 mm travel front fork. You can contact Surly as they have one 63 mm corrected fork that is also listed as 80 mm.

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Old 04-17-15, 09:30 AM
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Does anyone know for sure if I can lock this fork out? There is a little knob on the left side of the fork, it will turn a little but I didn't turn it too far.
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