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Converting a 29er Hardtail to fully rigid!

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Converting a 29er Hardtail to fully rigid!

Old 02-25-18, 11:07 AM
  #1  
gonzumzum
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Converting a 29er Hardtail to fully rigid!

Hi all....
Here is the situation.



I need a do it all bike.
Why?


My city is becoming more and more bike friendly, and as such, ill try to make some errands by bike during the week.
As the weather is becoming better now, i plan to take my (almost 1 year) son with me, by bike, to the weekend lunch at my relatives places.

And since my new professional state may allow me to take one, or one and a half month vacation in summer, i am considering some big trips for the summer (i always mix road and offroad on tours).



My plan was to buy a under 700$ euro hardtail 29er, put a rigid fork for simplicity (for some hardcore stuff i have another bike) and additional possibilities with racks. For this budget, i can already buy a bike with decent frame, brakes and gears. I was thinking about a Specialized Hardrock, Cube Aim or GT Avalanche.


I have seen some Surly Forks, which seem to fit the internal radius of the frame. Somehow, i have not found many people who have done the same. Am i missing something, are there any other options i should consider or what?



Thanks for your input!
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Old 02-25-18, 11:39 AM
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You will need to measure the distance from the bottom of the lower headset fork race crown, to the axle center (in millimeters), and find a fork with as close to exact the same distance. If you just put whatever fork on the bike, then it will greatly affect the handling of the bike. (in a negative way) It can be difficult to find the right fork.
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Old 02-25-18, 12:26 PM
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Suspension corrected rigid forks maintain the axle to fork crown race of the suspension forks they replace..

Typically by having longer fork blades..
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Old 02-25-18, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by gonzumzum View Post
...I need a do it all bike...I'll try to make some errands by bike...i plan to take my son with me...considering some big trips for the summer...
29ers have forks with an axle-to-crown distance (ATCD) of 440-470mm. A Surly Ogre fork might work provided the MTB is compatible with a 1.125" steerer tube, either directly or with adapter.

Other issues to resolve would be rack fitting, fender fitment, handlebar/brake lever/shifter/brake caliper/fork compatibility. Conversion can be relatively simple/inexpensive or not, depending on your choice of MTB, skill and/or budget.

Based on OP, it seems that a dedicated touring bike like Surly Disc Trucker could serve all of your needs - why bother with the MTB conversion? How about a touring-capable 29er? If panniers are not required, then you could use most any bike and simply add a cargo and/or child capable trailer as needed. When you no longer need the trailer you can sell it and recover at least half your cost. I had a BoB Yak Anniversary model that I bought new for $175, then sold it 5 years later on eBay for $200, and the buyer even came to my doorstep to pick it up.

Originally Posted by Brian25 View Post
...You will need to measure the distance from the bottom of the lower headset fork race crown, to the axle center (in millimeters), and find a fork with as close to exact the same distance. If you just put whatever fork on the bike, then it will greatly affect the handling of the bike. (in a negative way) It can be difficult to find the right fork.
+1

I have done this for several fork/frame combinations and found that +/- 10mm from nominal ATCD will work with no noticeable handling difference. Each centimeter of ATCD change causes STA and HTA to change by ~1 degree. More than 1cm of ATCD change is feasible depending on bike/use, but then you must also begin to consider effect upon BB height and standover clearance.
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Old 02-25-18, 03:32 PM
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Most people on this forum are in USA, myself included. Thus, what is available to us might not be easy for you to obtain for forks.

If you considered 26 inch wheels instead of 29, Thorn (in UK) makes a fork that is suspension corrected that you could put on a bike that currently has an 80 to 100 mm travel suspension fork. The link below is for rim brakes, for reasons that I do not understand they put the brakes behind instead of in front of the fork. That is the only source of a rigid fork that I am aware of in Europe.
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/forks/26...black/?geoc=US
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Old 02-25-18, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by gonzumzum View Post
Hi all....
Here is the situation.



I need a do it all bike.
Why?


My city is becoming more and more bike friendly, and as such, ill try to make some errands by bike during the week.
As the weather is becoming better now, i plan to take my (almost 1 year) son with me, by bike, to the weekend lunch at my relatives places.

And since my new professional state may allow me to take one, or one and a half month vacation in summer, i am considering some big trips for the summer (i always mix road and offroad on tours).



My plan was to buy a under 700$ euro hardtail 29er, put a rigid fork for simplicity (for some hardcore stuff i have another bike) and additional possibilities with racks. For this budget, i can already buy a bike with decent frame, brakes and gears. I was thinking about a Specialized Hardrock, Cube Aim or GT Avalanche.


I have seen some Surly Forks, which seem to fit the internal radius of the frame. Somehow, i have not found many people who have done the same. Am i missing something, are there any other options i should consider or what?



Thanks for your input!
Welcome to BF!

Those bikes you listed are entry-level. Take the Hard Rock, for instance. Great name in bikes, but the lesser models leave a lot to be desired. Cheap wheels, cheap tires, and cheap components = a turd. I am of the opinion that its hard to improve a turd. A turd with a diamond stuck in it is still a turd.

My advice is to simply spend the extra money and buy yourself a Surly Ogre. It will fill all of your stated needs and then some. First of all, you'll appreciate the geometry more than any MTB bike for sure. It'll carry you and your gear many, many kilometers in comfort than a cheap MTB. It has a full compliment of braze-ons and barnacles to mount nearly anything you desire. Its steel. You can mount fenders, racks, kiddie seats or whatever you want. My motto is buy-once-cry-once.

Just my advice, but do what you see fit.
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Old 02-25-18, 05:29 PM
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Thank you all for the feedback.
Some interesting points stated....


The only reason i didnt consider bikes like the Ogre is purely because of the budget!
Its very easy to find online images of Surlys, Salsa and others that seam exacly what i have in mind!
But as i never rode any of those bikes, or similar for the matter, i cannot grasp how much better or worth they are.


I have always thought that low entry-level bikes provided very strong and durable material that is just not that lightweight, and since im not that worried about that issue, i though of having a go with it...


With 700/800$, i could already find bikes with Deore components, good quality brakes and i dont think the frame would ever fail me if they are specified with mountain trails in mind!


The buy once cry once idea makes lots of sense and i vow for it in many others aspects in life....


I guess im just trying to get around it this time...
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Old 02-25-18, 08:13 PM
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Lots of people use Niner or Carver forks for converting to rigid.
Niner Forks

Forks - Carver Bikes
I've seen the Carver Trail 490 on more than one conversion. @fietsbob makes a good point about suspension correction and the Trail 490 is corrected, specifically designed for conversions.

Gravelcyclist.com has several examples of conversions along the lines of...






-Tim-
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Old 02-26-18, 12:15 AM
  #9  
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what country/city?

what do you mean by "offroad?"

how much stuff do you plan to carry
when commuting and when touring?
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Old 02-27-18, 06:20 AM
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I put a Salsa CroMo ridged fork on my Gary Fisher Montare to replace the crap Manitou front spring masquerading as a suspension fork. My only regret was not doing it years sooner.
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Old 02-27-18, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
I put a Salsa CroMo ridged fork on my Gary Fisher Montare to replace the crap Manitou front spring masquerading as a suspension fork. My only regret was not doing it years sooner.
Hi Ghaz! Could you provide some pics?

what country/city?

what do you mean by "offroad?"

how much stuff do you plan to carry
when commuting and when touring?
By offroad i mean that i always plan my travels with the most offroad as possible. Here in Portugal, sand is found on beaches and snow only during winter and only on the highest mountain usually. Since i don´t plan to ride there, i will find all the other options...rocks, roots, gravel, grass, hardpacked, soft, mud, you name it.

In terms of gear, it will vary depending on the tour. But i plan to tour with both my wife and kid (almost 1 year now, so i ill have to include a seat/chair for him also), and i know already who´s gonna carry most of the weight. So i suspect ill need rear and front rack.

My (if it was only mine) problem is just budget....
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Old 03-03-18, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by gonzumzum View Post
...

I have always thought that low entry-level bikes provided very strong and durable material that is just not that lightweight...
Low-end steel is also less corrosion resistant, therefore potentially less durable.

Last edited by Abu Mahendra; 03-03-18 at 05:45 PM.
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