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I want to upgrade my carbon fork for a touring alum/steel fork with braze-ons...

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I want to upgrade my carbon fork for a touring alum/steel fork with braze-ons...

Old 03-21-11, 12:09 PM
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frankgg
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I want to upgrade my carbon fork for a touring alum/steel fork with braze-ons...

Hello all!

So I purchased a 2009 Mercier Orion (Aluminum body / Carbon Fork) from bikesdirect.com two years ago as my entry bike into road biking.

For a cheaper bike it's served me pretty well, I've put about 2,000 miles on it and used it on a 5-day Erie Canal 400-mile ride and it has performed just fine.


This summer myself and some friends will be biking the C&O canal & GAP trail.

I'd like to upgrade the carbon fiber fork to a metal (touring friendly) fork w/ lowrider braze-ons so I can use some front wheel panniers (in addition to the rear ones I have)

I'd like to know if road bike forks are pretty much univeral when it comes to replacement?


The Nashbar Touring Frame Fork caught my eye because its pretty much what I want at a very cheap price...

https://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...3_10000_202063

I'm just curious if I'll have any problems dropping this into my 2009 Mercier Orion? Only thing I've noticed is that it looks like it uses a different brake setup

Webpage for the 2011 Mercier Orion --> https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...rion_al_xi.htm It doesn't look like anything has changed on it over the past two years.


If that doesn't work, can anyone recommend me another fork to use?

Thank you guys!
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Old 03-21-11, 12:16 PM
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aceofspaids
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you can use that fork as long as it's 1 1/8 like your carbon fork, but you'll need to run canti or linear brakes (which wont work on the rear).
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Old 03-21-11, 12:35 PM
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You want some bigger tires if you plan to do the C&O Canal (probably at least 700x32s), and most road bikes won't accommodate more than 700x28. Maybe you have a friend with a mountain bike you can borrow?

Add: If you're interested in some front panniers, you might consider just wrapping the fork with some old tube and clamping the rack to the fork on top of the old tube. You don't want to put a lot of weight on your front panniers anyway, so if you use a good thickness of old tube and you don't clamp it any harder than necessary, you should be fine. Your main concern should be the terrain that you're going over (rutted and grown over, perhaps muddy at points). A skinny-tire bike would not be fun, particularly with a load.

Last edited by ploeg; 03-21-11 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 03-21-11, 01:24 PM
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frankgg
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Originally Posted by aceofspaids View Post
you can use that fork as long as it's 1 1/8 like your carbon fork, but you'll need to run canti or linear brakes (which wont work on the rear).
Is there any problem with running a cantilever brake in the front and leaving the rear stock?

Originally Posted by ploeg View Post
You want some bigger tires if you plan to do the C&O Canal (probably at least 700x32s), and most road bikes won't accommodate more than 700x28. Maybe you have a friend with a mountain bike you can borrow?

Add: If you're interested in some front panniers, you might consider just wrapping the fork with some old tube and clamping the rack to the fork on top of the old tube. You don't want to put a lot of weight on your front panniers anyway, so if you use a good thickness of old tube and you don't clamp it any harder than necessary, you should be fine. Your main concern should be the terrain that you're going over (rutted and grown over, perhaps muddy at points). A skinny-tire bike would not be fun, particularly with a load.
Hmmm... We did the Erie Canal ride with 28's and it was fine, is the C&O path that much worse?

I guess I'd be a little leery of putting front panniers on a cheaper carbon fork. I can get by without running front panniers but figured that way I wouldn't have to pack the rears so tight with stuff.

I'm also considering buying the Nashbar touring frame too so I can support wider tires front & back... would I be able to move all my components (excluding brakes) from the Orion frame to the Nashbar frame?

Last edited by frankgg; 03-21-11 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 03-21-11, 02:00 PM
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Looks like a nice touring fork to me, long as it matches up with your frame ok. I would think it would take larger tires just fine, up to at least 40mm I suspect. I ride on 38s, but if the trails are finely crushed stone and packed, you could do them with 28s, but wider would be better.

Your Mercer is using caliper brakes which the Nasbar fork will take. They just don't say it. The reach of your current caliper is likely too short for use on the touring fork, but by sticking with a caliper, you could use the brake post for a six pack platform. There may be a brake handle issue with two different types, but maybe not.
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Old 03-21-11, 02:14 PM
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You need the fork to be the same height as the fork you are replacing that number is normally included in the specs, and you can measure your current fork from axle to crown. There also needs to be compatibility in the fork rake. All that said, you can probably get away with throwing on a new fork. Keep in mind that a new fork may require the fork crown to be machined to fit the headset. So overall it could be better to just drive on with a new frame, rather than waste money on a frame that does not work for what you want, and could be sold as is. Particularly since this appears to be your longer range plan anyway.
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Old 03-21-11, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by frankgg View Post
I'm also considering buying the Nashbar touring frame too so I can support wider tires front & back... would I be able to move all my components (excluding brakes) from the Orion frame to the Nashbar frame?
I think this is the best way to spend your money.
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Old 03-21-11, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by frankgg View Post
Hmmm... We did the Erie Canal ride with 28's and it was fine, is the C&O path that much worse?
You can take a look at Bike Washington's C&O Canal Bicycling Guide and judge for yourself: https://bikewashington.org/canal/plan-tires.php

Speaking personally, I would take a bike other than a skinny-tire bike if I could.

The components on the Orion bike look pretty bog standard modern, so I don't see why you couldn't move them over to the Nashbar touring frame if you wanted to. If you want to use bigger tire than 700x28, though, I'd consider getting a new set of wheels with wider rims.
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Old 03-21-11, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
You need the fork to be the same height as the fork you are replacing that number is normally included in the specs, and you can measure your current fork from axle to crown. There also needs to be compatibility in the fork rake. All that said, you can probably get away with throwing on a new fork. Keep in mind that a new fork may require the fork crown to be machined to fit the headset. So overall it could be better to just drive on with a new frame, rather than waste money on a frame that does not work for what you want, and could be sold as is. Particularly since this appears to be your longer range plan anyway.
So if I went with this frame --> https://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product..._#ReviewHeader

and the matching fork, would I be able to take most of the components off my 2009 Mercier Orion (deraillers, handlebars w/ shifters, crank, seat, and wheels) and put them onto this frame?

(my lack of knowledge is if all these road bike components are generally compatible with most things or if they're frame specific)
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Old 03-21-11, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ploeg View Post
The components on the Orion bike look pretty bog standard modern, so I don't see why you couldn't move them over to the Nashbar touring frame if you wanted to. If you want to use bigger tire than 700x28, though, I'd consider getting a new set of wheels with wider rims.
Yeah, the 28's were the widest suggested to throw on the Alex rims. If I go with the touring frame I would probably buy a wider rim to support wider tires, then just switch out the wheels depending on how wide of a tire I need.

Thank you all that have replied so far for your help!
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Old 03-21-11, 03:15 PM
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One possible complication is that Nashbar touring frames work best with top swing front derailleurs (they don't interfere with the bottle bosses). So if the front derailleur on your bike is bottom swing, that might be a minor issue. Fortunately FDs are relatively inexpensive.
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Old 03-21-11, 08:19 PM
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"So if I went with this frame --> https://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product..._#ReviewHeader

and the matching fork, would I be able to take most of the components off my 2009 Mercier Orion (deraillers, handlebars w/ shifters, crank, seat, and wheels) and put them onto this frame?"

In theory you ought to be able to. You have to look at the seatpost spec on your current bike, and make sure it is the same on the N. Is your M a 1, or a 1.125 steering tube, that would rule out/in the stem. If the BB is a normal 68mm, it ought to work, though in general I would see what Nashbar can do for you, selling the frame without the BB is probably not good economics. The gearing on your current bike is pretty high for loaded touring. The brakes on the Orion are not cantis or V. Overall this whole transfer the parts thing is often not worth it. If I were you I would see what you can sell the Orion for as a bike. Set a reasonable price, and see what you get. Don't bend when you have set a price, unless you feel you have been schooled. If you can get a reasonable amount for the Orion you could just start over with the new frame. Unless you feel the amount the market will pay you is so low that you would be ahead for just a few components saved, you are probably better off keeping the parts together.

Look at it this way. the old bike had three parts, cost wise. The part you actually used up and you shouldn't feel bad about not recovering. The part that you know you need to change, the frame, and have already accepted. The middle third or half is the components that you will have to buy new, but may be able to offset with some sales of the Orion bike. It's not really that much over what you probably have in mind now.

Last edited by NoReg; 03-21-11 at 08:34 PM.
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