Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Front Suspension on Cyclocross 700c Tourer? Yes, I'm Serious!

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Front Suspension on Cyclocross 700c Tourer? Yes, I'm Serious!

Old 05-06-14, 11:37 AM
  #1  
mdilthey
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
mdilthey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,923

Bikes: Nature Boy 853 Disc, Pugsley SS

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 251 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Front Suspension on Cyclocross 700c Tourer? Yes, I'm Serious!

I saw that Suntour has 700c "Trekking" Suspension forks, and if I'm reading the site correctly (hint: I'm probably not) they're sized to give just a bit of travel to a road frame, without significantly altering the 700c geometry. Am I right?

So, tourists, does this make sense for a gravel-eating cyclocross tourist like myself? I'm riding full frame bags now, very aggressive tracks and I was debating saving my pennies for a mountain bike... with some 1-2 inches of travel, I might not need to.

My tires are big (38mm) and my load is light (~10lbs) so tell me why this is a BAD idea. Thanks!


Here are the forks: Forks*- SR SUNTOUR Cycling

Here's a pic:



Thoughts?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Fork 700c.jpg (48.6 KB, 13 views)
mdilthey is offline  
Old 05-06-14, 12:06 PM
  #2  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,396

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6925 Post(s)
Liked 246 Times in 204 Posts
Nah , heavy, complicated , (another thing to potentially fail) and requires the frame itself to be made to accomodate the extra travel ..

I find the Mass in front Panniers does a lot ..

they make fitting any front racks nearly impossible , to be done well , kludges abound though..

Factory in TW for Koga on my WTR takes the fork apart drilled and tapped the casting ,
and also Got a couple custom machined blocks made to have a place to attach
the top rear of the top rail of the Tubus ergo rack onto it.
then painted it with the same color the frame was to be , then put it together ..


There was some way to have the panniers up and supported at the fork crown so the suspension for single track like 3rd world touring
Tubus Fly ...
but they dropped it as no commonality of fitting a vast variety of forks made .. was too much to expect buyers to figure out how to
safely mount it ..

then the load was not on the wheel , which in suspension performance is worse when it is More Massive. .. the game is to make it less.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 05-06-14, 12:13 PM
  #3  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,396

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6925 Post(s)
Liked 246 Times in 204 Posts
control tech suspension forks, a flash from the past were (theoretically since they were not intended for the purpose)
a way to have a Lower Pannier location for better handling and It seemed to me allow the suspension to work .. because the wheel would move independently..of the load.

here is what they looked like .. Someone savvy can copy and post the picture .. to save it from ebay oblivion

Lawill Leader 3 Suspension Fork by Control Tech for Vintage MTB Mountain Bike | eBay

Sort of like A Moulton fork for 26" wheels..

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-06-14 at 12:16 PM.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 05-06-14, 04:23 PM
  #4  
mdilthey
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
mdilthey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,923

Bikes: Nature Boy 853 Disc, Pugsley SS

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 251 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Here's the pic saved for you, fietsbob:



What a behemoth... haha!

I am not 100% sold just solely on the merit of "one more thing to fail." Suspension forks are pretty burly when made well. I don't know specifically about the Suntour ones, but a well-maintained suspension fork can handle a third-world tour or two or three.

Remember: I'm ultralight, so frame bags and a small backpack are all I have- no panniers, no racks. Most of the time.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
$_12.JPG (19.1 KB, 31 views)
mdilthey is offline  
Old 05-06-14, 05:35 PM
  #5  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 18,592
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 72 Times in 62 Posts
most people that ride a lot on the road are concerned with getting a rigid fork to replace their suspension fork. They make the bike slower and heavier. For a mountain bike, that is a trade-off people are willing to make, because it allows them to keep up speed over rough terrain. I don't see a tourist wanting to do that most of the time. They certainly make mounting front racks a problem
unterhausen is offline  
Old 05-06-14, 06:08 PM
  #6  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,396

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6925 Post(s)
Liked 246 Times in 204 Posts
or.. saved for list posterity .


the load goes Off the wheel so it gets to stick to the ground better.. lighter un sprung weight. sort of suspension 101.

and then onto the fat part attached to the fork crown ..
if not hammering down mountains design wise it may not need all the beef.. Sir Alex Moulton's use steel


my tours are/were far from races because in the final tally how fast I go riding through a place defeats
why I went there in the 1st place..

I went on tours that lasted months, to see other countries and stop and socialize a lot along the way.

asking for a disc brake strong fork has to be stiff anyhow ..

does that have a remote lock out cable connection? some do these days.

maybe you should go Carbon fork .

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-06-14 at 06:26 PM.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 05-06-14, 07:47 PM
  #7  
sstorkel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 5,427

Bikes: Cervelo RS, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Pro, Schwinn Typhoon, Nashbar touring, custom steel MTB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
I am not 100% sold just solely on the merit of "one more thing to fail." Suspension forks are pretty burly when made well. I don't know specifically about the Suntour ones, but a well-maintained suspension fork can handle a third-world tour or two or three.
Have you looked inside a modern fork? I have, because the $550 Rock Shox fork I bought for my mountain bike failed on the first ride. It was quite evident that the fork was designed to save weight at all costs; there was nothing burley about it. The fork failed because a 2-cent washer somehow got torn. Rather than sending me the part needed to repair the fork, Rock Shox forced me to go through my closest dealer... who charged me $25 to box the fork up and ship it to Rock Shox for warranty repair. After a month-long wait, I was finally able to ride the bike again.

If I were building a bike for gravel grinding, I'd be looking for big fat tires rather than a suspension fork. If I had to use a suspension fork, I'd want one with a coil spring (as opposed to an air spring) and I'd make darn sure it had a very good lock-out for the 90% of the time when the suspension wasn't needed...
sstorkel is offline  
Old 05-06-14, 07:58 PM
  #8  
mdilthey
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
mdilthey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,923

Bikes: Nature Boy 853 Disc, Pugsley SS

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 251 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I do off-road. I do want a bike capable of it. It's a great time. Obviously, one tourist's approach is far from the next, and my particular style often leans towards fast + reckless.

If I had a suspension fork on my 2013 Colorado tour, I might not have crashed. I needed a little more capability. I am in a place where spending $400-ish on a fork is far preferable to spending $1500 on a mountain bike, especially when 90% of my tour is "fast" on the road.

Not concerned with the weight of the fork. I can power through an extra 3-4lbs. I AM concerned with durability, hearing about a fork failure on the first ride is discouraging. I am on the fence- I am hoping for some feedback from someone who has used a Suntour fork (or any fork) for extended touring.


Note the following, though, for future responses (nobody is going to...)

1. I will not have a front rack or any panniers.
2. I am not concerned with weight
3. I am familiar with the benefits of rigid- I've ridden 7,000 miles on rigid. It's great! I'm just exploring.
mdilthey is offline  
Old 05-06-14, 09:17 PM
  #9  
LeeG
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,913
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I don't have any experience touring with a shocked fork but if your goal is faster descents on trails with better control they make sense, but so would more travel and larger tires suitable for the terrain. Go for it.
LeeG is offline  
Old 05-06-14, 10:24 PM
  #10  
mdilthey
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
mdilthey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,923

Bikes: Nature Boy 853 Disc, Pugsley SS

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 251 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
LeeG,

Exactly what I had in mind. Looking for added versatility to my current setup. Doubtless a mountain bike is better for all-trails, but I like my bike's niche as a jack-of-all-trades and am just looking to edge slightly closer to the MTB spectrum.
mdilthey is offline  
Old 05-06-14, 11:49 PM
  #11  
sorensomand
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: denmark
Posts: 14

Bikes: cross check, trek 6000, salsa warbird ti, spesh awol transconti

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you find a fork that does not mess up the geometry of the ride, the Thule Pack'n'Pedal rack is rock solid.
I've just installed it on my RS Reba with the Thule panniers and am very surprised by the sturdiness of it all.
sorensomand is offline  
Old 05-07-14, 08:44 AM
  #12  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,396

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6925 Post(s)
Liked 246 Times in 204 Posts
Not a good retrofit. on a road frame. You need a frame designed around the extra height a suspension fork's travel requires ..

such as .. Trek DS is a different frame than the FX 7xx ..
fietsbob is offline  
Old 05-07-14, 09:36 AM
  #13  
sstorkel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 5,427

Bikes: Cervelo RS, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Pro, Schwinn Typhoon, Nashbar touring, custom steel MTB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
Not concerned with the weight of the fork. I can power through an extra 3-4lbs. I AM concerned with durability, hearing about a fork failure on the first ride is discouraging. I am on the fence- I am hoping for some feedback from someone who has used a Suntour fork (or any fork) for extended touring.
I doubt you'll find anyone who has used a Suntour fork; they're just not a big name in the suspension business these days.

The first thing you need to do is figure out if these forks will even work with your bike. Have you compared the axle to crown race distance of your current fork to the ones you're considering? If there's more than about a 10mm difference, you're going to affect the handling of the bike in ways you probably don't want. If the new fork is shorter than the existing fork, the bike's handling will become very twitchy. If the new fork is longer, handling will become slower but tracking on steep ascents will get worse. If you buy a suspension fork that's just a bit too long you might be able to compensate for some of the extra length by setting the fork up to sag more (assuming it has preload adjustment), though of course you're losing suspension travel at that point.

As far as durability goes, my fork is probably a fluke. That said, having disassembled the fork I can see that it doesn't take much to disable an air-sprung fork. All you need is for one seal to go bad and you've lost all suspension, the fork collapses (slowly, in my case), and you're hiking home. With a coil-sprung fork, like the Suntour D-LO-700c, you have a slightly better chance of surviving suspension problems. Of course the problem with a coil-sprung fork is that you need a spring that matches your weight. Inexpensive forks frequently have only one available spring rate, so it either works for you or you're out of luck.
sstorkel is offline  
Old 05-07-14, 09:47 AM
  #14  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,396

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6925 Post(s)
Liked 246 Times in 204 Posts
Koga Signature by Koga,, go to custom build list , they show the Option of A trekking 29er, and in the menu
a Sun tour NCX-E RL lite.. http://www.koga-signature.com/docs/S...X-E-RLLITE.pdf

note the cable operated remote lock out.

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-07-14 at 10:49 AM.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 05-07-14, 10:12 AM
  #15  
donalson
just pedal
 
donalson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 969

Bikes: Surly Disc Trucker, trek 560

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I wrote a long post yesterday and then my internet timed out and I lost out the post... so here is a condensed version

as others have mentioned the length is what is key... the average CX fork is 400mm axle to crown, in my experience with rigid vs suspension on MTBs and short travel forks (80-100mm) the proper length suspension fork will be about 20mm longer... so given that you would be looking at about 420mm a>c length on a cx fork the fork you linked to is 480mm putting it at 60mm too long... this will raise the front end and then slack out the geometry by about 6* if my memory is right.

as for the brand itself... while I am sure they can build decent stuff (no different than huffy building the Olympic bikes back in the day) what we get in the US is pretty much the same quality as the huffys we see in stores :-/
donalson is offline  
Old 05-09-14, 05:15 AM
  #16  
ekibayno
Sage
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 58

Bikes: Chesini Precision 84, Kuota Kredo, Sabbath Silk Route, Van Nicholas Pioneer,

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Twenty years ago Rockshox made a suspension fork for Paris Roubaix. They still turn up from time-to-time on eBay.
ekibayno is offline  
Old 05-12-14, 12:25 PM
  #17  
mtn.cyclist
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Gypsum, CO
Posts: 289

Bikes: Litespeed Obed, Cannondale Scalpel, Spcialized AWOL, Litespeed Solano, Cannondale Synapse

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have a Rockshox Reba RL fork on my only bike, a titanium 29er mt. bike. I tour on it both off road and on. It has a lockout and I generally keep it locked on pavement. It still allows a tiny bit of movement when locked which keeps the buzz off my hands. I use it both locked and unlocked off road depending on conditions. If I wanted to move fast on pavement on a long tour I might consider a lighter rigid fork but I have no complaints and my bike is very versatile, comfortable, and plenty light.

Last edited by mtn.cyclist; 05-12-14 at 12:46 PM.
mtn.cyclist is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
szvenig7
Framebuilders
7
07-18-14 02:57 PM
tish4398
Mountain Biking
1
03-12-13 09:53 AM
hybridbkrdr
Touring
17
10-17-11 01:11 PM
Chickenhawk66
Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational)
13
05-30-10 07:56 AM
bjjoondo
Hybrid Bicycles
57
01-25-10 08:28 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.