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  1. #1
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    Official 650b fork thread

    I'll start us off, and will constantly update this list.

    Let's try and keep this thread to just the facts about which forks work/clear for 650b wheels.



    The official height of the Panceti tire is 702mm. That means if you go measure your axle to bottom of arch/brace of the fork and get 356mm or more, you should clear. I'd like 5mm+ of clearance. The tire may still bottom on the fork crown at FULL travel, but that can be remedied by a spacer in the internals.
    I put all forks that are suspected to clear in the 'clear but may need a spacer' listing until someone confirms the tire clears the crown as well as the arch.

    Forks that work out of the box:
    WhiteBrothers 650b forks
    2008 Fox RLC/FX
    Any 29" Suspension fork
    Any Rigid fork with a AC longer than 360mm
    manitou R7 (2006 tested)
    All Fox Forx (some forks may rub so slightly on the bottom of the crown if all the air is removed)



    Forks that clear but may need internal bushings/shimming:
    RS Pike
    RS Psylo
    Cannondale Lefty
    XFusion Velvet
    Maverik DUC and SC32
    Manitou Stance
    Manitou Nixon Comp 145
    RST Capa T26 ML
    SR Suntour XCM





    Forks that don't clear:
    RS Revelation
    RS Reba 2005 (wheel clamps in, but Neo tire is rubbing the arch)
    Last edited by rensho; 11-17-2008 at 02:34 PM.

  2. #2
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    Reports have the Rockshox Psylo forks clearing just fine.

    I think some older and maybe current Shermans and Nixons are fine

    XFusion Velvet is fine and even okay'd by X-Fusion to use

    And of course 29er forks clear

    White Brothers have the only 650b specific forks available right now as far as I know.

    A Lefty would work of course, as would the Maverick forks either the dual crown or single crown. I also suspect that there are other inverted dual crown forks that will work as well such as older White Brothers forks and what not.

    I wonder if a Shiver Single crown would work?

    Can you tell I've pondered this a bit!?

  3. #3
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    My List I've found to fit.
    1. Maverick SC32
    2. X-Fusion Velvet
    3. Manitou Stance
    4. Manitou Nixon Comp 145
    5. RST Capa T26 ML
    6. SR Suntour XCM
    7. Any 29" Suspension fork
    8. Haven't found a Fox fork that doesn't fit, yet.

  4. #4
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    Word of caution: A suddenly locked or slowed front wheel from tire to crown rub in a situation that bottoms the fork travel would cause a terribly bad crash.

    The Fox Vanilla 32/140 fork, with 650b Neo-Moto tire, rubs the crown very lightly when I removed my coil spring and put as much weight as I could on the fork's bottom-out bumper.

    As everyone knows who rides one of these Fox forks they are very over sprung and nearly impossible to get within 1/2 inch of bottom travel. The possibility of interference when riding this fork is very unlikely. A 5mm thick washer under the internal bottom-out bumpers would prevent any mechanical possibility of interference.

    Any fork that is not designed for 650b should be checked for tire-to-crown interference by removing the coil or air pressure; and if itís close then monitor your max ride-time travel using a zip-tie or o-ring around an upper stanchion.

  5. #5
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    Thank you Derby. I'm not very excited about this thread, FWIW.

  6. #6
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    Yeh I agree.. there should be a "cleared" and "compatible" section.
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  7. #7
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    Nice initiative, Rensho! Yeah, for starting this thread! This would be a big help for us 650B aspirants! And to CH as well for adding up some more to the list!!! To Derby for the tips! Well, we only need some categorization...

    Keep it up, guys!

    Thanks again!
    Quote Originally Posted by jcatienza
    There was no need to scare potential buyers and burn bridges "buddy"
    Tell me now, what's Product testing all bout then?

  8. #8
    TNC
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    I'll add the Fox Van 36 and the '08 Nixon 160...both in the 20mm axle format. Both have adequate arch and crown clearance.

  9. #9
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    I received a photo via email of a Neomoto paired up with a Psylo - it is the most arch to tire clearance on a 26" wheeled fork that I've seen to date. I will ask the emailer if I can have his permission to post up the photo. Impressive is what came to mind when I saw the image.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cracked Headtube
    My List I've found to fit.
    1. Maverick SC32
    2. X-Fusion Velvet
    3. Manitou Stance
    4. Manitou Nixon Comp 145
    5. RST Capa T26 ML
    6. SR Suntour XCM
    7. Any 29" Suspension fork
    8. Haven't found a Fox fork that doesn't fit, yet.
    Thanks CH, I'll add those.

  11. #11
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    If folks have pics of tires hitting crowns, I can post those up as guides for people thinking about setting up their forks.

  12. #12
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    Wanted to point out there there are four 650b specific forks from White Brothers. Again I got mine (a Fluid 130 with a thru axle) and am super psyched...

    Fluid 130 and 100mm (both are air only, the 100 can be bought quick release or thru axle).

    Then their Magic 80 and 100mm for the XC guys...

    More info here... I can 100% confirm these are their forks for 650b. White Brothers are doing pretty well with the 29er crowd, sort of a resurgence IMO and I think some recent design changes have made them a pretty good contender IMO...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by derby
    A 5mm thick washer under the internal bottom-out bumpers would prevent any mechanical possibility of interference.

    Adding another bumper may prevent the damper from refilling with oil after reassembly. You may need to "port" the washer to allow the oil to flow back into the damper on the right leg.

    Ask me how I know

  14. #14
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    When I go 650b, I'd like to buy a fork that encourages manufacturers to produce more forks for this wheel size. I wonder which purchase would be more effective, buying a 26" or 29" fork strictly because it fits a 27.5er and in hopes of encouraging that company to produce a dedicated model, or buying a dedicated 650b fork to support a company that has already made the leap?

    I wonder if it would be possible for a manufacturer to produce 650b-specific replacement lowers that would retrofit a 26" fork to fit 27.5"?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by eMcK
    Adding another bumper may prevent the damper from refilling with oil after reassembly. You may need to "port" the washer to allow the oil to flow back into the damper on the right leg.

    Ask me how I know
    Ok, "how do you know"?

    Are you saying that a raised bottom out bumper presses up against the base valve such that it is sealed off? In that case the lockout wouldn't work correctly (no blowoff)..

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF
    When I go 650b, I'd like to buy a fork that encourages manufacturers to produce more forks for this wheel size. I wonder which purchase would be more effective, buying a 26" or 29" fork strictly because it fits a 27.5er and in hopes of encouraging that company to produce a dedicated model, or buying a dedicated 650b fork to support a company that has already made the leap?

    I wonder if it would be possible for a manufacturer to produce 650b-specific replacement lowers that would retrofit a 26" fork to fit 27.5"?
    Its not really the lowers that cause problems. Aside from a few forks (for example the Revelation), there is enough clearance for a 650B since manufacturers plan for beefy 26" tires + a good bit of mud.

    The problem lies in the axle-to-crown distance when the fork is fully compressed. Fixing this doesn't require new lowers, it requires new uppers. Either the stanchions need to be ~5mm longer to make the fork bottom out before the crown hits the tire or the crown needs to be ~5mm taller in it's center section to still clear the tire at bottom out.

    The stanchion fix is the easiest since it doesn't require new casting molds at the factory. The downside is you loose a little bit of travel.
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    Last edited by ohpossum; 03-18-2008 at 07:38 AM.
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  16. #16
    TNC
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    Gotta start somewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF
    When I go 650b, I'd like to buy a fork that encourages manufacturers to produce more forks for this wheel size. I wonder which purchase would be more effective, buying a 26" or 29" fork strictly because it fits a 27.5er and in hopes of encouraging that company to produce a dedicated model, or buying a dedicated 650b fork to support a company that has already made the leap?

    I wonder if it would be possible for a manufacturer to produce 650b-specific replacement lowers that would retrofit a 26" fork to fit 27.5"?
    You make a good point about wanting manufacturers to run with the ball and produce forks and frames, but that can be a tall order. I'm sure that before they spend what would probably be a decent amount of money and resources to strike out on an untried format, they'd like to know if there's much of an interest level and an actual resulting performance return. This is where we as consumers and passionate MTB'ers often have to step out and show our interest by trying out what is available...including getting creative when necessary... and then reporting on those results. It's a lot easier for me as an individual to buy a wheel and tire setup, find a fork it will fit in, and then see how things turn out.

    Please understand that I'm not attacking your concept here, as I too would love to have some manufacturers just step out with dedicated 650B options quickly and in numbers providing lots of good choices. But that's just not the way it usually works...and perhaps understandably so. That's the bad news. The good news, however, is the fact that 650B isn't the leap of engineering and perhaps even manufacturing issue that the 29'er format presented, so indeed, manufacturers will hopefully be able to wade into these waters without the fear of large financial commitments and the potentially larger fiscal losses that could follow. Your suggestion of slightly modified lowers to accomodate 650B is one such example of the potentially simplified possibilities with which 650B could be addressed in some fork designs. Also some forks could probably use modified stanchions, since we're not talking about changing travel necessarily, just clearance. It's apparent that there may some relatively simple and creative approaches to the issue in many cases.

    If enough people try 650B with the existing products available, and it becomes clear that the concept has legs in terms of an actual increase in performance, the manufacturers will most assuredly follow with products to support it. IMO the 29'er format has effectively "plowed the ground" with the concept of stepping outside the box of wheel size convention, so hopefully the 650B challenge won't appear as imposing to manufacturers. I still think it will take more of us as riders running with what's available and reporting our results in a meaningful way to reveal the viability of the concept. Though I'm convinced of the worth of the 650B setup, even though I've only experienced some extensive use on the front wheel/tire setup, it may take a bit more convincing on the part of manufacturers before they are willing to step out seriously. On the other hand, it's been fairly impressive IMO how quickly interest has developed. Bicyclists as a whole have been notoriously entrenched in certain concepts of "what works best", but even that seems to be changing thankfully.

  17. #17
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    I am not someone with a long history (multiple years) with MTB technology but in the last year I have been full fledged commited and have quite a bit of time on a variety of bikes and forks. I have been told that in the past White Brothers forks have been moderate or have been having some reliability issues. But it seems particularly in the last 1-2 years and particularly with their 110mm and 135mm 29er forks, and taking that technology from those forks and applying it to their other forks, that they have gotten themselves fairly dialed. Over in the 29er section they are all the rave, people are having no problem spending the $870MSRP for some White Brothers forks there. People are reporting "this is the best fork I've ever had" and "super plush" etc. I probably come across as biased (but I don't think so) because I just built their new web site and I have a few for sale, but I gained a real understanding for their technology while building their site and am super impressed. My impressions were only compounded when I actually recieved my first fork from them.

    So I wrote up my impressions here:
    White Brothers 650b Fork / My Decision to Go 650b

    I am also 110% pleased with the weight of their Fluid 130 thru-axle (4.2lbs) which is not touched by a Fox or any other thru-axle model on the market. I also think the 29er guys, who are running through axle in 32mm stanchion XC/AM versus dedicated AM forks, are on to something because the axle is so laterally stiff. There is slight weight increase (usually about .4lbs) with the thru-axle but also some weight savings in the hub with less required material. So that is how I ordered this WB 130 as well (I can't remember but I might have been able to order it with QR), also taking from the 29er crowd. Again 650b is only a hair larger than 26" so I don't think the added lateral stiffness is necessary like a 29er fork. But I don't think it will hurt anything at all either...

    So, I am extremely pleased to run it. I could sell the fork and buy a Fox easily and it would fit more or less, be more of a "commercial" common fork, but I am 100% excited to run this White Brothers fork, with pride, it is really a no brainer for me...

  18. #18
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    Hey guys, I'll try and keep this thread to just the FORKS that work for 650b. I don't want to fill this thread with a whole bunch of discussion around which fork mfg/style/type/design I like best. All good, but not for this thread.

    Thanks for understanding.

  19. #19
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    Due to some of the real and perceived issues with past White Bros. forks, it was probably a good move on their part to jump in and embrace an area of application that other more established manufacturers might be hesitant to participate in. If done right, it could highlight their product and company to a degree that could not be achieved in the mainstream fork categories...overall probably a smart move if they can provide quality, durability, and performance.

    I think the weight issue on the WB fork can be matched somewhat by the Manitou Minute series. The Minute 29'er at 120mm weighs the same as the WB, and that with a 20mm axle, so there may be some competition on the weight front. True...the Minute is not a dedicated 650B fork at the moment, but it's apparent that light weight, bigger wheels, and 20mm axles are very achieveable.

    Yeah, it's somewhat of a debate about standard QR vs. 20mm axles on forks in the 4-5 inch category. Personally I'm totally sold on the 20mm axle for anything other than true XC applications, but the old standard QR works fairly well in most cases for most people as long as travel stays at 5" or less. Where and how one rides will affect this issue quite a bit.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rensho
    Hey guys, I'll try and keep this thread to just the FORKS that work for 650b. I don't want to fill this thread with a whole bunch of discussion around which fork mfg/style/type/design I like best. All good, but not for this thread.

    Thanks for understanding.
    I don't think this particularly makes sense especially if you are editing the first post in the thread to include new info...

    I would suggest, regardless, adding the White Brothers forks as mentioned to the list. Doesn't make sense that they are not on there IMO as they are designed for 650b. I would also create category that says "fits" but some rubbing issues such as the Fox forks. There are photos of the Fox fork rubbing issues in the sticky thread currently...

  21. #21
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    Help me out. Which WB forks do you want me to list? I don't see the point in listing WB 650 forks for obvious reasons.


    I added another category above in the OP.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by rensho
    Help me out. Which WB forks do you want me to list? I don't see the point in listing WB 650 forks for obvious reasons.


    I added another category above in the OP.
    Cool. I don't see the reason not to list it because people may not be aware that WB offers 650b specific forks. I think if the list were to be competitive and made into a sticky, people would look at it as a definitive info source so they might overlook WB if it were not listed. So that is my thought. The forks are:

    WB Magic-650b 80
    WB Magic-650b 100
    WB Fluid-650b 100
    WB Fluid-650b 130

    I don't have good firsthand Fox info but that info should come. The WB forks definitely 100% work out of the box possibly making them the only one out of the box with no crown-hitting issues?

    Thanks, Andre

  23. #23
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    edit

  24. #24
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    Here is a photo of a 650b with Neomoto and a Psylo XC fork for everyone to gander at. Photo courtesy of KHenry. Loads of room from what I can see.


  25. #25
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    Wow, thanks for the photo. That is a lot of tire clearance.

  26. #26
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    yeah - thanks to Kris Henry - he gave me the permission to post that up.

    I wonder how much room you'd have with a Manitou XVert fork as well? Those were the initial TPC damped Manitous - and they were nice forks in their day.

  27. #27
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    little tough to follow

    It's great to learn which "official" compatible 650 forks are out there. More importantly, for all of us out there in "retro-fit/make do/runwatchyabrung" folks, info onwhat the results were/are would be even more helpful. Not everyone is ready to go out and get a new fork. For example, the Fox people don't seem ready to embrace the 650 thing, but I bet a lot of folks are going to try. Photos of someone trying a 650 on a Fox 100, or 120, or Rockshox/Sram affair would be just great.
    Additionally, a report on what the rider did to offset handling "side effects", like stem height/angle, shims, etc...

  28. #28
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    Just curious, but I thought the X-Fusion Velvet was good to go out of the box (based on various info I have read). Rensho's post at the top seems to say that spacers/etc. are required. Does the fork crown rub the tire and full compression?

  29. #29
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    8trak, I put all forks in the 'tbd' area until someone confirms that they are good to go without any mods.

    Someone with a xfusion, and any other fork up there needs to let all the air out of their fork while the 650b tire is in there and see if there is fork crown rub.
    For those without a 650b wheel/tire, measure the axel to bottom of crown height and tell us what that number is in mm.

  30. #30
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    rensho means measure from the center of the axle to the bottom of the crown please.

  31. #31
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    The Pike is confirmed with enough clearance. I just put a Rockshox 454 U-turn coil Pike on my bike to get back to a 20mm axle and with PUSH tuning.

    The Neo-Moto clears the Pike's arch by 5mm, and with spring removed the crown bottoms with about 7mm clearance, so besides a potential sticky-cakey mud clearance issue which would be unridable anyway, the Pike is safe.

    I also measured 135mm compression travel, I guess Rockshox count top out spring travel to make the 140mm claimed, unlike my '08 Vanilla RLC that does have 140mm compression travel potential using a very light spring plus a little more top out spring travel. The axle to crown was about 2mm taller on the Pike 520mm vs. 518mm for the Vanilla.

  32. #32
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    please! lets make a sticky for confirmed forks! also, im real interested, is the quasi going to work with a reba 26?? id really like to have the quasi+reba26 this would be super!! looking at building a xt/blunt, but my current fork (guaranteed to work) is 20mm. the reba states only .1" less clearance than the pike, i do not have one in front of me, but i really like RS's and id see it as the sid of 650b if it worked. =D
    Last edited by blahwtf?; 04-09-2008 at 05:32 PM.

  33. #33
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    I seriously doubt even the Quasi-moto will fit in the Reba. A 26" Continental 2.3 tire leaves maybe 8mm of clearance. The Quasi is definitely bigger than that. Too bad, because I'd love to try 650B's on my Yeti Kokopelli with Reba fork.

  34. #34
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    We just recieved a sample X-fusion Velvet R fork today.

    I'm not kidding when I say it's the best manufactured, most elegant suspension fork I've yet to get inside of (and that would be just about everything since the Mag 21).

    The ride is great. Straight out of the box onto the bike the compression damping and progression rate are dialed, and the rebound adjuster has a super usuable range. I got it because it "offically" is OK'd for 650b's, but I am certainly considering another one of these for my 26" slalom bike, and one for my 26" trailbike. If the fork was a lighter (which apparently it will be, considerably for MY 09), and had a 20mm option as well I'd run one on any 26" or 650b bike I own over pretty much anything else outthere...

  35. #35
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    Mickey - take some pics of the fork on the bike with the 650bs it would be cool to see the clearnce between tire and arch - thanks!

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMcG
    Mickey - take some pics of the fork on the bike with the 650bs it would be cool to see the clearnce between tire and arch - thanks!
    I will this afternoon, I'd been waiting on hubs for a week or so now... I'm running the Quasi's on it. And I can't wait to get it dirty!

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuspectDevice
    I will this afternoon, I'd been waiting on hubs for a week or so now... I'm running the Quasi's on it. And I can't wait to get it dirty!
    Excellent. Looking forward to the pics. Take some clean and some when you get back from the ride!

  38. #38
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    Oh Jeez. USPS somehow managed to drop the ball on moving my built wheels between cambridge and western Mass in 3 days. I guess I'll have to beat on the Quai-moto shod wheels all next week in preperation for NEXT weeks race!

  39. #39
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    you can add a manitou R7 to the list of forks that fit. i have an '06 R7 Super 80mm on my bike with neomoto's and stan's 650b ztr 355's. there's not much clearance and i haven't tested it in anger yet but some back yard tooling around has shown no rubbing. seems like ordering a rigid fork for my 650b testing was a bit premature. pix forthcoming.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by lanceh
    you can add a manitou R7 to the list of forks that fit. i have an '06 R7 Super 80mm on my bike with neomoto's and stan's 650b ztr 355's. there's not much clearance and i haven't tested it in anger yet but some back yard tooling around has shown no rubbing. seems like ordering a rigid fork for my 650b testing was a bit premature. pix forthcoming.
    Thanks for the update. Also, if you had a chance, let all the air out and see if the tire clears the bottom of the crown. Sweet!

  41. #41
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    I have a question about clearance for a rigid fork. You say minimum clearance is 356mm (+5mm), but then say that "any Rigid fork with a AC longer than 420mm" should work.

    Why must the AC be 420? Is AC measured to the top or bottom of the crown? If it's measured to the bottom, then wouldn't an AC of, say, 390mm, work just fine?

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by rensho
    Thanks for the update. Also, if you had a chance, let all the air out and see if the tire clears the bottom of the crown. Sweet!
    yes, with all air out of the shock the tire does clear the crown. although if you're running a disc up front you'll want to make sure the cable is not routed under the crown, as mine currently is, or the tire will rub on the cable.

    also, after two rides in anger i must report that there is some rubbing on the bottom of the arch. my first ride showed no evidence of rubbing but my second ride did. it is very slight and only happened occasionally but it did happen. it only occurs on the outer edge of the disc side of the arch.

    the tire pressures probably dropped a little bit between rides and the terrain i rode was much different from my first ride. next time i hear some rubbing i'll try to pay attention to exactly what i was doing at the time i.e. changing direction, jumping a log, etc.

    no air in shock


    complete bike


    clearance (blurry)


    rub
    Last edited by lanceh; 05-08-2008 at 05:51 PM.

  43. #43
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    maybe swapping my Reba World cups for a 2007 fox f 80rl off a giant anthem, will it work with 650b wheels or is it just 2008 models? im running quasi-moto's as well

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockStarRacing
    maybe swapping my Reba World cups for a 2007 fox f 80rl off a giant anthem, will it work with 650b wheels or is it just 2008 models? im running quasi-moto's as well
    Seems like all the Fox forks clear the arch. I need to see proof of all the crowns clearing, but that is a lesser issue, and can easily be mitigated.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by f3rg
    I have a question about clearance for a rigid fork. You say minimum clearance is 356mm (+5mm), but then say that "any Rigid fork with a AC longer than 420mm" should work.

    Why must the AC be 420? Is AC measured to the top or bottom of the crown? If it's measured to the bottom, then wouldn't an AC of, say, 390mm, work just fine?
    Yes, you're correct. Any AC longer than ~360 would work just fine. When I typed the original statement, I was just going by the typical off the shelf rigid fork lengths I know of.

  46. #46
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    Lanceh, great pics. Thanks for taking the time. That was a fork I was interested in making up a 650b to try.

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    I just tried some 650b wheels with neo motos on two forks, an 06 Marzocchi mx comp, and an 0? manitou black. Both clear the arches with about 3/16" (except that idiotic M casting in the arch of the zoke. but since both have springs, It wasnt so easy to check the crown clearance, at least I dont know how to get the springs out. If it's not hard and someone can step me through it I'll give it a try.

  48. #48
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    James Lee, you should be able to just unscrew the top caps.The caps and springs will stay on the rods but the entire assembly will rise out of the tubes while the fork collapses.

    Keep the forks straight upright or you might get a little oil drips coming off the springs.

    Use care screwing the caps back in place. The cross thread easily. I hope that all makes sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by turnerbikes View Post
    Of course the easiest way to fix this is to go for a hike.
    DT

  49. #49
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    I have a older Fox Vanilla 125 RLC fork, will this work in a 650b set-up?

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by shatbirdbicycle
    I have a older Fox Vanilla 125 RLC fork, will this work in a 650b set-up?
    Yeah, that will for sure work. Those have lots of arch clearance. With a spring fork, you'll like never see the FULL travel of the fork, hence, crown clearance should be a non issue.

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