Thinking about putting a 120mm Manitou Tower Pro 29er on my Karakoram 2.0 29er
Thinking about putting a 120mm Manitou Tower Pro 29er on my 2013 Karakoram 2.0. The XC28 has some issue that basically made it a rigid fork, and even compared to my 26" bike, which only has a Rock Shox XCR, the fork is an issue and I think it's worth upgrading it. (It looks like it'll save me over a pound of weight and substantially improve the ride.)
The 120mm Manitou Tower Pro 29er is "530" Crown-to-Axle instead of the current "502", and I was thinking that could work. (I put those numbers in quotes because I'm not sure how accurate either is.)
I'm trying to figure out whether the crown-to-axle change is too big, or if it will work well. I'm 6'2" and ride a L Karakoram 2.0, my neighbor is the same height and decided to go with the XL, which I likely a tad more.
If I order the Manitou fork, do I want more spacers, less spacers or the same spacers on the fork? Any advice on how the fork is going to impact the bike, and considerations I might want to be aware of?
If it helps, the Karakoram's geometry is here:
Thanks in advance for any helpful advice!
Should drop your head tube angle by 1* and the 48mm offset should still give you good steering.
I would start by dropping all spacers from below and adding what you want above the stem.
You have the option of using a straight or flipped stem to get your bars down more.
Pricepoint has this on sale for 250.
The Pricepoint sale is what really pushed me towards replacing the fork, and I did go ahead and order it.
Are you suggesting that I initially cut the fork to support the current spacers, but put the spacers on top of the stem instead of below the stem? I assume that would just be an interm solution, while I figure out how high I'd want the bars?
There's actually a good 25mm or so (1") of spacers on the Karakoram in it's stock config. I ordered a 20mm Sette Carbon spacer, thinking I might try to replace the three existing spacers with that one, and then use a permutation of the three spacers currently on the bike if I did want to move the handlebars even lower.
One thing that makes me nervous is how used you can get to a specific bike. Riding my 26" in to work today instead of my 29", it felt like a BMX bike instead of the 26" I'd ridden for the past few years. If you'd painted it a different color and told me it was a different bike, I'd have believed you.
That makes me slightly nervous about whatever length I settle on. I don't want to leave it too long because I'm afraid to cut it, but I could cut it to a perfectly good length and have it feel "off" just because it's different.
If it's safe to ride with a spacer above the stem, that might make a lot of sense as a way to try out handlebar height without committing to it. Let me know if that's a bad idea!
It's safe to ride with spacers above the stem. Cut it more after you try it a few ways. And you can acclimate to a lot of variation after a few rides.
Fantastic advice. Thank you very much for your help.
We've ridden together at Luther (with Kyle.) Great choice. Can't wait to see it setup.
Installing my 120mm Manitou Tower Pro on my Karakoram 2.0 29er
So I went ahead and picked up the 120mm Manitou Tower Pro, and it showed up today. Let me preface the story of my unintentionally goofy install with an intentionally goofy photo:
Now, I'd swapped a Karakoram 2.0 XC 28 fork with an identical Karakoram 2.0 XC 28 fork, but I'd never installed one, so this was my first time trying this. To install it, I thought this looked like the most reasonable guide of all the videos and webpages I'd looked at:
How to Install a Front Fork | Singletracks Mountain Bike Blog
Unfortunately, I lack basic reading comprehension, and barged straight ahead in taking off my fork:
At this point I realize that I cannot get lower bearing race installed properly. I'm also questioning the pipe cutter method, and decide I'll go to the local big box hardware store and pick up a hacksaw blade and PVC pipe. I find the right size (diameter) PVC pipe at the store, and in the process of seeing how it will work to put the lower bearing race in place, I successfully put the lower bearing race in place without damaging the fork or the PVC pipe. I put the PVC pipe back, buy my hacksaw blade and head back home.
I put everything on the bike, spacer I might really use, stem, and spacer on top of stem I have no interest in keeping on there, I just don't want to cut the stem too short. (Once I have an idea of whether or not I'll keep the bottom spacer or go shorter, I'll cut again) I know you're supposed to measure twice and cut once, but how hard can be it be to measure correctly? Also, I can't possibly cut it too short, so I measure, take it apart and cut a faint ring with the pipe cutter, before taking out the hacksaw.
Holy crap, I am horrible at using a hacksaw:
That is after trying to make it look as nice as possible with a metal file.
Whatever, apparently it doesn't have to be perfectly level. Let's just get the star nut in there, at least I have the right tool for that job:
Smooth sailing at this point, right? I've swapped forks before, so I put the tire on the fork:
Now to put it on the bike:
GAH! Measure twice! Cut once. Hopefully I learn my lesson from this experience.
I pound the star nut deeper so I can cut it to the right length, and this time I use the pipe cutter for the stem, which I find much easier to do.
Now to put it on the bike a second time:
Everything fits! Alright, time to get the brakes back on. I've always had a lot of success putting the calipers back on the bike with a business card on each side of the rotor, it makes it much easier for me to line everything up:
I take it for a quick ride up and down the driveway, but it's pitch black and I'm tired, so any sort of road ride will have to wait until tomorrow, with a trail ride on Saturday:
I hope that helps with anyone considering doing this themselves. It was not difficult, but I am impressed with my ability to find ways to make it challenging when it did not need to be.
Looking forward to sharing my thoughts after I get some rides in, but I'm not sure how valuable my opinion will be, as I can already tell this is much nicer than any fork I've had on any of my bikes. (It's replacing an XC 28 that I hated and my 26" has a 2011 XCR that is at least better than the XC 28.)
Nice right up from a "DIY kid on Xmas morning"!!! Very similar to how I act with new parts for my 29er. Im saving to buy the same forks (undecided on 100 or 120mm) for my Trek Marlin 29er after the first of the year. 7yr old son and now 1month old sonrequired bike budget to be rerouted to xmas budget lol.
Reading info on how to do forks (which Ive already changed forks on this bike once but LBS cut them for me) isnt the same as seeing pics of someone like me doing it at home. Thnx for the write up, anxiously awaiting updates!!!
Trek Marlin 29er
Like It, Love It, Want Some More Of It!
i dont know how aggressive you are with your riding but i have the same thing on my trek niner and love it. im 210-220 and just switched out the spring because it was a little soft for me. fork is definitely a great buy.
The trail we road on Saturday is one that definitely makes you appreciate your suspension, there's one very rooty downhill section with a steep incline at the very end that I have crashed on with the XC 28 fork, and I felt like the new fork felt was really able to shine on sections like that.
Originally Posted by speedintc
As for weight, I'm approximately 185, and put the air pressure right in the middle of the recommended values for that weight, and will probably start playing around with raising and lowering to see how it feels after a few more rides, but I think the stock spring is going to be just fine.
Glad to hear the DIY write up was helpful. I know there's very good "how to" guides, but it's not the same as hearing from someone who's trying to do it themselves for the first time.
Originally Posted by tigris99
I road yesterday and I was absolutely thrilled. Night and day difference, and possibly the best bike purchase I have made yet. I absolutely couldn't believe the way it handled some of the roots and stumps I was hitting, but I adjusted to the help the front suspension was giving me, and by the end of the ride I started getting surprised by how much I'd feel obstacles hit the rear tire, since the front tire was so smooth.
I was joking with the guys that I was riding with that I don't need to bother with good form and bent knees anymore, but the truth is that it really did make a huge difference over the XC 28, and I'm thrilled with how well it rides.
As for the height, I'm using less spacers under the handle bar than it originally came with (20mm currently), so the handlebars are less than an inch higher than they would have originally been. I really like the feel of where the handlebars are, and don't know that I'd want to move them any lower. My neighbor has a stock Karakoram 2.0 XL frame, and I may ask to ride that to compare the feel once I'm a bit more used to the new height, and thinking about making that final cut to bring the fork steering tube down to the proper height for the stem.
It may be worth noting that the fork doesn't come with a star nut, shock pump or O ring on the stanchion to track travel. (The first two I'd highly recommend if you need them, the last one shouldn't matter to most people) It's not uncommon that those are parts you'd pick up separately with most forks, but I'd have been super bummed if I ordered the fork without a pump or star nut, so just make sure you have those available if you grab this fork while it's still $250.
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