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  1. #1
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    Help swapping suspension for rigid fork

    I have a 2001 (medium frame) Gary Fisher Marlin

    bikepedia.com/quickbike/BikeSpecs.aspx?Year=2001&Brand=Gary+Fisher&Model=M arlin&Type=bike

    ...that has a toasted front shock. I don't really want to shell out the cash for another suspension fork, nor do I really need one for the fairly tame trail riding that I do.

    I've tried to figure out which forks to replace this Jett with, but the travel distance/suspension correction/etc calculations are making my head spin. What I really need is a quick and dirty answer on which sub $100 fork to order so I can get back on the road/trails. Any help in this regard is GREATLY appreciated!

  2. #2
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    The quick and dirty answer - get a Surly 1x1 fork, and be happy. There are three versions. Either of the ones designed to replace an 80mm fork should work fine. (But might not if you'd actually had an 80mm fork. Go figure.)

    If your head angle ends up too steep, you can run a bigger front tire or a headset with more stack height. If your head angle ends up too shallow, you're kinda stuck. But if I was doing the swap, I'd be a lot more worried about the first thing.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    Thanks Andrew!

  4. #4
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    Let us know how it goes.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    Sure thing. I emailed Surly to get a fork recommendation based on your post.

  6. #6
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    Sorry for the thread jack here but I have a similar question. I recently aquired a 2001 Cannondale V500 and love the bike except for the really soft front suspension and was looking to swap it out for something stiffer. I use it for road and mild trail use. Thanks.

  7. #7
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    This bike?



    You're in a world of expense and annoyance.

    Cannondale used a different outside diameter for their Headshok and Lefty fork steer tubes than anybody else ever has or probably ever will.

    I believe the inside diameter of the head tube matches the 1.5" headset standard. So you could get one of those headsets and either a fork with a 1.5" steer tube or a headset that adapts to the more common 1-1/8" size. The headset alone is likely to cost the value of the bike, or close to it, before you even buy the new fork and new stem you'll also need. And, I'm not sure about the standard for the head tube, so you'd do well to confirm it elsewhere before spending money.

    If you're attached to this bike, the most practical thing to do would be to hunt down the manual for that bike and figure out how to work on your fork. You may be able to find parts for it still. Another option would be to buy a new Headshok for it, or even a Lefty. Headshoks are still short-travel forks, so it probably wouldn't slacken the bike too much - I'd bet they have more travel than they used to. Replacing the fork with anything retail is going to be pretty expensive.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
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    Wow, thank you for all the information. I went on to bikepedia and discovered that it is actually a 2002, not a 2001. Also, the front suspension is not the stock suspension. The previous owner put Marzocchi Bomber's on it (i51.tinypic.com/2ivbqya.jpg) (I don't have enough posts to put a link in). Hope this helps clear things up a bit.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    This bike?



    You're in a world of expense and annoyance.

    Cannondale used a different outside diameter for their Headshok and Lefty fork steer tubes than anybody else ever has or probably ever will.

    I believe the inside diameter of the head tube matches the 1.5" headset standard. So you could get one of those headsets and either a fork with a 1.5" steer tube or a headset that adapts to the more common 1-1/8" size. The headset alone is likely to cost the value of the bike, or close to it, before you even buy the new fork and new stem you'll also need. And, I'm not sure about the standard for the head tube, so you'd do well to confirm it elsewhere before spending money.

    If you're attached to this bike, the most practical thing to do would be to hunt down the manual for that bike and figure out how to work on your fork. You may be able to find parts for it still. Another option would be to buy a new Headshok for it, or even a Lefty. Headshoks are still short-travel forks, so it probably wouldn't slacken the bike too much - I'd bet they have more travel than they used to. Replacing the fork with anything retail is going to be pretty expensive.
    I am almost positive you cant use regular 1.5 with a cannondale. The diameter is actually closer to 9/16 I believe.You can get a headset reducer on ebay for around $30

  10. #10
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    Mosso makes some rigid aluminum forks that are light for around $45 shipped.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koflach View Post
    Wow, thank you for all the information. I went on to bikepedia and discovered that it is actually a 2002, not a 2001. Also, the front suspension is not the stock suspension. The previous owner put Marzocchi Bomber's on it (i51.tinypic.com/2ivbqya.jpg) (I don't have enough posts to put a link in). Hope this helps clear things up a bit.
    If it already has a reducer, which is sounds like it does, any 1 1/8 fork will fit.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbarnhart View Post
    I am almost positive you cant use regular 1.5 with a cannondale. The diameter is actually closer to 9/16 I believe.You can get a headset reducer on ebay for around $30
    For all early Cannondales that uses Headshok forks as well as all models of newer Cannondale MTB's need this headset: Woodman Headshok headset.



    I have this headset on 2 of my Cannondales and they are a perfect fit.

  13. #13
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    Here are both of my old Cannondales that have been "modernized". They both have the Woodman headset:

    Super V 400 (I think it's 1995. Bought it used):


    F900 Dingle Speed (1997):



    Had to use these disc adapters I bought from ebay for $50. Works great!

  14. #14
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    Thanks for all the feedback. Any suggestions on a firmer setup for replacing the existing front suspension? I would prefer to stay with something like what i have, just firmer.

  15. #15
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    If you want to stay with the Headshok, you will have to locate an air version which I believe are SL Air, DL or DLR forks. They will be expensive, but you do get to adjust the firmness with either the lockout knob or by pumping in more air. A working used Headshok SL Air, DL or DLR fork will likely run you at least $150+ even on ebay. Also, I've purchased about 3 Headshok forks in the past 4 years and all of them have needed servicing. They aren't very durable and costs approximately $300 to have Cannondale service them.

    That older Marzocchi MZ fork you see on my Super V 400 doesn't have a lock out but has a preload which, at the turn of a knob goes from soft to firm with infinite settings in between. When fully turned, it gets firm to the point that it's almost like a lock out. This setup cost me $30 for the headset and $50 for the used fork.

    Air forks that have compression setting for sure will have the firmness adjustability.
    Air forks that doesn't have compression settings can be adjusted via shock pump for firmness.
    Spring forks typically have preload which are knobs that control the firmness.
    Spring forks sometimes come with springs installed that may not be as firm as the rider would want it, that is why they have different weight springs that you can purchase separately for most name brand spring forks.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koflach View Post
    Thanks for all the feedback. Any suggestions on a firmer setup for replacing the existing front suspension? I would prefer to stay with something like what i have, just firmer.
    BTW, did you check under the crown of the fork to see if there's an air valve? If there is, then you can change the firmness by adding more air. You have to use a shock pump and you have to make sure you don't exceed the recommended maximum pressure for your fork. If I remember correctly, most Headshok air forks have a max psi rating at 220, but you should check to be sure.

  17. #17
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    I can't believe how friendly everyone has been so far with the obviously newbie questions. Thank you for your patience and the great answers.

  18. #18
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    Thanks again Andrew. The Surly 1x1 was a perfect replacement. The trickiest step was installing the star nut. I destroyed the new one I bought but was able to salvage my old one from the other fork.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Help swapping suspension for rigid fork-2011-07-10-16.06.15.jpg  


  19. #19
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    Nice.

    I love the look of the curving blades - classic. I'm glad you're happy.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by FCCT View Post
    I have a 2001 (medium frame) Gary Fisher Marlin

    bikepedia.com/quickbike/BikeSpecs.aspx?Year=2001&Brand=Gary+Fisher&Model=M arlin&Type=bike

    ...that has a toasted front shock. I don't really want to shell out the cash for another suspension fork, nor do I really need one for the fairly tame trail riding that I do.

    I've tried to figure out which forks to replace this Jett with, but the travel distance/suspension correction/etc calculations are making my head spin. What I really need is a quick and dirty answer on which sub $100 fork to order so I can get back on the road/trails. Any help in this regard is GREATLY appreciated!
    If you still have that old shock, take it to your LBS and see if it's under recall.

    Old Rock Shox Jett users / Recall / Replacement

    If so, RockShox will send you a new Dart (probably a 3) which you can sell off on eBay or CL to recoup the price of the Surly!

  21. #21
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    Thanks for the heads up Marpilli. I checked the recall website and my serial numbers do not match up with those being recalled. Bummer.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by FCCT View Post
    Thanks for the heads up Marpilli. I checked the recall website and my serial numbers do not match up with those being recalled. Bummer.
    Well, crap... Hey, that new fork does look nice!

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