1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Need help with rigid fork

    I have a 15" 2003 hardrock im looking to change out the suntour fork with a rigid.

    Using the search feature i "think" i need a 430mm fork but im not to sure.(I could be way off honestly which is why im asking you guys) Ive seen some suggest a surly but others say it was too short

    Does it matter if the forks are curved or straight? Aluminum or chrome-moly? Basically im looking for a cheap fork to replace this craptastic one i have currently. Im 240lbs so it bounces around like crazy.

    So if someone can point me in the right direction thatd be awesome.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhmeathead View Post
    I have a 15" 2003 hardrock im looking to change out the suntour fork with a rigid.

    Using the search feature i "think" i need a 430mm fork but im not to sure.(I could be way off honestly which is why im asking you guys) Ive seen some suggest a surly but others say it was too short
    What Suntour fork do you have right now? 80mm or 100mm of travel? I think generally, a 450-465mm range is the 100mm suspension corrected length for 26ers rigid forks. I think the 470mm are for 29ers and the 410-430mm are for rigid replacements. You can probably use a 445mm and not notice the difference if the original fork was an 80mm travel.

    Quote Originally Posted by jhmeathead View Post
    Does it matter if the forks are curved or straight? Aluminum or chrome-moly? Basically im looking for a cheap fork to replace this craptastic one i have currently. Im 240lbs so it bounces around like crazy.
    Aluminum will be harsher than steel. Will you notice? Maybe. Maybe not. Not many carbon for that weight though. I would guess that you could probably go with a Salsa Cromoto 445 and get close to your geometry, strong, and decent ride quality. Although, there are plenty of options which could make choosing one even harder.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the quick response. The fork is 80mm. So around 450mm is what i need to be looking at.

    The trails around here are hard pack , dirt roads, or bike paths.

  4. #4
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    You'd probably be good with a 445-465mm fork. It all depends on if you like a steep head angle or a bit more slack. About every 20mm of distance equals 1 degree. It may be best to sit on your bike and have a friend measure from the axle to the crown (where the fork enters the head tube). This will be your starting measurement. If you want quicker steering, get a shorter fork. If you would like it a bit slower (better for fast, straighline, downhill control) get it a bit longer. But, don't get under 20mm or over 30mm. The headtube was designed for a certain headangle and may create a weak point with stress. Its really easier than it sounds, i'm just trying to be thorough.

    I forgot to address the "curved or straight". What you're looking for is a rake or offset from 35mm-45mm. The curve allows you to visually see this offset. Straight forks have it too, but, they will angle forward from the top to bottom in a straight line instead of a bend.

  5. #5
    Just Ride
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    If your choosing between aluminum or steel, go with steel. Better for absorbing some of the small stuff. Aluminum transfers that straight into your arms!
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

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