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.
mtn. biking 101
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.
Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Always good times....
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    56

    When upgrading forks

    What do I need to look at and what do I need to ensure matches up like as far as sizing goes? I know pretty vague but I am new to this and I am trying to learn. Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    231
    The standard for the past decade or so has been the 1 1/8" threadless headset. The fork steerer tube will be 1 1/18" in diameter, the headset inner diameter is also ~1 1/8" headset. The outer diameter of the headset and inner diameter of the bike head tube are 1.5". This is the old standard set up, and is easily upgradeable. Newer head tubes on the bikes take different types of headsets, but will still accomodate the 1 1/8" steerer tubes. If you are considering upgrading your fork, you could be looking at an expense nearing the cost of a new bike, just depends on how good a fork you want.

    Now, the first thing you need to be concerned with is the distance from the front axle to the crown of the fork (the bottom of the steerer tube is essentially where the crown is). Older bikes often had 63mm forks where the distance was roughly 17", a new 100mm fork distance is 18.5 to 19.0 inches, raising the front of your bike ~2 inches. This is a much bigger issue than it sounds, you will significantly change the handling of your bike. Even going from an old 63mm to an 80mm fork will be noticiable.

    I have done several fork changes myself, here is what I learned: 1) Headset: change the headset to a sealed version. Those loose "aheadset", etc, are junk and can end up out of place on re-use and gouge your steerer tube. Cane Creek = $50, is a good one. Chris King = $110 even better (and easiest to install). 2) Fork: most bikes will do fine with Tora U-turn or Tora solo air level forks, they get the job done and are fairly tough. I got a Reba and a Tora, Tora does fine, Reba has more adjustments, but probably not really doing all that much more for my ride than the Tora (perhaps more dampening). 3) Installation: I have done 3 fork replacements, the job is fairly straight forward, but you can mess stuff up. The LBS probably doesn't charge all that much to do it, check their labor cost before doing it yourself. Cutting the steerer tube is best done with a tubing cutter, old headset removal and new headset installation will require some creative methods if you don't have specialty tools, torque values for headset are important to compress bearings correctly, you get my point.

    If you're sure your current fork is toast and you really want to keep your current bike, then you should expect to pay ~$300 for a new headset, fork, and labor. So, I would only do this if it is not going to affect your geometry (raise the front of the bike), if it raises the front of the bike more than 3/4" then you may be better off just getting a new bike for ~$600 or so. Don't rule out the new Dart 3 on the ~$600 bikes, its a better fork than you might think. But Tora is definitely a good upgrade if you go that route.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: spazzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,551
    yea im pretty sure my brother is upgrading from a dart 1 to a tora u turn and just keep the travel cranked close to the minimum so the geo doesnt get all wacky, anyway hes looking at ordering from jensonusa the tora is on sale for around 200 i think, it seems like a really sweet deal

  4. #4
    Always good times....
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    56
    Thank you a lot that helps me a whole lot.

  5. #5
    Always good times....
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    56
    Alrighty is the Marzocchi Dirt Jumper 2 '08 good or is it a waste because I found a great deal on one and I will be doing a lot of dirt jumping, but would it be worth my time to pick it up?

  6. #6
    Always good times....
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    56
    and will the stock 1 1/8" threadless headset be okay or should I replace that as well.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •