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  1. #1
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    Upgrading old fork - advice on frame geometry needed.

    I have a Rockshox Quadra 5 (c. 1994) that has seen it's last day. It's in need of a rebuild, however I would rather invest in newer technology. Complicating this are two issues - 1. My frameset is also old (Giant Yukon 21" from 1993) and 2. I'm completely clueless about issues of frame geometry - I just like to ride - mostly single track and bike paths. The single track can get a little tricky (small stump jumps, rocky stream crossings, etc.) but nothing overly complicated. Basically I am a lard puppy / recreational biker.

    What I do have going for me right now is that I have a very knowledgeable local small bike shop dealer who is working with me on this. I do have a 1 1/8 inch headtube/steerertube however the quadra has an axle to crown measurement of about 410 mm. Obviously forks (and travel) got a good deal longer since 1994 and he immediately raised concerns about replacing this fork.

    He is looking diligently, however the shortest fork we can find is in the 450 mm range. I see 2 options aside from buying a new bike outright (which I want to avoid as the Yukon is an old friend).

    Option 1 - Go ahead and buy a 450 mm fork, put it on, and hope for the best. I understand how this will affect the bike angle, however I do not understand to what degree it will affect handling / frame integrity. Will this make the bike slightly more squirly or will it make it un - ridable? Will the frame integrity be an issue?

    Does anyone know of any sub 400$ forks that are closer to 410 than what I have yet seen (shortest being 450)

    Option 2 - buy a new frame and transfer all my components over to the new frame. I am seeing Ghost and Ridley frames online for under 300 (I am in the US). Any suggestions on a good cheap frameset?

    Thanks in advance for your expertise from a longtime n00b who wants to bike with his son.

  2. #2
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    Rigid fork is probably a good option. Adding 40mm to your axle to crown is not good. Especially on an old frame, just asking for a cracked head tube junction.

  3. #3
    Big Gulps, Alright!
    Reputation: Berkley's Avatar
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    450mm would be an 80mm suspension fork. You could get one and drop it via spacers, to say 60mm and you'd end up at 430mm, which would be close enough.

    Or for $50-$100 more, get a whole new bike.

  4. #4
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    If you just like to ride, it's time to put the old bike to rest and get a modern ride. A 29er hardtail with a 100mm fork will blow you away with how capable it is and fun to ride.
    That being said, if you really want to keep riding the Yukon, I would just install the 450mm fork. Remember, you're going to lose some of that length to sag (maybe 10-15mm). That aside, the additional length will slacken your head-tube, and raise your BB height just slightly. I wouldn't worry about this - if anything it will make your bike more fun to ride, and more stable. I haven't spoken with too many folks who have gone from 60 to 80mm forks, but I know dozens who have done the 80mm to 100mm fork swap. Every single one of them said it make the bike ride better and that they'd never go back to an 80mm.

  5. #5
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    Last year I put a new Manitou Minute Expert with 80mm travel on a 1996 Manitou Hardtail with no ill effects so far. I didn't really notice a huge change in handling.

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