suspension forks for vintage bike- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    suspension forks for vintage bike

    I have old 26 titanium frame bike (KGB cycles, sorry I did not name this brand).I know very little about bike geometry, not sure if it was built for suspension fork.Currently Bike has 80mm Exotic rigid fork.I was thinking of installing suspension fork of the same vintage 90's and that's where I need your help. What brand should I consider if buying used? Are parts still available for those forks? I don't want to rise front end of the bike like a chopper, just to get a bit of a relief from arthritis in my wrists.
    I'm a lifelong roadie with thousands of miles ridden yearly here in So. California but don't know much about MTB. Can you school me on different types of forks,brands etc. Also with my current 80 mm fork raising front any more would definitely affect handling.I think I saw older forks with 65 travel? (does 80mm fork collapse to say 70mm?)
    I posted a pic of my bike in bike pictures thread and looks like one member was a bit offended by its name (KGB) As a survivor of of communist regime I can assure you nothing is more satisfying than thrashing this bike on every ride.
    cheers

  2. #2
    Sergeant Spandex
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    You probably should post a picture here.

    I am a bit confused by your description of a rigid fork being "80mm" that would usually be a term for the amount of travel on a suspension fork. Rigid forks are commonly measured from the axle to the crown.

    I remember KGB and I think they mainly did BMX but if it is made of titanium it's a good frame most likely. It is also likely to be suspension corrected. You do need to determine the steerer diameter, likely 1 1/8th but it could be 1 inch.

    That said my favorite vintage suspension for is the classic Rock Shox SID.

  3. #3
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    Thank you guys.To the best of my knowledge those frames were imported to US from Russia , painted here and distributed by one of the local shops (Montrose ?) I remember gentleman who painted those frames posted on one of the forums.It would be interesting to hear from him and learn more about the bike.My knowledge of mountain bikes is rather limited and only other bike I had was Kona Explosif (1994 +-?, I think it was Tange Prestige tubing,rigid fork ,Joe Murray design, great bike of its time) .Reading this forum I realized how many different forks are there.(and how little I know about forks) What I would like to know is which of the 90's used forks are worth buying and if those still can be rebuilt if needed.Picture is from early stage of bike built, it has my old American Classic titanium seat post now(yes its lower now), different pedals and stem. Fork is rigid Exotic aluminum.
    Thank you again, any info will be appreciated.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails suspension forks for vintage bike-20161113_154435.jpg  


  4. #4
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    so, what im getting at here is that you want a 80mm fork, that has a similer style and works.

    if i were you id go a bit more modern (early 2000s)

    the early 2000s manitou forks are the best bang for you buck (used anyway)
    they dont look that far off and you get much more modern features (i have a mantiou mars 1 on my 1998 proflex, it has a adjustable air chamber, rebound control, and damping control, silky smooth as well)

    but if you really want a true 90s fork, the rockshox sid is a pretty good option, a marzcohhi bomber z2 is another one (abet, there a bit expensive, harder to find, but rebuild kits are still available!)

  5. #5
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    Thank you merk20, also I should add my current fork has 1 1/8 steerer tube diameter so that may help with finding replacement. Its just a fun built that takes me back in time, fueled by great memories and friendships that last a lifetime.(for that we would need many different threads)Appreciate your input, that's exactly the kind of information I was looking for.I'm glad I found this forum,thank you.

  6. #6
    Sneaker man
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    Probably shoudl ask this in the vintage retro sectgion here.
    You can get old vintage forks, getting bits for them not so easy. old Manitou's, easy to service, but getting elasomers for them, is harder, odl rockshox can be a hassle, old marzocchi's are easier to serve and get get bit for, but everyone likes them so they cost more.
    probably best to go something early 2000's, newer, work better and more parts available. look for something with 80mm and v-brakes.

    I run a 2012 Manitou R7 on my 1996 Gt Xizang, seems to work well, but they are hard to find now (80mm/v-brake)
    All the gear and no idea.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SP-rocket View Post
    Thank you merk20, also I should add my current fork has 1 1/8 steerer tube diameter so that may help with finding replacement. Its just a fun built that takes me back in time, fueled by great memories and friendships that last a lifetime.(for that we would need many different threads)Appreciate your input, that's exactly the kind of information I was looking for.I'm glad I found this forum,thank you.
    your welcome!

    and since your headtube is still a common standard (abet, a older one)
    you can get a modern fork for it (if you dont mind the slightly different look, and the cost)
    a rockshox recon silver tk is a very capable fork, and would make that bike so much more capable
    (this one should fit
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/RockShox-Re...sAAOSwyUpcuQzN)


    since its 100mm, you can adjust the sag higher and drop a couple of air tokens in to make it 80mm (or dont, it might help to keep it 100mm as it will slacken the head angle and give you more control, since those early bikes had a steeper head angle compared to todays bikes)

    just another option for you to consider (also, whats your upgrade budget for this bike? if you play the right cards you can get your self a very light and durable bike that you can keep for years!)

  8. #8
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    That looks like Marzocchi XC700/Mag-21 era.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  9. #9
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    Great suggestions guys, all being considered.Its a learning process for me so it will take a while to understand all the options and differences in suspension forks.And yes mik_git you are right, I just realized there is retro section for 26 inch bikes like mine.Great, only when I thought my bike is vintage (as is the owner) I'm being relegated to retro bikes forum.And that would be step above Penny Farthing section of the forum,, great Thank you mik_git for explaining differences between old forks regarding serviceability, that's exactly what I wanted to know.
    Also merk_20, I was thinking $200 for something descent, maybe used found on ebay. $300 max I would spend on this project.
    Thank you guys, ride on, have fun and find time to share your knowledge with old roadies trying to bridge that technological gap.
    cheers

  10. #10
    2 wheel fanatic
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    I have an old Specialized that still has its original Specialized air fork. I love that thing, it has no elastomers, so it has required almost ZERO maintenance. All I've had to do in the last 25 years is add air a couple of times.

  11. #11
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    Marzocchi for sure........... Talk to this guy, he has a good reputation
    https://www.mtbforksbymark.com/

  12. #12
    Single(Pivot)and Happy
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    EBay, find a nice Manitou SX-tpc fork for under a $100. This fork has better damping than the majority of new forks under $400.
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  13. #13
    Kick Start My Heart
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    The first thought on my mind was 98-99? (the ones w/o bolt on brace) Judy SL in 80mm travel.
    Can be found cheap on eBay, light, easy to service and replacement elastomers available.


    Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk

  14. #14
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    Thank you guys.I will start with Ebay and also contact Mark at MTBForks. Thank you all for your time answering my questions. I didn't realize there were so many variations,so many different forks to choose from.My project bike being old complicated the process even more.It is a project bike and a learning process as well.Thank you for making it that much easier. Keep riding and watch out for that old guy on yellow bike.
    cheers

  15. #15
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    Thanks you Unapomer I contacted Mark, he will have fork for me. Considering all used forks sold on Ebay have no history of service I rather have Mark rebuilt one of his used forks.His place looks like Marzocchi gold mine.Thank you for your recommendation.

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