what kind of new fork for hunter/climber's bike?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    what kind of new fork for hunter/climber's bike?

    I'd like to hear from people using their bikes for hunting, accessing climbing areas, and other slow off-trail riding.

    Should I replace my broken '90s era 50mm travel fork with a 80mm suspension fork, or a rigid steel or carbon fork?

    Here's the background:

    My hardtail that sold for ~ $2K in 2010 dollars back in 1994, so I feel like it must be nice enough to hang onto. Typically I ride trails like the Gold Mint in Hatcher Pass, wearing a pack and carrying a rear rack weighed down with climbing gear. So I'm always hitting big rocks with little momentum.

    Already I know some of you are itching to tell me that I should go buy a brand new fatbike instead, or a titanium 29er, or a llama or something, but I'm on a student budget.

    It seems like the cheapest route is to get a rigid fork, like a Surly 1x1, and put a big tire on there.

    Two other options I don't know much about: cheap carbon rigid (nashbar, etc.), or a new 80mm fork.

    Carbon seems nice since I'm often pushing/carrying the bike, so weight is an issue. But for the same price, I could get a new suspension fork. I already have a high-rise stem and a bunch of spacers on the bike to make it more comfortable when wearing a heavy pack (not shown in photo), so am I right to assume that using a lower stem will compensate for putting on a taller fork than the frame was designed for?

    Or would this all be wasted money that should go toward a used 29er?


  2. #2
    gumbies need lovin' too
    Reputation: mybrainhurts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    first, the headset size. back in them days there were three flavors: roadie 1", 1.125"(todays mostly standard size), and 1.25"('cause if 1.125 was stronger, then 1.25 is stronger still). if you have a 1", this will make it hard to find a replacement fork.

    second, lowering or raising the stem will not totally compensate for a taller fork. +30mm is going to change the head tube angle, and new forks may have a different offset, all of which will change the way your bike handles, possibly in a very negative way. measure your old forks axle to crown and offset, and then try to find a fork that most closely matches it. if you buy a new fork, try and install and ride it without cutting or at least not cutting very much off of the steerer tube, this way, if you don't like the way your bike handles, you will have a better chance at selling(maybe returning)the fork. if you like the new fork, then cut it down to size.

    third, if you are thinking about a used 29er, why not a used fatbike? if you can only have one bike, a fatbike is very versatile. think beach riding/snow riding, and then swapping over to a 29er wheelset for rougher trails if you wanted. I haven't checked lately, but over the winter i noticed quite a few surly pugsleys for sale.

    good luck.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Hey! Thanks for the detailed response. I was about to give up on this thread.

    I knew that a taller fork would mess with the handling, but I thought that maybe since this is a twitchy race bike, a taller fork would mellow things out in front. Yes, a used Pugs would be nice. My friend back in AK just bought one and it's pretty awesome. But I'm in school, so it's a question of a $50 fork versus a $1000 bike!

    So, anyone chime in here: What's a rigid fork corrected for 80mm suspension (413 AC) feel like on a 1996 era hardtail w/ probably 50mm suspension geometry?


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