1997ish Moots YBB Fork Upgrade- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    1997ish Moots YBB Fork Upgrade

    I have an old Moots YBB 26er my dad passed down to me. I say its a 97ish because my dad can't remember when he built the bike. He built it for XC racing and its evident he didn't have a wife or kids yet haha. He went all out on it for when it was built. The parts are all still holding up well and a testament to their quality, except for the fork. The fork is a RockShox Judy SL 63m travel I believe, and unfortunately it is one of the elastomer forks. Well after getting tired of the soft fork I took it apart and discovered the right side elastomer was literally dust so I was working on 50% of 25 year old dampening.

    I'm just looking for y'alls opinions on what I should do. I figure I could rebuild the fork but keeping elastomers seems like a waste of time and money, so I was thinking of buying a new fork. The issue is I need a straight steer 26er fork that is rim brake compatible. And it seems the majority that fit the bill are super low end pieces. I was thinking about going up to 80/100mm of travel because honestly I don't even know if 60mm travel forks even exist anymore. I read somewhere until 2003 Moots designed their geometry around the 60mm travel fork so I wasnt sure if going with more travel will mess things up.

    Sorry for the book and lemme hear what y'all think!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1997ish Moots YBB Fork Upgrade-moots.jpg  


  2. #2
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    I also have the original stem and two sets of flat bars for it, the riser bar is on there because my dad tried that before getting a new bike.

  3. #3
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    Send it back to moots and get a disc brake tab welded on. Theyíre reasonable.

    As for forks, Thereís surplus magura durins on eBay @ 80mm for $340 or so that work great on those frames. I have an 03 xl ybb so I put a 100mm durin on mine.


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  4. #4
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    Get an old Marzocchi z2 seals are still available if needed and it's coil and oil. No wonky damper to fail, no elastomers to melt.
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  5. #5
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    Get an old Marzocchi z2 seals are still available if needed and it's coil and oil. No wonky damper to fail, no elastomers to melt.

    Nice bike, your Dad built it up pretty nicely for sure. Doing to make a great rider. Moots builds since gorgeous frames.
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  6. #6
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    Nice bike. I bought my 1997 Ybb Superlight used in 2005 and put about 15,000 trail miles on it.

    Running a 100mm fork on it is no problem, and actually improves the ride considerably. I have run an 80mm Manitou Skareb, 80mm Fox RL-80, 100mm Fox RL-100, and a 100mm Rockshox SID on my 1997 YBB Superlight.
    Here is is with the 100mm Fox RL-100
    1997ish Moots YBB Fork Upgrade-mootsrefresh.jpg

    If you are unable to find a fork with v-brake posts, get an AVID BB-7 mechanical disc brake for the front because you can still use your current v-brake lever with it. I rode mine with a BB-7 up front and a v-brake on the rear for several years before having a disc tab added to the rear.
    This was the setup before I had the rear disc tab added.
    1997ish Moots YBB Fork Upgrade-moots.jpg

    Current setup with the SID
    1997ish Moots YBB Fork Upgrade-1207191329.jpg

  7. #7
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    I have considered sending it back to have the disk brake tab welded on, but my main question is are my wheels disk brake compatible. They are mavic crossmax's and i've read that some are disk brake compatible but I am not sure now to tell. I can take closer pictures if that would help.

  8. #8
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    Is it worth putting an old fork on it? I just dont wanna chase the same issue of parts breaking like I am now.

    And thanks, it is a great bike, and the moots build quality is second to none. The TIG welds are art.

  9. #9
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    I love your bike man, pretty awesome you keep it together and still ride it. What advantages do you see with the SID vs the RL-100? Just wondering why you switched from one to the other. My goal is to eventually have mine setup similar to yours, old school frame with some newer upgrades.

  10. #10
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    I figured I'd go ahead and show y'all the whole bike and all its components.
    Mavic Crossmax ceramic coated wheels, barely out of true 25 years later.
    1997ish Moots YBB Fork Upgrade-moots-wheel.jpg

    SRAM ESP 9.0 rear derailleur
    1997ish Moots YBB Fork Upgrade-moots-rear-deraiuler-.jpg

    Very high tech Shimano XTR V brakes
    1997ish Moots YBB Fork Upgrade-moots-brake.jpg

    Whites industries 42 tooth chain ring and crankarms with junk pedals, I outgrew my clipless shoes like 3 years ago and threw those on there and just haven't gotten around to buying new shoes.
    1997ish Moots YBB Fork Upgrade-moots-chainring-.jpg

    Shimano Deore XT front derailleur, honestly seems less nice then the other components
    1997ish Moots YBB Fork Upgrade-moots-front-deraluer-.jpg

    Chris King Headset
    1997ish Moots YBB Fork Upgrade-moots-headset.jpg

    And the Judy SL front fork and don't forget the bald Hutchinson Mosquito tires that I am pretty sure are 1997 originals.
    1997ish Moots YBB Fork Upgrade-moots-fork-wheel.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1997ish Moots YBB Fork Upgrade-moots-outside.jpg  


  11. #11
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    The carbon seat post is the third post for the bike, my dad snapped the original titanium post and an aluminum post off when he drove through a drive through with the bike on the roof, twice....

    And I believe my dad told me he got the water bottle cages at some mountain bike show in Colorado back in the day.

  12. #12
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    If the cartridge is still holding oil, I would put a set of Speed Springs in the legs.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaKid View Post
    I have considered sending it back to have the disk brake tab welded on, but my main question is are my wheels disk brake compatible. They are mavic crossmax's and i've read that some are disk brake compatible but I am not sure now to tell. I can take closer pictures if that would help.
    Based on the photo, your front CrossMax wheel is not disc compatible. I would assume the same goes for the rear. Yours are a generation or more older than the CrossMax wheels on mine. We have some great local frame builders around here, so I was able to get the disc tab welded on mine for $100 and a 48 hour turnaround.

    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaKid View Post
    Is it worth putting an old fork on it? I just dont wanna chase the same issue of parts breaking like I am now.

    And thanks, it is a great bike, and the moots build quality is second to none. The TIG welds are art.
    When I was running the Fox forks on it, seals and parts were still easily available and I just rebuilt them as necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaKid View Post
    I love your bike man, pretty awesome you keep it together and still ride it. What advantages do you see with the SID vs the RL-100? Just wondering why you switched from one to the other. My goal is to eventually have mine setup similar to yours, old school frame with some newer upgrades.
    Thanks! To be honest, I haven't ridden my '97 YBB much in the past couple of years. I loved the YBB so much that I bought a 2008 29'er version of the same bike a couple of years ago.
    1997ish Moots YBB Fork Upgrade-0428191342.jpg

    I had the '97 set up with a rigid fork and was using it as a gravel bike the past couple of years, but recently built it back to a MTB because am planning on selling it soon.
    1997ish Moots YBB Fork Upgrade-1111171048.jpg

    I prefer the Fox to the SID because it is less flexy and parts are more readily available, but I had installed the Fox on my wife's Juliana so I put the SID on the MOOTS to sell. The SID is somewhat lighter, but if I had to choose for a fork I was going to be riding I would choose the extra weight and the rigidity of the Fox.

  14. #14
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    I wouldn't sweat the disk brakes. A set of fresh pads will do wonders. Keep that bike old school as possible.

    But new pads work very well compared to the old dried ones you've got on there now.

    If those cross Max rims are ceramic these might work https://www.amazon.com/SHIMANO-M70R2.../dp/B0010VXQD6
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by super_stein View Post
    If the cartridge is still holding oil, I would put a set of Speed Springs in the legs.
    Iíll be honest I know very little about forks and donít even know how to tell if the cartridge is good snymore. I started taking the fork apart but got stuck in the bottom half of it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by eshew View Post
    I wouldn't sweat the disk brakes. A set of fresh pads will do wonders. Keep that bike old school as possible.

    But new pads work very well compared to the old dried ones you've got on there now.

    If those cross Max rims are ceramic these might work https://www.amazon.com/SHIMANO-M70R2.../dp/B0010VXQD6
    The brakes actually do stop really well still, a new set of pads wouldnít be a bad idea though for sure. And they are ceramic coated I believe. My main thing is itís just hard to find a new fork that is rim brake compatible, straight steer, and for a 26Ē wheel. I think I might have better luck buying a newer used fork off eBay possibly.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    Based on the photo, your front CrossMax wheel is not disc compatible. I would assume the same goes for the rear. Yours are a generation or more older than the CrossMax wheels on mine. We have some great local frame builders around here, so I was able to get the disc tab welded on mine for $100 and a 48 hour turnaround.



    When I was running the Fox forks on it, seals and parts were still easily available and I just rebuilt them as necessary.



    Thanks! To be honest, I haven't ridden my '97 YBB much in the past couple of years. I loved the YBB so much that I bought a 2008 29'er version of the same bike a couple of years ago.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I had the '97 set up with a rigid fork and was using it as a gravel bike the past couple of years, but recently built it back to a MTB because am planning on selling it soon.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I prefer the Fox to the SID because it is less flexy and parts are more readily available, but I had installed the Fox on my wife's Juliana so I put the SID on the MOOTS to sell. The SID is somewhat lighter, but if I had to choose for a fork I was going to be riding I would choose the extra weight and the rigidity of the Fox.
    Thanks for the advice man, you are super knowledgeable. Iím going to look around and see if I can maybe find a fox like you had thatíll work. Probably have to scour eBay.

  18. #18
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    If I were you I'd definitely go used, but it's got to be the right fork. Better to wait for the right one than deal with a bad choice or have to do it over again.

    Any idea how much travel you're looking for?

    I've rebuilt a lot of old forks over there years. Typically old rockshox and Manitou are terrible. Lots of plastic and elastomers that just die.

    Over the years I've settled on marzocchi's Z series. All metal, seals are available and oil is readily available. I've rebuilt around 15 of them and still have a few laying around.

    Skip the SL's as they are air spring and once they are worn they are garbage.

    Options you might want to consider Z2 Atom (80mm of travel) Z1 atom? (100mm) but you'll want to confirm as z1's have gone up in travel over the years. If you find anything you're interested post a link or pm me.
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  19. #19
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    Unless you want to keep it vintage (which is a perfectly valid thing too), Rock Shox makes several models of very capable 26" forks still.

    Air tuned, simple lockout, rebound tuning, etc.

    No, those wheels are not disc compatible, but with good cables and pads, V brakes work just fine.

    And agreed, sweet ride, your dad did good by you!
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by eshew View Post
    If I were you I'd definitely go used, but it's got to be the right fork. Better to wait for the right one than deal with a bad choice or have to do it over again.

    Any idea how much travel you're looking for?

    I've rebuilt a lot of old forks over there years. Typically old rockshox and Manitou are terrible. Lots of plastic and elastomers that just die.

    Over the years I've settled on marzocchi's Z series. All metal, seals are available and oil is readily available. I've rebuilt around 15 of them and still have a few laying around.

    Skip the SL's as they are air spring and once they are worn they are garbage.

    Options you might want to consider Z2 Atom (80mm of travel) Z1 atom? (100mm) but you'll want to confirm as z1's have gone up in travel over the years. If you find anything you're interested post a link or pm me.
    Iíd like to get 100mm of travel if I could, just get into the modern era a little bit. Iíll check out the Z1 atoms. Thank you

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Unless you want to keep it vintage (which is a perfectly valid thing too), Rock Shox makes several models of very capable 26" forks still.

    Air tuned, simple lockout, rebound tuning, etc.

    No, those wheels are not disc compatible, but with good cables and pads, V brakes work just fine.

    And agreed, sweet ride, your dad did good by you!
    I considered keeping it vintage but I think Iíd rather go newer since itís my only
    Bike to ride and Iíd like it updated a little. I checked out some rock Shox and the one I found, I donít remeber what it was now, was a lower end fork. Iíll have to search more in depth it sounds like. Iíll let yíall know what I find. And thanks! I love the Moots.

  22. #22
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    So I think I want a brand new fork so I dont have to worry about rebuilding it before ever even riding it, and availability of parts. After doing a little research I found these 2 rock shox forks. They both are 26" 100mm travel straight steer and rim brake compatible. The only difference being that I see as coil vs. air. I believe they are lower end rock shox's but I imagine they have to be better than what I have now. Opinions?

    https://www.probikesupply.com/collec...a2-gloss-black


    https://www.probikesupply.com/collec...brake-black-c1

  23. #23
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    I also just found this one, I imagine it is nicer because it is gold vs silver but I can't find the differences between it and the recon.

    https://www.probikesupply.com/collec...a1-gloss-black

  24. #24
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    None of the silver or gold show mounts for rim brakes. I'd confirm prior to purchasing. Air will be best to dial in the perfect pressure, chances are a spring might not be the right one depending on how much you weigh.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by eshew View Post
    None of the silver or gold show mounts for rim brakes. I'd confirm prior to purchasing. Air will be best to dial in the perfect pressure, chances are a spring might not be the right one depending on how much you weigh.

    I noticed the mounts in the pictures were different depending on what website I went to. So I would definitely want to confirm. And I was leaning towards air I just wasnít sure how maintenance intensive theyíd be. I just rode today and the fork is terrible. I wrecked really hard off a jump and I think it wouldíve been more avoidable with proper dampening. Hit hard enough to crack my helmet clean through in three places!

  26. #26
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    Lol yeah better get used to jumping over the bars on those older bikes. They are fun but not quite as capable as newer stuff.

    Air is nice, you can also either make your own or purchase an air volume spacer kit to tune the travel. Might require a new air cap, might just need to make one yourself. Either way great if you're going to ride hard and cheaper than a helmet
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by eshew View Post
    Lol yeah better get used to jumping over the bars on those older bikes. They are fun but not quite as capable as newer stuff.

    Air is nice, you can also either make your own or purchase an air commute volume spacer kit to tune the travel. Might require a new air cap, might just need to make one yourself. Either way great if you're going to ride hard and cheaper than a helmet
    Iím definitely gonna have to check that out. And Iím aiming to buy a new bike this summer but the Moots should get me through till then and itís still a great XC bike, but it is certainly not cut out for jump lines.

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