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Gravel grinder project advice

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Gravel grinder project advice

Old 12-05-19, 07:43 PM
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Johnnyyuma
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Gravel grinder project advice

Hey all,
Was thinking it would be fun to "build" a gravel grinder after seeing many cheap (sub 100s) 1980s/90s/early 2000s rigid mountanin bikes on craigslist. I already have a spare set of drop bars to use. I would like to get a straight (instead of curved) fork with a disk brake, preferably alloy. What are some nice, relatively cheap options? Would a modern fork fit an older bike? Would the geometry make sense?
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Old 12-05-19, 07:51 PM
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Google surly forks. Lots of different options that are straight and disc.
they all have different axle to crown measurements, so buy the one that is the closest match to your bike's fork.

These are all 1 1/8 steerers so you would need a bike that fits a 1 1/8 steerer, which no 80s and some 90s MTBs wont accept.
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Old 12-05-19, 07:55 PM
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In addition to the above....note that older frames will have ISO brake mounts for disc--if they even have disc mounts (if you're going back to the 1980s)--so beware in spec'ing out components and brake adapters. Also be aware of QR-only and the frame's axle spacing when spec'ing out your wheels.
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Old 12-05-19, 08:08 PM
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Yeah, looks like most of them are 1". So does anyone know of any good 1" forks?
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Old 12-06-19, 07:16 AM
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https://www.ebay.com/c/22023972760
Bikeman Kona P2 Mountain Fork, 1 Inch!, Now with Rack Eyelets!

I dont really keep up on whats available in 26" straight disc forks with 1" steerers. That would be an extremely niche product line and I havent come upon a reason to look.
With that said, the closest I do know of is a Kona branded fork called the P2. Its been around for years, is threadless and straight, and is 1". It isnt disc brake though, as far as I know. There is a 29er version thats disc.
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Old 12-07-19, 06:57 PM
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This sounds like a project that will cost as much as an entry level gravel bike and completely suck to ride at the end of the day.
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Old 12-08-19, 09:21 AM
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I converted my old trek rigid mtb with an old riser stem, drop bars, rl520 levers, and bar end shifters. You are better off buying a gravel bike before you start swapping out wheels and forks.
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Old 12-09-19, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Johnnyyuma View Post
Hey all,
Was thinking it would be fun to "build" a gravel grinder after seeing many cheap (sub 100s) 1980s/90s/early 2000s rigid mountanin bikes on craigslist. I already have a spare set of drop bars to use. I would like to get a straight (instead of curved) fork with a disk brake, preferably alloy. What are some nice, relatively cheap options? Would a modern fork fit an older bike? Would the geometry make sense?
if you are handy and have time it is a fun project
If u don't need newest bestist lightest but usable bike do it did and love my 1990's rockadille drop bar graveler.....
up and until i built up my new titanium cx bike.
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Old 12-14-19, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
This sounds like a project that will cost as much as an entry level gravel bike and completely suck to ride at the end of the day.
Yes, I agree... I hate to discourage you but you could wind up with a better bike faster for less with a stock low-end bike. Maybe get a low-end aluminum Jamis Renegade with Claris for less than $800 if it is a closeout on a previous season model. I have seen entry level Salsa Journeymen on closeout at around that price too. What size are you?
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Old 12-18-19, 02:43 PM
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I'd suggest looking on Facebook Marketplace for a gravel bike that's maybe 1-3 years old. If you're in a large city you'll find many to choose from for less than half of new. I like buying used because that inevitable first scratch won't ruin my day/week.
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