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suspension

Old 02-03-21, 05:24 PM
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thehammerdog
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suspension

looking to upgrade the old steel rigid HT gary fisher with suspension fork.
as it is a 90's bike should i be mindful of the amount of suspension. 80mm was norm then or there abouts.
looking into Suntour as seem like good price to quality given bike is old 7speed.

have been enjoying the beast ...currently set up as Single speed.
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Old 02-04-21, 01:01 AM
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You’ve got a very nice, classic rigid bike there. Honestly, it should be kept original. If you enjoy the old-school feel of 26ers, you’ll be better off getting a proper hardtail in the second-hand market that came with the right geometry for front suspension, disc brakes, etc. If you start messing around with upgrades the bike was not designed for, you’ll quickly realize that it won’t handle as well and it’ll lose its mojo. You may regret the wasted cash. Keep in mind that 26er hardtails or even full-suspension bikes from 12-20 years ago can be found at bargain prices on Craigslist or Pinkbike. Highly recommend going that route.

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Old 02-04-21, 07:49 AM
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what specific fork did you have in mind? there are very few options out there for a fork designed for:
  • 26" wheels
  • rim brakes
  • straight steerer tube
  • 80mm or less travel
if the price is right, a little squish up front might be nice. I've ridden rigid and hardtail and, no matter how voluminous a tire you put on even the most elegant of rigid forks, it's still rigid.
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Old 02-04-21, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
what specific fork did you have in mind? there are very few options out there for a fork designed for:
  • 26" wheels
  • rim brakes
  • straight steerer tube
  • 80mm or less travel
if the price is right, a little squish up front might be nice. I've ridden rigid and hardtail and, no matter how voluminous a tire you put on even the most elegant of rigid forks, it's still rigid.
looks like a 1" quill stem? I didnt think there were really any options for that.
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Old 02-04-21, 08:37 AM
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shoot, yeah. that makes it nearly impossible if that's the case. however, if the fork is 1-1/8" threaded, which was common around that era, you could convert to the modern 1-1/8" threadless. that would mean a new fork, headset, and stem though.
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Old 02-04-21, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris Pringle View Post
You’ve got a very nice, classic rigid bike there. Honestly, it should be kept original. If you enjoy the old-school feel of 26ers, you’ll be better off getting a proper hardtail in the second-hand market that came with the right geometry for front suspension, disc brakes, etc. If you start messing around with upgrades the bike was not designed for, you’ll quickly realize that it won’t handle as well and it’ll lose its mojo. You may regret the wasted cash. Keep in mind that 26er hardtails or even full-suspension bikes from 12-20 years ago can be found at bargain prices on Craigslist or Pinkbike. Highly recommend going that route.
I agree with every single part of this. You will spend more money on the switch than you will on an entry level hardtail. And that's assuming you can find a suspension fork that will work with your bike.

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/talon-4-2021

And after all that, the added stress you put on the head tube could result in stress cracking at the joints.
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Old 02-04-21, 09:26 AM
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Adding a suspension fork also slows the steering. I did this on a ‘90 steel Fuji, the front geometry was not designed for the fork, which raises the fork crown as part of the suspension. The bike got slower thru turns. Then the fork I added started to leak fluids and there were no seals around to get this fixed.
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Old 02-04-21, 09:48 AM
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I have done this to my 92 Marin (1 1/8th HT) with mixed results.



First I added a cheap old Suntour (SX I believe) fork from a 26" Trek Hybrid someone gave me for parts. Not the best, clunky, low travel, but it did smooth off the impacts a bit. It actually rode pretty good but the geometry was thrown off for steep access climbing (it wanted to lift the front tire too easily).



Then I got a 26" Rocky Mountain parts bike with a Marzocchi Bomber fork and added that to the Marin. Better travel, less clunky, but even more hard to ride up steep access hills (front end gets very twitchy at slow speeds). The fork is a little longer. One project this winter is to SS the bike and work on reducing this issue. What's nice is it has disc mounts and my rims are disc ready so I can throw the V's on the back and 180 disc up front.




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Old 02-04-21, 01:30 PM
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If you want to try a cheap suspension fork, try one. I've never bought into matching a rigid atc with a suspension. It should be within a reasonable difference, but there was a time when a lot of people were pushing the travel on old bikes. Rule of thumb used to be 1/2* change in HA for every 10mm.

My Serotta was originally a rigid with a suspension fork option of 46mm travel I'm running 70mm. Of course the HA was 72* so a little slack is not a problem. Likewise my Trek is spec'd for a 63mm, I'm running 80mm. But I'm a Bomber fan, so I can't vouch for Suntour.

As for Suntour, there are some on eBay that are probably closer to your rigid with a threaded steerer. Here is one that might tick enough boxes...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Suntour-1-1-8-Threaded-26-QR-MTB-Bike-63mm-204mm-Suspension-Fork-V-Brake-NEW/133596887790?epid=17041841983&hash=item1f1afebaee:gKAAAOSw7ixf80el

I'm far from a fork specialist, but with only 63mm of travel, how much pogo stick can you get, of course there could be a bottoming issue, but hopefully you can take out a lot of sag and that might help.

John

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Old 02-04-21, 02:17 PM
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I wouldn't alter your GF. I won't list the link to a bike for sale(against BF rules), but a new fork isn't cheap, at least compared to a listing (Louisville, KY) on Craigslist for a Spec.Stumpjumper hardtail--in case you'd want to look just to compare a complete used bike price to a new fork. And no, it isn't my bike-haven't even seen it in person.
PS-my mtn bike started life as a '96 GT hardtail, frame was replaced under warranty in '98, at which time I began upgrades--finished around '05 or so). Nothing left of the orig bike. If I had an older mtn bike now (make that another old mtn bike!), would I upgrade-no, I'd buy a later, used model with more updated parts already on it. And I really like that GF-wouldn't change a thing!

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Old 02-04-21, 02:22 PM
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The C&V side of this website is going to have to come to terms with 1990's suspension forks pretty soon
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Old 02-04-21, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by sloppy12 View Post
looks like a 1" quill stem? I didnt think there were really any options for that.
1 1/8..
truly like riding it but buddies sport FS 29ers....so wanna pretend i fit in .
front end handling is so much better tha with suspension.
but not easy to pound down trails all rigid.
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Old 02-04-21, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
If you want to try a cheap suspension fork, try one. I've never bought into matching a rigid atc with a suspension. It should be within a reasonable difference, but there was a time when a lot of people were pushing the travel on old bikes. Rule of thumb used to be 1/2* change in HA for every 10mm.

My Serotta was originally a rigid with a suspension fork option of 46mm travel I'm running 70mm. Of course the HA was 72* so a little slack is not a problem. Likewise my Trek is spec'd for a 63mm, I'm running 80mm. But I'm a Bomber fan, so I can't vouch for Suntour.

As for Suntour, there are some on eBay that are probably closer to your rigid with a threaded steerer. Here is one that might tick enough boxes...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Suntour-1-1-8-Threaded-26-QR-MTB-Bike-63mm-204mm-Suspension-Fork-V-Brake-NEW/133596887790?epid=17041841983&hash=item1f1afebaee:gKAAAOSw7ixf80el

I'm far from a fork specialist, but with only 63mm of travel, how much pogo stick can you get, of course there could be a bottoming issue, but hopefully you can take out a lot of sag and that might help.

John
yes im worried that 60 - 80 mm travel will just suck and add heft to bike.
thanks.
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Old 02-04-21, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by thehammerdog View Post
yes im worried that 60 - 80 mm travel will just suck and add heft to bike.
thanks.
Yes, there is a chance it will. But you really can’t run much over 80mm and no one makes a quality V-brake fork these days.

I would guess your steel fork weighs around 1000 grams. The 63mm Suntour is 2200 grans. Not a light fork and probably not a great fork. But I’m guessing finding that super light V-brake SID in new condition is both a needle in a haystack and a king’s ransom.

John
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Old 02-04-21, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
Yes, there is a chance it will. But you really can’t run much over 80mm and no one makes a quality V-brake fork these days.

I would guess your steel fork weighs around 1000 grams. The 63mm Suntour is 2200 grans. Not a light fork and probably not a great fork. But I’m guessing finding that super light V-brake SID in new condition is both a needle in a haystack and a king’s ransom.

John
so new idea..upgrade to lightweight fork drop a few pounds add some flex and homerun?
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Old 02-04-21, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
If you want to try a cheap suspension fork, try one. I've never bought into matching a rigid atc with a suspension. It should be within a reasonable difference, but there was a time when a lot of people were pushing the travel on old bikes. Rule of thumb used to be 1/2* change in HA for every 10mm.

My Serotta was originally a rigid with a suspension fork option of 46mm travel I'm running 70mm. Of course the HA was 72* so a little slack is not a problem. Likewise my Trek is spec'd for a 63mm, I'm running 80mm. But I'm a Bomber fan, so I can't vouch for Suntour.

As for Suntour, there are some on eBay that are probably closer to your rigid with a threaded steerer. Here is one that might tick enough boxes...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Suntour-1-1-8-Threaded-26-QR-MTB-Bike-63mm-204mm-Suspension-Fork-V-Brake-NEW/133596887790?epid=17041841983&hash=item1f1afebaee:gKAAAOSw7ixf80el

I'm far from a fork specialist, but with only 63mm of travel, how much pogo stick can you get, of course there could be a bottoming issue, but hopefully you can take out a lot of sag and that might help.

John
That fork is not adjustable in any way. It may have knobs but they don't do anything. All that fork will do is bounce around and screw up the geometry.
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Old 02-05-21, 06:23 AM
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This bike was not designed with a suspension fork in mind, and the suspension forks available are not much of an improvement. A nicer rigid fork might be an improvement, as would a larger tire. (BikeMan.com is a good source for those forks.) A larger tire will fit better on a wider rim. Tubeless tires will roll better with lower pressure. A carbon handlebar can take up some of the chatter.

But if you start down that road, the purchases add up quickly. No matter how supple you make a rigid bike, it's still a rigid bike.
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Old 02-06-21, 08:26 PM
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80mm was not the norm for an XC bike until the late 90s, and even then it was at the upper range.

That is a cool vintage bike. If you do go with a fork, see if you can find and refurbish a late 90's or early 2000's Z2 Bomber. That would be hot.
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Old 02-07-21, 01:39 PM
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Since it has a 1-1/8 steerer, there are thankfully options.

First, any decent used fork from about Y2k-2015 will fit. Most of them can have their travel adjusted down very easily with spacers under the air piston. You need to find one with canti studs.

For what's on sale now, I'm seeing Rockshox 30 Silver forks that still have 26" canti studs, for sale, if not on RS's website any more. These are not light or fancy. They have steel springs and fixed compression damping, but they are functional, and <$200. You'd need headset and stem to go with. A nicer fork is a Judy Gold RL, air spring, low speed compression adjustment, all alloy... but it starts at $350 and does not have canti studs. I looked at the Suntour catalog, there are a few 26" v-brake options but nothing with damping or air spring.

If you do not find one with canti studs you would be looking for a disc wheel and front brake to go with it, likely more of a project than you wanted
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Old 02-07-21, 05:13 PM
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Im also in the camp that wouldnt touch this bike other than maintenance needed just to keep it rolling

i outlined my experience riding a 15 year old Santa Cruz in Bentonville just now on prj71’s post about “budget mountain bikes” - i wont re-write it, but id think for $500 + or - you could find something like that to keep up with your buddies.

After all, we all know that aluminum frames and 26” wheels are worthless for real trails (wink - nudge - im kidding , but they dont hold much resale value so you can find them periodically for attractive prices- ).

but thinking about a fork upgrade for you — lets see, $250 fork, $30 headset, $80 for new stem and bars, - thats $360 in parts by itself conservatively.

andis the bike labelled a “Fisher” or a “Gary Fisher” ? Thats an important distinction because Fisher was bought out by Trek at some point and started calling allhis bikes Gary Fisher . (I could have the name thing backwards) but the older pre Trek buyout Fisher’s are classics, along the lines of a real Ritchey, Bontrager, Yeti etc. and if yours is one of those, i wouldnt touch it with a 10 foot pole(except for replacing consumables , tires, cables, etc )

but as always, just giving my thoughts based on my experiences , andd with your bike and experiences - its your rules

have fun
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Old 02-07-21, 05:32 PM
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Gary Fisher sold to Trek in 1996 but I think most of his unique stuff was either in the 80's, or early full suspension in the 90's. I wouldn't put any shade on this bike if it's a Trek. Fisher himself certainly wouldn't, he's been a Trek employee ever since and they still use his model names
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Old 02-07-21, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
. I wouldn't put any shade on this bike if it's a Trek. Fisher himself certainly wouldn't, he's been a Trek employee ever since and they still use his model names

no - no he certainly wouldnt. The man dresses like a cartoon character and has an ego the size of Texas, - and we as mountain bikers are all better for it with his killer designs he has pushed to market over the years 😀😀
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Old 02-07-21, 06:52 PM
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Since posting in this thread earlier I pulled out the Marin and tried reworking the front end to eliminate some of the lifting going uphill. After a test ride today with a longer stem and moving the new seat forward a bit (after the photo was taken) it does better. Had a lot of fun riding and even managed a full somersault endo trying to stop on a steep downhill section (rookie move). The bomber fork takes the jolt out of rocks and roots enough to not try to avoid them.

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Old 02-08-21, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
Im also in the camp that wouldnt touch this bike other than maintenance needed just to keep it rolling

i outlined my experience riding a 15 year old Santa Cruz in Bentonville just now on prj71’s post about “budget mountain bikes” - i wont re-write it, but id think for $500 + or - you could find something like that to keep up with your buddies.

After all, we all know that aluminum frames and 26” wheels are worthless for real trails (wink - nudge - im kidding , but they dont hold much resale value so you can find them periodically for attractive prices- ).

but thinking about a fork upgrade for you — lets see, $250 fork, $30 headset, $80 for new stem and bars, - thats $360 in parts by itself conservatively.

andis the bike labelled a “Fisher” or a “Gary Fisher” ? Thats an important distinction because Fisher was bought out by Trek at some point and started calling allhis bikes Gary Fisher . (I could have the name thing backwards) but the older pre Trek buyout Fisher’s are classics, along the lines of a real Ritchey, Bontrager, Yeti etc. and if yours is one of those, i wouldnt touch it with a 10 foot pole(except for replacing consumables , tires, cables, etc )

but as always, just giving my thoughts based on my experiences , andd with your bike and experiences - its your rules

have fun
it is a gary fisher made in cali bike.
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Old 02-08-21, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by thehammerdog View Post
it is a gary fisher made in cali bike.
My understanding is that production was swiftly shifted to Waterloo, WI when Trek acquired the brand in April 1994. So if yours is still one of those frames made in California, you already own a true classic. Put your upgrade itching aside and enjoy this bike in its original form. Please keep it as beautiful as it looks now.

From the moment I saw it, I said to myself “this is a helluva bike as is!”
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