Nov 12, 2015 at 5:11 pm #1334155W I S N E R !BPL Member
Not exactly a bike packing question, but this is the closest we've got to a bike forum… Can anyone recommend a decent XC fork for a 26 inch wheel in the 80 to 100 millimeter range? I'm kind of hoping that since 29ers are all the rage, one can find deals on 26 inch forks. I'm considering building up an old steel frame that I like. I've been getting back into mountain biking and I'm looking for something that won't break the bank. I've been riding a rigid steel fork that replaced a junk RockShox Jett. But now I'm looking for something to smooth out the ride a little bit. Buying used would be ok, hopefully no more than a couple hundred dollars. I certainly don't want to spend the money on a top end Fox, but I don't want junk either. If this gets expensive or complicated, I'll just as soon stay full rigid. But any advice would appreciated on what models to look into, etc. Thanks.Nov 13, 2015 at 12:02 am #2237928Daniel PittmanSpectator
@pitsyLocale: Central Texas
I've had good luck with X-Fusion forks. Any shop with a QBP account can get them. You say an old steel frame? Make sure it will take a 1-1/8" steer tube, and make sure it was designed for at least 80mm travel. You won't find any decent forks with 1" steer tubes or less than 80mm travel. I put a 120mm fork in a frame designed for 80mm and it worked OK, just made the steering a bit slack. Don't go too long or it will steer like doodoo and possibly rip the headtube off your frame.Nov 29, 2015 at 11:57 am #3367622Will ElliottBPL Member
@elliott-willLocale: Juneau, AK
Hmm. What is the bike and what is your budget? How tall are you and where do you ride? What is your riding style? “Decent” depends. And, the answer may be buy a new bike and keep this one rigid. I could offer some advice if we know better what you’re after. It might not make sense to spend $200 on a fork when you can buy a whole used bike for $400 that might be a lot more fun (wheel size, geometry, etc), depending on how old your bike is.Nov 30, 2015 at 11:22 pm #3367987Eugene SmithBPL Member
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
V-brakes or disc? You didn’t specify. That could make or break your project and bust the budget.
I’m sure you could find a decent bike swap/LBS in the LA area and score a used 26″ fork under $200 and find a seal kit for it. Look for well loved Fox forks, or Rock Shox SID if going used- these seem to have parts available still for service if you had to.
I can’t picture you on a 26″ bike, you’re a tall dude with a muscular build and better suited to a large 29er, IMO. Considered going with a steel rigid 29er? More room for loading gear on the bike and you may not even want a fork if you setup tubeless. I’m guessing you’re still running tubes? A rigid bike will always throw feedback your way on the rough bits, no hiding that, but finding the sweet spot w/ a tubeless 29″ wheel setup can take the edge off and make that squishy up front less appealing.Dec 1, 2015 at 12:55 am #3367994Will ElliottBPL Member
@elliott-willLocale: Juneau, AK
Short answer version of a long post I just deleted:
There are tons of modern 29ers on LA Craigslist. Buy one of them instead, unless you are very short.
Kona Unit: $425
Specialized Hard Rock: $350
Cannondale SL2: $500
Wide rims, tubeless tires, rigid fork— smooths out small bumps, more efficient uphill, more traction. It really is a noticeable difference to me. Downhill, even If you put front suspension on your 26er, the rear is still going to be banging into things, whereas 29″ wheels will at least be rolling better both front and rear. Plus, no recurring maintenance of the fork. And pretty much no more flat tires.
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