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mtb suspension fork on road bike?(17 posts)

mtb suspension fork on road bike?Dog
Aug 10, 2001 7:02 AM
I have an old Indy mtb suspension fork lying around. The FC 508 race has some rough sections, and I was thinking of installing it on my old steel Bianchi just for this race. The Bianchi uses a 1 inch threaded fork, but the Indy is 1 inch unthreaded. Will this work? I'll need to change headsets and stems, I imagine. (I realize it will look all bastardized, but function is key here.) Thanks.

re: mtb suspension fork on road bike?badabill
Aug 10, 2001 7:13 AM
It should work. As long as the steerer is not to short. Check out the cyclocross board, somebody was posting an adapter for the brakes so you can run a 700 wheel. The stem and the headset also must be changed. I have seen this set-up on a few cross bikes, the big problem is bobing of the front end while standing, you loose some power.
hhhhumMike K
Aug 10, 2001 7:22 AM
It should. It will change the way the bike handles quite a bit by raising the front end of the bike (plus adding the suspension play) and changing the rake.
You would definitely have to get a threadless head set on the bike and a threadless stem. You may also have a problem with your brakes (and levers depending on the type of brakes on you have on the fork).
Doesn't C-Dale do something like a "Silk Path" or something with a short travel version of their Fatty suspension fork?
My other apprehension wold be the bobbing up and down in the front end of the bike, especially on out of the saddle climbs (newer MTB forks have lock outs for this).
oops, wheelsDog
Aug 10, 2001 7:29 AM
Now that I think about it, wheels would be problem. I guess I'd have to use a 26" wheel. Hmm.

The bobbing is not an issue, as this would only be used on flat, but very rough pavement, roads. There are a few sections that are extremely bad, and many people switch bikes for those sections so they don't get beaten up as much.


700C FORKak
Aug 10, 2001 8:02 AM
I don't think a 700c wheel will fit inside an INDY. As I recall it had a pretty narrow clearance between the brake arch and the wheel. Manitou made a pretty good 700c shock. (RS made one too but it sucked and weighed ten pounds or so as I recall) You might be better off trying to find one of these. Another option would be to go with a really fat set of tires. They'll soak up a lot of bump without sacrificing so much. There are hybrid slick tires and cyclocross tires that come in widths in the low forties, but a 38 would probably be sufficiant.
If the wheel DOES fit, you can probably just have threads tapped into it. and not need to change out as much.

Are you looking to get rid of this fork? providing the price is right and the steer-tube is long enough I might be willing to take it off your hands. My brother is using my old mtn bike and I'd like to give him an upgrade for his birthday. If so, send me an E-mail.

Good luck!
Ive seen the Rockshox Roubaix fork in the classifiedsrayler
Aug 10, 2001 8:55 AM
for less than $100. No, theyre no where near 10 lbs! I thinkg theyre around 2.4lbs. Yes, the indy would fit a 700c wheel, but youd have to drill a hole in the brake arch to mount a road caliper. Dont know how strong it would be as it wasnt designed for this.

Other options:

Fat tires

Girvin Flexstem

Softride stem

Never seen a Manitou road fork.
good pointMike K
Aug 10, 2001 9:42 AM
you might be able to thread the steerer but that will depend on the fork. I would still go threadless.
The 700c issue is the big one though....
Wouldn't It would be easier to run a mtb with slicks...Greg Taylor
Aug 10, 2001 9:48 AM
...and swap-out the chainrings for more road-like gearing? Or just swap the triple crank for a road double? Nashbar has some cheap rings (about $15 bucks) in all bolt patterns. You probably have an old drop bar and brake levers that would complete the conversion. I dunno, honking around with headsets and brake adapters seems the long way around to me...
trying to make do with what I haveDog
Aug 10, 2001 10:09 AM
Don't have a mtb anymore. Don't want to buy anything (imagine that?), really, for what amounts to racing on about 20 miles of pavement once a year. Thus, trying to make the Indy work. Fatter tires may be an option, too. Thanks.

What you have is the Milano ...Humma Hah
Aug 10, 2001 10:11 AM
... and if you listen carefully, its just BEGGING for a chance to prove itself.
yup, but not fast enoughDog
Aug 10, 2001 10:16 AM
The gears are not high enough, and the position is too upright; I might take it for backup, though. Maybe I'll use it for a few miles, maybe at the finish, so it won't feel left out. :-)

What size/type chainring does it use?Humma Hah
Aug 10, 2001 10:37 AM
... see, I'm about to pull the pretty 48-tooth chromed steel chainwheel off my wife's old 3-speed Higgins, replacing it with a 42-tooth. The bike cranks about 100 rpm at 35 mph in top gear, and she's never really gotten any use out of the top end. I'd love to see what it would do if equipped with drop bars. Its pretty darned quick for a dowdy brown ladies lightweight.

I raced the cruiser only once, in a single/3-speed class. We all got soundly trounced when a ringer showed up with a drop-bar 3-speed racebike. Sumbitch was FAST. I'm thinking that Nexus hub would open a few eyes on the right bike.
Ahhh....understand that completely!Greg Taylor
Aug 10, 2001 10:46 AM
Interesting proposition though...

Keeping the rigid fork and using a set of dry condition 'cross tires would be the cost-effective route.
Fatter tires may help more than the shocks [nm]davidl
Aug 10, 2001 11:38 AM
Is old Schwinn invention ...Humma Hah
Aug 10, 2001 10:07 AM
... I can't say as to the exact fit -- I would stick a 700c wheel, with tire in it first and see if it will clear the fork. I've been encouraged to try this on the cruiser, but nobody has ever been able to give me a correct diameter for such a wheel.

But suspension on roadbikes is nothing new. It appeared almost as soon as the safety frame, probably in the 1880's. It was a feature of many of the Schwinn cruisers. If anyone complains about "lack of purity", point out that you're merely going back to cycling's roots as a rough-road sport.
do whatever it takesDog
Aug 10, 2001 10:13 AM
No one has a bit of pride in these long distance things. You do whatever it takes to get to the finish as quickly, and comfortably, as possible. Even my classic celeste Bianchi with a black Indy fork would be well understood. (I also have a shockpost for it already)

Check out Sheldon Brown's site for tire diameters.

RS/Metro for 700CKevin M
Aug 10, 2001 10:15 AM
A couple of years ago I put a RS/Metro front fork on my Bianchi Volpe for a week-long tour on bumpy dirt roads in New England. It was heavy, but very comfy on the washboards and potholes. It was not too bad on climbing (except for the weight) if I did not have it adjusted too soft.

This one was 1" threaded and designed for 700 wheels. When I was looking around I found that there were not too many options in 700C after market. Even though many of the higher end hybrids come with OEM front shocks.

I ended up removing it when I built new lighter wheels for my touring bike.