Road forks for mountain bike?

Discuss light weight issues concerning mountain bikes & parts.

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JungleBiker
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 16, 2004 8:17 am
Location: Thailand

by JungleBiker

In order to save weight I would like to put a carbon road fork on my hard tail MTB frame (which I ride on roads).

I reckon if I were to use a fork designed for 650 wheels (triathlon/TT style) but fitted with my existing 26 inch MTB wheels and 26 x 1 inch slick tyres my front end will be lower (too low I think at about 2 inches?).

If I fit a fork for 700 sized-wheels and use a 700c wheel, I think my front end will be about an inch higher.

Can anybody advise which option would give good results and how my steering will be affected? Am I right in thinking the 700 forks will make steering more stable and the 650 forks will make steering more twitchy?

Another related question - I would also have to fit a road brake - would this work with my V-brake lever?

In case anybody asks me why I don't just fit rigid MTB forks - the answer is I don't think I can get hold of MTB forks as light and cheap as I can get carbon road forks.

Many thanks.
Eddie.

by Weenie


JK
Posts: 1057
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2002 7:49 pm
Location: The Netherlands - Europe

by JK

If you want to ride on the road and be light...

buy a road bike!!

Converting an MTB to road use makes sense to me, if you want to keep an option open to ride it offroad. Putting a road fork in your frame would give you, like you say, geometry problems and did you not forget: How are you going to brake??
Road forks accept road brakes only... you would have compatiblity issues with your brake levers too. You could buy a cyclocross fork with brake bosses and extra tire clearance, but compared to that, a true MTB fork (carbon, possibly) would be allmost the same, but with no geometry issues...

Get real!

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Tippster
Posts: 2520
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 3:11 pm
Location: Frederica (Denmark)

by Tippster

I currently run a mtb on the road 90% of the time.

Specialized 2004 M5 HT
Pace RC-31 carbon mtb forks
Hope mini disc brakes
XT disc hubs / dt rev spokes / Mavic x517 rims
Conti GP 26 x 1 slicks

with this set-up, in the future, I plan to get mtb disc hubs laced with lightweight spokes to 700c rims. Having disc brakes allows this. With the ability to switch back to 26 inch wheels for off-road.

One point to consider is the number of spokes on a disc brake wheel.
"Ride it like you've just stolen it!"

JungleBiker
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 16, 2004 8:17 am
Location: Thailand

by JungleBiker

JK wrote:If you want to ride on the road and be light...

buy a road bike!!

Converting an MTB to road use makes sense to me, if you want to keep an option open to ride it offroad. Putting a road fork in your frame would give you, like you say, geometry problems and did you not forget: How are you going to brake??
Road forks accept road brakes only... you would have compatiblity issues with your brake levers too. You could buy a cyclocross fork with brake bosses and extra tire clearance, but compared to that, a true MTB fork (carbon, possibly) would be allmost the same, but with no geometry issues...

Get real!


1. I reckon buying a new "front end" will be cheaper than buying a whole road bike. I don't need to be able to switch back to off-road mode because I have another mountain bike for off road. In addition, I am training on the road in order to improve my mountain bike racing performance - I understand that training in the same riding position on the bike is important.
2. I know the geometry will change but I don't know if that will be a problem or not - that's why I am asking the questions!
3. I did not forget the brake issue - did you not see my question about the front brake.
4. I think a cyclocross fork is the same size as a 700 fork - just different brake system?
5. Regarding getting a "true MTB fork (carbon possibly)" - see my response to the next reply...

But anyway thanks for taking the trouble to reply.

JungleBiker
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 16, 2004 8:17 am
Location: Thailand

by JungleBiker

Tippster wrote:I currently run a mtb on the road 90% of the time.

Specialized 2004 M5 HT
Pace RC-31 carbon mtb forks
Hope mini disc brakes
XT disc hubs / dt rev spokes / Mavic x517 rims
Conti GP 26 x 1 slicks

with this set-up, in the future, I plan to get mtb disc hubs laced with lightweight spokes to 700c rims. Having disc brakes allows this. With the ability to switch back to 26 inch wheels for off-road.

One point to consider is the number of spokes on a disc brake wheel.


Hi Tippster,

Your set up is very nice! But like I said in my first post, I reckon I can get hold of some light road forks for a lot less money than the cost of your beautiful Pace RC-31 forks. I also want to avoid the extra weight/cost of disc hubs/brakes. I want to go light, because sometimes I'd like to ride with roadies. I guess someone is now going to tell me my MTB gearing/rear wheel size will not allow me to keep up with them...

Many thanks,
Eddie.

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Tippster
Posts: 2520
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 3:11 pm
Location: Frederica (Denmark)

by Tippster

If cost is the driver...

(I could be wrong in the paragraph below, but I fairly certain)
650c wheel sized fork will come sized for a 650c wheel and road brakes (I failry certain they have a different mounting to mtb v-brakes). A 650 c wheel is a different size to a 26 inch wheel. When you put a 26 inch wheel in a 650c fork the brake will not line up to the brake surface.

To use a 650c fork, you would need to buy a front road brake and a 650c wheel (also a road fork steerer tube is narrorer than a mtb fork in the steerer tube). Would it not be cheaper (I think I'm reading you right in that cost is the driver), to buy a mtb ridgid fork (budget dictating) and use your existing wheel and v-brakes?

They are very expensive but I would fully recommend a Pace RC-31 rigid carbon fork.

I can confirm that you can keep up with roadies on a mtb bike. I surpirsed a roadie by drafting behind him at 27mph, on the flat, serveral months ago. The look on his face!
"Ride it like you've just stolen it!"

JungleBiker
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 16, 2004 8:17 am
Location: Thailand

by JungleBiker

Tippster wrote:If cost is the driver...

(I could be wrong in the paragraph below, but I fairly certain)
650c wheel sized fork will come sized for a 650c wheel and road brakes (I failry certain they have a different mounting to mtb v-brakes). A 650 c wheel is a different size to a 26 inch wheel. When you put a 26 inch wheel in a 650c fork the brake will not line up to the brake surface.

To use a 650c fork, you would need to buy a front road brake and a 650c wheel (also a road fork steerer tube is narrorer than a mtb fork in the steerer tube). Would it not be cheaper (I think I'm reading you right in that cost is the driver), to buy a mtb ridgid fork (budget dictating) and use your existing wheel and v-brakes?

They are very expensive but I would fully recommend a Pace RC-31 rigid carbon fork.

I can confirm that you can keep up with roadies on a mtb bike. I surpirsed a roadie by drafting behind him at 27mph, on the flat, serveral months ago. The look on his face!


Yes, I want to keep cost down (there is a limit to what my wife will tolerate in terms of my spending habits!). Yes, you are right about a 650 fork using a road brake and the wheel size is different, but I believe a 26inch wheel with 1 inch tyre will fit nicely into a 650 road fork. Yes, I'd need a road brake, hence my original question about compatability with a v-brake lever.

Sorry, but I still reckon I can get a cheaper road fork set up than a Pace fork! (Do you have shares in Pace?? Just kidding..)

Yes, I am looking forward to seeing the look on the faces of some roadies in the future! :D

Thanks.
Best regards,
Eddie.

Moonbiker
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 6:45 pm

by Moonbiker

you can use a steinbach mtb fork

very light (ca.640g) stiff and cheap ca.150 euro.

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yoko
Posts: 240
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2003 10:17 am
Location: California, USA

by yoko

@junglebiker

bike parts cost & weight is relative, if you want a light part prices go up. Even for a rigid fork, how low (weight) do you want to go?

If budget is in question then buy a MTB rigid fork thats a little on the heavy side. You can get them at about $50 to $120. Spicer cycles has a lot of options.

OT: did you got a chance to ride in the Philippines?

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Xterra Racer
Posts: 378
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 9:10 pm
Location: Colorado
Contact:

by Xterra Racer

Jungle - Okay, this seems silly. Step back a second and think about why you are wanting to do this.

First of all your concerned about keeping the same riding position as your regular MTB. That makes sense to me.

Secondly, your going to be using this hardtail setup for training on the road. That makes sense as well.

The part that seems silly is why would you change the geometry of your hardtail as well as make it much lighter than your regular MTB for the sake of training?

If you want good training on the road keep your hardtail exactly as it is and put a set of slicks on it. If it's heavier than your regular MTB then good.....it will help your training. Just think of all the miles you will be putting on the road and then when you switch to your regular MTB for some off-road racing, you will feel great!

If you really insist on changing the fork on your hardtail, I would just buy a cheap rigid fork and don't worry about the weight (since your using this for training a heavier fork actually helps you in the long run). Just make sure it has the same dimensions as your other fork on your regular MTB to keep the geometry the same.

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poynt
Posts: 182
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 5:31 pm
Location: Devon, UK

by poynt

my mtb is set up for the road use, mainly as i comute on it everyday.
i have a alu road cassette - 11- 23, and lite 650c rimed wheels - 1300gm, running on conti grandprix 1". the bike as is only weighs 14.8lbs and flies.
Image

JungleBiker
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 16, 2004 8:17 am
Location: Thailand

by JungleBiker

poynt wrote:my mtb is set up for the road use, mainly as i comute on it everyday.
i have a alu road cassette - 11- 23, and lite 650c rimed wheels - 1300gm, running on conti grandprix 1". the bike as is only weighs 14.8lbs and flies.
Image


Nice bike! Are those Mrazek brakes? And what type of cranks - Tune?

by Weenie


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poynt
Posts: 182
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 5:31 pm
Location: Devon, UK

by poynt

yes they are or were mrazeks, i now have some of nino's vuelta mags, not as nice to look at but work great and of cource are lighter. The cranks are Tune Bigfoots and again i have now gone to Storck Powerarms now. It's a never ending road of upgrading parts.

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