Suspension fork or stem for a cyclocross bike?
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  1. #1
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    Suspension fork or stem for a cyclocross bike?

    Just wondering if there are suspension forks or stems available for use on a cyclocross bike. I have a 54 cm 2008 Jake The Snake. Just want to take some bite out of the ride on rough roads, paths. I don't race this bike, it's just my back-road/country-road rider/explorer.

  2. #2
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    Any 29er MTB fork should work then. There are some suspension forks made for hybrids, maybe Rock Shox still makes them, that you could also check if you only want 1-2in of travel.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TedH
    Any 29er MTB fork should work then.
    Actually they won't work well at all. The axle-to-crown dimension on a 29er MTB fork will be way too tall for the geometry of a CX frame. Even a 26" fork will be far too tall (in addition to the brake posts being in the wrong place).
    Last edited by PeanutButterBreath; 08-04-2008 at 02:19 PM.

  4. #4
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    I wish they made really simple suspension stems. Just something with 1" to 2" of 'travel' to reduce the bumps and smacks on crappy roads. They used to make suspension stems, but not any longer.

  5. #5
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    I saw on craigslist a while ago an older 90's mongoose titanium cross bike with a 700c specific fork. So they must be out there...

  6. #6
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    Bigger tires & lower PSI, better set-up, better technique, more realistic expectations or just a more appropriate bike would be your better bets, IMO.

    Most of the "simple", inexpensive front suspension systems disappeared because they were crappy (or dangerous). Too heavy and technologically inferior. RockShox currently makes a suspension fork for hybrids, but they explicitly say that it is not for MTB or cyclocross.

  7. #7
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    Did the Poprad come with a suspension fork at one time? or was it just disc braking?

    Paris-Roubaix was won on suspension forks a couple of years in the 90s. I have a picture of Duclos-Lasalle winning in 1992 with a Rock Shox and I think one of Museeuw's wins was on one. Don't have any more details.

    The front cover of Bicycling Magazine's Complete Book of Road Cycling Skills (pub. 1998) features a Serotta with suspension fork. i believe some road suspension forks do come up on Ebay regularly, these should work for cross as well.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by flanman
    i believe some road suspension forks do come up on Ebay regularly, these should work for cross as well.
    Assuming they have clearance for cross tires. . .

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    Assuming they have clearance for cross tires. . .
    Good point!

  10. #10
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    Rockshox introduced one that would work somewhere around ten years ago or more. Just enough clearance (like a rigid cross fork), canti studs, 1" steerer. Travis Brown used a specially lightened one at Nationals in the SF Presidio. Yeah, if you're lucky, maybe you'll see something on ebay that'd work. I agree with other folks here though that it's probably not the wisest choice.

  11. #11
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    I'm guessing you want 1-1/8 threadless and something shorter than 135, but some older ones avail on ebay.

  12. #12
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    My bike is a 2008 54 cm Jake The Snake. I can't recall if the stem is 1" or 1 and 1/8".

  13. #13
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    It's likely 1 1/8". I'd say that the best you can do is get the largest tires on there you can and run at a lower pressure. That can make a huge difference, depending on what you are running right now.

  14. #14
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    The bike has 35's on there now. I went from a regular saddle to a Velo comfort saddle with springs and that was all it took to make the rear end comfortable. Perhaps I'll check for some gel gloves.

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    One other thought could be to pick up an inexpensive Surly Cross Check fork. I have one and it'll take a much larger tire than a 35. May be able to get close to a 2" tire in there. However, it could cause toe overlap issues. Something to think about.

  16. #16
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    I don't want to put enourmous tires on there. The bike can probably fit a bit bigger tires without a larger fork. I'm not sure exactly. I'll check into that and the Surly Cross Check fork.

  17. #17
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    see "under pressure"

    Quote Originally Posted by one_speed
    It's likely 1 1/8". I'd say that the best you can do is get the largest tires on there you can and run at a lower pressure. That can make a huge difference, depending on what you are running right now.
    that's totally true - if you're not set on suspension, you'll get a lot more efficiency and speed by going to lower pressure while riding. going wider, running tubeless, or running tubulars will all help. see the article "under pressure" that did some "research" on tire pressure and its effect on speed in Issue 3 of Cyclocross Magazine.

    good luck.

  18. #18

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    You got a Project 2 steel fork on there that is fairly compliant. But its a strait leg fork, you could check into something like a Surly Cross Check fork with curved legs to take the edge off a little more. If you wanted to step up even more, look at a Sibex Ti Cross Fork...its about as supple as it gets (without being a noodle) for a rigid fork.

    You might also check into gel pads/tape for your bars to take a little of the sting off
    Free Cascadia!

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  19. #19
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    I wouldn't ride a Sibex fork if you paid me.

  20. #20

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    why?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    I wouldn't ride a Sibex fork if you paid me.
    I'm curious to what your justification is. I seen in person two professional riders using them (both national champions in various disciplines) with great success.

    I haven't rode one myself but I did get to demo a Morati (not sure if they're in business anymore) ti cross fork a few years back and the thing felt great despite my concerns of it being too flexy under my 215lbs.
    Free Cascadia!

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by hayduke1972
    You got a Project 2 steel fork on there that is fairly compliant. But its a strait leg fork, you could check into something like a Surly Cross Check fork with curved legs to take the edge off a little more. If you wanted to step up even more, look at a Sibex Ti Cross Fork...its about as supple as it gets (without being a noodle) for a rigid fork.

    You might also check into gel pads/tape for your bars to take a little of the sting off
    My 08 54 cm Jake The Snake has a Kona Carbon Cross fork. It's not bad really. It does soak up some of the vibration, but, it's the rough bumps on some really crappy roads up north that I'd like to smooth out.

  22. #22
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    Too many reports of scary handling characteristics and too many pictures like this:


  23. #23

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    OK...but thats a MTB fork

    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    Too many reports of scary handling characteristics and too many pictures like this:

    Fair enough...but the picture your showing is a Sibex MTB fork which I think we can both agree is subjected to greater abuse.

    Besides, in my eight years as a bicycle mechanic...I saw plenty of broken headtubes, suspension forks, and even road forks (steel, aluminum, and carbon).
    Free Cascadia!

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by hayduke1972
    Fair enough...but the picture your showing is a Sibex MTB fork which I think we can both agree is subjected to greater abuse.
    No, we can't. It is an MTB fork, shouldn't be be built to handle MTB riding? Using the fork for the application it was sold for is not "abuse", simply because it is more rigorous than other applications.

    Quote Originally Posted by hayduke1972
    Besides, in my eight years as a bicycle mechanic...I saw plenty of broken headtubes, suspension forks, and even road forks (steel, aluminum, and carbon).
    Sure, anything can break. But when you see a pattern. . .





    (Different labels, same factory)

    And there is still the whole matter of many people thinking they handle like crap. QBP no longer carries them, so they are hard to find. I think the writing is on the wall for Sibex forks.

  25. #25
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    ...well, I don't want another rigid fork...

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