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Witty McWitterson
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's a question for the gallery.

The stock fork on my bike is starting to give me not so comfortable feelings. Thin drop outs. thin brake mount. Today I noticed that the legs appear to be out of alignment from the crown down.

The rider: 6'5". 220lbs. Singlespeeding masher. Strong. Been called a horse of a rider. :p

The terrain: tight, rocky downhills. Fast flats. Lots of logs and stuff. Stiff climbs.

The question: I'm going to have a fork made. Is a 20mm through axle fork going to benefit me? I'm thinking of picking up one of the new Reba's when they're available. It'd be nice to be able to swap between the two if I feel like it.

Thanks you nutters.
 

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I'm going to go ahead and say yes, it would benefit you. I don't have direct experience with a rigid 20mm fork, but I have ridden a 20mm suspension fork, and I noticed a big difference in tracking and general flexiness (I'm a bit heavier than you). I suspect that would translate into a rigid fork.
 

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Who is gonna make it (if you don't mind me asking)?

Ive seen one before, and asked a local reputable builder, but he said he cant do it. :| ???

but I havent been looking around other builders quite yet.
 

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yeah, i've ridden a 20mm front axle for over 5 years. it excells in every terrain, and especially in rutted and rocky front wheel twisting terrain. i rode my hardtail with a quik release front when my f.s. was in the shop and it felt like a coil spring was connecting the bars to the fork instead of a stem. flexxxy. with the 20mm thru axle the wheel goes where you point it, and it holds a line. i think you will be glad you upgraded. :cornut:
 

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The primary advantage of a 20mm axle with a suspension fork is that it keeps both legs moving together. I don't see how this would apply to a rigid fork, but I guess it would be stiffer.
 

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How about WaltWorks?

This one is serves as a trusty backup in case I ever need to go without supension. However, it rides so nice I've been considering making it my full-time choice.


 

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Harmonius Wrench
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QR's are sooooo yesterday!

You know, I see the 20mm thru-axle becoming the more common choice for 29"ers someday. I have seen the Walt Works example somewhere here before, and if I'm not mistaken, James at Blacksheep has done a couple. It just makes sense.

In the meantime the On One Carbon Superlight has the beefiest, stiffest QR rigid fork out their in terms of resisting torsional flex. Those drop outs are really well done on that fork, but it doesn't get along with all the brake/hub combinations out there. So, not a great choice for everybody.

As a side benefit, I think you are on the right track with the compatibility between suspension and rigid forks. I am starting to convert over to 20mm myself and am also thinking of a 20mm rigid thru-axle fork. I'll be waiting to see what it is you come up with!
 

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Marty - from everything I've read/heard/axed a proper unicrown rigid fork with decent QR should be every bit as solid as a TA fork (even though I want one!). WW certainly makes some nice 5-pc segmented forks but they seem like overkill. A KM fork with a DT ratcheting skewer should be muy solid.

Question is, which rigid fork is not living up to your uber-manly expectations?
 

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Was't there one done with a really elaborate crown as well? I can't remember the whole bike but the fork was awesome.

I'm in a similar position - I'm thinking about next year's Reba and going 20mm ... but in my case I'm also thinking about hubs that I can convert from 20mm T.A. to 9mm Q.R. (what my rigid steel fork takes). Having a steel fork that negates the need to also swap hub innards everytime I change forks would be great.
 

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Absolutely eyefloater, I just wanted to go to one consistent size.

Hey shishku, my WW fork was built for a White Brothers 20mm axle. Don't have a pic now but I'll get one for you soon.
 

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Blacksheep 20mm thru

I had James build me one and just got it installed about 2 weeks ago on a new Mooto-X YBB. I weigh about 210 loaded with Wingnut pack and expreessed concern about the flexy reputation of Ti forks. For lighter weight riders, the forks are made with a .51mm wall thickness, but he use .7mm wall thickness on this one given my weight and riding habits and primary trails. The fork came with a Manitou QR Thru axle, but James is waiting on some material to make inserts to use the Rock Shox Maxle.

dimensions:
470mm A-C
47mm Rake
Weight 800 grams

Ride quality is great. Fork tracks perfectly and provides that nice Ti feel, not really flexy, but smooth, and feels appropriately matched to the YBB rear end of the Moots. I have a new Fox F29 sitting in a box in the garage, but every time I ride the Blacksheep, I keep postponing installing it. I will probably cut eh steerer and keep the Fox around for hundreds or more technical trails than I normally ride.

I have wanted a Ti fork for about 10 years, but never got one due to reputation as flexy noodle. I gotta say James did a fabulous job working with me to produce a fork that rides even better than I imagined. I recommend James 100% for the quality of craftsmanship, design, and knowledge to get you what you are looking for.
 

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Jeff Jones has a 135mm custom Phil Wood front hub he designed and you can only get through him. He also makes the truss fork and has Vicious cycles manufacture a steel fork for it. Super strong wheel, I watched him lay this wheel on the ground and bounce up and down with his feet on opposite sides of the rims

FYI - this hub is a standard QR though, not 20mm

Scroll down towards the bottom of this page: http://jonesbikes.com/blog/?cat=6
 

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Witty McWitterson
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Soupy - its the stock Jamis fork on the Exile. Nice enough for a lighter rider in smoother terrain, but round here, and under me, its giving me not-so-comfortable feelings.

I could go with another stock, off the shelf fork, but not many are out there at 490mm. I don't really feel like going to carbon, even though there are plenty out there. We got sharp rocks here. And I do crash occasionally.

The maker(a friend) has been asked if he's interested in doing something, and he's local. He's just getting going, but trust his ability quite well.

WTB used to have a 115mm hub. Or was it 110mm? Can't remember, but it never caught on unfortunately. I think someone else had a 120. Maybe early Manitous?
 
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