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Sofa King We Todd Did
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2,262 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Last night, I swapped out my piece of crap RST alleged-suspension fork for the rigid fork that came with my frame. According to the buyer, it's nothing special, some OEM Jamis steel rigid fork that got a paintjob. The steerer tube's a tad short, so I've had to resort to a rather weighty Bontrager stem with a decent rise.

In any case, I was looking around at rigid forks and I was wondering how one picks one over another. What sets rigid forks apart from one another, not accounting for the build material? Say we're only talking about steel rigid forks here - why such variance in pricing and what factors justify this pricing? What makes a $50 Kona Project 2 fork different from a $200 fork from Vicious Cycles, let's say.

Not know any better, I'm looking at a variety of forks and I'm digging the look of forks shaped like this Planet X fork:


over more conventional looking forks with the rounded shoulders like this Surly 1X1 fork


I'm making this preference strictly on looks. I'd previously asked about suspension-corrected forks and so I think I have a handle on that aspect. But what else do I need to know about rigid forks when considering my options?
 

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hispanic mechanic
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2,612 Posts
Arguably, there is a difference...

In how rigid a rigid fork is. The difference comes from a few factors, such as tubing material, wall thickness, tubing diameter, and construction design. In my experience, Surly forks tend to have thick walled, basic 4130 cromo tubes, so they tend to ride a bit harshly. A "custom" fork, like the Viscious you mentioned, will probably be made of a higher-end steel (i.e. True Temper Platinum OX, Deddacci, Columbus, etc.) so the tubing can be thinner walled, thinner diameter, thus "giving" a bit more to soften the blows.
Many people would say that you can't feel the difference until you make a fork flex to the point that steering suffers, but I'd disagree.
As far as your choices go, I haven't really heard all that much about the Planet X, so I'll not comment on it specifically, but I know that Viscious makes a great fork.
Hope this helps a bit,

the los
 

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Sofa King We Todd Did
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2,262 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Now, assuming that I'm not going to do anything wacky here - and I don't plan to - and my rides are typically average cross-country trail rides with your average smatterings of rocks and roots, and I'm really going to be able to feel the difference between a $50 'extra' rigid fork versus a $200 'supple' rigid fork? I mean, a rigid fork's gonna ride a fair bit harsher than a suspension fork anyhow, so what sort of variance in ride feel are we talking here? Not a lot, I imagine, but please clue me in if I'm off base here. That's why I'm asking, after all.
 

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pepito
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640 Posts
i've no experience with the planet x fork, but i've heard it's an anchor. i've got a p2 on my bike, and i dig it. it's cheap, light, and strong as heck. i don't know about the difference between a viscious and a kona, but i'm sure one exists. is it worth the extra $$$? not in my opinion, unless it's going to mounted on a seriously blingy frame. the cheaper route to front end "cush" is a big tire with lower pressure. as far as looks, the planet x is one bad mutha, but i think the surly is fugly. very fugly. i hate curved fork blades on mountain bikes.

the_dude
 

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hispanic mechanic
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2,612 Posts
No, you're prolly right...

SpinWheelz said:
Now, assuming that I'm not going to do anything wacky here - and I don't plan to - and my rides are typically average cross-country trail rides with your average smatterings of rocks and roots, and I'm really going to be able to feel the difference between a $50 'extra' rigid fork versus a $200 'supple' rigid fork? I mean, a rigid fork's gonna ride a fair bit harsher than a suspension fork anyhow, so what sort of variance in ride feel are we talking here? Not a lot, I imagine, but please clue me in if I'm off base here. That's why I'm asking, after all.
Keep in mind that the racing I do these days is 24 solos and other endurance-type stuff, where I think it does make a difference. It might not for your use, and it definitely might not be worth the extra money.

the los
 

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336 Posts
The Kona is supposed to be a supple fork. It weighs under 2lbs. as well. I thought about 1 for my steed, but the axle to crown is 15mm too short for me. Go for the Kona.
 

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zeebot
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1,125 Posts
I'm in a similar situation looking for a more bling-like rigid fork. I currently run a surly and have never ridden any other rigid fork. I already have a pretty fat 2.5 weirwolf race up front. I don't mind the harsh ride but am curious if there is something smoother out there pplus I would like a disc specific fork.

I'm debating between the Vicious, IF's fork(awfully expensive!) and the Pace Carbon fork. Do the vicious or IF have routing for the cable?

IF and Vicious: appear to be pretty much the same but they do use different steel. both are straight blade. Vicious would be able to color match my fork to the frame since they built the frame I ride earlier this year...Vicious is around 200, IF is closer to 300 i think.

Pace: super light, I've heard it's much smoother than the steel forks but haven't seen one or spoken with anyone directly. Pace is around 290 dollars after shipping from the UK.
 

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giddy up!
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3,249 Posts
Spookykinkajou said:
I'm in a similar situation looking for a more bling-like rigid fork. I currently run a surly and have never ridden any other rigid fork. I already have a pretty fat 2.5 weirwolf race up front. I don't mind the harsh ride but am curious if there is something smoother out there pplus I would like a disc specific fork.

I'm debating between the Vicious, IF's fork(awfully expensive!) and the Pace Carbon fork. Do the vicious or IF have routing for the cable?

IF and Vicious: appear to be pretty much the same but they do use different steel. both are straight blade. Vicious would be able to color match my fork to the frame since they built the frame I ride earlier this year...Vicious is around 200, IF is closer to 300 i think.

Pace: super light, I've heard it's much smoother than the steel forks but haven't seen one or spoken with anyone directly. Pace is around 290 dollars after shipping from the UK.

I'd go with either the pace or the Vicious. I'm sure Carl could throw some cable guides on there for ya, and matching paint would be hot.

That being said, if I were you, I'd buy the Pace. A buddy of mine has one...rides it all the time and rides it HARD. Looks good, is super light, and rides nicely. What more can you ask for?

Brian

Oh, sorry about the kelly fork selling so quick...that would have been sweet. I'd put them back on your list!
 

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Sofa King We Todd Did
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2,262 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
That's encouraging to hear about that Kona Project 2 fork.

Here's another fork question - are there shim or adapters that can be used to fit a fork with a 1" steerer tube into a 1-1/8" steerer tube? I'm asking because once in a while I see rigid forks shaped like that Planet X one but they come with 1" steerer tubes.

Also, are there are brands that manufacture rigid steel forks shaped like that Planet X one that don't cost the earth and the moon? At Webcyclery, there's a Koxx Mastoxx fork similarly-shaped for about $75, while an On One titanium one sells for $340. I love the shape of some of the other Surly forks, like the Cross Check or Steamroller, but they're for 700c wheels.
 

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Registered
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Surly 1x1 here. Well made, well finished, Good value and good service. Before i bought, I emailed Surly with questions and their answers were prompt and factual. I have no concerns about this fork standing up to any abuse my ineptitude as a rider can dish out. I'd rather have a strong fork and let a fat tire provide some cush. I like the look of curved forks. One point mentioned by my lbs:
- if you are going to run a disc brake make sure the brake mounting tab is welded on both sides of the tab, for strength.
 

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Registered
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882 Posts
cable guides...

My Vicious came with cable mounts that take zip ties. My fork is Disc only.

I rode a Surly for about a year before buying the Vicious to go on my Spot. The Vicious is smoother for sure, but does not take a 2.5" tire. I run a 2.4 Mutano Raptor on mine ok, but I wouldn't want much mub build up.


MC


donkey said:
I'd go with either the pace or the Vicious. I'm sure Carl could throw some cable guides on there for ya, and matching paint would be hot.

That being said, if I were you, I'd buy the Pace. A buddy of mine has one...rides it all the time and rides it HARD. Looks good, is super light, and rides nicely. What more can you ask for?

Brian

Oh, sorry about the kelly fork selling so quick...that would have been sweet. I'd put them back on your list!
 

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zeebot
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1,125 Posts
MellowCat said:
My Vicious came with cable mounts that take zip ties. My fork is Disc only.

I rode a Surly for about a year before buying the Vicious to go on my Spot. The Vicious is smoother for sure, but does not take a 2.5" tire. I run a 2.4 Mutano Raptor on mine ok, but I wouldn't want much mub build up.


MC
AH, yes, I forgot about tire clearance issues. The weirwolf 2.5 definitely has wider tread than the 2.4 mutano but not by a lot. I wonder how the Pace is. Donkey??? I really like the weirwolf 2.5 it would stink to have to go back to the mutano. The traction is simply incomparable.
 

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giddy up!
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3,249 Posts
Spookykinkajou said:
AH, yes, I forgot about tire clearance issues. The weirwolf 2.5 definitely has wider tread than the 2.4 mutano but not by a lot. I wonder how the Pace is. Donkey??? I really like the weirwolf 2.5 it would stink to have to go back to the mutano. The traction is simply incomparable.
It'll swallow a 2.5 no problem. Maybe a 3.0.

B
 

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Super Moderator
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48,237 Posts
The Koxx fork is not what you want. It is a trials fork. Built for strength and stiffness, not ride quality.
 

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Out spokin'
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11,244 Posts
I agree with hu-man. With regard to the red highlighted comment below, I'd expand on this sentiment by saying if you don't want a rigid rigid fork, then buy a suspension fork. No rigid fork is going to make enough of a difference in ride quality that a rider would ever say "Ahhhhhhhhh... now THAT'S a comfortable rigid fork!" It just ain't gonna happen; that's why they're called rigid.

With regard to hu-man's blue highlighted comment below, forks are like dresses. They look better on than off (don't construe this to mean a woman looks better in a dress as opposed to out of it. Other way around. :) ) My point is that the Surly fork looks decent once it's mounted. (No further analogies between forks and women necessary!)

--Sparty



hu-man said:
Surly 1x1 here. Well made, well finished, Good value and good service. Before i bought, I emailed Surly with questions and their ans.wers were prompt and factual. I have no concerns about this fork standing up to any abuse my ineptitude as a rider can dish out. I'd rather have a strong fork and let a fat tire provide some cush. I like the look of curved forks. One point mentioned by my lbs:
- if you are going to run a disc brake make sure the brake mounting tab is welded on both sides of the tab, for strength.
 
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