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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to apologize up front if this seems like a dumb question, but I'm coming from the roadie world and the world of MTBs is not something with which I'm as familiar. Long story short - I bought a 2000 Hardrock from ebay w/the intent of stripping it down and refurbishing it. From the research I've done (http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/...0&Brand=Specialized&Model=Hardrock&Type=bike), it looks like this model didn't come with a front shock, but the one I bought had one one it (low-end RockShox). My question is, is this sacriledge and should I replace it with a rigid MTB fork, or is it ok to leave it on? I assume that the geometry of an MTB w/a fork is different that one w/out? If that's true, will I experience any issues? Basically, should I keep it on there or find a rigid fork?

Thanks. :thumbsup:
 

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I could be wrong, but I'd say VERY FEW XC riders still use a rigid fork. Even the hard core single speed, fixed gear, steel frame, "shut up and ride" guys still have at least a "3 travel fork. Quite frankly, a good fork makes the ride more enjoyable. I personally enjoy the plushness of a full suspension bike. For now, I'd suggest building the bike, and possibly even upgrading the fork to something a little better, like a FOX 32 F RLC...
 

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your bike will ride rougher with a rigid fork but you will lose a good bit of weight and rigid forks dont really require any maintanence unlike suspension forks.

what you want to look for is a rigid fork that is "suspension corrected", that way it wont affect your bikes geometry. there are a lot of rigid fork options on the market these days. if you just want something cheap then buy a steel fork, Tange, Dimension, and Surly have some decent cheap steel forks. Since your a roadie you might like carbon fiber, White Bros, Winwood, and Ritchey make carbon mtb forks. If you really want to bling out your bike maybe go with a Sibex titanium fork.
 

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Personal preference rules. If you have an old low end RockShox you may as well put a rigid fork on, it'll probably be an improvement. Just try and approximate the same axle to crown height your frame was designed for for best results. If you do go for another suspension fork, you'll probably only find the shorter travel forks (probably 80mm at most) will work well with your frame, but I wouldn't spend too much on that bike either. Off the top of my head I think you're probably looking for a fork for that frame with about 400mm axle to crown height. I think aebike.com usually has a pretty good selection of rigid forks...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to all for your quick and helpful responses.

Rufudufus,
According to my paint colors and all of the components, my purchase is the Hardrock shown in my original link. The only difference is the shock (which is a Jett T2, btw - had a chance to take a closer look now that I'm home). The shock on the model in your link is the Jett S and it's blue. Mine is black (I know that isn't relevant, but it certainly didn't come off the FS model - at least not that year).

Bfool,
Would the Specialized site have the specs on this bike that weren't on bikepedia.com (axle to crown height)? My initial reaction is to just try the bike the way it is, and if I don't like it, I can always go back to a cromoly rigid fork like the stock one and see how that feels. That's certainly not an expensive investment.

Invicta,
You're right, as a roadie, I'm familiar w/all off the fork types and although my carbon-forked bikes feel good, they're not so much better than my cromoly model that I would spend the extra money for carbon. Plus, all of my carbon-forked bikes are various aluminum alloys and that's not really comparable to the ride of steel. I've seen the Tange and Surley forks - they're definitely something I'll keep in mind if it turns out that I don't like the RockShox.

SurfSail,
A little bit better shock like the FOX 32 F RLC? The best price I saw on that was around $700. :eek: The bike only cost me $100. :D Just goes to show - it's much more difficult to build your own on a budget - a lesson I've learned the hard way on my road bikes. I sure love doing it, though. :thumbsup:
 

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Fair enough, I wasn't considering price... RockShox makes some pretty decent forks for a couple hundred. Look for 2007/2008 leftovers on the Web. Check sites like BlueSkyCycling.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
SurfSailRide said:
Fair enough, I wasn't considering price... RockShox makes some pretty decent forks for a couple hundred. Look for 2007/2008 leftovers on the Web. Check sites like BlueSkyCycling.com
Yep, was looking at some of those today (Darts, Toras). Haven't pulled the trigger, though.
 

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So in terms of retrofitting...

I have a '96 Stumpjumper. It came with a Judy XC fork. Of course the damping is blown on the shock so it is basically a pogo stick.

But slowly I started to revamp my ride. First it was replacement brake pads. Then it was new tires (this made a huge difference) specific to the terrain I ride (mud and muck). And now finally, a new 80mm fork. I also picked up a new stem to change my riding position a bit.

The fork itself was $230 with v-brake mounts. It is air/coil with adjustable rebound damping.

So I have a much fresher bike. But I'm out $400. I am IN riding the trails though.

Basically, look at what type of trails you'll be riding. Is your bike enough for you to ride it? Are there little things that can help keep riding? Are bigger things required?
 

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derailling the thread...

SurfSailRide said:
I could be wrong, but I'd say VERY FEW XC riders still use a rigid fork
There is a 29er thread with 36 pages of bikes with rigid forks, along with plenty more pictures in the SS forum. Rigid is huge with the SS/fixed crowd
 

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cstamper said:
Thanks to all for your quick and helpful responses.

Bfool,
Would the Specialized site have the specs on this bike that weren't on bikepedia.com (axle to crown height)? My initial reaction is to just try the bike the way it is, and if I don't like it, I can always go back to a cromoly rigid fork like the stock one and see how that feels. That's certainly not an expensive investment.
:
Doubt the Specialized site has that specification even for their new bikes; you might try phoning them or one of their dealers, but someone on the Specialized forum on this site probably knows, or googling might work. The stock suspension fork I note only has 63mm of travel, common for the day. Heck, if the current fork works now, use it. You paid $ 100 for a 9 year old $ 300 when new bike? Ouch.
 

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boomn said:
There is a 29er thread with 36 pages of bikes with rigid forks, along with plenty more pictures in the SS forum. Rigid is huge with the SS/fixed crowd
Hence the Disclaimer, "I could be wrong." In my area, perhaps due to the rocky technical trails, most serious XC hard tail single speed guys still have a short travel suspension fork. I apologize for generalizing.

When it comes down to it, it's really personal preference. So if you're willing to spend a couple hundred on a new fork, do so. Otherwise, ride what you've got - a bike's a bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Bikinfoolferlife said:
Doubt the Specialized site has that specification even for their new bikes; you might try phoning them or one of their dealers, but someone on the Specialized forum on this site probably knows, or googling might work. The stock suspension fork I note only has 63mm of travel, common for the day. Heck, if the current fork works now, use it. You paid $ 100 for a 9 year old $ 300 when new bike? Ouch.
Unfortunately, I'm a sometimes impulsive buyer and will put the purchasing horse before the research carriage. :madman:
 

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cstamper said:
Thanks to all for your quick and helpful responses.

According to my paint colors and all of the components, my purchase is the Hardrock shown in my original link. The only difference is the shock (which is a Jett T2, btw - had a chance to take a closer look now that I'm home). The shock on the model in your link is the Jett S and it's blue. Mine is black (I know that isn't relevant, but it certainly didn't come off the FS model - at least not that year).
Sounds like you're right, but it looks like the frame is same on both models, so you should be OK with a short travel fork. BTW, a hundred bucks isn't outrageous for a decent used bike, even if it's fairly low-end. Much better than spending a hundred bucks for a new department store bike. That said, it's gotta hurt to spend 2-3 times more for the fork than you did for the whole bike! But a new bike with a decent fork will cost a lot more, so why not? Sounds like you like working on bikes, so you could have fun upgrading that rig for while, if you plan on keeping it long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Rufudufus said:
Sounds like you're right, but it looks like the frame is same on both models, so you should be OK with a short travel fork. BTW, a hundred bucks isn't outrageous for a decent used bike, even if it's fairly low-end. Much better than spending a hundred bucks for a new department store bike. That said, it's gotta hurt to spend 2-3 times more for the fork than you did for the whole bike! But a new bike with a decent fork will cost a lot more, so why not? Sounds like you like working on bikes, so you could have fun upgrading that rig for while, if you plan on keeping it long.
Is it cost-effective to build your own? Usually not.
Will you make any money doing it by reselling? Probably not or not much.
Is it something I enjoy? Hell yes.

I've built 4 road bikes from the bare frame (2001 Jamis Comet, 2003 Giant TCR 1, 2005 Jamis Quest, 2006 Fuji Roubaix Pro); I also own a 2006 Giant Cypress SL hybrid, a 1984 Centurion Comp TA road bike, and a 1993 Mt. Shasta Arrowhead hardtail. It's an obsession, but I wouldn't have it any other way. :thumbsup:
 
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