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Fake it 'til you make it
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My SS is made from an early 80's Raleigh. It's a sweet ride, but I've been spoiled by disc brakes.

Have any of you converted older non-suspension era forks to disc? It doesn't seem like it would be too hard to weld the tabs on there.

If I make or obtain a tab, I could build up the fork with the hub and disc, bolt the tab to the caliper, trim the tab to get the caliper to sit where I want it, and take it to a metal shop to be Tig welded. I don't think I'd have to normalize afterwards because Tig produces such localized heat.

How does this sound?
 

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Depends on the fork. I would at least use a fork from the early '90s, just before the suspension era. They still may not be strong enough for discs. A BMX cruiser fork might work.

I would also go to a frame builder for the welding. It is very difficult to position and align the tab correctly without a jig.
 

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Fake it 'til you make it
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The fork is from a newer Specialized, early direct drive. But, yeah, using one of the oversized forks of the era would be a good idea, thanks. I used to have an aluminum 1" Kinesis that would have been perfect.

I looked at the Davidson website last night, and they wanted $225 just to weld on tabs. Way too much for my budget. I've done projects with motorcycles before where I would bring in whatever I needed to be welded already assembled and aligned and they would just lay the beads.

Thanks for the idea about the later model forks, this has made the idea much easier in my head.
 

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Davidson is not exactly your average frame shop. You could have a complete custom fork made for around that price.

There are many places that add tabs for ~$75 including the tab.
 

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did you look at...

the Surly fork's crown height vs your current fork? I know Surly says its suspension corrected, but it must be for a 63mm under sag! The crown height difference from my Surly and my Vicious is quite noticeable. The Vicious is supposed to be for a 80mm under sag.

Anyway, thought it might be worth a look before you go paying for a weld and paint.

MC

shiggy said:
Depends on the fork. I would at least use a fork from the early '90s, just before the suspension era. They still may not be strong enough for discs. A BMX cruiser fork might work.

I would also go to a frame builder for the welding. It is very difficult to position and align the tab correctly without a jig.
 

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Fake it 'til you make it
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The problem besides the suspension correction of new forks is that they are 1-1/8" steerers, MellowCat. Thanks for the input, though.
 

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JLantz said:
What frame builders are you thinking of, Shiggy?
I know Spicer has done it. Vulture, too.

Best to just contact the builders and ask. Even better if they are local. There are more than a few builders around Seattle.
 

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ahh

you did say..."early 80's" my late 80's bike has a 1 1/8".

good luck, JLantz

JLantz said:
The problem besides the suspension correction of new forks is that they are 1-1/8" steerers, MellowCat. Thanks for the input, though.
 

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Fake it 'til you make it
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The axle to crown on my current fork is 405mm, and the frame's long overhang headtube has about 15mm of extra material that could be removed. The Surly fork (413mm) would actually work if it weren't for the steerer diameter. Damn.
 

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I've never tried it, but how about this fork : http://www.bikemannetwork.com/biking/p/COMPFKCROSS/FK1268
Unless you want to use non-retro 2.3"+ tires, it just may work!

These 400mm cross forks (I've seen the 1 1/8" once on a bike) looks very similar to the 10mm longer MTB version. The latter even fits a ful 29" knobby (31.5mm taller than 26"), I would be surprised on the cross fork didn't fit up to at least 26x2.2" tires. Good thing, it's disc-only, no mis-aligned canti studs from being a cross fork.

Oh and don't mistake "cross" fork "weak", this is a capable fork, tad over 1kg I'm sure. The claimed weight is some old typo or miscalculation from ages ago. Otherwise shipping weight would have been 4lbs I guess.
 

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Or for something really nice

If you want higher end, go custom. Since they outlawed disc bakes for cross manufacturers have seemed to quit as soon as they started but they're a few around in stock, Kona made a P2 cross disc fork for a while. http://www.viciouscycles.com/forks.php3 for a 1" you can have with a disc mount or any of the others in the FAQs can probably do it.
 

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Fake it 'til you make it
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Cloxxki said:
I've never tried it, but how about this fork : http://www.bikemannetwork.com/biking/p/COMPFKCROSS/FK1268
Unless you want to use non-retro 2.3"+ tires, it just may work!
What a great idea! No shop in town has the fork in stock, so I couldn't try out a 26" wheel/tire combo, but I posted on the CX forum at roadbikereview asking for someone to try it for me.

Thanks!
 
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