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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy all! I've been trying to read through the forums to see if I could find an answer but haven't had much luck yet. Got an old bike, 2000's something Trek 820, with some even older shocks that are well outside of their prime. I understand that throwing them out is the most practical thing to do but... the bike was $20 and finding a cheap pair of 26" threadless forks that support rim brakes been a challenge thus far.

So, I'm looking at a spring conversion because after seeing the elastomers crumbled inside there that just seems stupid. Unfortunately I know squat about shocks that RJ the Bike Guy hasn't recently taught me. This is what I've found so far for about $50:


I can reasonably intuit that I drop the springs on top of the little plastic caps that were in the bottom of the forks, not in the picture, and then screw the rest of the stack down on top of that. I've got both tubes cleared and clean but when I opened them they were bone dry and I don't know if I am supposed to add fork oil or not? Nothing I have seen about spring conversion mentions it. I'm hoping grease is the right answer as otherwise I need to start worrying about seals and then I'm moving closer to the garbage heap.

Anyone got any experience with these old things that might have some advice? I'll even take a pointing in the right direction for some cheap forks. Performance is not a huge concern. Urban riding with anything even slightly better than bottomed out old fork behavior would be fine.

Thanks all!

1941436
 

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high pivot witchcraft
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I had speed springs back in the day to replace what felt like wooden elastomers in a brand new Manitou fork. I simply pulled out the elastomers, dropped the springs in, and enjoyed what felt like a huge improvement. At least the fork compressed after.

No grease.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had speed springs back in the day to replace what felt like wooden elastomers in a brand new Manitou fork. I simply pulled out the elastomers, dropped the springs in, and enjoyed what felt like a huge improvement. At least the fork compressed after.

No grease.
Sweet, that helps. I really don't want to have to start messing with the seals in this thing. Sort of hoped springs would just bounce and that sounds like it might be the case.
 

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The old elastomers provided some level of damping as they compressed and expanded slowly. Just springs is not going to be good. As mentioned above the pogo stick is not a good ride and I would go as far as saying its an invitation to injury.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all for the tips! I agree, I'm likely in for a little pogo action but it's mostly going to be tooling around urban settings getting casual miles so I hope it's manageable. Based on everyone's powerful feelings on the subject, I might try seeing if one of the sides will hold oil okay and try to reuse the not destroyed yet elastomer to maybe balance out the pogo action a bit. Here's hoping anyway
 

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Wow, haven't heard of SRP (back then it was "Specialty Racing Products" for bolts titanium/aluminum bolts and not "Specialty Retro Products") and "Steed Springs" (back then it was Mountain Speed's "Speed Springs") for awhile, and definitely not together. I'm pretty sure both originals went out of business awhile ago. But they're channeling the logos for each pretty accurately (without being a copy), so I guess it's a riff?

I think they'll be fine as a casual-riding part. I wouldn't take it through a rock garden nor ride down a staircase on it. So basically commuter and/or bridle trail duty... which is probably appropriate for an Indy these days. They were not good (even in those days) to begin with.

I had (have; sitting on a shelf as a reminder) a Manitou EFC back-in-the-day that needed a diaper (for being oil-incontinent; everybody was all fixated on thru-shaft dampers back then, and none of them worked reliably), and with Speed Springs in them. I don't really remember how unworkable it was once it lost its load, but it shoved me toward a Marzocchi.
 

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high pivot witchcraft
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Thanks all for the tips! I agree, I'm likely in for a little pogo action but it's mostly going to be tooling around urban settings getting casual miles so I hope it's manageable. Based on everyone's powerful feelings on the subject, I might try seeing if one of the sides will hold oil okay and try to reuse the not destroyed yet elastomer to maybe balance out the pogo action a bit. Here's hoping anyway
When I replaced the elastomers with the Speed Springs it was like an epiphany. Yes, it had some undamped pogo action but I didn't let that stop me from riding faster than I had ever ridden (at that point of my life). The Speed Springs were worth every penny. I had a blast with that bike after I ditched those useless elastomers. I hope you do too.
 
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