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Some of these may seem like dumb questions, but I have never upgraded a suspension fork, and any searches I try come back with a million threads that have the same search terms, but not what I am looking for.

I currently have a Dart 3, I am hoping to upgrade this at some point in the near future for something that is lighter and better performing. However, anytime I see an ad for a new fork it mentions the steerer tube. Now, I am pretty sure I know what this is, but how do I know how long I need it to be?

I also see things about a starnut, what is that? how do I know if one is installed on my bike and if I need one? I also see things about the diameter, assuming of the steerer tube, typically around 1.5" or so, but similar to my other questions, how do I know what size will fit my bike?

For the record I have a Rockhopper, but I also want to know simply to have the knowledge of what these terms are, and how I find out what is on my current and any future bikes.

Thanks. :thumbsup:
 

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The steerer tube is what the stem is clamped to (the stem holds the bars). It will be 1 1/8" diameter on your bike.

The star nut is what the top cap is bolted into and you will need a new one with a new fork.

The steerer length is measured from the top of the fork crown to the top of the steerer tube (~3mm below the bottom of the top cap).

You will also need to remove the crown race from the old fork and install it on a new fork.

Review this Park Tool Tutorial to get a better feel for what is involved.
 

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Mountain Man Dan
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You don't HAVE to cut your steerer tube down to size. Feel free to leave extra at the top so you can possibly adjust your stem in the future. You will need to put spacers above the stem though to take up the extra space, as well as spacers below it to whatever height you want.
 
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