Author Topic: Suss fork on Nomad Mk2 for extending touring (South America) - experiences?  (Read 8586 times)

Pavel

  • Guest
After reading this thread yesterday, which re-awakened my desire for trying out how a sue fork would suit (or not) I almost bought one.  I've got it in my cart right now, waiting with a bit of uncertainty, to pull the trigger.
The part that stops me is the fact that I weigh 220lbs plus change (A live of Beer - well lived) and so I think that whatever the forks, I would be wise to immediately replace the springs with the firmest springs available.  I like the RockShox XC32TK or XC30TK.  Both seems very well priced and both can be had compatible with V-brakes.  What I can't seem to find is what model of firm spring that fits these and where I can purchase them.  I've read that on a mountainbike forum that it can be hard to get the springs.  So ... anyone with ideas?   Secondly, it would appear that all the models out there are available with the aluminum stem, not the steel version.  Would it be, do you all think, a bad idea to tour with an aluminum stem ... instead of holding out for either a different model or until I can locate the steel stemmed variant?  Or is that inconsequential?

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7163
  • reisen statt rasen
Pavel,

Replacement springs for these two forks can indeed be a bit hard to find at present.

Whenever I want to do a quick search for parts, I turn to the QBike merchant search engine. It is limited to member merchants, but is helpful nonetheless: www.qbike.com

Universal Cycles does carry replacement springs for the XC30 for about USD$33 here: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/index.php?category=87

A SRAM dealer should be able to help you out with RockShox replacements (RockShox is part of the SRAM group) and are your most likely source. I'd contact them first to see if the springs are currently in production and available or if they only exist in remaining stock.

QBP (Quality Bike Products) also lists RockShox replacement internals. QBP's listings for RockShox replacements for all models are in this custom comprehensive search: http://harriscyclery.net/special-order-catalog-qc49/?action=list&searchtype=search&keywords=springs&Brand=349&gobutnsearch=Search

Narrowing it down a bit, the specific springs for the TK30 and TK32 are listed here: http://harriscyclery.net/special-order-catalog-qc49/?action=list&searchtype=search&keywords=springs&Brand=349&gobutnsearch=Search&startRow=76

Do note, most of the replacement parts for these two forks are listed as "out of stock" in the QBP listings. If/when they become available, any QBP-member-dealer can place an order for you, or you can go through Harris Cyclery, linked through the custom searches above.

'Wish I had something more definitive, but that's the best I can come up with at the moment. If my own finger were itching to pull the trigger on placing an order, I think I'd establish a firm source for the needed springs first. Personally, I twitch a little at the mention of alu steerers -- especially for off-road touring, but they work fine in long service under very rough usage when mountain biking. I rarely hear of any alu steerer breakages, so it may simply be my deep-seated mistrust of aluminum frames for touring that colors my view.

Best,

Dan.

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7163
  • reisen statt rasen
Pavel,

The SRAM/RockShox spare parts catalog with part numbers is here (downloadable PDF): http://cdn.sram.com/cdn/farfuture/ANyaEyGQwj9PMvu3l8s8ySQ5bJoseEABNStrOQd8rv4/mtime:1362172526/sites/default/files/techdocs/2013_rockshox_spc_rev_b.pdf

The coil spring chart by rider weight is here: http://cdn.sram.com/cdn/farfuture/EutPSWMVI5GpisXo9r_hUmio0bsMnNIxOhi4mQ7XY8s/mtime:1340223420/sites/default/files/techdocs/gen_0000000004200_rev_a_rockshox_suspension_fork_coil_spring_chart_2013.pdf

I do see 220lbs/99kg is their listed upper limit.

When checking out the chart, don't forget to factor in bike/load weight also if you're touring, especially if carrying a front load (i.e. panniers on a Tubus Swing front carrier).

Best,

Dan.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 07:16:24 PM by Danneaux »

Pavel

  • Guest
Thanks Dan.  Thorough as usual! :)
I too have some strange vibe about the thought of aluminum in such a stressed part; and somehow the thought of putting a lighter part on a tank like the nomad seems silly, against the mojo of the Thorn.  It could upset the cycling gods, so I think I will wait or search for a different fork.  I'd pay more, but none seem available anywhere with the steel steerer and then on top of that the spings being hard to source ... it just does not feel right ... so I will keep looking.

But man ... that price was sooo sweet! :D

cycling4chapatis

  • Guest
So after some more sleepless nights trawling the net I came past some German lady on her second (!) round the world: http://dorofleck.wordpress.com/ using the Magura Menja. I assume after her first 86,000k's she'd be fairly decent judge of what to go with and what not!

Ok, so there I thought I had put my #firstworldproblems to sleep and could go ahead with the other fun details...but then I glimpse down the sizing chart table on page 22 of the nomad brochure and see that at my height (6'3", 190cm bang on) my anyway tricky choice between 590L, 620M and 620L is subdivided into suspension fork possible (590L) and not (620M&L).

So here the usual drill: I'm 190cm, "normally" proportioned - what frame size would suit? Using one of the straight bar options and likely going with a suspension fork.
I've looked at all the riding position options, but one person's relaxed is...well, subjective. I've got a road bike and riding on the drops doesn't bug me as far as flexibility goes (I'd say I'm reasonably fit/ flexible). I've got a 700c tourer, which is mighty upright. Not the best against headwind, but obviously comfortable. Only aches I had touring was a numb bum and a bit of cyclist palsy (numbness between little and ring finger on both hands lasting several weeks (!) from initially not riding with a)gloves and b)comfier bar tape. Shoulders, arms, back - no probs.

Sizing input greatly appreciated!

Btw - in email contact with Magura regarding what I'd have to carry as spares/ tools - will post as soon as I hear back.

E-wan

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 90
590L, 620M and 620L is subdivided into suspension fork possible (590L) and not (620M&L).

Thorn were very helpful in helping me to decide between a 590L and 620L. 620M (wasn't available when I ordered mine). I sent them some photos of me on my other bikes and they asked me to measure my arm span and other things. I'm 6ft 1&1/2inches and went for a 620L but had some rather odd requirements. I find 165mm cranks a lot easier on my knees and with these fitted my unusually long legs for my height would have put the saddle at its max height for a 590L frame. I was keen to have the added heal clearance given by the longer chain stays on the 620 frame, and even though I'm running short cranks I would still have to have placed my panniers further back if I had gone for the smaller frame (with size 12 SPD shoes). This wouldn't have been a problem as far as the rack is concerned but would mean that the weight from panniers is not as much within the wheelbase of the bike. Also I noticed that the seat tube angle differs between the 620 and 590. So I am able to manage without a large layback seat post on the 590 to get my saddle as far back as I like. HOWEVER I have no intention to run suspension forks. Although the 590L is compatible with sus forks I doubt whether the steer tube on the magura forks is as long as on the thorn rigid  forks, so it may be worth investigating if you could still get your bars at the desired height if running magura forks on a 590L frame.

so I gues you need to decide if you really need a sus fork. I've not cycled along the Camino Austral but have been along a  fair chunk of it in Chile so can see why this might be benificial.

Would an alternative be running a wider/softer front tyre, something like a 2.35 big apple (though I'm not sure what the clearance is like to thorns fork). even if you couldn’t do this with traditional mudguards I'm sure there would be a way to make something that would work as a mudguard mounted through the middle of the double fork crown.

This seems to be getting more complicated.

Ewan

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7163
  • reisen statt rasen
This would seem one situation where a suspension stem might help ('specially if a HB bag could be mounted on a separate T-bar), but with Girvin/Flexstem out of the game and no replacement/maintenance parts available, I don't think you'd want to rely on used eBay parts and potential bearing flex issues on a long tour. A few NOS examples are still out there in a variety of extensions, but are expensive: http://www.ebay.com/itm/SOFTRIDE-THREADLESS-SUSPENSION-STEM-150mm-/161006373107?pt=Cycling_Parts_Accessories&hash=item257cba48f3 ...and... http://www.ebay.com/itm/SOFTRIDE-THREADLESS-SUSPENSION-STEM-140mm-/151026491842?pt=Cycling_Parts_Accessories&hash=item2329e161c2

There are several threadless suspension stems available from Taiwan and China at present, but they have no maintenance kits -- you use them till the wear-induced slop bothers, and then replace them. See: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SUSPENSION-ADJUSTABLE-0-55-DEGREES-AHEAD-HANDLEBAR-STEM-28-8mm-KINDSHOCK-LUA-/181118709712? It uses an air/oil combo for 23mm of travel...but no apparent means to take up wear. A Forum member and I talked about these last month as a possibility, but I don't think he sent for it. Suspension stems are not currently listed among the manufacturer's offerings: http://kssuspension.com/ (their former site www.kindshock.com.tw is no longer viable).

Advent made one (for an example, see: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Advent-threadless-suspension-ahead-stem-/380502360135?pt=Cycling_Parts_Accessories&hash=item5897b54047 ), but apparently no longer do so. Same issues wrt long-term wear and lack of service parts.

Best,

Dan.

rualexander

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 827
Dan,
The German company SQlab have been making a modern take on the old Girvin Flexstem with elastomer suspension but it looks like they have stopped producing them for the moment, their website says that they are revising their stem product line, so maybe they will be making them again in the near future.

Meantime there still seems to be some available for sale on various sites, for around 90-100 euros, e.g. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Neuheit-verstellbarer-Vorbau-SQ-lab-802-mit-Dampfer-/330591171409?pt=Sport_Radsport_Fahrradteile&hash=item4cf8c4f351

A video of the stem can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ea4Y8Q3opMc
 
I would have bought one of these last year, but they were only in 25.4 handlebar size and mine is 31.8.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 08:32:02 PM by rualexander »

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7163
  • reisen statt rasen
Quote
The German company SQlab have been making a modern take on the old Girvin Flexstem with elastomer suspension...
Oh! Nicely found; that's wonderful news, Rual -- thanks for the heads-up. It is always good to have options, and I am sort of surprised we haven't seen a more widespread revival of these for the touring market. They are lighter than a fork and a complete pare could conceivably be carried on a long trip. The principle isn't too different from a ThudBuster sus-seatpost. The later Girvins had coil springs, of course, and the Taiwanese model I referenced above claims an air-oil cartridge, each giving more travel in a parallelogram rather than limited hinged arc with bar tipping.

I keep hoping we'll see more of this sort of thing come to market. True, the niche is probably limited, but it would be nice to have something besides fat tires (tyres) or a full-sus fork to take the edge off bumps, especially on long adventure tours where one is likely to spend much of every day on poor roads.

On the other hand, as shown a the 1:07 mark on the video, the rider has to push down on the 'bars ahead of the pivot point for it to work properly and provide effective suspension. All these designs would therefore tend to work better with straight or drop handlebars than with comfort or North Roads that could place the center of pressure rearward of the pivot.

All the best,

Dan.

macspud

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 535
but then I glimpse down the sizing chart table on page 22 of the nomad brochure and see that at my height (6'3", 190cm bang on) my anyway tricky choice between 590L, 620M and 620L is subdivided into suspension fork possible (590L) and not (620M&L).

Do you know what length the head tube is on the 620s, what is the minimum steerer tube length needed for a set of forks to fit them?
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 01:26:20 PM by macspud »

NZPeterG

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 729
  • It's Great to Be Alive! Again! Go Cycle. . . . . .
    • Kiwi Pete's Cycling Safari
Hi All,
Well I like the stem by SQlab (thanks Rualexander)
I was looking for a stem like this for My Africa Cycle Ride last year! It would have been the Bee's Knee's  8)

Now this got me thinking about a fork that I also was looking at (But Run Out of Money)  :o before going to Africa  ???

So Here it is
                 

You can have it with V-Brakes, Low Rider Carrier, e.t.c.
It is made in Germany so I think you can ask to have a Pair make with a longer Steerer to fit your Bigger frame size.
I like the "Kilo 1.3" best for cycle touring  :) and here is the link
http://www.german-a.de/en/kilo.html

Pete
 ::)
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 11:07:14 AM by NZPeterG »
The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common[

http://kiwipetesadventures.tumblr.com/

http://kiwipetescyclingsafari.blogspot.co.nz/

Looked after by Chris @ http://www.puresports.co.nz/
For all your Rohloff and Thorn Bicycle's in NZ

cycling4chapatis

  • Guest
The Kilo fork is a whopping 1300Euros....rough. Looks good though: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-cT5SHkTJQ

Here for reference, the Magura reply of what to carry along/ general comments on v-brake suspension forks:

Quote
- v-brake forks really do not sell well hence the struggle in finding some.  There are some dealers out there who have them.  If you have the capital & want to keep v-brakes, may be worth investing in a set or 2.  Be aware that spares will start becoming scarce.

- the fork needs a good set of single allen keys (not a multi tool); flat blade screwdriver; a good set of Torx keys; shock pump; & 28mm socket for the damping & air cartridges

- I would either take 4 50ml tubes of Forkmeister grease (very expensive) or a couple of 150g tubs of Stendec Easy Glide fork grease (we use this & sell it too).  The Stendec is cheaper & lasts longer.  Worth buying Stendec Crystal Glide Spray (or Juice Lubes Fork Juice or Fenwicks Suspension Lube).  We cannot ship this from the UK using Royal Mail anymore as they will not take aerosols.

- you only require Magura Suspension Blood Type 2.  In 100mm travel fork it is 60cc in the damping side.  I would be surprised if you needed to do this while away.

Menja was stopped at the end of MY2012 (January 2012 date wise).  The new fork is a TS6 26" 100, which you can purchase as a disc only or canti-disc model.  This depends on what your distributor has ordered for your country though.


----

So much for maintenance, doesn't look too wild.

I had a look around for the new TS6 26" 100, definitely states cantilever (v-brake) bosses as an option, but most websites I found were only offering the disc-only model. Nonetheless, all is not lost, there's still (one?) reasonable quality v-brake compatible fork being made that can be bought.

Coming back to the steerer length, asked about the Magura steerer length with regard to tall people, I got this:

Quote
Its known as an XL steerer & is 300mm from memory

Despite the Asian sounding name, the company is German, so I figured they'd cater for the tall folk.

Just measured bottom end of headset to top of stem on my 700c tourer - 250mm.

Would those 300mm be long enough to work with a 620L frame? Could someone tall with a 590/620 frame measure their (rigid fork I presume) steerer length and post? Would be greatly appreciated!!!

rualexander

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 827
I don't know much about suspension forks as I've never used them, but there are a bunch of cantilever/v-brake compatible suspension forks on the Rosebikes site http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/products/bike-parts/forks/mtb-forks/suspension/
Some of them have the steerer tube as a separate part available in different lengths up to 300mm.
Looking at the picture of the 620 Nomad in the brochure it looks like a shorter head tube than on my Sherpa 610S which I think came with a 350mm steerer tube, and I cut about 50mm off at least.

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7163
  • reisen statt rasen
My Sherpa Mk2 (565S), a replacement fork for it, and my Nomad Mk2 (590M) all had/have 400mm steerers (uncut, measured from crown race seat to top of steerer) with their rigid fork blades. In answer to my emailed query when I ordered the replacement Sherpa fork, SJS Cycles told me the forks were supplied with 40cm (400mm) steerers.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Dan.

cycling4chapatis

  • Guest
Alex - great find, amongst all the small print still some hope. So it's Magura, RockShox and RST(not sure about those on a long tour, must admit) that still have v-brake options.

So we've got a Sherpa 610 with ~300mm of steerer,  Nomad 590M (Dan - how tall are you?) with 400mm. Anyone with a 620 for comparison?

I get that 300mm/ 620 frame would be a bit of a squeeze, but couldn't a rising stem be used to make up some cm? I've got an adjustable one on my 700c tourer that gets about 80mm height increase vs a horizontal stem. And as mentioned before, I don't feel to adverse to a (slightly) more sporty position. On current tourer seat and handlebar are level.