Bike Building advice needed...

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Varney_The_Vampire_Biker, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. Hi - new to the forum. Hoping to learn as I go.

    First off, before Xmas, I privately bought a Mountain Cycle MOHO STX
    (hardtail) frame (in nice condition) at what I felt was a great price
    for a second hand frame of this type and, looking around, it certainly
    seems to have a good reputation.

    Secondly, since I was in a stupid rush to get going, I let the same
    person sell me a pair of slightly used Kona Project 2 forks (the triple
    butted jump type) - only trouble was, because I'm a rather trusting
    soul and something of a novice to the MTB scene, he managed to sell
    them to me for £60. A rash move, I know. Now, I think I've since
    seen the same thing for £60 and less not only on the net, but also in
    the bike shop where my seller works during the day. Not so pleased
    about this, since I was told they were worth £85 new. I am wondering
    now though... am I making some mistake here? Is it possible I'm seeing
    a lesser product for £60? Could these forks I have be worth more than
    £60 new?

    Okay, well, moving on and making the best of it, if the worst is the
    case, I'm thinking of just selling the Konas at a loss and just forget
    all about them (or maybe keep them as spares). I think I'll probably
    lose here and I'll just have to be more careful in future. I now want
    to buy some suspension type forks, which I think would compliment the
    MOHO frame a little better than the rigid types.

    I already own a Univega MTB which is a nice bike with a cromoly frame.
    I like the components and think, combined with the MOHO frame, will
    work well. My aim is to upgrade slowly, but the initial transfer of
    parts will get this bike going in the short term. I'm just eager to
    ride the frame, you see.

    My question really is what should I be looking for in second hand forks
    - or is it perhaps a bad idea - do you think I should save up and buy
    new in this critical area, no matter what? If used is okay - what
    should I be aware of technically?

    I don't have a great deal to spend and I'm finding my net searches
    leading me through a confusing jungle of forks. I don't really know
    what I'm looking at here - one set looks so much like another. Again -
    what should I be looking for in terms of quality... Brands? Models?
    Please? The same I'm finding with headsets too.

    My riding conditions will mainly be on-road, but instead of building a
    commuter, I decided to go for an MTB for the reason I already own a
    Marin hybrid. I'm hoping to do some off roading, but it'll be more
    tracks and toepaths, forest tracks etc, rather than the more extreme
    stuff. I'm not into racing, downhill or jumping.

    One more thing... does anyone think it'll work acceptably with the Kona
    2s? They just seem awfully heavy, when the rest of the bike is
    actually going to be quite light.... or won't this really matter? Were
    they such a bad choice after all...?

    Any suggestions will be helpful... just please don't slate me for my
    first mistake (if I've got all that right about the prices?) I've
    really suffered enough over this one and want to enjoy this new bike
    without the bad feelings.

    Cheers,

    Varn
     
    Tags:


  2. Werehatrack

    Werehatrack Guest

    On 29 Dec 2005 20:34:03 -0800, "Varney_The_Vampire_Biker"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I already own a Univega MTB which is a nice bike with a cromoly frame.
    >I like the components and think, combined with the MOHO frame, will
    >work well. My aim is to upgrade slowly, but the initial transfer of
    >parts will get this bike going in the short term. I'm just eager to
    >ride the frame, you see.


    Before you loosen any screws, get a pair of calipers (or tubing
    diameter measuring implement of your choice) and check the OD of the
    seat tube where the front derailleur mounts on each frame, and the
    cable routing for the front derailleur. If it's not the same on both
    frames, you'll need to do something about that issue. Chances are
    good that the rest of the major components may be transferable as long
    as both frames have the same type of brake mounting provisions. If
    the Univega's existing front brakes are old-style cantis, it may be a
    challenge to find a suspension fork that will work with them; you
    might end up having to buy a V-brake setup and lever for the front.

    >My question really is what should I be looking for in second hand forks
    >- or is it perhaps a bad idea - do you think I should save up and buy
    >new in this critical area, no matter what? If used is okay - what
    >should I be aware of technically?


    In a non-suspension fork, the main thing to look for any obvious sign
    of damage or overstress. If it's straight and not cracked, it's
    probably OK.

    If you're looking for a suspension fork, there are so many models,
    with so many ways of getting worn in places you won't detect by
    inspection, that I'd really advise going with a new fork. Shop
    around. Unless you're planning to do heavy jumping or downhill, the
    simple ones are generally adequate...but the cheaper they are, the
    crummier they get, in general.

    >I don't have a great deal to spend and I'm finding my net searches
    >leading me through a confusing jungle of forks. I don't really know
    >what I'm looking at here - one set looks so much like another. Again -
    >what should I be looking for in terms of quality... Brands? Models?
    >Please? The same I'm finding with headsets too.


    Headsets are far less critical in my estimation; I've had good results
    with ones all the way down into the basement of the league.

    >My riding conditions will mainly be on-road, but instead of building a
    >commuter, I decided to go for an MTB for the reason I already own a
    >Marin hybrid. I'm hoping to do some off roading, but it'll be more
    >tracks and toepaths, forest tracks etc, rather than the more extreme
    >stuff. I'm not into racing, downhill or jumping.


    Okay, then a non-suspension fork or a basic adjustable-preload
    suspension fork is probably adequate; many of these show up on eBay,
    and a good portion of the suspension types have reviews at mtbr.com
    for reference. Bear in mind that those reviews are from essentially
    undocumented sources; it's possible for them to be entirely wrong, but
    when you see multiple reports of trouble of a specific nature for a
    given fork, I'd take that as a warning sign.

    >One more thing... does anyone think it'll work acceptably with the Kona
    >2s? They just seem awfully heavy, when the rest of the bike is
    >actually going to be quite light.... or won't this really matter? Were
    >they such a bad choice after all...?


    The Kona fork would, in my estimation, be a perfectly good choice. It
    may be just a bit of the beefy side, but just about any suspension
    fork would weight considerably more and likely wouldn't be as strong.
    If you want a lighter fork, though, I would consider the fact that you
    probably won't reduce the weight by more than a half kilo, if that.

    >Any suggestions will be helpful... just please don't slate me for my
    >first mistake (if I've got all that right about the prices?) I've
    >really suffered enough over this one and want to enjoy this new bike
    >without the bad feelings.


    Well, you probably paid effectively close to full price for the Kona
    fork, but you might have done that had you shopped around without
    asking first, so there's no worry on that account. Otherwise, the
    main thing to remember is that you should check that everything will
    fit before you start to transfer any bits. Make no assumptions;
    compare the mounting points and cable routings point for point, and
    plan on replacing the brake and shifter cables anyway. Save the old
    cables with the old frame in case you decide to use it to build up a
    beater or a second bike later on.

    --
    Typoes are a feature, not a bug.
    Some gardening required to reply via email.
    Words processed in a facility that contains nuts.
     
  3. Werehatrack:

    Thankyou very much for taking the trouble to reply in such detail.
    Especially the weight issue on the forks and minimums for headsets.

    I'm getting to thinking that I'll maybe use the Konas for a while and
    think about suspension types when I've saved up more money. I think
    it's maybe an opportunity to give myself thinking and research time on
    getting good quality, while being able to get riding in the meantime.

    Oh, I did actually buy a front mech, which was attached to the MOHO
    frame already. The seller told me I'd need the wider diameter fixing -
    but yes; I'll make sure I check the sizes on other components when I
    come to do the transfer. The brakes I'm moving over are the V types
    and the peg fixings are right for them both on the Kona's and at the
    back.

    I want to fit discs in future, and the Konas have an alternative fixing
    for these, too. I'm told the Moho can be fitted with an adapter for
    the rear disc mount.

    Anyway - thanks again. I was on another forum before Xmas and some of
    the replies I got were rather cruel and unhelpful. I feel a bit better
    towards the Konas now - especially having looked at some of the
    suspension prices! :)

    Cheers,

    Varn
     
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