Townie 7D front shocks?

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stevecahill   100 mW

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Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by stevecahill » Jun 26 2019 5:53am

I have a Townie 7D Electra model purchased new in 2011 that I converted to electric. Now I am interested in adding some sort of suspension/front shocks. Any ideas on what would fit?

Thank you

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Steve
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Steve

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by dogman dan » Jun 26 2019 6:30am

Picture of what you have would sure help.

After our townie burned in the fire, I don't recall what headset it had. 1 inch, or 1 and 1/8 inch. Easy to measure the stem outside diameter, just before it disappears into the fork, to see which you have.


After that, you then know which type 26" forks to look for. There is also threaded and non threaded. The length is critical for non threaded forks. Exact fit needed for a threaded fork.

If you convert it to non threaded, then you just need one longer than the head tube by about 3 inches or more.


Looking it up, I see a bike with a 1 1/8 threaded headset. But it may not even be a 2011 I'm looking at. And longer than typical for mtb's This will be hard to find.


FWIW, my wifes townie that burned up did have a shock fork on it. So do look for an OEM fork. Happy hunting.


But if you buy a non threaded headset and stem, then there should be shock forks out there long enough to fit it.

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Re: Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by E-HP » Jun 26 2019 6:57am

Looking at online pics, it appears to have a 1" threaded steerer. You should search on something like - 1" threaded suspension fork - or something with those key words. You need one with a long enough steerer, which you will likely need to cut to length with a hacksaw, but the threaded portion has to extend far enough down to match your current fork.

This example has a 7 3/4" steerer, and the threads are about half that length according to the picture:

https://www.amazon.com/Suspension-Threa ... way&sr=8-2

You may need to partially disassemble your current fork to get an accurate measurement, so you should measure your steerer diameter before ordering to make sure it's 1". You should also be able to measure the diameter of the quill stem, which would be 7/8" inch for the 1" steerer, or 1" for the 1 1/8" steerer.

1-1/8" threaded seem pretty rare, but there are some:
https://www.amazon.com/SR-Suntour-Suspe ... way&sr=8-4
Last edited by E-HP on Jun 26 2019 7:14am, edited 3 times in total.

stevecahill   100 mW

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Re: Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by stevecahill » Jun 26 2019 6:58am

HI Dan thank you for your quick response. Looks like I need to do some disassembly to get that measurement. Still learning about this. A couple of photos to jog your memory.
Attachments
townie front fork_1.jpg
townie front fork_1.jpg (152.32 KiB) Viewed 767 times
townie front fork_2.jpg
townie front fork_2.jpg (107.71 KiB) Viewed 767 times
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Steve

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Re: Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by stevecahill » Jun 26 2019 11:55am

Townie's - Trek's response:

"We cannot officially recommend a suspension fork for a Townie 7D. The bike is engineered to work with a rigid fork, and if a suspension fork were installed it would void any warranty for the bike.

Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

Mike Ridgeman
Mike Ridgeman | Trek Bicycle"
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Steve

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Re: Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by docw009 » Jun 26 2019 12:04pm

You need to looking at the top of the steerer. If you see a nut, it's threaded. You'll also see the stem of the handlebars going into the nut. With a threaded steerer, you can usually raise/lower the handlebars.

This would be threaded. I would bet a Townie is like this.
threadless-2.jpg
threadless-2.jpg (109.21 KiB) Viewed 743 times
If the handlebars go to a stem with a clamping bracket with two screws, it's threadless. Here, you have to buy a stem extender to raise the bars. This is threadless. More often used on mountain bikes and other bikes with flat bars, I think.
threadless-3.jpg
threadless-3.jpg (88.26 KiB) Viewed 743 times
Make sure the fork you buy has a suitable steerer tube length. It's not easy to cut more threads on a threaded steerer tube if they do not extend into the frame. Not cheap to have it done either.

Of course, it would void the warranty. In addition, it raises the front of the bike about 2-3 inches, and you might not like the difference that makes in steering.

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Re: Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by stevecahill » Jun 26 2019 1:19pm

Good info, thank you. Not sure I would like the front higher.
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Steve

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Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by E-HP » Jun 26 2019 8:02pm

stevecahill wrote:Good info, thank you. Not sure I would like the front higher.
For the old school quil stems, some companies used to make a suspension stem (Girvin comes to mind), so your hands/arms at cushioned from bumps. If you combined that with a suspension seatpost, you could isolate yourself from the smaller bumps. You could also go up a tire size or two and get some additional cushion.


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Re: Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by tomjasz » Jun 26 2019 10:41pm

Changing forks can seriously change how a bike rides or steers. Finding the right angle and steerer length that won’t charge the dynamics was hard for me with flat foot bikes long headset. I got lucky and found a NOS for my 2007 Marin.

I’d go to the Trek archives to f they added the Townie before owning them or look around to see if Electra did a suspension fork in 2011, and look for that fork.

That said I run 2.5” tires, slightly under inflated and get a cushier ride. Maybe not ideal, but having ridden a bike with a mismatched fork, well, it just plain sucked.

The 2011 21D had suspension. Probably the same frame.
Thanks Justin_le we're here thanks to you. All the best to the mods for their tireless work keeping it on an even keel.

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Re: Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by markz » Jun 26 2019 11:12pm

The 21D comes with a front suspension fork, its been good to me over the years. Integrated cups, threaded steerer, cant remember the bearings whether ball cages or not, but I recall squishing greases in so must be ball cages.

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by dogman dan » Jun 27 2019 6:53am

If you were to put a high end MTB shock fork on that frame, it would raise it several inches. But a cheap zoom fork, that's only going to raise you up an inch at best, after you get on it and it squishes down. A cheap fork will be all you can find if its really 1". Bet though, its 1 1/8, because a townie is not a walbike, bike shaped object.

But yes indeed, an inch higher in front does change the angle of your steering, and definitely affects the ride. Raking the fork out longer will make it ride more cruiser like. But its already got that, so more could be too much. So don't put an 800 buck fork from a downhill bike on it, with 300 mm of travel. A zoom fork will have at most 100mm, and then will drop to 50mm when you get on it. 50mm you can handle without much change in the ride.

My wifes townie did have a shock fork, but it no doubt also had a different angle on the head tube.

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Re: Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by 2old » Jun 27 2019 8:05am

The picture of a 2011 Townie, while blurry, suggests a 1&1/8 threaded steerer (you can tell by measuring as has been indicated). IMO, the cheap forks available for the bike will add 4 - 5 pounds making the front end ponderous. Also, the performance will be substandard. If you really need to add a fork, change the headset to threadless (if necessary) and get at least a low end Rock Shox. Probably, as indicated above, any suspension fork will raise the front end at least a couple of inches making the bike steer more slowly.

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Re: Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by dogman dan » Jun 28 2019 5:37am

Unless he finds an actual townie shock fork, its never going to be long enough in threaded. That's a long headset on the townie. The cheap steel forks he will find on e bay or whatever, will be the length to go on a mongoose or something.


So yeah, it will have to be threadless, and a real long one too. Even that is harder to find.

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Re: Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by stevecahill » Jun 28 2019 6:58am

I found this on REI's site. https://www.rei.com/product/798551/elec ... -bike-2013

Fork
SR Suntour XCT

Headset
1-1/8'' threaded steel

Amazon list it https://www.amazon.com/SUNTOUR-Mountain ... WEDWAJ0SKK

$69.00 fair price if it smooths out the bumps. Never had a front suspension fork.
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Steve

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Re: Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by E-HP » Jun 28 2019 7:32am

stevecahill wrote:
Jun 28 2019 6:58am
I found this on REI's site. https://www.rei.com/product/798551/elec ... -bike-2013

Fork
SR Suntour XCT

Headset
1-1/8'' threaded steel

Amazon list it https://www.amazon.com/SUNTOUR-Mountain ... WEDWAJ0SKK

$69.00 fair price if it smooths out the bumps. Never had a front suspension fork.
You'll need to buy a new front wheel if you're converting to disc brakes, so bigger investment. The one I linked earlier supports linear pull brakes, but discs are nice on an e-bike, too, if that's what you want.

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Re: Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by E-HP » Jun 28 2019 7:43am

https://www.amazon.com/Tektro-Mountain- ... ay&sr=8-11

https://www.amazon.com/Wheel-Master-Wei ... way&sr=8-4

Probably less than $90 after adding a longer brake cable, so not a bad idea, and the rim almost matches the same color as the original.

$4 add-on item if you want to paint the fork:
https://www.amazon.com/Krylon-K05590007 ... way&sr=8-2

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Re: Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by stevecahill » Jun 28 2019 8:15am

Probably stick with the V brakes. Not sure how a disc brake on the front without one on the rear would be a good idea? Thoughts? Motor is a hub on the rear. I currently have Schwalbe BIG BEN RG WIRE E-Bike Tires 26X2.15 on front and rears.

Stopping is good. When trailer is in tow, consideration must be made when anticipating a stop. I see the pads are wearing with only 500 miles on the bike so far.
bike stem.jpg
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Steve

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Re: Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by E-HP » Jun 28 2019 8:32am

stevecahill wrote:
Jun 28 2019 8:15am
Probably stick with the V brakes. Not sure how a disc brake on the front without one on the rear would be a good idea? Thoughts? Motor is a hub on the rear. I currently have Schwalbe BIG BEN RG WIRE E-Bike Tires 26X2.15 on front and rears.

Stopping is good. When trailer is in tow, consideration must be made when anticipating a stop. I see the pads are wearing with only 500 miles on the bike so far.
Most of your stopping power is in front, on any vehicle. I use my front most, which activates regen in the rear, which works great on dry pavement. On wet, or loose surfaces, I'll use my rear more. On the disc fork you linked, there's an 80mm option, which would help you with your geometry concerns, so maybe that's another consideration.

Something like this might be ideal if you can find one used, with only 60mm travel, both disc or rim brake option, and already silver:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/SR-Suntour-26- ... _cvip=true

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Re: Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by docw009 » Jun 28 2019 10:14am

Have you measured the steerer tube length yet? Per this pic of a 7D, it's around 10 inches? That is really long. Most bikes are 5-7". I have one that is 10".

fork.jpg
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stevecahill   100 mW

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Re: Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by stevecahill » Jun 28 2019 10:23am

I just measured I got 9.5 inches.
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Re: Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by 2old » Jun 28 2019 12:19pm

If it's threaded, as it appears to be, the steerer tube extends to the top of the top bolt (if that makes sense). Many forks offered for DIY use can be up to 10" long, so you should be OK on length. Good thing with Amazon is you can ship it back if it doesn't work. Also, the $70 fork you referenced appears to have just a spring with no indication of damping, so basically a pogo stick.

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Re: Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by stevecahill » Jun 28 2019 12:57pm

The eBay link, seems to be best bet, but sold out.

Good discussions, learning a lot. Thank you.
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Steve

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Re: Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by stevecahill » Jul 07 2019 4:12am

I ordered a black SR Suntour 26" Fork 60mm Travel 1 1/8" Threaded Steer Tube fork that is the correct length to fit the Townie. The current Townie top thread nuts fits the threads of the Suntour just fine. What I am missing is the bottom raceway (headset) to hold the bottom bearing in place for the Suntour. The current Townie one does not come off so I am unable to use that. The Suntour's top of the tube fork starts at 28.49 mm same as the Townie then gets larger (flanged) at the bottom to 29.99 mm

What sort of raceway (headset) do I need to get for the Suntour and where would you go to find this?

IMG_20190706_134838.jpg
Existing Townie ball bearing apox 39.94 mm OD


IMG_20190706_134733.jpg
Suntour fork bottom OD 29.99 mm


IMG_20190706_134428.jpg
Existing Townie bottom ball bearings fit over Suntour but no raceway (headset) to hold in place.


IMG_20190706_132634.jpg
Townie existing bottom showing raceway (headset)
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Steve

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Re: Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by E-HP » Jul 07 2019 5:27pm

stevecahill wrote:
Jul 07 2019 4:12am
IMG_20190706_132634.jpg
Townie existing bottom showing raceway (headset)
You should be able to remove the old crown race from the old fork using a chisel or screwdriver, alternating tapping from one side then the other.

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Re: Townie 7D front shocks?

Post by tomjasz » Jul 07 2019 5:45pm

Crown races are an easy find. I was a bit confused the first time but sorted.
http://bfy.tw/OTGb
Thanks Justin_le we're here thanks to you. All the best to the mods for their tireless work keeping it on an even keel.

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