Help finding a "unicorn" steel rigid fork

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
Post Reply
User avatar
Aquakitty   100 W

100 W
Posts: 119
Joined: Jun 10 2017 3:07pm

Help finding a "unicorn" steel rigid fork

Post by Aquakitty » Aug 20 2019 11:58am

Hi,
I'm trying to find a steel fork that has the following features:
  • Made of steel
    Fender eyelets
    Disc brake (only disc brake prefered)
    Fat part where it meets the head tube (every steel fork I find with these other specs has narrow-assed top).
Example:

Image

See how it has a fatter part at the top where the steerer sits? Most steel forks have that very small which will look silly on my 1.5" head tube bike. Unfortunately that fork is aluminum with no disc mounts.

I think I will have to go with aluminum or magnesium after extensive search but thought I'd give asking a go.
Rans Enduro Sport w/Sturmey-Archer XFRD8, TSDZ2 open source mod 48v
GT Verb Comp f/s TSDZ2 open source 48v
Diadora Ampio bargain f/s TSDZ2 48v
2020 Diamant 247 belt drive 1000w 9C 48v
Hardtail made from random bits I had laying around, ginormous old Marzocchi fork, BBS02

SaabGuy   1 mW

1 mW
Posts: 13
Joined: May 05 2018 6:33pm

Re: Help finding a "unicorn" steel rigid fork

Post by SaabGuy » Aug 20 2019 12:50pm


Ford Prefect   1 W

1 W
Posts: 53
Joined: Jan 10 2019 7:41am
Location: Wuppertal, EU

Re: Help finding a "unicorn" steel rigid fork

Post by Ford Prefect » Aug 20 2019 12:53pm

I do suppose you already looked at Surly? They have the reputation of being basically indestructible. Some of their forks seem to have a larger crown.
The fundamental laws of thermodynamics will place fixed limits on technological innovation and human advancement.

How would you react if I said that I'm not from Guildford after all, but from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse?

flat tire   1 MW

1 MW
Posts: 1585
Joined: Feb 26 2014 12:20am

Re: Help finding a "unicorn" steel rigid fork

Post by flat tire » Aug 20 2019 1:08pm

You can get an adaptor to run a tapered steerer. It may not look silly. They work fine. Also consider suspension. Rigid fork was state of the art 150 years ago.

User avatar
Aquakitty   100 W

100 W
Posts: 119
Joined: Jun 10 2017 3:07pm

Re: Help finding a "unicorn" steel rigid fork

Post by Aquakitty » Aug 20 2019 9:31pm

flat tire wrote:
Aug 20 2019 1:08pm
You can get an adaptor to run a tapered steerer. It may not look silly. They work fine. Also consider suspension. Rigid fork was state of the art 150 years ago.
Yea, I'm trying to convince the person using this particular bike (my husband) to go suspension, but they have a certain look in mind.

That van dessel fork is close but still pretty small on the top.

Surly is basically the same idea as the van dessel, maybe a bit smaller? The bike I am using has a tapered head tube but the fork is not tapered, it just has a huge top part to match.

Here's the actual bike and fork

Image

I'd hate to ruin the look I think it looks pretty sweet. If I get a new fork it really should be steel otherwise I don't see a benefit to changing it really.
Rans Enduro Sport w/Sturmey-Archer XFRD8, TSDZ2 open source mod 48v
GT Verb Comp f/s TSDZ2 open source 48v
Diadora Ampio bargain f/s TSDZ2 48v
2020 Diamant 247 belt drive 1000w 9C 48v
Hardtail made from random bits I had laying around, ginormous old Marzocchi fork, BBS02

User avatar
MadRhino   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 5903
Joined: Sep 03 2010 5:28pm
Location: Montreal QC Canada

Re: Help finding a "unicorn" steel rigid fork

Post by MadRhino » Aug 21 2019 5:55pm

If you would fit it with a Fox Float 34, you would start loving Alu, and air. :)
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
Current bikes
Street: https://s20.postimg.org/ewrvugywt/Session_04_2015.jpg
Dirt: https://s20.postimg.org/lbqwr55ml/IMG_0157.jpg

User avatar
Aquakitty   100 W

100 W
Posts: 119
Joined: Jun 10 2017 3:07pm

Re: Help finding a "unicorn" steel rigid fork

Post by Aquakitty » Aug 21 2019 11:47pm

MadRhino wrote:
Aug 21 2019 5:55pm
If you would fit it with a Fox Float 34, you would start loving Alu, and air. :)
I'm not really a fan of mountain bike suspension on road bikes. I prefer light and stiff! :wink: We have E-Mtb's for that purpose.
Rans Enduro Sport w/Sturmey-Archer XFRD8, TSDZ2 open source mod 48v
GT Verb Comp f/s TSDZ2 open source 48v
Diadora Ampio bargain f/s TSDZ2 48v
2020 Diamant 247 belt drive 1000w 9C 48v
Hardtail made from random bits I had laying around, ginormous old Marzocchi fork, BBS02

Tommm   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 536
Joined: Apr 03 2018 2:32am

Re: Help finding a "unicorn" steel rigid fork

Post by Tommm » Aug 22 2019 6:28am

Good old form over comfort. My adivce is to do whatever it takes to get a cheap rigid fork, then let him test a suspension fork. After that, the problem will go away by itself.

If you think rigid is better for road, look at a sport moto, it will have suspsension. The reason for these uncomfortable unhealthy bikes is to eek out a few more kmh/watts, something that is within margin of error of a ebike, for that you surrender yourself to join pain, sliding out, and getting launched from the bike from a pothole. A very dumb game to play.


sleepy_tired   10 W

10 W
Posts: 66
Joined: Jul 02 2019 11:46am

Re: Help finding a "unicorn" steel rigid fork

Post by sleepy_tired » Aug 22 2019 10:28am

I got rid of my suspension fork years ago and replaced with a Surly Ogre solid fork.

I recommend Surly. They are a good brand that makes bikes that are actually useful rather then adhering to marketing-driven fashion.

It was a nice upgrade and enabled me to get a nice front rack on the bicycle as well as full coverage fenders. Much more important 'creature comfort' the the almost non-existent 'increase in smoothness' from having a suspension fork on smooth roads. People complaining about comfort should probably learn to go around pot holes instead of plowing into them and run bigger tires. Tires are more important then any suspension.

As far as swapping forks around... Keep in mind that suspension forks and rigid forks are different lengths. Suspension forks are much longer then typical rigid forks.

This is not a problem when ditching a suspension fork as you can get 'Suspension Compensated' forks that are longer then normal. However if you are putting suspension forks on a previously rigid bike be aware that you might radically change the steering geometry, which may take a bike that was easy to ride and turn it into a handful.

Sometimes rigid bikes are just lower priced versions of ones with suspension forks and they use the same frame for both models. If that is true then you go either way without affecting steering. You can tell usually just by looking at the bike. If the head tube sort of just juts up and is floating far above the front tire then it's suspension compensated. If it's low and close then it's not. To be sure just measure the length and compare spec sheets from manufacturers.

User avatar
Aquakitty   100 W

100 W
Posts: 119
Joined: Jun 10 2017 3:07pm

Re: Help finding a "unicorn" steel rigid fork

Post by Aquakitty » Aug 22 2019 1:00pm

Tommm wrote:
Aug 22 2019 6:28am
Good old form over comfort. My adivce is to do whatever it takes to get a cheap rigid fork, then let him test a suspension fork. After that, the problem will go away by itself.

If you think rigid is better for road, look at a sport moto, it will have suspsension. The reason for these uncomfortable unhealthy bikes is to eek out a few more kmh/watts, something that is within margin of error of a ebike, for that you surrender yourself to join pain, sliding out, and getting launched from the bike from a pothole. A very dumb game to play.
Well I've ridden road bikes all my life fine with no suspension, I don't see the difference? We aren't at motorcycle speeds.
Rans Enduro Sport w/Sturmey-Archer XFRD8, TSDZ2 open source mod 48v
GT Verb Comp f/s TSDZ2 open source 48v
Diadora Ampio bargain f/s TSDZ2 48v
2020 Diamant 247 belt drive 1000w 9C 48v
Hardtail made from random bits I had laying around, ginormous old Marzocchi fork, BBS02

User avatar
E-HP   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 655
Joined: Nov 01 2018 9:20pm

Re: Help finding a "unicorn" steel rigid fork

Post by E-HP » Aug 22 2019 1:16pm

I may be missing it, but reading through a couple of times, I'm not sure I see what's prompting the change to steel, especially if you like the way the current fork looks. If the form is good, then perhaps you're looking for function, but what? (refrigerator magnets?) I'm guessing the bike is electric, given the forum.

Tommm   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 536
Joined: Apr 03 2018 2:32am

Re: Help finding a "unicorn" steel rigid fork

Post by Tommm » Aug 22 2019 1:39pm

Aquakitty wrote:
Aug 22 2019 1:00pm
Well I've ridden road bikes all my life fine with no suspension, I don't see the difference? We aren't at motorcycle speeds.
Found the problem. If you don't want a fast bike, it is better to get a factory made one, even used.

User avatar
Aquakitty   100 W

100 W
Posts: 119
Joined: Jun 10 2017 3:07pm

Re: Help finding a "unicorn" steel rigid fork

Post by Aquakitty » Aug 22 2019 3:40pm

Tommm wrote:
Aug 22 2019 1:39pm
Aquakitty wrote:
Aug 22 2019 1:00pm
Well I've ridden road bikes all my life fine with no suspension, I don't see the difference? We aren't at motorcycle speeds.
Found the problem. If you don't want a fast bike, it is better to get a factory made one, even used.
Uh... what? I wouldn't ever give money to the likes of Bosch if that's what you mean. I have several other ebike builds, this is the first time doing a hub drive conversion on a belt drive bike.

I really don't get what you are on about to be honest. If you ride a normal bicycle, you easily get up to very fast speeds. Have you ever watched a road bike race? I don't get what this has to do with anything. My main ride is a recumbent with no suspension. I have done 70 kph down a hill, but really that has nothing to do with this lol. Also if I started doing 50 kph on the flats I'd probably get a ticket from the cops.

Anyway, I just thought to ask if there was any steel forks out there I was missing. Also none of the "urban" suspension forks I have found are steel anyway, they are all magnesium.
Rans Enduro Sport w/Sturmey-Archer XFRD8, TSDZ2 open source mod 48v
GT Verb Comp f/s TSDZ2 open source 48v
Diadora Ampio bargain f/s TSDZ2 48v
2020 Diamant 247 belt drive 1000w 9C 48v
Hardtail made from random bits I had laying around, ginormous old Marzocchi fork, BBS02

Tommm   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 536
Joined: Apr 03 2018 2:32am

Re: Help finding a "unicorn" steel rigid fork

Post by Tommm » Aug 22 2019 3:45pm

Aquakitty wrote:
Aug 22 2019 3:40pm
Tommm wrote:
Aug 22 2019 1:39pm
Aquakitty wrote:
Aug 22 2019 1:00pm
Well I've ridden road bikes all my life fine with no suspension, I don't see the difference? We aren't at motorcycle speeds.
Found the problem. If you don't want a fast bike, it is better to get a factory made one, even used.
Uh... what? I wouldn't ever give money to the likes of Bosch if that's what you mean. I have several other ebike builds, this is the first time doing a hub drive conversion on a belt drive bike.

I really don't get what you are on about to be honest. If you ride a normal bicycle, you easily get up to very fast speeds. Have you ever watched a road bike race? I don't get what this has to do with anything. My main ride is a recumbent with no suspension. I have done 70 kph down a hill, but really that has nothing to do with this lol. Also if I started doing 50 kph on the flats I'd probably get a ticket from the cops.

Anyway, I just thought to ask if there was any steel forks out there I was missing. Also none of the "urban" suspension forks I have found are steel anyway, they are all magnesium.
Who cares about normal bikes, this is ES. If you want low power and can finance it, branded prebuilt bikes are generally more reliable, better put togeather and more weatherproof than DIY low power bikes.

If you want high power and high speeds, unless you live in monaco, a dragstrip with perfect roads, or are just plain suicidal, you will want suspension.

This is from a practicality view, if your client wants it a certain way even though it is dangerous and stupid that is his choice, but you cannot expect builders here to cheer for you.

User avatar
wturber   1 MW

1 MW
Posts: 1962
Joined: Aug 23 2017 8:52pm
Location: Fountain Hills,AZ
Contact:

Re: Help finding a "unicorn" steel rigid fork

Post by wturber » Aug 22 2019 7:00pm

Tommm wrote:
Aug 22 2019 3:45pm

This is from a practicality view, if your client wants it a certain way even though it is dangerous and stupid that is his choice, but you cannot expect builders here to cheer for you.
I don't recall her asking for anyone to cheer. She's just looking for a steel non-suspension fork that fits an odd headset taper. Seems simple enough to me.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

User avatar
E-HP   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 655
Joined: Nov 01 2018 9:20pm

Re: Help finding a "unicorn" steel rigid fork

Post by E-HP » Aug 22 2019 7:26pm

wturber wrote:
Aug 22 2019 7:00pm
Tommm wrote:
Aug 22 2019 3:45pm

This is from a practicality view, if your client wants it a certain way even though it is dangerous and stupid that is his choice, but you cannot expect builders here to cheer for you.
I don't recall her asking for anyone to cheer. She's just looking for a steel non-suspension fork that fits an odd headset taper. Seems simple enough to me.
I have a feeling that if a little additional information had been provided up front, the thread wouldn't have gone off on such a tangent. For instance, some others asking similar questions may include "I'm looking for a chromoly fork, because I'm going to mount a 1500 W front hub..." Hardly anyone would be steering the OP toward a suspension fork in that case. Completely different guidance. So, without context, you get what you get, so don't get upset, like I used to tell my kids.

User avatar
Aquakitty   100 W

100 W
Posts: 119
Joined: Jun 10 2017 3:07pm

Re: Help finding a "unicorn" steel rigid fork

Post by Aquakitty » Aug 22 2019 7:36pm

I think my info was pretty clear. I said "is there a fork with these exact specs out there". I feel like this is getting a bit silly. Like, who cares if you are using high or low power or a freaking electric pogo stick. Many people here use mid-drives, you call a TSDZ2 "high power"? For the record, I totally and completely disagree with buying a store bought "low power" bike. What I have built for the money is miles better.

I'm not a complete idiot about bicycles or anything. Maybe just a little bit dense at times, aren't we all?

The reason I asked on Endless Sphere is there are many posts on people and their fork search, since it's kind of a thing with front hub motors. I guess it was too "bicycle-y" of a question? :lol:

Thanks for the suggestions. I think that MEC one is probably the best, but my build is almost done and maybe he will change his mind and go with suspension in the end. :pancake:
Rans Enduro Sport w/Sturmey-Archer XFRD8, TSDZ2 open source mod 48v
GT Verb Comp f/s TSDZ2 open source 48v
Diadora Ampio bargain f/s TSDZ2 48v
2020 Diamant 247 belt drive 1000w 9C 48v
Hardtail made from random bits I had laying around, ginormous old Marzocchi fork, BBS02

User avatar
E-HP   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 655
Joined: Nov 01 2018 9:20pm

Re: Help finding a "unicorn" steel rigid fork

Post by E-HP » Aug 22 2019 9:26pm

Aquakitty wrote:
Aug 22 2019 7:36pm
I think my info was pretty clear. I said "is there a fork with these exact specs out there".
Think wheel size might be an important detail?

I've noticed the quality of the responses on the forum is commensurate to the quality of the question and information supplied. There's a sticky on the best way to present a question in order to receive solid guidance. But, it's not only important for receiving a response, but in order to have a useful post for others to refer to in the future if they have a similar question, so context is important. I see the mods and the resident experts on this forum taking extra care to fill in the blanks on threads, just to make them useful in the future. I've noticed they are not investing time on this thread in order to salvage it.

I don't agree with some of the responses, or the tone, but it was clear in the beginning where the thread was headed, based on the initial post. If you don't fill in the blanks, people fill them in themselves, and it's pretty easy to see where that leads.

markz   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 7403
Joined: Jan 09 2014 11:38pm
Location: Alberta Canada

Re: Help finding a "unicorn" steel rigid fork

Post by markz » Aug 22 2019 10:54pm

Tommm wrote:
Aug 22 2019 6:28am
The reason for these uncomfortable unhealthy bikes is to eek out a few more kmh/watts
Gram and aerodynamic warrior$
With ebikes, we can deal with the added weight and less aerodynamics. Though there is quite a penalty with aerodynamics at certain speeds but the vast majority of people are normal cruisers and commuters at normal bicycle speeds.

wturber wrote:
Aug 22 2019 7:00pm
I don't recall her asking for anyone to cheer. She's just looking for a steel non-suspension fork that fits an odd headset taper. Seems simple enough to me.
The bike industry can be/is crazy, what with the new fangled technology so you have to go out and buy their newest sh!t. Thru-Axle this, Tapered that, Eccentric this, hydraulic that.

flat tire wrote:
Aug 20 2019 1:08pm
You can get an adaptor to run a tapered steerer. It may not look silly. They work fine. Also consider suspension. Rigid fork was state of the art 150 years ago.
The angles would be off by a hair, but it should not pose any problems.
Because the fork would be slightly higher.

User avatar
amberwolf   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 27380
Joined: Aug 17 2009 6:43am
Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth, Sol, Local Bubble, Orion Arm, Milky Way, Local Group
Contact:

Re: Help finding a "unicorn" steel rigid fork

Post by amberwolf » Aug 22 2019 11:09pm

Tommm wrote:
Aug 22 2019 1:39pm
If you don't want a fast bike, it is better to get a factory made one, even used.
It might be better for *you* to do that, but there's lots of us out there that have no need for speed, but couldn't (even if we wanted to, which we don't) possibly buy a factory-made bike.

Sometimes that's becuase of money, but it can also be (like in my case) that no one makes something remotely useful to us. Only custom-building something will suit our needs.

So you might stop classing the entire world inside your own needs / desires framework. ;)

User avatar
amberwolf   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 27380
Joined: Aug 17 2009 6:43am
Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth, Sol, Local Bubble, Orion Arm, Milky Way, Local Group
Contact:

Re: Help finding a "unicorn" steel rigid fork

Post by amberwolf » Aug 22 2019 11:30pm

A suggestion for the "look" of the problem area at the crown of the otherwise suitable forks you have found: You could use JB Weld or similar to build up that area and paint it.

AFAIK, the reason the fork you have has that wider part (and the reason the headtube does) is specifically because it is aluminum rather than steel. I don't know that it is required for it to be so thick, but generally the ones I see that are thick are also aluminum.

This is not universal; I have a fatbike fork from Luna
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=99837
that is steel, that is almost exactly what you're after...except that it's a fatbike fork. :(



Regarding finding a fork like what you're after, In case you hadn't considered it; there's a number of different things about forks that will affect the ride you may need to be sure match the existing fork, aside from the necessity of matching the steerer, and the desire to match the crown width with the headtube's bottom end width.

There's the angle of the fork legs to the steerer; some are straight, some are angled (at various angles). There are different styles of dropouts, which depending on where they put the axle may change the trail and offset, which can change the handling of the bike.

There's also the length of the fork from crown race to dropouts; some forks (especially disc) are longer so that one model accommodates several wheel sizes. That also changes handling.


So if you dont' want to change the handling (with unknown results), you will want to look for a fork that is the same in those respects. That can be difficult as many places don't provide any of that information, unless they happen to provide a straight side view in a high enough resolution to determine by scaling the dimensions already known (steerer tube (1.125") and dropout (10mm) and calculating what it would be.

User avatar
wturber   1 MW

1 MW
Posts: 1962
Joined: Aug 23 2017 8:52pm
Location: Fountain Hills,AZ
Contact:

Re: Help finding a "unicorn" steel rigid fork

Post by wturber » Aug 23 2019 12:49am

E-HP wrote:
Aug 22 2019 7:26pm

I have a feeling that if a little additional information had been provided up front, the thread wouldn't have gone off on such a tangent.
Nah. I doubt it. And the problem isn't the offering of alternatives, thoughts to the contrary or asking for more explanations. Different ideas and suggestions are fine IMO. The problem that I see is when put downs and hyperbole accompany those offerings.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

Post Reply