View Full Version : 26" suspension fork, rim brake?

03-27-2013, 04:45 PM
After seeing Ionoeightysix's titanium Kona sale thread (http://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=126215) I'm reminded that I have an even older Kona Hei Hei sitting forlornly in my barn. (Does it count as a barn find if it's your own bike?) I've never been much of a mountain biker; I just [1] never developed the technical skills and [2] prefer either riding the road or trail running. Heresy, I know. :no:

That said, I've thought many times about resurrecting the Hei Hei. It's a beautiful, if antiquated ti frame. The main flaw is that it has a Manitou EFC fork that ceased offering any real suspension about a decade ago. Furthermore, I ride in a mostly-dry area and am an inherent cheapskate, which argues against going to disc brakes.

Are there any modern suspension forks that would [1] play nicely with 26" rims and rim brakes, [2] not cost a ton, and [3] be a worthwhile fork?

Of course, I'm not using the bike at all right now, so the other option would be to look for a Kona Project 2 steel fork and go completely rigid...


Mark McM
03-27-2013, 04:59 PM
If it comes down to it, it is always possible to get a disc brake and a new, disc compatible, front wheel. But you still have to get over the fundamental problem of making sure the fork actually fits the frame; specifically, it has to have the correct steerer diameter and length. If the frame is really old, it might even have a 1" head tube. And a fork that old might have a (relatively) short travel, therefore have a short uncompressed length. Putting a longer fork on it will change the basic geometry of the bike, and alter its handling significantly.

So, what steerer diameter and fork length are you looking for?

03-27-2013, 05:38 PM
depends on the steerer. if 1", join the crowd. a 'zochi in good shape sells for a decent price on the bay. if 1 1/8" the choices are more abundant. you can usually find a used SID or fox with canti bosses for not too much. shop can overhaul it (new seals and fluids) for ~60. they work great. i managed to find a used fox talas with canti bosses for 160 on one of the forums.

03-27-2013, 05:50 PM
i think there are variants of the RS tora that still have canti/v-brake bosses. Measure your head tube to see if it's 1 1/8 more than likely it is.

03-27-2013, 09:36 PM
I'm pretty sure that it's 1 and 1/8th. Yes, I should check before buying anything. The geometry isn't designed for long-travel forks. On the other hand, [1] it was/is pretty steep compared to modern all-mountain geometry and [2] it's a 21"/XL frame so adding some height to the fork isn't as much of an issue as on a small frame, so it might not be that bad to add a touch longer fork.

Thanks for the suggestion of the SID's plus a rebuild. I'd even consider one of the Manitou EFC rebuild kits to convert it from elastomer/damped to coil spring/damped ... but those guys went out of business a decade ago.


03-27-2013, 10:22 PM
You can always replace the elastomers to freshen the fork up a bit if you don't want to put money towards a replacement fork...

I am sure there are other outfits around that would have rebuild kits, but here is one.