Really old front shock upgrade advice

frogstomp Posts: 412
edited December 2009 in MTB buying advice
Having bought a new bike recently, I'm giving away my old Giant Team World Cup bike to a mate.

It's old (c1998?), but it still works and, for him, it's free.. however, I'm recommending that if he wants to change something on the bike it would probably be best to get a new fork as the current one doesn't work particularly well!

So, any recommendations for a new fork? The criteria are:

= Compatible replacement for the existing fork - an RST Team Series 281
= £100 or less.. the cheaper the better.. don't care if it's a model that's several years old as long as it fits!

Basically anything that'll be an improvement!


  • Have you seen the tora sl the 2010 model for 120 on merlin? Very good fork for the money, or maybe look for secondhand tora's?

  • nicklouse
    nicklouse Posts: 50,675
    you need to consider other points.

    the old fork is a threaded version. So new stem and headset if you are going to a new Aheadset version fork.

    TBH get down to your LBS and have a chat they may have something suitable in the back of the shop.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • nicklouse wrote:
    the old fork is a threaded version. So new stem and headset if you are going to a new Aheadset version fork.

    Cheers, I did wonder if there might be compatibility issues.. do pretty much all forks use the same (new) headset version?
  • You've been a way a while!

    All (very nearly anyhow) use the Ahead system which has no thread and uses a pre-load system to load the bearings. This means it does not move easily and makes for a stronger connection from bike to stem.

    1 1/8 is the standard these days, although there are all sorts of weird and wonderful setups out there, but for most MTB the standard is 1"1/8". Your current may be simply an inch which is phased out these days really, which could mean a bargain as no-one wants it, or expense as again no-one wants it. Visit your LBS if you're unsure, they'll be able to give you the low down.
  • You've been a way a while!

    Nah, just bought a bike and rode it for ten years without much thought about changing or upgrading it.. think the only thing I changed was the tyres and tubes!

    Thanks for the info on the sizes etc.
  • RevellRider
    RevellRider Posts: 1,794
    Your current may be simply an inch which is phased out these days.

    Aluminium Giants from the late 90's were inch and eighth.

    *edit* Another thing to consider, don't most new suspension forks come fitted with just disc mounts now?
  • Good point..

    I've found the Rockshox Dart 2 which has disc and v-brake mounts.. £80 at Winstanleys, so a bit of room to spare for headset and stem..

    How do I compare the lengths for the old an new forks? The Dart 2 is listed as 80mm (or 100mm for the Dart 3) but I can't find any info on the length of the 281..
  • Hard to tell as it was the OEM version.. but looks like it.. this is the best picture I have..
  • RevellRider
    RevellRider Posts: 1,794
    I can't seem to find much only about Giants from that era. The RST 281 would of been either 50 or 63mm of travel. Running an 80mm fork shouldn't mess up the handling as IIRC most bikes were 'designed' around that back then.
  • I would consider ebay for a used 80 mm fork.

    Loads ar available from ebay for under 50 quid, just make sure the stearer is long enough

    The ones on my sons bike were under 20 posted and they work well loads better than a wrecked pair of RST 281 s

    Look for

    marzocchi Z2 or Z3

    Manitou sxr

    happy ridding
  • Hi may be able to help i have 2008 marzochi mx pro lo fork lying around 100mm travel new lockout still in packet ronded off bolt head needs removing and new remote fitting but works fine as it is 185mm steerer normal cable rub etc slides are perfect and works perfectly :D
  • hoathy
    hoathy Posts: 776
    the frame will be fine with 80mm travel as long as the axel to crown isn't stupidly long. TBH the axel to crown is the important measurement. the mx pro lo mentioned above will have a very long axel to crown, and as such won't really be ideal.
    - Kona Hot '96 - Marin Rift Zone '09 - Cannondale Synapse Carbon '06 - Kona Caldera '98 - Kona AA '94 - Dawes Kickback II - Cannondale BadBoy '11 - Genesis iOiD SS -