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How to choose a new frame/fork?

DZFDZF Posts: 7
edited February 2015 in MTB buying advice
Hi folks,

My bike went in for a service last week and I got the message back that a number of items need replacing incl. fork, BB, chain and a few minor bits.
Fork being the obvious big one.
The bike is a 4.5 year old Felt QT220 hardtail.

Friend of mine suggested that I may as well replace frame and fork as it is increasingly difficult to get forks for older bikes. Don't know if that is true.

I am not the most knowlegeable when it comes to bike, less so when it comes to mountain bikes and am at a bit of a loss what to look out for if I do go and buy a new frame and fork and then get the bike repair shop to bring the old parts across.

Any advice on the matter and/or what you would do would be greatly appreciated.
Want to add that the bike is currently a 7 speed and I wouldn't mind adding a couple more rings to the cassette. Something that obviously would be easier with a new frame. I admit I could just by a new bike. Although the one thing that I do have that is virtually new is a set of wheels which did double the value of the bike.


  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Forks are still available for 5 year old bikes, readily so, and if it has the right type of headtube it will take a modern tapered fork anyway - your friend is an censored .

    Paying someone to reframe the bike will cost more than it is worth, so either buy a new bike and sell yours on, or learn how to do it yourself, since I cam back into cycling I have built all my own bikes and it really isn't hard at all.

    This Bike ... e-ec017059 ?

    If so not really worth spending too much, I certainly wouldn't be using new parts,
  • DZFDZF Posts: 7
    this one actually: ... e-ec021662

    Are you suggesting it isn't really worth upgrading the bike?

    I guess I should have added that as I would need to replace the fork anyway I was hoping to improve the bike at the same time. Maybe get a fork with more travel, make it a bit lighter etc. without braking the bank.

    Not sure I appreciate your assessment about my mate though.
    Like you he was just trying to help.

    As much as I'd like to build my own bikes and have dabbed around with such I find it very time consuming, and not that easy.

    Thanks for your advice.
  • Antm81Antm81 Posts: 1,406
    Changing your fork would make a huge difference, the standard one is very poor.

    As The Rookie said, you may be able to change your headset to allow a fork with a tapered steerer to be fitted (most newer forks have them and your current forks should have a straight steerer), however, a out of newer forks use 15mm front axles and again I expect you use QR currently.

    Personally I'd look for a good used fork with a straight steerer and QR dropouts instead, maybe something such as an air sprung Rockshox Recon Gold or a Rockshox reba.

    I'd stay with 100mm of travel but you should be able to get away with 120mm, just be aware, more travel in necessarily better, along with increasing the travel, you are likely to alter the geometry of the bike which may improve the bike or may ruin the handling.

    Although you say you aren't confident (I wasn't at first either), working on a bike is very easy, changing a fork essentially is removing and refitting 5 bolts (2 for brake caliper, 1 for headset top cap and 2 for the stem). Id get the shop to,change your BB as you are likely to need to buy certain tools (not a hard job but initially you might not want to spend on he tools).
  • DZFDZF Posts: 7
    Thanks Ant. Some stuff to ponder then.
    I actually thought moving up to 120mm travel would not be a problem. Seems it could be. Interesting. It was something I had been considering.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    For just over £20 you can get a tool kit that will contain pretty much all the bike specific tools, a basic socket set on top and you'd be sorted.

    No single job is hard to do on a bike and you can get help on here or via parktools website.

    Antm missed out swapping over the crown race, but that is just a hammer and screwdriver job.

    It's not worth upgrading your bike with new parts, it doesn't make economic sense, but its worth doing it with decent used parts, especially if you fit them yourself, that list could easily rack up £50-60 in labour at a shop and you'd also be paying more (shop, not internet) prices for the parts,
  • Antm81Antm81 Posts: 1,406
    120mm might be fine, but it may not, changes to the handling are likely to be personal, but I'd expect it to feel slightly more stable on descents with the longer fork while loosing a little bit of agility. The frame will have been designed around a 100mm fork though and the smaller frames even had 80mm.

    Personally I'd stick with 100mm, a decent fork, with decent damping will make a much bigger change than an increase in travel. I'd also look for either air sprung Suntour Raidons or Epicons too, both like the 2 Rockshox ones are good forks.
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