Suspension fork on a hybrid

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billyballs
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Suspension fork on a hybrid

Postby billyballs » Sun May 27, 2012 22:27 pm

ok i,ve got a boardman hybrid with a carbon fork and what i want to know is can i fit a suspension fork to this bike as i get blurred vision sometimes when using local trails and numb hands. i was after a bit of comfort without changing the bike if thats possible. any advice would be welcome. thanks.

DesWeller
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Re: Suspension fork on a hybrid

Postby DesWeller » Sun May 27, 2012 23:01 pm

It'll upset the geometry of the bike quite a bit as sus forks are longer (for obvious reasons). What tyres are you using and what pressures do you have them at?

navt
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Re: Suspension fork on a hybrid

Postby navt » Mon May 28, 2012 19:02 pm

Would it not be better to oversize tyres and run on lower tyre pressure? It makes a world of difference.
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corshamjim
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Re: Suspension fork on a hybrid

Postby corshamjim » Mon May 28, 2012 20:41 pm

It might be worth trying ergon grips and if you don't already, wear gloves too. By 'trails' do you mean cycle paths or full-on MTB single-track trails? If the latter then maybe you do need suspension forks but I wouldn't know if it's either possible or advisable to fit them to a Boardman hybrid.

billyballs
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Re: Suspension fork on a hybrid

Postby billyballs » Mon May 28, 2012 22:28 pm

ok using schwalbe xc 700 x 35 tyres with about 50-60 pounds of air. and the tracks are mainly cycle tracks but the surface is rough gravel and shale but some are quite rutted and have various holes. have been wearing gloves but since the weather warmed up my hands get too hot , even so the problem was still there when i had my gloves on. Just using the grips that came with the bike, nothing special.

DesWeller
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Re: Suspension fork on a hybrid

Postby DesWeller » Mon May 28, 2012 22:49 pm

Sounds like you have too much weight on your hands. Sus fork is verrry tricky to add I would have thought. Maybe try raising the bars a bit to get you to shift your weight backwards. Did Halfords set the bike up with you on it?

billyballs
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Re: Suspension fork on a hybrid

Postby billyballs » Mon May 28, 2012 23:14 pm

No . bought it second hand, I,m 5ft 9 and the frame is medium, but you might have a point as i get a numb feeling quite quick , say in about half an hour.

MichaelW
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Re: Suspension fork on a hybrid

Postby MichaelW » Tue May 29, 2012 07:49 am

It should be possible to ride forest trails on 35mm tyres without any discomfort. Ive cycled for hours on a loaded touring bike with 32mm on trails.
Flat handlebars may be the problem, they force your hand into an un-natural position and concentrate stress and vibration. Switch to something with more sweep for a neutral position. I like On-One Mary bars and these work with Ergon grips.
Check that your riding position allows you to flex and bend with the trail. Stiff shoulders, locked elbows, too much weight on your hands can make you ride like a sack of potatoes.

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supersonic
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Re: Suspension fork on a hybrid

Postby supersonic » Tue May 29, 2012 11:15 am

Which baordman hybrid is it? A short travel fork should be no problem.

billyballs
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Re: Suspension fork on a hybrid

Postby billyballs » Tue May 29, 2012 22:37 pm

Hi supersonic, Its the hybrid pro, medium frame.

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OptimisticBiker
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Re: Suspension fork on a hybrid

Postby OptimisticBiker » Wed May 30, 2012 16:39 pm

A suspension fork probably won't resolve numb hands; it will, however, move the centre of gravity of the bike forward as they are much heavier (2 - 3 times) than the carbon fork, with the result you'll get more jolting in the potholes, which means you'll need to soften the suspension which ultimately you'll be needing to pedal harder to overcome the energy lost in the suspension. Ergon grips are good for getting rid of road-buzz (I have them on the commuter) but gel gloves/carbon fork does the same just as well.


Sounds to me that your problem is in your riding position. Numb hands, even with gel gloves, is simply too much weight on them, too much pressure on the ball of the thumb. If you have to use your hands to support any significant part of your upper body weight you are over-reaching (or you could also have poor core stability). Assuming the former, you need to check you're not over-reaching; you may need a shorter stem, to raise the bars a bit and/or move the saddle forward. You should be comfortable, and in control, riding with a light finger grip on the bars.
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supersonic
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Re: Suspension fork on a hybrid

Postby supersonic » Wed May 30, 2012 18:52 pm

The longer fork will slacken the angles, putting the rider further back behind the bottom bracket - this will have more effect on weight distribution than the heavier fork. Also a slacker seat angle transmits less shock to the rider. You won't get any more jolting, this is what the sus is designed to prevent, the ride will be far smoother over harder terrain. If you can put up with (or want) the slightly slackened angles then a suspension fork will work well.

I agree though that riding position could be a factor, but if riding trails with bumps, rocks and dips then the fork will be a good addition.

However are not cheap for a good one.

billyballs
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Re: Suspension fork on a hybrid

Postby billyballs » Wed May 30, 2012 20:23 pm

Could you recomend a fork that would go on the bike without too much hastle. i feel competent enough to fit it myself. would want to spend £300 max. or do you think it better to invest in a fresh bike, but i am quite fond of the boardman.

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supersonic
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Re: Suspension fork on a hybrid

Postby supersonic » Wed May 30, 2012 20:58 pm

Something like this would be an excellent buy:

http://www.bike-discount.de/shop/a73674 ... html?lg=en

Light, highly adjustable, and by fitting internal spacers you can alter the travel. Though you'd need a new lower headset cup. As the head angle on the bike is steep already at 73 degrees, the bike handling would not be too badly effected, would become more MTB like. You may want to slide the saddle further forward though and use a longer stem.

Of course selling the bike and putting your money towards an MTB is a good option too.

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Godders1
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Re: Suspension fork on a hybrid

Postby Godders1 » Thu May 31, 2012 12:39 pm

Sounds like your pretty keen to buy a new fork but for what it's worth I agree with those saying adjust your position and consider something on the bars to absorb vibration first. If the cheap/free solutions don't work then think about throwing more money at it.

I ride over some pretty crappy surfaces on 25mm tyres at 100-110psi and it gets a bit uncomfortable in a few places but it's not that bad (certainly not bad enough to give me blurred vision and make my hands go numb!).

alfablue
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Re: Suspension fork on a hybrid

Postby alfablue » Thu May 31, 2012 14:58 pm

I used to get numb hands riding my flat bar bikes for a prolonged period, I think holding ones hands horizontally on flat bars is a little unnatural, and it seemed to put pressure on my wrists. On my drop bar bikes I never have this problem, my hands are at a more natural angle (in that they are at the same angle as if I dropped my arms to my sides and relaxed). On my flat bar bikes I have added bar ends which helps. The On-one Mary bars suggested above may help because of this issue as well.

I agree with positional ideas too. It could be that your bars are too low in relation to your seat post, they could be too close (too short top tube or stem), could be too far away, could be you have limited core strength so lean on the bars.

I would be reluctant to "spoil" a hybrid's relative lightness by adding a suspension fork. If you use it for a lot of on road riding or commuting it would be shame. The trails you describe don't seem to be at all mtb worthy, but if you got an mtb you could have a lot of fun elsewhere.

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Steve@Tern
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Re: Suspension fork on a hybrid

Postby Steve@Tern » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:36 am

I think that unless you're determined to get suspension as a first port-of call, I would pick up on alfablue's suggestion of trying bar ends. You'll get an increase in hand-position choices, and a bar ends grip will take some of the weight off the base of your thumbs as well.
They shouldn't take your weight that much further forward, if that's proving to part of the problem. If you find out that they help (and they're a pretty cheap solution to try out) then clamping them reasonably vertically, or maybe fitting a shorter stem.
Just a thought.


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