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I have an old Schwinn sidewinder 2.6 mountain bike. I'm starting to get into better trails and I want to upgrade my front suspension. It has the standard 1-1/8 steering, but its a threaded shaft. Does this mean I can't upgrade to the new "smooth" style forks that are readily available? I guess in short can I put any suspension in my bike if i change the front forks and handlebars? I don't know much about bikes suspension and what can be messed with and what can't.
Thank you Kyle

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Given that the Schwinn sidewinder is a Walmart bike, you're best off getting a new bike. We call these BSO's or bike shaped objects.

By the time you get a basic suspension fork, you'll be spending more than the bike after installation, whereas you could easily buy a good used entry level front suspension mountain bike (say, a Specialized Hard Rock or Trek 3700 or whatever) for slightly more, which will be way more durable and better quality components.

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First of all, make sure you really have a 1 1/8" fork. Most threaded forks are 1". Remove the top nut on the headset, and measure the outside of the steering tube with vernier calipers - that's the dimension you're interested in.

If it is 1 1/8", then yes, absolutely, you can install a threadless fork. You'll need a new headset and new stem. You can re-use the old handlebars, just make sure that the stem clamp is the right size for your bars, and not for the newfangled 31.8 mm bars.

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