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Will strapping salsa anything cages on my suspension fork damage it? I'm considering bikepacking, and don't have a rigid fork on the bike I would like to use.

I would likely be carrying something of moderate weight like a couple litres of water on the front of the bike. I won't be using panniers as I would like to keep the weight mostly centered and plan on quite a bit of off road riding.

Is it generally safe to use something like the salsa anything cage (or big bottle cages) strapped to my fork? Could this damage the fork, more than just messing up the paint a bit?

Likely mounted like this, with intertubes protecting fork, and hose clamps holding cages: Mounted with Hose Clamps Source http://www.bikepacking.com/plog/bikepacking-the-appalachian-trail/

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    How would you attach them? – Carey Gregory Dec 2 '15 at 15:27
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    Either nylon straps with rubberized grippers on the nylon (what comes with the salsa anything cages), or wrap the fork in inner tube to protect paint and clamp a bottle cage on top of the tube with stainless steel hose clamps. – Benzo Dec 2 '15 at 16:20
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    The straps that come with it are for holding the contents - not the cage. Have you looked the design? Just strap it on with hose clamps? They are designed for 3 bolts - not just 2. – paparazzo Dec 2 '15 at 19:19
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    I'd be worried about the load going into the wheel on a bump or turn. Or settling onto your disc rotor and interfering. So no I'd not do this without proper mounting bosses on the fork. – Criggie Dec 2 '15 at 20:17
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    How may day off the road will you be max? That looks ghetto to me. I would install a rigid fork with a 3 mount boss if I was more than 2 walking days out. Well actually I would just take my Vaya but that is beside the point. – paparazzo Dec 2 '15 at 22:30
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Jeremy at Cleaveland Mountaineering has a similar product to the anything cage and a shows a regular suspension fork as one of its uses. http://cleavelandmountaineering.blogspot.co.uk/p/everything-bags.html

He also has a degree in mechanical engineering, so if there were a problem i'm pretty sure he wouldn't be recommending it.

From my own perspective, the vast majority of force the load is going to apply to the fork will be vertical and simply cause the lower leg to slide up and down the upper. Fork lowers are also by nature pretty robust as they have to resist the twisting forces applied under braking etc.

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It will add a little stress to the shock and possible make it wear more than normal, but it shouldn't be a problem if there's not a whole not of weight in the bag. Don't over tighten the hose clamps, and check it occasionally to make sure it doesn't slide down into the brakes. The rubber under the hose clamps is definitely a good idea.

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The only thing that I would worry about is your comfort/security because of the efficiency of the suspension.

Suspension only works if most of the weight is suspended. When you are putting the weight in non suspended areas you are effectively reducing the efficiency of your suspension. So if you are only doing light offroad and are using it for comfort it should be ok, but if you have some downhills with sticks, stones and roots where you really use the suspension it could get dangerous! This could be avoided by putting in only light things like clothing.

Also your load will be shaken pretty good, but that should be no problem if you are putting in what you are describing. But avoid electronics, cameras, cookies ... A bottle might jump out of a bottle cage.

Else the mounting looks good and stable, and I think there should be no damage to the suspension fork.

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