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I let one of my son's friends take my circa 1995 Schwinn Moab Elite onto local trails and they came back with the shocks blown and parts of the spring assembly missing. I need to replace the front fork.

I took the following measurements:

  • steerer length is 210mm
  • thread length is 40mm
  • steerer diameter is 1" 1/8
  • travel is 50 or 60mm, certainly not 100mm
  • 26" wheels
  • the bike has rim brakes

I am not sure what the "crown race" is and how to measure it. Do replacement forks come with bearings or will I be using the old parts?

I found this one online that seems to have the right dimensions - will it work?

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I'm not a 100% sure however I think the 'spring' in those forks was actually elastomers.

The linked Suntour fork appears to have the correct steerer type (threaded) and the steerer is long enough. A big problem though is the axle to crown length of the fork as it is 100m travel. It is likely that the Suntour fork that you linked to will be significantly longer than the originals. This can lead to undesirable handling and more importantly could cause the head tube to snap off the frame due to the increased loads. The Amazon listing shows the axle to crown length of the Suntour fork. Measure yours and compare the values. To measure extend the fork to its full length and measure from the centre of the axle to the underside of the crown race.

The crown race sits on top of the fork's crown and runs against the bearings. In the top down picture is is the stepped silver circle between the steerer and the dirt on the crown. You do not need to measure this as it is part of the headset. In the linked fork the crown race measurement of 30mm is the same as 1" 1/8.

You can reuse the current bearings. To do this you will need to (carefully) remove the crown race from the current forks and fit it to your new forks.

In my opinion it will probably be easier to find a suitable rigid fork than a replacement suspension fork.

If you do replace the forks I suspect that the original Marzocchi item might be worth attempting to sell on. In my country (UK) there is a strong market for retro parts, even broken.

  • Thanks for the thorough answer. I ended up replacing it with a rigid fork and replaced the 25 year old tires with Specialized Crossroads hybrids, while I was at it. The cantilever brake caused a bit of a headache. The LBS sold me on parts that I ended up not needing because the piece that you see on the fork actually came off and I was able to put it on the rigid fork. Now I want to do more with the bike and I am already thinking of a new bottom bracket and rebuilding the shifters. – cdonner Jun 3 '16 at 10:37

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