Forked again

I didn’t eat it with my new fork.

In the Year of Our Lord 2021, when one blows up a Hippie-Tech rebuild of a Rock Shox Judy SL cartridge fork there will be no miraculous resurrection.

First, because there is no more Hippie-Tech to rebuild the rebuild. Second, because there are no kits for the rebuilding. The rest of the world has moved on from the simplicity of yesteryear to today’s fancy-schmancy, carbon-fiber, disc-brake, boingy-boingies, with their dropper posts, their 110mm of travel, and their ultra-plush five-figure price tags.

But not here. No, sir. We believe in keeping the old bits operating, especially ours.

Thus, the 1995 DBR Axis TT, like its owner-operator, has gone rigid. Soma Fabrications supplied the Tange Infinity fork, Zach at Two Wheel Drive performed the install, and I handled the test drive with my usual style, élan, and grace, which is to say I managed to not fall off.

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17 Responses to “Forked again”

  1. Pat O’Brien Says:

    After riding cyclocross bikes, the DBR should feel plush, even with that nice fork. And the bike is lighter and probably handles better, I bet. Too bad you can’t put 29” wheels on that bad boy and smooth things out even more. That seat bag looks familiar. I used to have one like that and kept one of these in that bottom zippered pocket.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The bike goes 23 pounds now, which puts it on a par with my cyclocross bikes. I could get it lighter with another set of wheels, but why? And could I even find 26-inch wheels? Tires are tough enough.

      Now, if I need big fat 29-inchers, I have the Jones. If I want 43mm 700c, I have the Voodoo Wazoo. And if I want 26×2.0, I have the DBR Axis TT. Fat city. Three bikes without drop bars.

      That red bag is an old, old, old Jandd Mountaineering sack that’s coming apart at the seams, not unlike its owner.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    Yup. I went into The Broken Spoke up here and asked about a rebuild kit for the shock and fork on my 2005 Stumpjumper. They looked at me in disbelief. I might be able to find a shock that will fit the frame. Not so sure about the fork.

    My hunch is run it to failure and then see what I want to do. Its a great bike and I can’t see why I would want to buy any of “…today’s fancy-schmancy, carbon-fiber, disc-brake, boingy-boingies, with their dropper posts, their 110mm of travel, and their ultra-plush five-figure price tags” when my old bike works about as well as I do. Which is to say, my bike and I are both showing our age.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yeah, I’m not real aggro, and it’s not like I’m riding anything technical — big dropoffs, long rock gardens, and whatnot. I need a pricey double boinger like Congress needs more eejits. Everything I rode the DBR on yesterday I’ve ridden on a cyclocross bike with 32mm tires and drop bars.

  3. Eric Goebelbecker he/him (@egoebelbecker) Says:

    I just got the same fork on my Soma Stanyan! The previous Soma fork was unceremoniously bent when I got hit in NYC.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      That Stanyan was a nice bike. What a drag you got clipped. But the Soma people are a joy to work with, and I think they’ll keep us on the road for a while yet.

      Now me, I covet a Pescadero. But that sucker goes out of stock faster than Guinness on St. Paddy’s Day.

  4. Herb from Michigan Says:

    I don’t care what you say, even with the elastomer seat post, just viewing that saddle makes my nads ache. But you are svelte and I am not. And with your seasoned skills you know exactly when to stand a wee bit on the pedals. I’m always a second (ouch!! goddamnit!!) too late. I’ll bet those retro-grouch brakes are doing just fine and are oh so easy to work on. Long Live POG’s DBR Axis!!

    • khal spencer Says:

      I have a similar saddle on the Ti gravel bike. I took the gravel bike on my usual rough singletrack (La Tierra Trails) and decided once was enough. There is a reason people invented suspension.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      That U.S.E. post is really old, and it’s starting to give me The Fear. I may replace it with a rigid Easton post that’s lying around somewhere in the garage. I still have a Rock Shox post on the backup Eurocross; the main one has a Thomson that’s stiffer than a life sentence.

      And yeah, you gots to time your rise and fall unless you want your voice to jump an octave or two. Still, I love those Selle Italia Flites.

  5. Herb Case Says:

    Have you seen the prices on electronic rear derailleur replacements? Scary😭.

  6. Shawn Says:

    When my old shox decide to fail, I’ll just wrap some flex tape around the shock tubes where they enter the stanchion and run them as rigid forks. I’ll get the appropriate color tape to match the old yellow Judy or the blue Sid. Because, somebody has to try to see if it would work. Right?

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