26" touring forks advice....


Retro Guru
I'm modding some stock Specialized Rockhopper forks ( I know and its my fault if I hurt myself but they are built solid ) with the intention of touring. Is it worth adding any extras like bottle bosses on the sides of the blades before paint? Or is there a really good rack that would benefit from mounts in a certain position? tempImagefmsTWw.png
Got to be worth sticking a couple mounting points for either a rack or bottle mounts if you've got the skillz! (Wish I had!)
Two at the dropout and one on the leg is all you should need.
(There's probably a brake hole in the crown already for front headlight etc)
Choose a rack first and then fit the upper mount to suit (it's not totally standard🙄)
If you've got a rack you can put bottles on it, or in a pannier.
Brazing the upper eye behind or in front of the blade avoids making a hole and applying a lot of heat to the leg itself, although it might not matter...🤔
Got to be worth sticking a couple mounting points for either a rack or bottle mounts if you've got the skillz! (Wish I had!)
You're 100% right, its just deciding on position etc. I guess the sensible thing would be to get a rack that works well with this fork size, offer it up and see for myself. I was wondering if anyone had from touring experience have benefitted from additional mountings?...
Did the lowrider mods 20 years ago on my Marin, in those days the other mount would have been for a bottle dynamo but now there are plenty of hub dynos.

I suppose you could alternatively fit all the fork leg bosses, but by the time you have done them and painted the fork it's probably easier to buy a Surly fork.
depends how much you want "the look". personally I've always found no need to load up the front for 90% of the touring I've done. It seems the norm now to load out like you are doing a round the world trip, when in reality you are doing 2 or 3 days.

I nice rack up front is always a good idea if you are doing longer though, but not loads of mounts for bottles and the likes, lets face it, in the UK and Europe you are rarely further than 5 miles from a clean water source, so why lug it with you?
My set-up is a handlebar "Bardale" [Karrimor... 1981!!] and rear Iberian panniers which are large [too large]. I load all my valuables and heavies in the Bardale and just have sleeping bag/clothes/stove etc in the rear panniers. My tent sits on the rear rack. The advantage of the bardale is that it is easily removed and can be fitted with a shoulder strap. If you stop at a Cafe/Shop you just pull it off and all your wallet mp3/phone are off the bike and safely with you. I take the view that front panniers are only needed for multi-week trips.
The more capacity you have the greater the tendency to fill it, as you can see from my bike on right. I used to take mountain gear in addition to cycling needs. I never used the mountain kit as I was not going to leave the bike in the wilds/roadside while I was 10+ miles away. Having bosses available is optimal but I wouldn't use front panniers unless going 2+ weeks away or having some particular requirement like camera's or tech gear.

Over the years, i've upgraded my packed kit to lightest/appropriate. Sleeping bag is down and 1kg, down vest, tecwear bags [trousers], light fleece and everything tuned for weight. If I don't need it, I don't take it - I'm a lot older now! Photo was 1981, NW Highlands, Scotland.

Flexibility is great but consider carefully what you are going to do with the machine. ATB - Bob
Thanks everyone, some food for thought there. I’m tempted to put a couple of bottle bosses on each side then should the need arise I can use a couple of modern fork cages like restrap and others sell. Realistically I don’t think I’ll run large heavy panniers up front but the forks do have a lug for that or a mudguard near the dropouts already so I’m probably over thinking it.