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Re: CTY 1.1 Step through - replacing parts

Is there somewhere I can find the exact specifications for everything that comes on the CTY 1.1 step-through bicycle? I would like to replace the stem and handlebars, and eventually the tires. It'd really help if I had all of that information in one place so I know what to get so it'll fit my bike. I don't live near an REI, my bikes is my main mode of transportation. I'm a newbie to bikes and cycling so any tips will help. Thanks!

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In terms of something fitting in the sense of physically attaching to the bike, I don't think you have much to worry about. In fact, for the stem and bars, you may not even want an exact match to what you've got already, as playing around with those can be a great way to customize the feeling, handling, and comfort of the bike.

Where the stem attaches to the steerer tube should be a very standard 1 1/8" and is often not even specified on product pages. On the other side of the stem, you just need the diameters of the stem and bars to match, so a 31.8mm stem with 31.8mm bars for example. If you replace both together, you can choose whatever size you want as long as they're the same. They'll both also have various angles to them (on the bars they may be referred to as upsweep and backsweep), the bars will have a width and rise, and the stem will have a length. While all these numbers will change the ride feel of the bike in various small ways, they don't factor into compatibility. Normally these numbers should all be printed somewhere on the components themselves, but otherwise you can always just take a ruler/caliper and/or protractor and measure them directly.

For the tires, the product page says they're 700x40c, which like the other components should be stamped on the sidewall somewhere. You might also see something like 40-622 which is the ISO/ETRTO equivalent of the sizing. This means the tires are nominally 40mm wide, the bead of the tire meets the rim at a diameter of 622mm, and the overall diameter of the whole wheel including the tires is approximately (but almost guaranteed to not actually be) 700mm. Buying by the ETRTO size is the best way to ensure a match. You have some wiggle room in the width, you'd probably be just as fine if the width were 35 or 45, but the 622 number is an absolute requirement. If all you can find is marked only by 700, make sure it is 700C and not 700A or 700B, the other letters won't work, only C.

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Thank you, Tom, for your reply! 

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And would I be able to switch to a suspension fork at some point?

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While it's probably technically possible,

  1. it's likely not worth the money to, as even a budget fork can easily cost $100-200 on its own, and cheaper ones often have poor rebound that just kind of kicks you back like a pogo stick instead of just absorbing bumps
  2. may not be advisable anyway as I doubt the frame was designed around it

The head tube angle is a fairly steep 71°, and when suspension compresses the nose dives down a bit to make it even steeper, so it could have a tendency to feel like it's trying to throw you over the bars under sudden stopping or unexpected obstacle. A suspension fork also is necessarily longer to allow for wheel clearance throughout the travel, so it's going to push the front end higher as well. I'm not a professional mechanic though, so might be best to consult a shop, or if any REI techs want to jump in this thread to weigh in. You'd only get a small amount of travel at best though.

Another option you could try looking at is there are some suspension seatposts out there that could take the edge off of bigger jolts.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.