FRAME: WELDING GUSSETTS FOR STRENGTH

Q. hey man! I have a norco wolverine and i dont do big stuff. i mostly do trail riding but i want to get into heavier stuff. i want to get a bigger fork(maybe 130mm) and i also want to get a gusset between the top tube and the down tube. and maybe between the down tube and the head tube so that the bike can support the fork. i was wondering if i could get a welder to do this but do it properly.or should i take it in to a bike shop or something?
RC: Don’t even go there. Welding gussets to your frame requires a second heat treatment to strengthen the welded areas. While the extra length of the 130-millimeter fork will overstress your frame slightly, the real isssue is that your Norco isn’t designed to handle the uncertain stresses of drops and jumps. Save up your money and buy a Norco Six if you are serious about stunts. As you get braver and more skilled, you wil instantly exceed the abilities of your cross-country bike. The Six will handle almost anything you can dish out–safely–and still get you around the woods for the occasional trail ride.

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