View Full Version : fork repair?

08-16-2008, 05:34 PM
I've been meaning to learn how to do a lot of my own maintenance--things like hub overhauls, BB overhauls, etc. So, I bought an El Cheapo DIY at the CCC Tent Sale this morning. It appears I got a bit more than I bargained for. After spending part of the afternoon replacing cables & housing and some minor wheel truing, I took it for a little test ride.

Let's just say, I'm glad I decided to wear my helmet. I nearly wiped out. The bike turns great, to the right. To the left, not so much. I took the front wheel off and noticed that the fork (appears to be steel) didn't sit evenly. There is other minor evidence that the bike was crashed or dropped pretty hard.

My questions are these:
1) Can it be fixed?
2) How difficult of a repair is it (doesn't need to be perfect, just close enough)?
3) Can I do the repair myself or should I have it done at my LBS?
4) Is it even worth fixing or should I just get something like this (http://www.biketiresdirect.com/productdetail.asp?p=IUCMF) (kinda silly since it's about twice what I payed for the bike)?

This isn't my main bike, just something to learn to wrench on, and maybe convert to a fixie later. I don't mind if it's out of commission for a while, but hopefully I don't end up destroying it in the process. Any advice is appreciated.

08-16-2008, 06:11 PM
Post a pic of the fork and I'll let you know what I think. Fork repairs can be tricky. The most tricky part about it is knowing what happened to distort it in the first place, is there any idication of metal fatigue. Knowing how it's constructed and with what materials helps a lot as well. Sometimes forks just aren't worth the risk of cold-setting. You could have an over-stressed fork blade shear off....which isn't fun.

08-17-2008, 08:17 AM
Post a pic of the fork and I'll let you know what I think.

Below are left/right profiles and also straight-on forward and rear shots. Upon further examination, I noticed that there is some paint that has chipped away on the left blade and evidence of where the paint seems compressed.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3196/2770575815_6fd6418c84.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/29622450@N02/sets/72157606782591448/)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3125/2770574597_bbe6fd2f65.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/29622450@N02/sets/72157606782591448/)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3106/2770573463_459acde56d.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/29622450@N02/sets/72157606782591448/)
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3045/2771419700_3880a684d5.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/29622450@N02/sets/72157606782591448/)

There are larger versions on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/29622450@N02/sets/72157606782591448/), but I have even higher res if you need it.

08-17-2008, 09:49 AM
the fork looks fine, right? maybe the race crown (in the headset) doens't fit on perfectly flat? The race crown is the little ring that is the first thing to tough the fork among all the little pieces of the headset........

08-17-2008, 10:49 AM
I pulled the fork off this morning. It's pretty clearly bent. Funny how it's much more obvious when the fork's all by itself. I'll post a couple pics soon.

08-17-2008, 06:41 PM
Decided it wasn't worth the risk and just picked up a new one at City Bikes for $18. Wrenched and cleaned all afternoon, and it now rides pretty damn well.