Classic & Vintage - Mis-spaced fork
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The fork on my 1977 Gitane Gypsy Sport seems to be improperly spaced. That is, the distance between the dropouts is correct, but they aren't the same distance from center.
The spacing used to be 94mm or something strange like that. Then some bonehead (me) just grabbed them and pulled to get the extra 6mm he needed.
Is there a good way to fix this myself? If I took it into my LBS do they have some absurdly expensive Park Tool gizmo that would do it in 30 seconds? Should I just buy the Sunlite chrome fork from Niagara?
08-16-09, 03:06 PM
Hello let me start by saying "way to go bonehead" *giggle* here is what I would do. assuming the paint was in relativly good shape to start with, I would inspect the tops of the blades where they meet the crown. if there is no evidence of stress ie. cracked, chipped paint and they look straight front to back. I would take it to my bs and have them fix it. go to the shop with the guy in his mid '50s driving a car that cost half what his bike do. chances are he has done this several times and it will be alot less than the buying the tool.
now if you are looking for a good excuse to buy the chrome fork.....
Actually, I'm thinking about replacing the whole frameset in a couple of months, but I might not and in any event I'd like to be able to ride it in the mean time. It's not an especially good frame, and the paint is terrible (scuffed all over and a bit rusty with flaking chrome on the tips of the fork), but I've bonded with it to an extent that defies logic and reason.
So anyway, I'd like to keep it cheap. If I replace the fork, it would be with the $13.58 special from Niagara, though I'm worried that will be worse than what I have.
What do you think the LBS would charge for something like this?
08-16-09, 05:36 PM
This is easy to fix. Clamp the steerer tube in a vise.
Make some sort of gauge out of a stick that you clamp onto the steerer tube, and keep it parallel to the steerer tube so that it comes down to between the fork tips.
Measure the distance between each fork tip and the gauge-stick-thing. Bend as necessary. You may be surprised at how much force this requires.
This is what the bonehead should have done in the first place.
All other bends on forks are tricky, but this one isn't.
Well, under-equipped bonehead that I am, I lack a bench vise. So I resorted to throwing an old stem and handlebars on there, putting my foot on the fork end and pulling/pushing until I got it lined up. I'm guessing that's less than ideal for the integrity of the steerer, but given the quality of what I'm working with I decided to try it. It looks like it worked.
The main reason I'm updating is to share what I used for checking my work. My wife has a bunch of quilting rulers hanging in the garage that look something like this:
So I grabbed a long rectangular one, lined the steerer up between the hashmarks and voila...precision!
08-17-09, 07:47 AM
Hello good glad to hear thigs worked out for you. when I was working in shops (depending which one) if you were a regular we might not charge for that. I had even seen the owner do it and not charge as a 'good will' gesture (and to prevent liability) but back in the early '90 I bet it would have been less than $20
but I am glad you got it working. it can be along drive to shop out there
08-17-09, 08:56 AM
There you go! Good old fashioned ingenuity saves the day. I have NO PROBLEM with the method you used. It worked.
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