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View Poll Results: Is this a good idea?
Brilliant - that'll work! 4 66.67%
Dude - worst idea ever!! I have a thread you can post in when you're done. 0 0%
Well the filing should be fine but the axle without those locking nuts is a bad idea, don't do it. 2 33.33%
Voters: 6. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-17-06, 07:47 AM   #1
Air
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Filing front fork to fit new rim on a vintage bike?

Ahh, the adventures

Bought new wheels for my Russian made vintage folding bike. This project involves the front wheel - the new wheel's axle is slightly too wide for the groove in the fork. (Found this out of course after I went and had the wheel trued - though I got to see how it was done and now all the instructions I've seen online make much more sense!)

I went out to a hardware store and bought a small Dremel diamond point to file the fork down. I figure I can put that on my electric drill and run around the inside groove of the fork once, check the wheel, run around again, check the wheel, etc... Second option would be to file the bolt on the axle a little bit (looks to be too wide with the threads). I like the idea of making the frame take a standard wheel then a standard wheel being made to fit the frame.

I can't replace the fork because of how it's made so that option's out.

The only other thing I should mention is that the rim came with two sets of bolts - it looks like the first set (from the inside out) help lock the axle on. There's another rounded but with a groove nut that's right up against the wheel. The fork is narrow enough that I would have to remove that first set of bolts but it seems that if the wheel was bolted on it wouldn't unthread. Am I right on that?

I've now put down the Dremel and wanted to ask you all if you thought this was a good or bad idea.
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Old 06-17-06, 11:45 AM   #2
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filing dropouts to fit the wider quick-release axle in there is fine, but you shouldn't remove the axle locknuts. Re-spacing a front wheel isn't too smart. Instead, just spread the fork a bit to fit the new wheel. It's only 9mm, as long as you spread each fork blade by approximately the same amount (you can do this by eye, no need for fancy tools - I checked the space between the inside of each fork blade and the rim of the installed wheel with my finger when i did this), it'll be fine. I've done both the filing and the fork spreading to fit a wider quick-release front wheel, and it worked great.
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Old 06-17-06, 12:52 PM   #3
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I think I'd be tempted to use a hand "flat" file instead of the grinding bit.
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Old 06-19-06, 05:32 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. Luckily my drill is on the slower side so I'm not afraid of eating the fork out too quickly

I'm going to take a run to a hardware store - I'm wondering if I can find nuts that are narrower than the ones that came with the wheel which would possibly help that situation. Will probably start the drill up slowly tomorrow
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Old 06-19-06, 06:03 AM   #5
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Filing shouldn't be a problem if it is a small amount, and it is a steel fork.

However, I would try to find an axle set (axle and nuts) that work with the wheel, and is slightly smaller than the existing axle.

I would find it difficult to trust a ground off fork at high speed on less than ideal surfaces.
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Old 06-19-06, 06:24 AM   #6
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True - while the surfaces aren't the best I'm not doing anything too crazy with this. It also only has one speed and a coaster brake. It's definately a steel fork (and frame) - the thing is built like a tank!

I should also mention these are 20" wheels if that makes a difference.
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