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Old 09-18-06, 07:57 AM   #1
fender1
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Bent Steel Fork: Can it be fixed?

Hi,

I got a 1981 Trek 710 531 reynolds frame & fork. The fork is bent back a little bit, no frame issues that I can see. Can the fork be bent back? Is this something I can do or would a shop be best? Thanks for your help.
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Old 09-18-06, 08:03 AM   #2
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Might be possible since it's steel... but you'd better take it to a shop for a good examination. A fork failure is one of those things that you DON'T want to have happen. It'll cause an immediate loss of control and a crash, and will likely cause a serious injury or worse if you're traveling at high speed when it occurs.
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Old 09-18-06, 08:05 AM   #3
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expensive, but maybe worth it for your bike. good luck.
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Old 09-18-06, 08:08 AM   #4
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Shouldn't be a problem for any decent LBS with a fork jig.

Last winter I bent a Cro-Mo fork and the LBS straightened it out for me. I wasn't even charged, so it couldn't have taken too long to do.
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Old 09-18-06, 09:00 AM   #5
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It may be possible, depending on how far gone the fork is. LIke Ziemas said, any cecent LBS w/ fork jig should be able to do it. High-speed wobble has been linked to all sorts of issues, fork geometry one of them, so get it done proper. It can take quite a while to get it just right, and I would expect to get charged for it.
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Old 09-18-06, 10:13 AM   #6
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I wonder what these fork bending jigs look like, ..and how common it is for an LBS to have one.

Hanging in a remote spot waiting its turn, I have an older raleigh grand prix (1968) that is in good shape except for the fork. It is also bent back a little bit. I've pondered building my own jig but would definitley like to see what a real one already looks like.
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Old 09-18-06, 10:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbg
I wonder what these fork bending jigs look like, ..and how common it is for an LBS to have one.

Hanging in a remote spot waiting its turn, I have an older raleigh grand prix (1968) that is in good shape except for the fork. It is also bent back a little bit. I've pondered building my own jig but would definitley like to see what a real one already looks like.
Never done it, but I would clamp the steerer tube into a vise, then use a small hydraulic jack under the blade of the fork to very slowly, a little at a time, straighten the blade.
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Old 09-18-06, 10:50 AM   #8
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I had a steel fork straightened this Spring. It cost $65 at the LBS. Works like a charm. A fork doesn't have to be very far off to want to throw the steering one way or another.
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Old 09-18-06, 10:53 AM   #9
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I had a steel fork straightened this Spring. It cost $65 at the LBS. Works like a charm. A fork doesn't have to be very far off to want to throw the steering one way or another.
You can get a new fork for that price. If the fork is only slightly bent and doesn't effect handling, you can probably still ride it but keep an eye on it.

Was it a crash that caused the fork to bend? Or was it unbent by someone already?
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Old 09-18-06, 11:52 AM   #10
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I hit a curb after being cut off by a driver who signaled left but then turned right at an intersection. I was fine but the bike, which I had just finished tuning and this was its maiden voyage, hit the curb head on in my attempt to get out of the way. That said I only paid $26 for the bike but since it is a nice 60mm Trek 710 531 reynolds frame and fork, it seems that it is worth trying to repair. I called my local full service shop who told me they no longer staighten forks for liability reasons. I will see if I can find some one else in the area (philly)
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Old 09-18-06, 04:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fender1
I hit a curb after being cut off by a driver who signaled left but then turned right at an intersection. I was fine but the bike, which I had just finished tuning and this was its maiden voyage, hit the curb head on in my attempt to get out of the way. That said I only paid $26 for the bike but since it is a nice 60mm Trek 710 531 reynolds frame and fork, it seems that it is worth trying to repair. I called my local full service shop who told me they no longer staighten forks for liability reasons. I will see if I can find some one else in the area (philly)
You may have already done this but, if it was my bike, I'd be checking the underside of the top and down tubes, near the head tube, for ripples in the paint. If you see ripples, that means those tubes are also bent. Back in the days of double butted 531 that was a semi-common issue.

As for the fork, if it was a bike that I really ride, I'd buy a replacement fork. If it's a bike that you basically just keep hanging around, I might try bending it back and might just leave it as it is. To bend it back, chuck the steerer tube in a bench vise, grab a fork leg in each hand, put your foot up against the workbench and try to pull evenly.
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