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  1. #1
    Meat popsicle.
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    Installing a new fork on a roadbike

    Im somewhat new to the whole fixing your bike deal. I just purchased a brand new ritchey carbon fork for my trek 1200. From what i read you need special tools to remove the old headset race(?) from the old aluminum fork. Is this true, and if it is, would it be possible to salvage the old race and reuse the headset, or would i need to replace the headset with the fork? The headset seems to still be in good shape, it has minimal wear on the bearing surfaces. Is there a way i can get it off there or should i take it to my LBS and have them install it?
    Rule#1:Look cool
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    First, you can reuse the old race. I would get a new headset and have my LBS install the headset and cut the fork and install. Not a high cost item.

  3. #3
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkpker View Post
    Im somewhat new to the whole fixing your bike deal. I just purchased a brand new ritchey carbon fork for my trek 1200. From what i read you need special tools to remove the old headset race(?) from the old aluminum fork. Is this true, and if it is, would it be possible to salvage the old race and reuse the headset, or would i need to replace the headset with the fork? The headset seems to still be in good shape, it has minimal wear on the bearing surfaces. Is there a way i can get it off there or should i take it to my LBS and have them install it?
    The tool you are thinking of is a crown race remover and it is expensive and usually not in a home mechanics arsenal. There are, however, other ways to do it but you may be better off paying the LBS to do it for you. Have you ensured that your new fork is compatible with your old frame?
    Last edited by halfspeed; 02-11-08 at 03:01 PM.

  4. #4
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    If you are careful you can get the old race off with a hammer and punch. But your LBS shouldn't charge more than $10 to move the race over to the new fork using the proper tools.

    If you pay the LBS to do it, they can also check and face the seat if necessary.

  5. #5
    Your mom
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    Geez, I hope they wouldn't charge you $10. It's pretty easy with a screwdriver, hammer and patience.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Yeah, a whole $10.
    Jesus.

    F-ing crooks, those bike shops....

  7. #7
    Meat popsicle.
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    Thanks guys! I just got the new fork in the mail today, so we will see how it goes. I haven't had a chance to fiddle with the race yet, but when i get home i will try persuading the race off the old fork. I went to my LBS today and got some new bartape and a saddle for my fiance's bike and i asked them about the race, they have a box of old races there and if i ruin mine im sure i can get one of those or just spring for a new headset altogether. Another question i have is how do you get the star nut thing out of the steerer? Should i cut it off below and drive that out or is there some trick to it? Thanks
    Rule#1:Look cool
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Iowegian's Avatar
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    If you remove the race yourself, just go slow and you shouldn't have problems. However, if you're already buying things from your LBS I'd just bring the parts in. I'll bet they do the job for free if you're a good customer.

    I've replaced crown races at home without problems but this has become a job that I now give to the LBS since their tools are much better than a hammer and screw driver. Plus, if the new fork's crown race seat needs to be cleaned up, they can do that too. It just seems penny-wise and pound-foolish to do this at home anymore.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Check out your old fork carefully.

    Some forks have a little flat area that makes it easy to get a punch or screwdriver under the crown race. Once you get it started, even a tiny bit, you can fit an old screwdriver under it and gradually work it up the steerer tube. If your fork doesn't have such a flat place, you can still sharpen an old screwdriver and gradually work your way around the space between the crown race and the fork.

    Aside from removing the crown race, no "magic" tools are required. If your headset has been working smoothly there is no need to replace it.

    Oh - all those guys who say to measure the steerer tube twice before cutting - they're all WRONG! Measure at least 3 times. Dry fit everything together, think it through, make sure the handlebar height is where you want it, then walk away and have a cup of coffee or something. Think it through again when you come back. The only bike mechanics who won't admit to having cut a steerer too short are liars.

    Carbon steerer or metal? If it's carbon, look around to find an appropriate hack saw blade. I have one that, insted of teeth, has some kind of grit on it. I also wrap the steerer with masking tape and cut through that to prevent any tear out. If you don't have a saw guide, buy a screw type hose clamp from Auto Zone and use that to make sure that your cut is nice and square. Use a half round file to deburr the cut end.

    Good luck!

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