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  1. #1
    Senior Member Huge Zits's Avatar
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    Old Schwinn Heavy-Duti: Bent fork?

    I've just finished my first bike build last night. Time for another build.

    I've received a frame and fork of an old yellow Schwinn Heavy-Duti.

    The fork looks weird.

    Is it bent?

    Should I find another fork?

    Link to Photobucket album.

  2. #2
    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
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    '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

  3. #3
    Senior Member Huge Zits's Avatar
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    Thanks for the pic.

    Is the fork fixable?

  4. #4
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huge Zits View Post
    Thanks for the pic.

    Is the fork fixable?
    We used to straighten the forged Schwinn forks all the time. That's bent pretty far, though. As long as the steerer tube is straight it should be OK.
    Jeff Wills

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  5. #5
    Senior Member Huge Zits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
    We used to straighten the forged Schwinn forks all the time. That's bent pretty far, though. As long as the steerer tube is straight it should be OK.
    How do I straighten it?

  6. #6
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    That's hella bent, but I straightened a bent fork by attaching it to the frame, then wedging the fork ends in between the rungs of an aluminum ladder, then applying force to the rear end of the frame (lots of leverage that way) to get a very desirable result. With all the leverage due to the frame being attached, it was easy to control the force and bending. The only way to tell it had been bent was the paint that came off at the bend point.

    It's worth a try. If it doesn't work, you should be able to dig up an old Schwinn fork somewhere.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  7. #7
    Senior Member Huge Zits's Avatar
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    Man, the fork seems freaking solid.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Huge Zits's Avatar
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    Any other methods?

  9. #9
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    1. Because the fork does not have a true crown and the bend starts at the beginning of the blade your options are limited.
    2. That is indeed a very large bend. I'm not sure I would consider straightening it.
    3. It is difficult to bend the blades back evenly and have them centered properly, with the dropouts reasonably parallel.

    I don't think it's worth the effort, but the post above about using the bike as leverage (be careful) is as good as any. There are not standard fixes for something like this.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ron521's Avatar
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    Rather than using the bike as leverage, I would try to find a hydraulic press, support the steerer tube and fork blades on wood blocks, and carefully press down at the crown.
    However, old Schwinns are fairly common, I'd look for one to serve as an organ donor, or even replace the fork with a non-Schwinn part.
    A brand new chrome-moly uni-crown would be plenty strong, for less than $30.

  11. #11
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    I recently bent this fork back by using the frame as leverage. As you can see, I have the upper portion of the fork held in my bench vise. In my case, the fork was not bent too bad, and the upper section was bent.

    EDIT: Just looked at your pics. I would not attempt straightening it yourself. I would find a shop you trust, or better yet, a replacement fork. Mine below was bent maybe 1/2 inch out of alignment.





    Here's the after picture. Hard to see, but I use a straight edge (in this case a 2x2) centered on the stem bolt, through the center of the fork crown. Upper section of fork is centered on the same line as the head tube and the stem.

    Last edited by wrk101; 09-18-10 at 02:17 PM.

  12. #12
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huge Zits View Post
    How do I straighten it?
    Long ago and far away, we had a Stein fork jig at the shop:
    http://www.jastein.com/Html/Tools_for_Frames_Forks.htm (scroll down a bit, and it's not a good photo)
    This was clamped in a big bench vice, and lots of leverage was supplied by a Park FFS-2: http://www.parktool.com/products/det...8&item=FFS%2D2

    As others have said, your bend may not be fixable. Between the special tools and the judgement needed, I'd say either take it to a pro or replace the fork. A stock fork might be hard to find, but any Schwinn 26" cruiser fork should interchange.
    Jeff Wills

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  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Looks to me like the bend is at the base of the steerer column.. rather major , Got an Arbor Press?
    Heavy steel U channel bolted in a box shape and a hydraulic Jack to exert force..
    Bet finding a new fork is more practical..

    Maybe a Worksman fork? since that is from the Chicago era..

  14. #14
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Looks to me like the bend is at the base of the steerer column.. rather major , Got an Arbor Press?
    Heavy steel U channel bolted in a box shape and a hydraulic Jack to exert force..
    Bet finding a new fork is more practical..

    Maybe a Worksman fork? since that is from the Chicago era..
    Yeah, a Worksman fork would work. This would too: http://www.bikepartsusa.com/bikeparts/item/01-103981/ but it ain't the prettiest thing around.
    Jeff Wills

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  15. #15
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    An next time Don't T-Bone into the Fork-Lift.. they dont even dent.

  16. #16
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    Actually on second look the fork rake looks pretty good if you just turn the fork backwards! Yes, I'm serious - I would be concerned that you might bend the fork column if you try to bend that all the way back to normal without proper support.

  17. #17
    afraid of whales Mr IGH's Avatar
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    I'd bend it back using a bench vise. I put the steer tube in the vise sideways and bend each blade back individually.
    You'll need a set of dropout alignment tools to get it right. Might be easier to just buy a used fork.

  18. #18
    Bicycle Repairman kingsting's Avatar
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    This is my all time favorite bicycle tool...



    There's always room for one more bike!

  19. #19
    Senior Member Huge Zits's Avatar
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    Thank you for all of the replies!


    I'll look for another fork and attempt to straighten it out some time.

    I think I will set this project aside and work on a different Schwinn cruiser.

    Neat tool, kingstill!


    I hope this thread will pop up in many searches.

  20. #20
    Bicycle Repairman kingsting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huge Zits View Post
    Thank you for all of the replies!


    I'll look for another fork and attempt to straighten it out some time.

    I think I will set this project aside and work on a different Schwinn cruiser.

    Neat tool, kingstill!


    I hope this thread will pop up in many searches.

    Head on over to the classifieds section of the Schwinn (or even the ratrodbike) forums and put up a wanted post. Nice forged Schwinn forks aren't too hard to come by and that color should be fairly easy to match, even in a spraycan.

    I love my big angry fork tool... It's a must-have when you collect Sting-rays. I'm always finding them with bent forks.
    There's always room for one more bike!

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