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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 11-11-04, 09:25 PM   #1
HCHENNINGS
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front fork question--road bicycle

i have an older model road bicycle with steel frame. the front feels a little mushy like something is coming loose. i don't think i have ever removed the front fork. is it servicable? should i simply take it to a bicycle shop?
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Old 11-11-04, 09:58 PM   #2
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Go to http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/FAQindex.shtml and look up wheel bearings, spoke adjustment, and headset adjustment. Your problem may be any of these. These adjustments are not rocket science and dont require expensive tools. Good luck.
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Old 11-11-04, 10:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCHENNINGS
i have an older model road bicycle with steel frame. the front feels a little mushy like something is coming loose. i don't think i have ever removed the front fork. is it servicable? should i simply take it to a bicycle shop?
Have your LBS do the overhaul for you rather than have an inexpensive faceplant if you don't have the right tools for the job.
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Old 11-11-04, 10:22 PM   #4
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i do most of the routine cleaning, bearings, and maintenance. a few tools goes a long way. thanks for the link. great bunch of bicycle friendly people. have a great day. regards, henry
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Old 11-11-04, 10:33 PM   #5
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the park service and info supplies some very good information. maybe i will take it to my local bike shop. those bicycle mechanics ususally have some valuable experience and insight into those funky assemblies. maybe i can watch. do they charge extra to watch? regards, henry
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Old 11-11-04, 10:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCHENNINGS
i do most of the routine cleaning, bearings, and maintenance. a few tools goes a long way. thanks for the link. great bunch of bicycle friendly people. have a great day. regards, henry
Isolate the problem first... Is it the fork or the wheel?

If the wheel shakes, wobbles, or flexes, check the build. Check also if the hub cones are loose and the hub bearings/races still in good condition. Repack and tighten as necessary.

To check if the headset/fork is loose, apply the front brake then rock the bike back and forth (assuming the front wheel is good). Any play will indicate a loose headset.

Check on the ParkTool website as AndrewP suggested. Everything you need to know about bike repair and maintenance is there.

Cheers.
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Old 11-11-04, 10:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCHENNINGS
the park service and info supplies some very good information. maybe i will take it to my local bike shop. those bicycle mechanics ususally have some valuable experience and insight into those funky assemblies. maybe i can watch. do they charge extra to watch? regards, henry
I usually do my own maintenance and repairs as well, but I let my mechanic do the major work (those requiring specialized tools). Never had a problem with my mechanic with me watching. Learned a lot from watching and asking questions along the way. BTW, it's also a nice way to know if your mechanic actually knows what's he's doing. IMO, if the wrench doesn't like to be watched while working, something's fishy.
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Old 11-11-04, 10:57 PM   #8
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Any play will indicate a loose headset. That is what i have. Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 11-12-04, 08:29 AM   #9
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Any time a steel frame feels mushy you need to look for cracks. Remove the front fork and inspect the steering column especially at the base where it goes into the fork crown. Remove the bottom bearing ring because it may be cracked underneath.
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Old 11-12-04, 11:45 PM   #10
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thank you for the good information. i try to figure out what my hands are telling me when riding. something is out of sorts. your note helps me put put this fork question top of my priorities. maintenance and safety are number one. enough dangers with commuting along busy los angeles streets after dark. regards, henry
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Old 11-13-04, 09:43 PM   #11
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bicycle is at the shop this morning for a headset overhaul and specific instructions to check for cracks. the shop is open seven days a week. the bicycle should be ready sunday afternoon so i can ride to work on monday. regards, henry
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Old 11-14-04, 04:12 PM   #12
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Keep us posted on what was wrong, and if it was fixed at the LBS. (Dont take it for granted that the LBS actually fix the problem, sometimes they just charge you.)
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Old 11-14-04, 07:35 PM   #13
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picked up the bicycle this afternoon. the local bicycle shop overhauled the headset. no cracks were seen. they installed a shimano ultegra sealed cartridge headset.
the fork now rotates as smooth as butter. yesterday the mechanic unmounted the front tire, suspended the bicycle by the saddle, and showed how the fork was unable to freely rotate. major sticking when rotating the fork. proof of the pudding is in the eating. i will really get a better feel on the way to work. regards, henry.
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Old 11-14-04, 07:37 PM   #14
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was
















was $60 a good price for a headset overhaul including components?
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Old 11-14-04, 07:43 PM   #15
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Ultegra is good stuff. Sounds about right to me.
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