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Old 02-22-05, 09:45 PM   #1
jimhens714
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Aluminum fork with steel frame

I have an old Raleigh that is built up as a single speed. It has a 1" threaded fork and I had to replace the headset. There is only enough steerer length to allow for 31mm of stack height which is too short for most modern headsets (I know...Chris King is short but they are pretty expensive too). I found an aluminum fork that is NOS and plan on using that. It has the right length steertube to allow for about 41mm of stack. Here the questions:

This fork is bare aluminum. I could polish it but it would eventually oxidize again. I was thinking about a couple of coats of black laquer followed by a couple of coats of clear...then buff out. Other suggestions?

Any concerns with an aluminum fork in general? I know that aluminum doesn't have infinite fatigue life. When should I start being concerned? Should I just ride it and inspect periodically for cracks? Or not worry at all?

Thanks in advance,
Jim
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Old 02-22-05, 10:26 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jimhens714
I have an old Raleigh that is built up as a single speed. It has a 1" threaded fork and I had to replace the headset. There is only enough steerer length to allow for 31mm of stack height which is too short for most modern headsets (I know...Chris King is short but they are pretty expensive too). I found an aluminum fork that is NOS and plan on using that. It has the right length steertube to allow for about 41mm of stack. Here the questions:

This fork is bare aluminum. I could polish it but it would eventually oxidize again. I was thinking about a couple of coats of black laquer followed by a couple of coats of clear...then buff out. Other suggestions?

Any concerns with an aluminum fork in general? I know that aluminum doesn't have infinite fatigue life. When should I start being concerned? Should I just ride it and inspect periodically for cracks? Or not worry at all?

Thanks in advance,
Jim
Aluminum forks were used for years on many bikes with no warnng as to expected life expectancy. Are you sure it isn't already anodized or clearcoated? But, maybe it ain't if it's badly oxidized. Are you sure it isn't a POS?
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Old 02-22-05, 11:14 PM   #3
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If you wax after you polish you can maintain a shine for a decent ammount of time. The more costly, but certainly impressive way of getting the same look is to have it powdercoated in the 'almost-chrome' color. Toughest commonly available coating and looks pretty decent.
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Old 02-22-05, 11:28 PM   #4
jeff williams
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Don't worry..might kinda suck..no flexy. Coat with any paint\ clearcoat, wipe with alcohol etc before primer for hand\drive oils which mess paint adhesion.
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Old 02-23-05, 01:32 PM   #5
jimhens714
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If you wax after you polish you can maintain a shine for a decent ammount of time. The more costly, but certainly impressive way of getting the same look is to have it powdercoated in the 'almost-chrome' color. Toughest commonly available coating and looks pretty decent.
I probably won't opt for the powdercoat as this is a "budget" singlespeed of sorts. Thanks for the polish and wax tip though. It is not heavily oxidized. It has what appears to be spots (like water spots) that should buff right off. I think the bare aluminum look would look good too as long as it is protected.
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Old 02-23-05, 07:28 PM   #6
531Aussie
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Originally Posted by jimhens714
I have an old Raleigh that is built up as a single speed.
Thanks in advance,
Jim
I have an alu fork on one of my old steel bikes, and while I think the alarm over alu forks is/was a bit
over done, I periodically inspect it for cracks.

If alu forks a so bad, why are there still a bazillion carbon forks going around with alu crowns and ends?
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Old 02-24-05, 02:14 AM   #7
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If alu forks a so bad, why are there still a bazillion carbon forks going around with alu crowns and ends?
Good point...
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