Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Oxford, UK
    Posts
    25
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Advice on buying fork for hybrid bike

    Hello everybody.

    I have to replace the fork on my cheap hybrid bike, and this is my first time replacing a fork and I'm not sure I know all I should know to buy the right fork online, especially since all/most of the advice is for expensive road/mountain bikes.

    The frame and the current fork are made of steel, the frame size is 18", the headset is threaded, the headset locknuts are 36mm wide, the bike has V-brakes and the current wheels are 700c. I'm not sure whether some of these details are irrelevant, but have I missed anything that is particularly relevant?

    I haven't yet taken taken the current fork off because I'm waiting for the spanners to arrive, but I've been doing some shopping to see if I can order the fork now and there are many details that I don't understand in the listings I've seen. For example, there's a listing on eBay that describes the fork as "700c HYBRID FORK V+DISC MOUNT 1-1/8"STEERER 28.6mm ,260mm THREADED BLK F757" and there are some further details about other measurements. Are all of these details relevant to me?

    Also, I'm puzzled that I haven't seen the length of the forks, and from what I've read (e.g., on Sheldon Brown's site), these do vary.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Rochelle, NY
    My Bikes
    too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
    Posts
    22,435
    Mentioned
    67 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    First confirm that you have a 1-1/8" fork, and not 1". You can do so easily by measuring the diameter of the stem. Forks are 1/8" greater in diameter than the stems, so a 1" stem goes into a 1-1/8" fork.

    Then you need to buy a fork no shorter than the current one and not more than 1" longer. New forks are typically threaded 2" or so, and you need about 3/4" or so for the headset leaving you only a bit over an inch to cut down.

    If you're working very close, get the length to the bottom of the thread so you know exactly how much you have to work with.

    Also, you have to get a fork with Canti (not disc) mounts (o both) unless you plan to change to disc brakes.

    In the example you listed, the 260mm is the length, which is always measured from the crown bearing seat to he top. You can put a ruler against your bike and eyeball from the bottom to top of the headset assembly. The fork is about 3mm shorter because it doesn't come to the top of the locknut, but hopefully you won't be working that close.

    BTW- You didn't say WHY you need to replace the fork, but if it's due to a crash, make sure the frame is OK. The tip off will be buckling (ripples) under the front of the down tube, or cracked paint on top where the steel stretched a bit. If you see either, you need to assess whether the whole deal makes sense.
    FB
    Chain-L site

    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    My Bikes
    '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
    Posts
    26,146
    Mentioned
    13 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    First confirm that you have a 1-1/8" fork, and not 1". You can do so easily by measuring the diameter of the stem. Forks are 1/8" greater in diameter than the stems, so a 1" stem goes into a 1-1/8" fork.
    The OP noted the flats on his headset's locknut and top race are 36 mm which is pretty much the standard for a 1-1/8" headset and steerer. All of the 1" headsets I've seen have 32 mm flats. Even so, a confirming diameter measurement would be a good first move.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Rochelle, NY
    My Bikes
    too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
    Posts
    22,435
    Mentioned
    67 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    The OP noted the flats on his headset's locknut and top race are 36 mm which is pretty much the standard for a 1-1/8" headset and steerer. All of the 1" headsets I've seen have 32 mm flats. Even so, a confirming diameter measurement would be a good first move.
    Yes, 36mm headset flats are pretty solid evidence of a 1-1/8" fork. OTOH since I don't know every headset made, I can't be sure there aren't exceptions. In any case, I'm an old school, measure twice, cut once kind of guy, so I always check (if possible) rather than trust memory or suppositions.
    FB
    Chain-L site

    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Oxford, UK
    Posts
    25
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for your replies, FBinNY and HillRider!

    I'll measure the diameter of the stem to be on the safe side.

    The reason why I have to replace the fork is because one of its dropouts bent while it was being transported without the front wheel. I know that I should've left an axle attached to the dropouts, but I wasn't expecting having to remove the front wheel for transportation (because I was told it wasn't necessary ). I think the frame is OK, but it probably wouldn't hurt to double check.

    Thanks once again!

  6. #6
    Senior Member SquidPuppet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Coeur d'Alene
    Posts
    917
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Did the drop out get pushed to the left/right? How badly? Seems to me that could be safely pushed back into position if the bend is not horrific.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Rochelle, NY
    My Bikes
    too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
    Posts
    22,435
    Mentioned
    67 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Gustavoang View Post
    Thanks for your replies, FBinNY and HillRider!

    I'll measure the diameter of the stem to be on the safe side.

    The reason why I have to replace the fork is because one of its dropouts bent while it was being transported without the front wheel. I know that I should've left an axle attached to the dropouts, but I wasn't expecting having to remove the front wheel for transportation (because I was told it wasn't necessary ). I think the frame is OK, but it probably wouldn't hurt to double check.

    Thanks once again!
    Forks damaged this way are usually repairable with no serious consequences. Of course it depends on the specifics, but both dropouts and blaces can usually be straightened very nicely, with the only hint of damage being the paint. This is especially true if it's a steel fork, but even aluminum forks can also be saved in most cases.

    BTW- too late now, but if you travel with your bike, stop in at a bike shop and ask for one of the fork braces they ship new bikes with. They're expressly made to prevent what happened to you.
    FB
    Chain-L site

    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  8. #8
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Wilkes-Barre, PA
    My Bikes
    Many
    Posts
    7,481
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Probably not worth it on a cheap bike, but when I replaced the fork on my hybrid, to move from suspended to rigid, I made the move to a threadless headset as well. This would add the cost of a headset, a new stem, star nut, top cap and possibly some spacers, but it is an option to provide more forks to choose from.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Oxford, UK
    Posts
    25
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks, FBinNY and SquidPuppet!

    A guy at my LBS checked the fork and told me that if it were him, he'd bend it back with an adjustable spanner, but "officially", on behalf of the shop he could only recommend that the fork be replaced to avoid having the dropout snap on the road. Although unlikely, that's a scary scenario, and I wouldn't be comfortable riding the bike with the old fork :-/

    Little Darwin, thanks for the tip! I hadn't considered it, although as you say, it may not be worth it on my cheap hybrid bike.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Rochelle, NY
    My Bikes
    too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
    Posts
    22,435
    Mentioned
    67 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Gustavoang View Post
    Thanks, FBinNY and SquidPuppet!

    A guy at my LBS checked the fork and told me that if it were him, he'd bend it back with an adjustable spanner, but "officially", on behalf of the shop he could only recommend that the fork be replaced to avoid having the dropout snap on the road. Although unlikely, that's a scary scenario, and I wouldn't be comfortable riding the bike with the old fork :-/
    .
    I don't know how bent, bent is. But like the mechanic working on his own bike I'd probably straighten a dropout that wasn't bent to where I saw stress marks on the outside of the bend. The steels typically used on steel dropouts are very ductile and quite forgiving of cold working (bending). Not saying you can bend it back and forth like taffy, but a single bend and correction shouldn't be an issue.

    As the mechanic, said -- he'd fix and ride it if it were his, but not for you. So it's not a matter of risk of failure as much as risk of lawsuit. The reality of it is that with the wheel in the fork the axle face and nuts or QR ensure that dropouts are kept parallel and not subject to bending loads.

    In your shoes, I'd get a second opinion (or just fix it myself) before shelling out dough for a replacement.
    FB
    Chain-L site

    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Oxford, UK
    Posts
    25
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That's a good point, FBinNY.

    Here's a picture of the bent dropout: https://plus.google.com/photos/10882...10530727136866

    I think it's off by 4mm or so. If it were your bike, would you bend the dropout back?

    Thanks in advance!

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    My Bikes
    '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
    Posts
    26,146
    Mentioned
    13 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I can't answer for FB but if it were my bike, no question I'd straighten it out myself. An adjustable (aka "Crescent") wrench set to firmly clamp the dropout would be the tool of choice.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Rochelle, NY
    My Bikes
    too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
    Posts
    22,435
    Mentioned
    67 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    I can't answer for FB but if it were my bike, no question I'd straighten it out myself. An adjustable (aka "Crescent") wrench set to firmly clamp the dropout would be the tool of choice.
    I'd have straightened that and been back on the bike faster than you could have typed your original post. You can start with an adjustable wrench, but I find I have best results squaring them up in a vise, holding the dropout and working the fork. Or once it's close, you can use an axle with nuts and washers on either side.

    There are two steps involved. First you have to get the dropout flat again which means bending only about half of it. Then when it's flat, (look it edgewise) you use the vise or axle to get it parallel to it's mate. This is important so that tightening the wheel doesn't bow the axle. You can use an axle or threaded rod with nuts and washers which extends to the other dropout but not into it. Bend the dropout until the rod is perfectly lined up with the slot, and would rest at the top if engaged.

    If there's a good local shop with reasonable prices, you can do the rough work, then they'll get it parallel which is a normal repair for them.
    Last edited by FBinNY; 04-16-14 at 05:36 PM.
    FB
    Chain-L site

    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Oxford, UK
    Posts
    25
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Awesome! I'll fix the bent dropout then!

    Thank you so much everybody!

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    NW UK
    My Bikes
    1992 Marin Eldridge Grade, 2007 Kona PHD and 199? Trek 1000 (current build project)
    Posts
    418
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Unless you are super rich or just have an insatiable desire for a new fork, I myself would definitely bend that back into shape and confidently ride it for many years to come.

  16. #16
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Wilkes-Barre, PA
    My Bikes
    Many
    Posts
    7,481
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    After seeing the pic, I add another strong vote for just bending it back... That picture isn't nearly as bad as I imagined. I have successfully straightened out bends worse than that.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  17. #17
    Passista Reynolds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    My Bikes
    1998 Pinarello Asolo, 1992 KHS Montaña pro, 1980 Raleigh DL-1, IGH Hybrid, IGH Utility
    Posts
    4,640
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's only slightly bent. I'd straighten it with no second thoughts, preferably on a vise as said above.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    My Bikes
    Specialized Sequoia Elite/Motobecane Fantom Cross Team Ti/'85 Trek 520
    Posts
    2,244
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Echoing the others. I would bend that back in a heartbeat without any reservation. I was picturing in my head a dropout that was bent nearly 90 degrees, this is so far from it.
    "When dealing with stuff like this consider that this is a bicycle, not a spaceship." -- FBinNY

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Oxford, UK
    Posts
    25
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks everybody! I'm glad I didn't end up buying the fork.

    I've already ordered an adjustable wrench to straighten the dropout myself, and I'll be taking the fork to a LBS to have the dropouts aligned, as per FBinNY's suggestion.

    Cheers!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •