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Old 03-13-08, 07:52 PM   #1
Grand Bois
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NOS mink blue Raleigh Pro mk V fork

It came in the mail today and it's beautiful! It's also surprisingly light. It's for my Raleigh Competition. The trouble is, it's too short. I don't think anybody ever made a headset with a 20mm stack height, and that's what it needs. I'm going to try using a Tange and leaving out the washer, but I don't have much hope. I suppose I could have the head tube shortened a bit.

Anybody got any ideas?

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Old 03-13-08, 08:08 PM   #2
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What size is it, and what size frame do you have?

Check the stack height on a Stronglight A-9 headset. I think they're quite short, and those babies are light. I recall seeing a source for NOS ones that were comparatively inexpensive.
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Old 03-13-08, 08:12 PM   #3
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No, the A9 is notorious for it's tall stack height. I'd look at milling the headtube down a bit.
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Old 03-13-08, 08:34 PM   #4
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The A-9 is my favorite headset, but it's very tall at 40.2mm. The shortest I've been able to find is a Tange Passage at 30.3mm.

I like to do everything myself, but just priced head tube facers and I don't want to buy one!

The cheapest place to buy an A-9 that I know of is xxcycle in France.
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Old 03-13-08, 08:35 PM   #5
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Is there a bike co-op near you?
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Old 03-13-08, 08:40 PM   #6
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Is there a bike co-op near you?
Yes, in Berkeley. How does that work?
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Old 03-13-08, 08:43 PM   #7
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You could use their tools (assuming they have a headtube facer and would let you use it for more severe milling).
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Old 03-13-08, 08:46 PM   #8
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A couple of mm might be an option, but milling down a headtube a whole cm isn't going to work out for several reasons. I'd take it to a good welder and see if they thought they could cut off the threaded section and TIG on more material without cooking the paint farther down.
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Old 03-13-08, 08:50 PM   #9
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A couple of mm might be an option, but milling down a headtube a whole cm isn't going to work out for several reasons. I'd take it to a good welder and see if they thought they could cut off the threaded section and TIG on more material without cooking the paint farther down.
I met a guy who did this. He had been riding the bike for a while and said it was no problem. I sold him a schwinn tempo with a Bianchi fork that was about 10mm too short, he said he was going to do the same. Chop the steer tube and weld smaller diameter tube in.
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Old 03-13-08, 08:50 PM   #10
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Bernie Mikklesen in Alameda is well known for his steer tube replacements (among other things).
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Old 03-13-08, 08:56 PM   #11
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It's going to get painted anyway. It's a shame because the mink blue is beautiful and it even has gold lug lining.

The head tube is 6" and the steer tube is 6 3/4" to the bottom of the crown race, so it's very close. taking 1/16" of both the top and bottom of the head tube and leaving the washer out of the headset might be enough. Maybe.
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Old 03-13-08, 09:16 PM   #12
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I could take the Competition fork off of the Carlton. The Carlton head tube is 1/4" shorter than the Competition's so the Pro fork should fit. I know that the Competition fork will fit the Competition because it's the original. I even have some yellow urethane paint left. The Carlton will lose its fenders because the pro fork has no eyelets, but I was never sure I liked them on that bike anyway. They don't add much weight, but the bike looks heavy with them. Maybe I'll try them on the PX10 if I ever get it back from Dr. D.

I'm going to try to find some urethane paint to match that mink blue and silver on the Pro.
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Old 03-13-08, 09:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtdrop View Post
The A-9 is my favorite headset, but it's very tall at 40.2mm. The shortest I've been able to find is a Tange Passage at 30.3mm.

I like to do everything myself, but just priced head tube facers and I don't want to buy one!


The cheapest place to buy an A-9 that I know of is xxcycle in France.
Cheaper than this?

<edit> - yiiiy! Way cheaper.
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Old 03-13-08, 09:19 PM   #14
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I'm going to try to find some urethane paint to match that mink blue and silver on the Pro.
To be honest, I think "mink" referred to the original 1970 brown metallic.
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Old 03-13-08, 10:25 PM   #15
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Cheaper than this?

<edit> - yiiiy! Way cheaper.
http://velo-orange.com/stronglighta9.html

Also available in French thread. And I hear Stronglight is discontinuing this headset.
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Old 03-14-08, 05:19 AM   #16
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If you only have 20 mm stack to begin with on the Competition, using the fork on the Carlton with 1/4" shorter head tube is not going to work either. I don't know of any headsets that have 26 mm stack, even if you reduce the thickness of the washer/spacer between top cup and lock nut.

If it were my "predicament," I'd look into extending the steerer. With a short length of splice tubing inside, you might be able to spot-weld that to the existing steerer, below its threads. Then spin a die onto the existing threads, add a new section of pipe to the top (either threaded or unthreaded, but I'd think the latter would work better), spot weld that (or braze, if you could keep the torch away from the die) to the splice, and rethread the added pipe from the bottom up.

With only 20 mm stack, and using a headset in the taller range, like the Stronglight, you might even get things to work so that none of the original threads are engaged at all -- would need to check the prospective headset.
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Old 03-14-08, 07:10 AM   #17
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http://velo-orange.com/stronglighta9.html

Also available in French thread. And I hear Stronglight is discontinuing this headset.
What a deal!

http://xxcycle.com/a9,,en.php

They just ran out of BSC. I'm glad I stocked up!
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Old 03-14-08, 12:53 PM   #18
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If you only have 20 mm stack to begin with on the Competition, using the fork on the Carlton with 1/4" shorter head tube is not going to work either. I don't know of any headsets that have 26 mm stack, even if you reduce the thickness of the washer/spacer between top cup and lock nut.

If it were my "predicament," I'd look into extending the steerer. With a short length of splice tubing inside, you might be able to spot-weld that to the existing steerer, below its threads. Then spin a die onto the existing threads, add a new section of pipe to the top (either threaded or unthreaded, but I'd think the latter would work better), spot weld that (or braze, if you could keep the torch away from the die) to the splice, and rethread the added pipe from the bottom up.

With only 20 mm stack, and using a headset in the taller range, like the Stronglight, you might even get things to work so that none of the original threads are engaged at all -- would need to check the prospective headset.
That sounds like a good plan, but I don't have the equipment or the skills to carry it out. I'm afraid I'd end up with a $200 fork if I had to pay someone to do it.

I need to take more accurate measurements, but I think the fork isn't going to work for me. I guess I'll put it on eBay.
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Old 03-14-08, 01:00 PM   #19
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What a deal!

http://xxcycle.com/a9,,en.php

They just ran out of BSC. I'm glad I stocked up!
Dang those are cheep. I best order one as I know the Gipiemme on the jeunet is not in the greatest shape. though I'll probably sand down the surfaces, polish them and keep using it.
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Old 03-14-08, 04:58 PM   #20
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Quote:
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To be honest, I think "mink" referred to the original 1970 brown metallic.
Mink blue is not brown.

http://www.retroraleighs.com/professional.html
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Old 03-14-08, 07:29 PM   #21
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Won't argue with you or Sheldon, but the concept of "mink blue" is totally illogical.
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Old 03-14-08, 10:03 PM   #22
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I've wondered about that forever. That color was always called Mink Blue, but I dunno why. Anyone else know?
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Old 03-15-08, 04:43 AM   #23
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I believe it might have to do with a certain type of fur coat made from blue minks.
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Old 03-15-08, 09:43 AM   #24
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I pursued that for a while yesterday, and I suppose that is the only conclusion...apparently there's a color of siamese cat that they call blue mink as well.
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Old 03-15-08, 10:25 AM   #25
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Yes, in Berkeley. How does that work?
Velo Sport used to have a bunch of vintage forks hanging in the repair room, don't know what happened to them since they moved.
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