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Old 01-21-11, 11:17 AM   #1
SteveSGP
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Source for new vintage style fork?

Is there such a thing?

I'm looking into have my 1977 Raleigh Fork straightened or maybe finding a new replacement but I'm really unsure where to look and since you guys seem to have all the best answers I figured I'd ask here rather than give myself a migraine sifiting through random websites.

I don't expect to find a perfect match but I'd like to find something that looks appropriate.
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Old 01-21-11, 11:18 AM   #2
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I vote ebay. New ones I would imagine to be pricey.
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Old 01-21-11, 11:21 AM   #3
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I don't where you can find a higher quality fork, but the cheap SunLite chrome 27" forks look fine and are really inexpensive. I bought one for my wife's mixte. The chrome isn't great, but for the price. . . Be advised they take JIS headsets.
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Old 01-21-11, 11:34 AM   #4
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how badly is your fork bent/off aligned?

i've successfully straightened out bent forks using an aluminum baseball bat with the top cut out... i suppose you could also use a long piece of steel pipe that the fork leg could fit into.

i just wrapped a towel around the fork to protect the paint from scuffing, stuck the leg into the bat and bent it back. tossed a wheel on there and spun it to make sure it was properly aligned, and saved myself from buying a new fork. it took about 8 tries (of adjusting the bent leg) to successfully get the wheel to spin straight and centered.
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Old 01-21-11, 12:11 PM   #5
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also dimension makes a black one. niagara sells it for around 25 dollars
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Old 01-21-11, 12:18 PM   #6
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how badly is your fork bent/off aligned?

i've successfully straightened out bent forks using an aluminum baseball bat with the top cut out... i suppose you could also use a long piece of steel pipe that the fork leg could fit into.

i just wrapped a towel around the fork to protect the paint from scuffing, stuck the leg into the bat and bent it back. tossed a wheel on there and spun it to make sure it was properly aligned, and saved myself from buying a new fork. it took about 8 tries (of adjusting the bent leg) to successfully get the wheel to spin straight and centered.
Well, it's straight so it actually rides very well and I'm used to it so it doesn't feel twitchy but here it is.

I'm on the verge of tearing it down again for a color change and proper decal set so I'll be either getting it fixed or replaced, I am leaning towards fixing it though.

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Old 01-21-11, 12:57 PM   #7
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I don't know how one would go about bending those back without bending the steerer tube at the same time. Perhaps a tightly-fitted pipe with and ID very closely matched to the OD of the steerer and putting it in a vise. Make a jig to hold the fork ends like a very strong axle and then put a lever between that and the crown of the fork and hope for the best. Heat might help but unless you are experienced in heating up metal and slowly letting it cool back down (using less and less heat not just removing it) you are going to end up hardening the metal. I think I'd just ask my LBS for their opinion on a cheap replacement source, or try and find a donor bike cheap on Clist.

On an unrelated note. I find the Kleen Kanteen water SPORT bottle tops to be a SUPER huge improvement over the type you need to unscrew every time you want to drink out of them -on the bike or off. They are well worth the $8 or so they cost. I have them on all my metal water bottles. Their bike cage holds their bottles much better than normal bottle cages too but are terrible on the downtube if you don't have the bottle in them as they catch pants something terrible.
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Old 01-21-11, 02:19 PM   #8
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I've seen various methods but the key is having the fork off the bike and in a fixture of some sort.

I'm considering building a fixture but my LBS quoted approximately $70.00 or less to straighten it out if I just bring them the fork.

Thanks for the tip on the bottles, I got the ones you see in the pic for $3.00 each so I could hardly pass them up but they do require stopping for a drink so I'll be looking around a bit this spring for something more friendly.



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Old 01-21-11, 03:07 PM   #9
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What about something like this? Would it look odd on the bike?

http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ducts_id=10828

Another question would be how to measure for a new fork, sorry but I've never had to replace one.
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Old 01-21-11, 03:18 PM   #10
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I have one of those Sunlite forks in black on a Rudge I converted to 700c wheels (from 650A wheels). It works fine though the bend of the blades is less than graceful. It also has a 27.0mm crown race, so that's something to consider when switching over your headset.

Neal
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Old 01-21-11, 06:44 PM   #11
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I'm considering building a fixture but my LBS quoted approximately $70.00 or less to straighten it out if I just bring them the fork.

Thanks for the tip on the bottles, I got the ones you see in the pic for $3.00 each so I could hardly pass them up but they do require stopping for a drink so I'll be looking around a bit this spring for something more friendly.

.
I'd jump at $70 to fix the fork! That's a good price if you ask me. If they can't get it right then you don't have to pay For that price to disassemble the head (if they even do that) it would be pretty cheap labor!

As for the water bottles. If those aren't actual Kleen Kanteen brand I'd swing by an REI or other outdoor shop that carries the KK bottles and make sure that they have the same thread/mouth as the Kleen Kanteen bottles. Some do -some don't. I have a couple of cheap non KK bottles that work fine with the KK sport lids -and I've tested a few cheap ones in the store that had a different thread that I didn't buy. I always have it on me because I am afraid of leaving it on the bike when I go into stores so when I see some cheap stainless bottles I always check. My wife is a KLUTZ and is always dropping her bottle and after a few spills at road speed with a full bottle of water even the Kleen Kanteen brand can split at the dent. So I'm always on the lookout since the KK bottles are expensive for what they are.
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Old 01-21-11, 08:16 PM   #12
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Why not bring it by one of the framebuilders in the area (you're in the Twin Cities...no?) and get a quote. Probably a pretty straight forward fix.
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Old 01-21-11, 11:24 PM   #13
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Yeah, I think I'll try getting it straightened. My local shop is very good so I have no doubt they can do it, I really don't want to have to swap out the whole headset since all those parts are still original to the bike.
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Old 01-21-11, 11:59 PM   #14
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I've yet to see a nice repro vintage style chrome fork. Quality and finish just isn't there to me.
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