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Thread: Fork Alignment

  1. #1
    Piney the Elder -holiday76's Avatar
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    Fork Alignment

    I was screwing around with front brakes the other night on my '68 Carlton Flyer when I realized that the wheel/tire was not exactly centered in the fork.
    I'll take a pic, but to explain further, dead center of the tire was just left of dead center of the fork, or where the hole is drilled for the centerpulls. This isnt normal right?

    At this point I'm not sure what the issue is. I got it as a frame. It was clean except for some minor damage where the dt shifters were overtightened. The work doesnt appear to be bent, but I could be wrong.

    The wheel/tire is from another bike. I didnt try another wheel to see if it was aligned better, but I should try that too.

    Like I said, I'll post some pictures later when I get home.
    Mmm, bikes.

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    Wherever I may roam....
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    If you can't get it yourself, I can meet up with you and take the fork to the local frame guy near me. I need to get that Gitane back to you. I really don't need another project right now Everything checked out on the frame. Everything is aligned properly, the issue is that the headset is 1.5mm too small for the headtube. It feels snug, but when we checked it with calipers, it ended up being too small. Let me know if I can help with the Carlton
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    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    I think this is somewhat common. I've seen it several times. I've had more than one bike that had a thin spacer on one side. The wheel was not centered one way, but if I installed it the other way it was centered.

    Did you try flipping the wheel around? If so, what was the result?

    Does the wheel spin straight even though it is not centered? In other words, are the dropouts properly aligned?
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    Piney the Elder -holiday76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobE30 View Post
    If you can't get it yourself, I can meet up with you and take the fork to the local frame guy near me. I need to get that Gitane back to you. I really don't need another project right now Everything checked out on the frame. Everything is aligned properly, the issue is that the headset is 1.5mm too small for the headtube. It feels snug, but when we checked it with calipers, it ended up being too small. Let me know if I can help with the Carlton
    hey no worries, I got a free frame check out of the deal That's weird about the headset. My LBS owner measured and installed it, but now that I think about it the issue started around when it was installed. I do remember the headset being some weird french size.WTF. I'll let you know about the Carlton, but I probably won't do anything unless it rides weird.

    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
    I think this is somewhat common. I've seen it several times. I've had more than one bike that had a thin spacer on one side. The wheel was not centered one way, but if I installed it the other way it was centered.

    Did you try flipping the wheel around? If so, what was the result?

    Does the wheel spin straight even though it is not centered? In other words, are the dropouts properly aligned?
    the wheel spins straight. The dropouts looks ok to me. I didnt try turning the wheel around, but I will.
    Mmm, bikes.

    I prefer emails to private messages - holiday76@gmail.com

  5. #5
    Piney the Elder -holiday76's Avatar
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    they cost as much as I paid for the frame. I suppose it would be a good tool to have around though.
    Mmm, bikes.

    I prefer emails to private messages - holiday76@gmail.com

  6. #6
    Senior Member mudboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -holiday76 View Post
    I was screwing around with front brakes the other night on my '68 Carlton Flyer when I realized that the wheel/tire was not exactly centered in the fork.
    I'll take a pic, but to explain further, dead center of the tire was just left of dead center of the fork, or where the hole is drilled for the centerpulls. This isnt normal right?

    At this point I'm not sure what the issue is. I got it as a frame. It was clean except for some minor damage where the dt shifters were overtightened. The work doesnt appear to be bent, but I could be wrong.

    The wheel/tire is from another bike. I didnt try another wheel to see if it was aligned better, but I should try that too.

    Like I said, I'll post some pictures later when I get home.
    I have a set of Park T tools if you'd like to use them. It's also possible that the blade length might be slightly off, I'd start by measuring the front drop to fork crown length.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member randyjawa's Avatar
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    Truing up a front fork is a tricky task, at best. Even with access to a proper fork gauge, I still have to fuss and fuss to get them just right.




  8. #8
    slow as I ever was Ex Pres's Avatar
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    Dave at SWFrameworks straightened a set me for $30, to give you an idea of the cost for a pro to do it.
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  9. #9
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    I'd make sure the rim is centered on the hub and the hub spaced correctly before I started messing with the fork.

  10. #10
    Piney the Elder -holiday76's Avatar
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    i turned the wheel around and it was then centered. I guess someone had put the skewer in backwards...
    Mmm, bikes.

    I prefer emails to private messages - holiday76@gmail.com

  11. #11
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    Things that can affect the wheel being properly centered are:
    Improperly dished wheel or unevenly spaced hub
    bent or uneven length fork blades
    bent or worn dropouts

    Most common is the wheel itself not being dished equally and second is a tweaked fork, often its just one blade that's pushed back a bit from a minor impact.
    I always considered a pair of dropout alignment tools and a fork straightening jig pretty indispensable tools, especially when working with older bikes.

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