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Thread: Bent fork

  1. #1
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    Bent fork

    So my brake failed on me and I hit something head on. Not too fast, but fast enough to bend the fork back a little. It is really bothering me. Is it possible to bend it back?

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    Senior Member MNBikeguy's Avatar
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    If it's steel, sure.
    "I thought of that while riding my bike."
    - Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity

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    How can I do that?

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    Anyone?

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    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    I wouldn't personally. I'd look for a replacement. IMHO that's cheaper than a dentist.

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    tsl
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    Park Tool makes a frame and fork bending tool.

    My LBS owns one. I discovered this after Yellow Bike and I tangled with a Pontiac. Yellow Bike's CroMoly fork was twisted by 3°. After due consideration, the LBS decided they weren't comfortable with me riding around as I do (thousands of urban miles a year) on a previously bent fork. We got a new fork.

    Since insurance was footing the bill for the major repairs, it was an easy decision for me to chip in a little extra to upgrade to carbon. It's one of my better decisions. Both Yellow Bike and I love our new carbon fork, (even if it is black instead of yellow).

    Naturally, you're welcome to make your own decision.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

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    Increasingly Marginalized seawind161's Avatar
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    If you hit hard enough to bend the fork, you might want to have your LBS take a look at the frame, too.

    Big +1 on the above comment about forks being cheaper than dentists, as well as the rest of the medical specialties.

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    Yeah but it's basically my dream bike (Miyata 610). If I change the fork it's not the same dream bike anymore...

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    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Just a question, since you mention your brake (singular) failing.
    Is there only one brake on the bike?

    If it is fixed, then either put a rear brake on it or learn to skid if you're riding on the street. Consider yourself lucky that you only hit something, rather than overshooting a stop light into a busy intersection.
    If it's not fixed, put a second brake on it! Never roll around on a freewheel without redundant braking.
    If I'm wrong in both cases and you have 2 brakes on the bike, did they both fail?
    If I'm wrong in all three cases above and it's a coaster brake, then I don't know what to tell ya.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

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    Just front brake was on and it failed because I installed the brake pads incorrectly.

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    )) <> (( illwafer's Avatar
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    take the fork off the bike. if you don't know how to do that, then take it to your LBS. once the fork is off, find something to wedge it in and bend it back. make sure when you bend it back that you are bending it in the same spot it was originally bent. you'll be surprised how hard it is to bend back. just go slow and easy and look at it frequently to make sure you don't overbend. fyi, i used tree branches as a wedge to bend back a fork.

    just use common sense. inspect the fork to make sure its not cracked or weak. ride gently for a few days until you gain confidence, then forget about it.

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    Senior Member Sancycles's Avatar
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    Bent Fork

    Bent steel forks and frames are easily straightened by my mechanic using rubber mallet and wood blocks. I'll try to take pictures of how he does it and post it here.

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    Sancycles: Any pics?

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    So a bike mechanic bent my fork back. He said because of this the fork is now weakened and can fail in a year. What do you guys think? The steel is hi tensile

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    1) If it's hi-ten, it's crap anyway, so no loss.
    2) If it's weakened, there's no way to tell when it will fail. A year, ten years, tomorrow, who knows?

    As CCrew said, a fork's cheaper than a dentist. In general, I'm willing to me more cavalier with issues on the back of the bike than the front. If the fork fails, you fall hard. Don't mess around.

    In fact, if you hit something hard enough to trash the fork, you're lucky you're not hurt now. You're playing with house money; don't push it. Replace the fork, or the bike if it's not worth a new fork.

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    Yeah but it's from a Miyata 610, pretty much a dream bike for me. Where am I going to find a touring canti levered fork? And then I'd be even luckier if I find the same color!

  17. #17
    tsl
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    Please don't take this reply as mean-spirited. I've often made decisions based only upon my emotional side and have been wrong. In these situations, I've come to rely on others to help me engage the rational side of my head so that I can reach a more balanced decision. They frequently have to put things harshly so that I can see the harsh reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by mosquito View Post
    Yeah but it's basically my dream bike (Miyata 610). If I change the fork it's not the same dream bike anymore...
    I'm certain that they made more than one Miyata 610 in your size. Do not let dreams interfere with reality. Dreams can be used to guide, but they must not be used to camouflage.

    I know a guy who loves Studebaker Larks. He won't drive anything else even now, nearly 50 years after the company folded. But he also realizes that they made more than one. He buys more of them as required to full his parts bin, or to replace his daily ride entirely.

    In other words, you can find another bike like this one.

    If the 610 is your dream bike and no other will do, and non-original parts are unacceptable, then replace it with another 610.

    Quote Originally Posted by mosquito View Post
    Just front brake was on and it failed because I installed the brake pads incorrectly.
    This statement proves you are not (yet) qualified to account for your own safety with regard to this bike. Acting in this manner could have killed you on this bike. Do not make the same error twice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Underbridge View Post
    1) If it's hi-ten, it's crap anyway, so no loss.
    2) If it's weakened, there's no way to tell when it will fail. A year, ten years, tomorrow, who knows?

    As CCrew said, a fork's cheaper than a dentist. In general, I'm willing to me more cavalier with issues on the back of the bike than the front. If the fork fails, you fall hard. Don't mess around.

    In fact, if you hit something hard enough to trash the fork, you're lucky you're not hurt now. You're playing with house money; don't push it. Replace the fork, or the bike if it's not worth a new fork.
    Listen to Mr. U.

    Finally, I completely understand and empathize with an irrational emotional attachment to a bike. I have one with Yellow Bike. It's a nine-year-old bottom-of-the-line Trek 1000 that sold for $629.95 when new. It was a completely trashed *** when I bought it two years ago for $100.

    I replaced $400 of drivetrain and other parts when I refurbished it two years ago. I was crushed when, through stupidity on my part, I had to replace the wheels, and I couldn't replace its wheels with original. It wouldn't be the same with different wheels. But the bike was transformed when I replaced the wheels with a $400 handbuilt set. If the opportunity presented itself, I would never go back to the original wheelset.

    This spring we tangled with a Pontiac. The entire front end of the bike was trashed. A good, sensible economic decision would have been to strip the good parts, take the insurance check for $758 and put it towards a new bike. I completely realize that. But I do so love that bike.

    The service manager at the LBS originally told me he could straighten the fork. The owner overrode this, citing my safety--particularly in light of the type of riding I do and the miles I put in, and that I seem to crash once a year anyway, even without suspect parts.

    It was an agonizing decision for me. The biggest problem was that a new fork would not be yellow. I went back-and-forth for over a month before adding money to the pot for a new (black) carbon fork. It had to be custom built. There was nothing off-the-rack that would fit both the bike and my needs. Yellow Bike now has a $400 custom-built fork. It has been transformative. I would never go back to the original fork.

    So I have $1,900 into a bike that I bought for $100 and originally cost just over $600. I know from irrational decisions made from emotional attachment.

    But I would not compromise my safety.

    Don't compromise yours.
    Last edited by tsl; 08-09-09 at 08:05 AM.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  18. #18
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    But I would not compromise my safety.

    Don't compromise yours.
    Great post TSL. I think you've summed up where a lot of us are with ours. And addressed concerns we all have for the OP.

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