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  1. #1
    Senior Member john hawrylak's Avatar
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    Imperial Fork Blades

    What are Imperial fork blades??
    Are they a special type of steel, wall thickness, taper, bend???
    Are they predominately used for a certain type of bicycle??

    Considering a custom frame and would like to get as much information as possible.

    I did a search and Imperial came up wrt:
    Brevet style bikes.
    Scooper posted a Reynolds catalog showing the tubing wall thickness specified in the “Imperial” gauge (16, 17, etc) versus another standard like BWG or AWG. I can understand this as Reynolds was an English company.
    John Hawrylak
    Woodstown NJ

    1975 Schwinn Voyageur II
    1988 Schwinn Voyageur

  2. #2
    Senior Member GrayJay's Avatar
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    Imperial oval fork bladel shape is 29x16mm at top where it fits into crown, continental(columbus) shape is 28x20mm.

  3. #3
    Framebuilder
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    Not worth worrying about as you're probably going to have to go w/Coninental... the Imperial is an old standard, not sure they even make the blades/crowns anymore.

  4. #4
    Randomhead
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    I still have some Imperial blades. Saw some crowns recently, maybe on Ceeway? In the '70s, Imperial blades went away rather quickly.

    I'm building a fork with Imperial blades, gotta remember to take pictures

  5. #5
    tuz
    tuz is offline
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    Also the imperial blades have a smaller diameter tip at the dropout. That makes them more flexible. I was amazed in how easy mine were to rake (531 std gauge), compared to a Columbus SL blade.
    homebuilt commuter, mixte, road and track (+ Ryffranck road)
    bla bla blog

  6. #6
    Randomhead
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    I all of the Reynolds imperial blades I've seen were factory raked. And domed

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Live Wire View Post
    Not worth worrying about as you're probably going to have to go w/Coninental... the Imperial is an old standard, not sure they even make the blades/crowns anymore.
    Imperial Oval blades and fork crowns are most definitely still available, but are not at all common. Kaisei may be the only manufacturer still making the blades, and there are (at least) couple different investment-cast flat-top crowns available. Jan Heine sells the blades and crowns separately, or in kits.

  8. #8
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Visually:



    FWIW, both Imperial and Continental oval blades start out as 22.0mm round tubes. A Continental oval blade can be made to fit a crown designed for an Imperial oval blade simply by squeezing it a little flatter in a vise.

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