Q: Has anyone tried to repair a bike with significant frame/fork damage? With success?
The bike I received from Siu Blue (My Bike Forums Friend). It was a rescue bike that she had been fostering. It had been originally destined to be thrown out. I tore it down and created a SS/FG bike. She was so nice to let me adopt the bike. I put a lot of work into it to get it looking and riding good. It was actually a very cool frame, quite light for that era (1977 Centurion Lemans). I ended up replacing the fork with a nice steel Tange fork.
The bike turned out to be a fantastic workhorse for riding around the city and using for work. It was really smooth riding, well balanced. Tracked beautifully with no hands. I even went so far as to put a Brookes saddle and a set of Velocity wheels on it. I got a lot of double takes from the hipsters and messengers. Actually this year I've spent more time on it than any of my other bikes.
STUPID! In my haste to convey two brooms from one of the properties I manage to another I pulled a bonehead move. Riding from North Beach to Polk Street/Nob hill area I had decided to cut through the Broadway tunnel (east towards west) which is pretty scary. You have to time the traffic just right and crank it through before you get run over. I usually take the sidewalk, but I was in a huge hurry (as usual). Before I got to the end of the tunnel some a**hole in a Bobtail truck came right up on me and leaned on the horn which almost crashed me...over bad pavement. I was riding one handed and carrying two brooms taped together with masking tape.
I got to Polk and Broadway where I saluted the driver and headed south on Polk. I was really agitated. (I should know better, this is the state of mind that is usually quite dangerous for me).
So in a blind rage I flew down Polk. As I crossed Bush Street the brooms came apart. I was probably doing around twenty mph at the time. I tried to swing the brooms together but one fell and the broom part hit the ground and bounced up between the tire/wheel and down tube. It wedged between the head tube and wheel stopping the wheel instantly. I distinctly remember an instant of not fear, but anger at my mistake. I hit the ground so hard that I lost all my air and I felt a big snap go through my body. I felt like I had broken every bone in my body. I was laying there stunned. I remembered the worst pain at that moment was coming from my thumb. My thumbnail had bent backwards and the pain was intense. I tried to stand, but my right leg and arm were just numb.
I remember being really embarrassed. I thought it was kind of interesting that people were just walking and driving around me? Nobody asked me if I was alright. Kind of strange, but I'll save that for another time...I'm developing some issues with the Human Race in general (maybe I need to get out of the city...).
I limped home and just tossed my bike in my office. (I had originally assumed that the broom had caught in the spokes). I didn't even want to look at it. On a side note...I happened to see a drug addict that lives in the building, (been trying to get them out) sneaking a couple of drug addict street urchins in through the back door, so I went freaking ballistic on her. Here I am covered in blood clothes ripped screaming like a maniac at her. What the F**k do you think you're doing! I've F**king had it with you F**kers...If I catch you Mother *****rs in here again I'll rip you're F**king heads off and shove em up....well you know...Human Race issues again.
Oops! I'm not supposed to speak to residents in that manner.
I went upstairs to get ready for my new companies first Christmas party. I took a shower and washed off the blood which in itself was absolutely excruciating. I took some aspirin and made the mistake of laying down for a little bit. I could barely get up and I hobbled to the Christmas party.
I really wanted to make a good impression. I guess I had a lot of endorphins in my system. I was getting pretty numb except for my ankle and knee. Somehow I got up and managed some Karaoke. Cathy and I brought down the house with our duets. I got to do my Elvis impressions. By the end of the night I couldn't stand anymore. My ankle swelled up like a balloon, we ended up taking a taxi the four blocks home. The weird thing is that the spot where I hurt my ankle was the exact spot that a week before I received a door job...on Polk Street!
When I got home I started shaking un-controllably. After I got into bed I had to get up, but I couldn't walk. Cathy had to wheel me in on a desk chair. I fell asleep from exhaustion and when I woke up my ankle felt better and the swelling had gone down. I'm now thinking that it might have been out of joint but slipped back in while I slept. My problem now was with my shoulders and ribs which were killing me.
So, there's the story of the crash, I survived.
Today was the first day I really looked at my bike. The frame was a little twisted and the fork was pushed back and dropouts were going different directions. I decided what the heck and got out some tools and started re-fabricating! As I got in to it, I realized I was making some progress. After 2 hours I had lined it up and put the wheels on for a test ride. I had to do a bit of truing on the front wheel too. It lives! I definitely have to get a new fork, but it is somewhat ridable. There's only a half inch clearance from the wheel to the down tube, so I really have to be careful pedaling around corners. My toe caught the wheel a couple of times. It handles pretty weird, but I think once I get a new fork it should be good to go. I did have to jump up and down on the rear triangle, but it looks right in the ball park now.
Ya gotta love steel! I think the bike has been resurrected and I'll get yet another life out of it.
Just thought I'd share this adventure.