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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 08-19-09, 12:38 PM   #1
ddddeuces
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Cutting fork down

I just bought a 2009 Motobecane Jury frame and it comes with an uncut fork. I know how to measure for where I need to cut, but I don't want to bring it into the LBS. I want to build this bike myself. Does anyone have any tips for cutting? I also don't want to shell out 40 bucks on a saw guide that I'm only going to use once. Has anyone hand cut a fork before? Any tips? Thanks.
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Old 08-19-09, 12:40 PM   #2
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Go to the hardware store, get a pipe cutter and do it properly.
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Old 08-19-09, 12:47 PM   #3
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PIPECUTTER
inb4 hacksaw
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Old 08-19-09, 12:52 PM   #4
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ah, good idea. i totally forgot that those exist. i was thinking hacksaw. thanks guys.
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Old 08-19-09, 12:54 PM   #5
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PIPECUTTER
inb4 hacksaw
Hacksaw, metal sander.

Don't be a *****, get the job done right (wrong). Man up.
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Old 08-19-09, 12:58 PM   #6
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I'm all for building the bike all yourself, but your lbs will charge you $10 to do this. In my mind not worth a DIY. If you don't already have a hacksaw or pipecutter, you're probably not skilled in using them(just assuming...I could be wrong here I realize) and risk jacking up the cut on your new fork.
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Old 08-19-09, 01:08 PM   #7
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If you don't already have a hacksaw or pipecutter, you're probably not skilled in using them(just assuming...I could be wrong here I realize) and risk jacking up the cut on your new fork.
How tough is it to use a pipe cutter?

1 - Open clamp screw
2 - Insert pipe
3 - Tighten clamp screw
4 - Rotate cutter
5 - Repeat 3 & 4 until pipe is severed
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Old 08-19-09, 01:29 PM   #8
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How tough is it to use a pipe cutter incorrectly?

1 - Open clamp screw
2 - Insert pipe
3 - Tighten clamp screw too tight
4 - Rotate cutter
5 - Repeat 3 & 4 until pipe is severed and oval shaped.
Fix'd
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Old 08-19-09, 01:48 PM   #9
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you can use a spare stem and spacers as a cutting guide. use a new hacksaw blade.
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Old 08-19-09, 01:55 PM   #10
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Go to the hardware store, get a pipe cutter and do it properly.
Go to the hardware store. Get a screw-type hose clamp to use as a saw guide. Do it with a hack saw - properly.
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Old 08-19-09, 02:11 PM   #11
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Go to the hardware store. Get a screw-type hose clamp to use as a saw guide. Do it with a hack saw - properly.
+1

A hacksaw works just fine and is not hard to make a straight cut--even without a guide. It's fairly easy to keep the blade on track if you watch your progress.
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Old 08-19-09, 02:22 PM   #12
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Using a decent pipe cutter and slowly increasing the tension has never given me a problem.
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Old 08-19-09, 02:33 PM   #13
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if you are ovalizing a steertube with a pipecutter you are trying too hard. it takes about 5 minutes to get through it going slowly. sand down the edges when you cut through and you are done. hacksaw works too.

I think we should get into a flamewar about which way is better though.
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Old 08-19-09, 02:40 PM   #14
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maybe i just have a steadier hand then others, but i've used a hacksaw many times to cut down steertubes. i use a piece of tape to mark off my cut and then go at it. this is, of course, assuming that we are talking about a threadless fork/headset. provided we are, there is room for error, as the top of the steer tube should never come flush with top of the stem, it should be a couple mm below it... otherwise, the top cap is compressing against the steertube and not the stem.

that said, you have room for your cut to be a *little* wobbly. as long as it's within 1-2 mm off center, and one side of it doesn't stick up above the stem, it will be fine. is it perfect? no. does it function EXACTLY the same? yes. with the top cap on will anyone be able to tell? no.
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Old 08-19-09, 04:11 PM   #15
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its really easy actually (you will need some patience and strong arms though). my friend has cut three forks with a pipecutter (no guide) perfectly. just make sure to cut a little lower than the top of the stem in order for the top cap to press against the actual stem.

edit: oops just read the other posts and theyr the same as mine. sorry for the repetitiveness
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Old 08-19-09, 04:41 PM   #16
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a pipe cutter will create a mushroomed finish due to the cutting wheel being taperd, use a hacky saw.
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Old 08-19-09, 04:48 PM   #17
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a pipe cutter will create a mushroomed finish due to the cutting wheel being taperd, use a hacky saw.
that's why you fill the empty middle with a block or something, or file out when finished. Hack saw will not be terrible, but pipe cutter is easier to make a good cut.
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Old 08-19-09, 04:55 PM   #18
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I think we should get into a flamewar about which way is better though.

Pipe cutter is easier to do correctly but you still have to clean the inside of the pipe or your star nut won't fit correctly, hacksaw will give you a cleaner cut but it's really easy to **** up your fork if you are not "comfortable" with tools........I've done both I prefer pipe cutter for AL and a hacksaw for steel....
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Old 08-19-09, 06:21 PM   #19
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Pipe cutter is easier to do correctly but you still have to clean the inside of the pipe or your star nut won't fit correctly, hacksaw will give you a cleaner cut but it's really easy to **** up your fork if you are not "comfortable" with tools........I've done both I prefer pipe cutter for AL and a hacksaw for steel....
Actually, my thinking was based on an assumption that the OP was likely to already own a hack saw but would have to buy a pipe cutter. If that's the case, buying an 89 cent hose clamp to provide him with something square to guide his cutting is a pretty cheap solution.

Whether I personally used a pipe cutter or a hack saw, I'd still take the time to deburr the cut.
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Old 08-19-09, 06:28 PM   #20
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pipecutter+file
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Old 08-20-09, 01:53 AM   #21
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Pay your LBS and avoid a confusing thread that contradicts itself with each post. Just have them do it, so if it gets messed up they owe you a fork.
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Old 08-20-09, 02:22 AM   #22
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Pay your LBS and avoid a confusing thread that contradicts itself with each post. Just have them do it, so if it gets messed up they owe you a fork.
You have a point.

The only bike mechanics I know who won't admit to having cut at least one fork too short are the guys who lie about everything else too.
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Old 08-20-09, 07:18 AM   #23
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I'm all for building the bike all yourself, but your lbs will charge you $10 to do this. In my mind not worth a DIY. If you don't already have a hacksaw or pipecutter, you're probably not skilled in using them(just assuming...I could be wrong here I realize) and risk jacking up the cut on your new fork.
+1
If the LBS screws it up, it's their problem, not yours.
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Old 08-20-09, 08:21 AM   #24
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thanks guys. i will be bringing this to the lbs.
also fyi, i am plenty skilled with a hacksaw and i have also used pipe cutters before :]
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Old 08-20-09, 09:06 AM   #25
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honestly I'm not a pro mechanic just an occasionally paid skilled amateur but I have never cut a fork too short.....had to cut a few more than once but never too short.....measure a handfull of times cut once
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