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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 04-28-12, 05:38 AM   #1
bfloyd6969
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Surly forks

With the stock fork on my Madison being bent, I am looking at alternatives for an upgrade. True, I could take the fork in and have it straightened, but I would like to take this opportunity to look at getting something nicer.

I am looking at the Surly Steamroller fork for $90-ish. All I know about the Madison fork is that it is "N'Guaged" chromoly. Obviously the Steamroller fork is 4130 chromoly, but I don't know if this would be an upgrade or close to a wash to the stock fork. The Steamroller fork is threadless so I would have to change the headset as well (I have a couple 1" threadless stems in my parts stash but the headset would have to be new).

Would I be better of just getting the stock fork straightened, or would the Surly be a better ride? Is there something else I can consider that would be an upgrade for not too much $$$? Thanks.
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Old 04-28-12, 07:04 AM   #2
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This all depends on how badly the fork is bent. I wouldn't risk bending it back - the fork is a very stressed part of the frame... bite the bullet and get the Steamroller fork and a new headset. What are the specs on the current madison fork/headset? Is it 1" threadless?
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Old 04-28-12, 07:36 AM   #3
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"N-Gauged" is just what Schwinn calls their 4130. If you're looking for a better ride, get a carbon fork. Even then, an inexpensive carbon fork won't do much to improve ride quality.
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Old 04-28-12, 07:54 AM   #4
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Also be mindful that the axle-to-crown length on Surly forks (including the Steamroller) is HUGE. This could change ride characteristics somewhat.
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Old 04-28-12, 11:32 AM   #5
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Yes, the stock fork is 1" threaded.

Hmmm - yeah, I did want to improve the ride quality if I am going to replace the fork. But, in my budget a carbon fork would be similar to the Nashbar carbon fork at $89, and that most likely would not improve the feel, only be a bit lighter.

The stock fork is not bent badly, just a tad - which came this way from the factory. I may be better off just seeing about getting it straightened and put the money towards something else to upgrade....
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Old 04-28-12, 04:37 PM   #6
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I don't know what size Madison you have but Leader has some of their 1" threaded carbon forks left in their smaller sizes. Since they are discontinued the price is about half what the 1 1/8" ones sell for. I emailed them a few months ago about one with larger steerer tube and they had some in their shop they sold one to me. I can't find any info on Madison geometry anywhere but it's an option if it would match up with what came stock on your maddy:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/LEADER-S805-...item1c17c6ba28
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Old 04-28-12, 09:10 PM   #7
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I thought the surly fork comes in 1" or 1-1/8?
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Old 04-29-12, 12:09 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by bfloyd6969 View Post
Yes, the stock fork is 1" threaded.

Hmmm - yeah, I did want to improve the ride quality if I am going to replace the fork. But, in my budget a carbon fork would be similar to the Nashbar carbon fork at $89, and that most likely would not improve the feel, only be a bit lighter.

The stock fork is not bent badly, just a tad - which came this way from the factory. I may be better off just seeing about getting it straightened and put the money towards something else to upgrade....
Schwinn would probably replace it in that case ? That's my vote with this bit of information. The bend probably isn't enough to compromise the integrity of the fork.
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Old 04-29-12, 03:19 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone - I'll check into the Leader forks too... I may have waited too long on contacting Schwinn about the fork. The bend is very, very slight and I'm not concerned riding it as is. I figured I would ride it as is, upgrade later on down the road and didn't bother contacting them about it - it's that slight.
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Old 04-29-12, 05:52 AM   #10
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a while back you started a thread to give nashbar attaboys for taking care of your pedal & brake problems...

did you did not ask them to do something about your bike arriving with a bent fork?
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Old 04-29-12, 11:27 AM   #11
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Pake makes affordable forks too in every color, worth taking a look at.
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Old 04-29-12, 04:30 PM   #12
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Your fork probably isnt "bent", its just off within the manufacturers QC margin.

If you take your stock fork to a good LBS that has competent mechanics AND a fork jig, they can make it better for around 35 bucks (depending on their rates of course). I've personally had this done, I took a badly bent vintage Schwinn Suburban hi-ten fork that was twisted out of alignment to a good mechanic with a nice fork jig, and it was better than new when he was finished with it. Never had an issue after that.

Flip the bike upside down and loosen the front axle nuts. Does the wheel sit out of alignment with the nuts loosened, or is it only when tightened? If its only misaligned when tightened, then it is just a matter of a simple dropout alignment and you wont need to have it jigged.

Last edited by Ultraspontane; 04-29-12 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 04-29-12, 08:15 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by markaitch View Post
a while back you started a thread to give nashbar attaboys for taking care of your pedal & brake problems...

did you did not ask them to do something about your bike arriving with a bent fork?
No, I didn't take this up with them as the bend is really very slight. As Ultraspontane pointed out, it just may be within the mfg.'s specs, just on the verge. If you're just looking at the bike you can't tell it's bent - only when riding down the road and looking at the front wheel. Even then it is just very slight and I'm sure it will be fine left alone - just one of those little nit-picking things.

Ultrspontane - when the axle nuts are loose, the wheel sits fine in there. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 04-29-12, 08:38 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ultraspontane View Post
Your fork probably isnt "bent", its just off within the manufacturers QC margin.

If you take your stock fork to a good LBS that has competent mechanics AND a fork jig, they can make it better for around 35 bucks (depending on their rates of course). I've personally had this done, I took a badly bent vintage Schwinn Suburban hi-ten fork that was twisted out of alignment to a good mechanic with a nice fork jig, and it was better than new when he was finished with it. Never had an issue after that.

Flip the bike upside down and loosen the front axle nuts. Does the wheel sit out of alignment with the nuts loosened, or is it only when tightened? If its only misaligned when tightened, then it is just a matter of a simple dropout alignment and you wont need to have it jigged.
Agree with this, how far off is it bent ? You can pretty much use the grout lines of a tile floor and line the frame up to see how far off it really is.Just line the frame and form a 90* "t" with the fork. Whatever is off at the dropouts will be easily seen. Whether one fork end is too far forward or too far back then becomes the question.
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Old 04-29-12, 09:30 PM   #15
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When I switched my aluminum road bike from a 4130 fork to a carbon fork with alloy steerer, it made a noticeable difference as far as NVH. Like night and day. If you're buying, and you're comfortable with carbon, go carbon.

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