Old 03-19-14, 08:27 PM
Andrew R Stewart 
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Location: Rochester, NY
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Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

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Originally Posted by GrayJay View Post
A jig is needed for initial fork construction but not so much for subsequent alignment of a steel fork. If this is for your own riding, give it a try yourself and don't ever re-sell to unsuspecting victim unaware of the risk. Get a front wheel that is true and perfectly dished and you should be able to tell which way the fork is bent off-center by sighting down the steer tube and by comparing the gap between rim and each of the fork legs. Realize that if the legs are bent toward off center toward the left, then the rim will be closer to the right fork leg. Measure the gap between the dropouts, should be 100mm for a normal wheel. If the gap is not exactly 100mm, use this info to help you determine (along with the gap of the rim) if perhaps just one of the legs rather than both is bent inward of outward. Once you have an idea how the leg(s) need to move, gently clamp the steer tube in a bench vise and use a cheater bar pipe over the end of the leg to show it who is boss. Proceed bending carefully, making adjustments in small increments, stopping to re-measure after each attempt. Side-to-side alignment of forks is fairly straitforward, get much more complicated (and risky) if the blades have been pushed backward from a frontal impact and/or if the legs are twisted in relation to the crown. Probably would be a good idea to first get a junker fork and practice your technique in order to develop a feel for the effort needed produce movement of the fork legs before working on your keeper fork. Only ever attempt to realign steel forks, bent aluminum forks cannot safely be realigned and should be cut-up and thrown away if they show any sign of damage.
I have posted about simple tool fork aligning before. Here's a link:

http://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-me...ard-right.html post #6

My method uses a sighting tube placed inside the steerer. With the wheel's valve hole in line with the sighting tube you can sight from the top of the steerer, past the top of the wheel to the bottom of the wheel. So you will see any blade side splaying as the rim's bottom won't be on target with the line of sight. A pair of straight edges placed in the drop outs and at the tops of the blades shows with twist.

I hesitate to suggest that some one with no previous experience, or without a mentor watching, go onto actually aligning the fork. It's not hard to prod the blade too far and or induce more misalignment elsewhere.

Having used both a couple of the Park fork alignment tools as well as the Var version I'll say that i don't blindly trust their straightness even when used with care and understanding. I've aligned a few forks with them and then later checked with other methods and found the forks to still be off more then I'd want. Andy.
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