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Replacing fork after crash

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Replacing fork after crash

Old 06-29-18, 01:21 PM
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Replacing fork after crash

First, a little background about my usage.
I semi-recently got back into cycling for the first time since I was a kid & have really been enjoying it. I've mostly been commuting, which for me is 18.5 miles one way (37 miles round trip), mostly consisting of city streets & paved bike paths with an annoying patch of cobblestones & the occasional light off-road. I've worked my way up to doing this 2-3 times per week. I've also ridden similar length trips around town & was thinking about getting into longer touring.
I've been riding a Diamondback Trace but it's a slightly older model than what is on the website now as the top tube has clearly been redesigned. It's got an aluminum frame with a steel non-suspension fork & disc brakes for both 700c wheels. I've replaced the seat, handlebars (aluminum butterfly type, which I really like), & tires (Continental Four Seasons). I've added a Topeak rear rack/MTX bag, some fenders, & a couple extra bottle mounts to the fork using hose clamps (Dallas summers can get pretty hot).

Things were going smooth until I got into a head-on crash (my fault, going too fast down a hill with a sharp curve at the bottom)...

The damage:
-Aluminum butterfly handlebars crumpled up
-Fork twisted a bit & bent waaaay back so that the rear of the wheel was actually past the down tube & was pressing against the inside of the fork. Fork still rotates fine in the head tube otherwise.
-Small hole in front tire
-Front inner tube is trashed
-Front axle is bent & will need to be replaced (it was a pain getting the wheel off)
-Front wheel LOOKS fine although some of the spokes are noticeably loose & I'm sure I'll need to re-true it. No spokes are sticking up into the wheel. I put it on the rear axle just to see what would happen & it seems to spin OK.
-Front disc brakes seem to work as far as I can tell. I can't test them properly because the wheel won't spin in the fork anymore. The calipers open & close when I work the lever.
-A few handlebar doohickies are no longer on the handlebar
-Broken nose

I've never replaced a fork before although looking around the internet, it looks tricky but something I think I could pull off. The question is, WHICH FORK? I was thinking something like a Surly ECR with the mounts for front water bottles & the ability to add a front rack in the future. My biggest concern is how well it will fit. Diamondback has some specs on their site but I'm not sure how applicable they are to me since they've clearly redesigned at least some parts of the bike since they made mine. And my fork is now in no condition to be measured to find out what it used to be like.

So my questions:
-How to tell what fork will work with my bike?
-Suggestions for forks?
-Anything else I should "not trust"?
-Anything else I haven't thought of?

Last edited by TexasG; 06-29-18 at 01:24 PM.
TexasG is offline  
Old 06-29-18, 01:41 PM
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First off, glad to hear it wasn't any worse than a broken nose!

If it were me, I would take the bike in to get the frame assessed. Things may look straight and OK but if the fork was that badly damaged the frame may have stress cracks in the Aluminum that you may have missed or do not have the eye for. It's amazing how a trained and experienced eye picks up things versus the layman.

If they say its OK to ride then they should also be able to recommend a replacement fork for you. You can also try and conact the manufacturer and get the specs on the fork like axle-to-crown length, trail, steerer tube length etc.

But you should really get it checked out by a pro.
zze86 is offline  
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