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So, can it be fixed?

Old 04-06-21, 10:07 AM
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FelixScout
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So, can it be fixed?

A couple days back I was in a bike accident where I got banged up with tons of trail rash and my child on a trail-a-bike got away with a couple bumps (whew). But my bike now looks like this:



Now the tech at our LBS says that obviously the fork is toast but since this has a lugged frame there may be hidden damage inside the lugs, and I think I may be seeing some separation, that makes it unsafe to ride.

I was wondering before I take it in for a 2nd opinion do they have a reasonable assessment for what could be going on here? I know the fork is dead but the rest of the frame makes me wonder.

Edit: Closeup of the headtube and the space there with a toothpick in it.

Last edited by FelixScout; 04-06-21 at 10:36 AM. Reason: Shrinking images
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Old 04-06-21, 10:20 AM
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That would be iffy at best with a professional straightening but since you use it to tow your child that would be a "no way"!!! If your fork breaks while riding you lose control sending your kid into traffic, a tree, etc. Just make sure you check the rest of the frame very closely for signs of separation and paint cracks. Fortunately that old Schwinn can take a beating and may be OK. The old Schwinn experts here can advise on a replacement fork since it may have some hard-to-find threading on the steerer tube.
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Old 04-06-21, 10:27 AM
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That fork is scrap. But the rest of the frame is my question.

And thank you for helping me clarify my question.

Last edited by FelixScout; 04-06-21 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 04-06-21, 11:00 AM
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Looks to me as if the downtube suffered damage as well. Look at the underside of the tube near the head tube lug, looks as if it is crumpled. The frame and fork appear to be a write off
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Old 04-06-21, 11:03 AM
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you may want to try a post in frame builders forum https://www.bikeforums.net/framebuilders/ (think a couple of guys may be close to you) and add pictures showing the head tube with another 2 inches of top tube and down tube to see if any deformation can be seen in those areas

super good that the kiddo is ok......
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Old 04-06-21, 12:15 PM
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It looks like the downtube (and lug) are bent. But this is a conservatively spec'd and built frame. It might well be just fine; simply with a touch less wheelbase and slightly quicker steering. (You might look at a slightly straighter; ie less rake, fork to compensate. The combo will bring the front wheel closer so you will have more toe overlap.)

Yes, most would say don't ride it. But bikes like yours have been ridden with shortened wheelbases for the past century. If it were mine and I liked the bike, I'd look for a fork of similar length and say around 40mm rake and try it. Like it? Ride it (and keep your eye out for a nice replacement). If you ride this bike to failure, that failure will probably be at the headtube, not a good one. But the next two or three years? I'd guess the bike will do just fine. And that area is very easy to see and watch. It's old fashioned steel, so nothing is going to happen quickly.

Now I did do this almost exact same crash to my previous winter/rain/city fix gear and simply replaced the frame but I had already crashed that bike hard twice (15 and 10 years before and both were new fork times). It had 27,000 miles on it and had earned its retirement. That bike was a Miyata 610. Probably not all that far from yours in specs, durability, etc.

Before you do anything, lay the bike down minus front wheel. Tape a yardstick to the headtube osone edge runs down the center. Place another front wheel 2 inches forward of the centerline like it was on the bike. Close to the downtube? or does that look OK? If it is close, you can straighten the frame. I've never done it or seen anyone else do it but there is at least one thread on BF to go to.
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Old 04-06-21, 02:07 PM
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Take a good straight edge and lay it along the "long" tubes to see if there is a bend.
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Old 04-06-21, 02:52 PM
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Would you want to continue carrying your child on that frame after the fork is bent like that. It is an old Schwinn nothing worth a ton of money and certainly not worth putting a child and their father at risk over saving some gas pipe steel from the 80s. You do you but I wouldn't put money towards the bike even if it could potentially be safe the thought of it being more compromised now would loom overhead.
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Old 04-06-21, 03:05 PM
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Negative - not worth the risk, and it's easy to find a comparable frameset cheaply, so it's new bike scouting time.
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Old 04-06-21, 04:28 PM
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If you have a fork that fits and the tools, you could do it and see. But otherwise get a new frame or bike.
What's the condition of the rest of the bike?
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Old 04-06-21, 04:33 PM
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There are a couple of pieces to this, one of which is getting your child to get back on the trail-a-bike.

If you replace the frame/bike, it might be an easier sell since you got a better bike that won’t crash.

John
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Old 04-06-21, 04:54 PM
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That was a HARD hit. I guess if the bike was an expensive model, a very valuable classic, etc., you might start looking into stripping it down, doing a very thorough inspection and maybe deciding to replace the fork and ride. But it's not and further, it looks to be in rough shape overall. There's a fine line between being intelligently frugal and being cheap - to me, trying to fix this up and continue riding it is the latter.

- Mark
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Old 04-06-21, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
There are a couple of pieces to this, one of which is getting your child to get back on the trail-a-bike.
John
Amazingly That is not an issue since she is wondering when we can go for a ride again.
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Old 04-06-21, 05:00 PM
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Old Schwinn. Nothing special. Buy something like a used 90's rigid mountain bike and upgrade.

​​​​​​https://allentown.craigslist.org/bik...302597468.html
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Old 04-06-21, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
Old Schwinn. Nothing special. Buy something like a used 90's rigid mountain bike and upgrade.

​​​​​​https://allentown.craigslist.org/bik...302597468.html
I do have one that is being rebuilt right now: 93 Bianchi Advantage. Which is why I was riding the Schwinn.
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Old 04-06-21, 05:22 PM
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NBD approaches
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Old 04-06-21, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
Curious, what caused the accident? Old faulty equipment?

Looking at the condition of your bike overall, I would not feel safe pulling a child on that bike even before the accident. You got away without too much physical damage the first time.
I hit a sizable branch on a hardpack trail and instead of being a bump over it jammed the wheel and I went over. Not something I would normally do but it happened.

As for the bike, what is wrong with it? It is something multiple LBS have tuned up and never said anything was wrong other than being old.
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Old 04-06-21, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by blamester View Post
If you have a fork that fits and the tools, you could do it and see. But otherwise get a new frame or bike.
What's the condition of the rest of the bike?
Well the tech said there is concern about the the brazing in the lugs due to bike age and the severity of impact. And that led to this question.
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Old 04-06-21, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by FelixScout View Post
Well the tech said there is concern about the the brazing in the lugs due to bike age and the severity of impact. And that led to this question.
Well what I meant was if you have a fork that fits and it is handy to install then it might be worth doing. If you have to find a fork and get it installed it's not worth saving.
And is the rest of the bike worth saving. Like are the wheels and brakes good or the tyres or the gears.
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Old 04-06-21, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by blamester View Post
And is the rest of the bike worth saving. Like are the wheels and brakes good or the tyres or the gears.
No fork on hand. Sad I didn't grab one the last time I had a chance.

As for the rest of the parts: brakes and lever and shifters seem good. The freewheel has had some use but not more than a few hundred miles. The chain is newish and the shifters could use a cleaning but they work. The back wheel is good but the front is a question mark.

I was planning on pulling the parts.
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Old 04-06-21, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
Well or one, it looks old and beat. Stuff fails. Your spokes look pretty gnarly and the front hug is awfully dirty. Those types of things can be improved upon. So your shop had never suggest a new front wheel or mentioned that maybe it should be cleaned or lubed?
Well I didn't clean the bike up after the crash.

Otherwise they did lube it since I took it in for annual check ups. I have to wonder if you're getting hung up on the visual appearance over the mechanical and structural reliability.

If it was unsafe I would expect these trained techs to tell me so. Since they didn't it was human error that got me here. Mine.
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Old 04-06-21, 06:39 PM
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Check the frame.

Bent frame in headtube area. Still usable?
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Old 04-06-21, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by FelixScout View Post
No fork on hand. Sad I didn't grab one the last time I had a chance.

As for the rest of the parts: brakes and lever and shifters seem good. The freewheel has had some use but not more than a few hundred miles. The chain is newish and the shifters could use a cleaning but they work. The back wheel is good but the front is a question mark.

I was planning on pulling the parts.
Start looking for a frame. Same standards as your one. Bottom bracket and seat post size
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Old 04-06-21, 06:56 PM
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can it? Yes. Will it exceed the cost rather than just finding a good frame or ready to go bicycle? More than likely so.
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Old 04-06-21, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by FelixScout View Post
I hit a sizable branch on a hardpack trail and instead of being a bump over it jammed the wheel and I went over. Not something I would normally do but it happened.

As for the bike, what is wrong with it? It is something multiple LBS have tuned up and never said anything was wrong other than being old.
It is an old bike made of cheap steel that has been in at least one significant impact and is being used to haul a child around with one of their parents. Do you really need to say more than that? If I was a parent and this happened I wouldn't want to continue riding that bike. If it were something of value maybe I would give it a close inspection but a dime a dozen gas-pipe frame not at all. If I had special attachment to it I would use it as decoration like a wall hanger but I wouldn't want to carry myself much less my child.
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