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ReChroming my front fork on vintage Klein MLB- help

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ReChroming my front fork on vintage Klein MLB- help

Old 10-20-13, 09:23 AM
  #1  
vanvanj
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ReChroming my front fork on vintage Klein MLB- help

I'm looking for advice on re-chroming the front fork on my Klein. There are few rust spots under the surface that won't come off- thanks to living near the ocean most of its life. I'm looking for a shop near New York City/nj that does good work, can anyone offer advice or a price point? Thanks
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Old 10-20-13, 09:42 AM
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I may be wrong, but I'm guessing that a new fork of similar quality would cost much less than re-chroming, as the term is literal. The current plating has to be removed, the surface prepped and then new chrome applied.

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Old 10-20-13, 10:57 AM
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Chroming varies from cheap decorative to expensive/extremely corrosion resistant. I'm not familair with Klein bikes so I can't tell what level yours is. I'll make a few suggestions:

1) buy a new chrome fork. Soma sells nice one for abuot $169 which is supposed to have a great finish. Spendy, but lets use the $169 as a strting point.

2) take it in to a few chrome plating shops and see what it'll cost. They may say its not worth it (my guess), and the price may actually be higher than the Soma's $169.

3) Take it to a metal polisher. These are guys who do outstanding work in brightening up old metal parts that have surface rust and corrosion (they're especially good making old car parts shiney). Like the chrome platers, they may tell you its not worth it (especially if a low quality plating job), or they may be able to do it for far less than a replate.

4) By a new fork that's painted or Powdercoated. This would be my choice, and might be good if your bike is not a high-end model. A basic black powdercoated fork would look good on your bike, but there are also lots of nice colors out there, even some silvery-looking ones. Note: you can't powdercoat or paint over chrome - neither coating will stick well to the chrome, and you'll see it start to peel off in a few months or when it gets banged against something.
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Old 10-20-13, 11:36 AM
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To cure the rust, best : sandblast off what doesnt get De chromed (a reversal of chrome deposits electroplating)
then blast and polish , and maybe Do the nicer 3 metal plating process like they Used-to.. Cu->Ni->Cr.
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Old 10-20-13, 12:02 PM
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The best source for this kind of work is a shopthat specializes in the fancy chrome work on motorcycles. Find a motorcycle shop that caters to the chopper crowd, and hogs. Ask where they send parts for plating, then get a quote.

It's not cheap, but not outrageous at the shops that do it every day.

BTW- for any others considering plating a fork, keep in mind that it's necessary that you find out if the fork is brazed or silver soldered. The plater needs to know this because the fork will be pickled in an acid bath, and the wrong chemistry will remove all the silver or braze from any joints. This issue doesn't apply to welded forks like the OP's
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Old 10-20-13, 01:44 PM
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That fork isn't original so I'd be inclined to sand it and paint it black.
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Old 10-21-13, 09:36 AM
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Niagara Cycle Works has lots of chrome forks starting under $30.
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Old 10-21-13, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
That fork isn't original so I'd be inclined to sand it and paint it black.
Actually that fork probably is original. The Pinnacle had a chrome fork in 1989 and 1990. Chrome locknut and silver spacer had me thinking replacement fork. They went black in 1991.
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