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Man I hate crashing (This fork is bent right?)

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Man I hate crashing (This fork is bent right?)

Old 05-16-18, 09:34 PM
  #1  
coolkat
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Man I hate crashing (This fork is bent right?)

A few months ago I hit a pothole in the dark while riding no hands, went down hard, and it shook me up for weeks after. Today, I hit a somewhat invisible curb in a parking lot. When I picked myself up I was greeted with a crushed basket and what looks to me like a bent fork. I feel a bit sick; this bike made it 31 years only to have my dumb ass run it into a curb. It tracks straight and handles well but it sure does look bent (right? I can handle the truth!)

Anybody know a shop in Nanaimo willing to repair/bend a fork?


I put the mustache bars on two days ago, which is why they're bare
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Old 05-16-18, 09:55 PM
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Yes just a fluke I posted about bent forks at the same time. I don't see anything conspicuous in the pic. Nice bike!
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Old 05-16-18, 09:57 PM
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If that bike were in a CL ad nobody would pounce to say the fork is bent.
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Old 05-16-18, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by coolkat View Post
Anybody know a shop in Nanaimo willing to repair/bend a fork?
Not seeing the bend, but if you're sure, and can't find anyone locally, PM me. I can imagine you taking the ferry over to Port Angeles with just the fork. @Lascauxcaveman is a block from the ferry building, could ship to me for US postal pricing, I could effect the repair, ship back to Port Angeles, you return and pick up.

I like to help out fello BF'ers.
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Old 05-16-18, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Not seeing the bend, but if you're sure, and can't find anyone locally, PM me. I can imagine you taking the ferry over to Port Angeles with just the fork. @Lascauxcaveman is a block from the ferry building, could ship to me for US postal pricing, I could effect the repair, ship back to Port Angeles, you return and pick up.

I like to help out fello BF'ers.
Thank you very much for the offer. My parents live in Seattle, and I know of a couple shops there that would do it if it's still bugging me in a couple months when I visit. It rides perfect no-hands so I may just ignore it.

The more I look, the more unsure I become! In person and compared to "before" photos, it looks a bit tweaked, but maybe I'm just seeing things (I did hit the ground after going over the bars ). Here's another shot of the bike along with part of my finger
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Old 05-16-18, 10:37 PM
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Nice bike. I took a piece of paper and aligned it with the head tube and checked how it aligns to the fork. I did this for the rear edge and front edge and it looks good to me. I am trying to account for the taper in the fork, which makes the paper not align perfectly.

Do you remember or know what your wheel base should be? Can you find the wheelbase somewhere? Did it change?

The more I look at your bike the more I like it. Long wheelbase, plenty of room for large tires and fenders, the rear brake on the chainstay, and a bailout chainring.

The picture looks like the bike is parked in front of a bike shop.
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Old 05-17-18, 06:54 AM
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To my eye, it does not look bent; and if (as you say) it rides fine, even no-hands, I don't think you have a problem. Does it really track straight, that is, you don't have to lean to one side while riding no-hands? If so, I'm sure it's straight. One way you can tell is: if it's tracking straight, you'll be looking straight down on the front wheel, not from a little to the side. I have one bike that is a little off, and when I ride it no-hands, I see the left side of the wheel.
It's not a big deal, but obviously the alignment is a little off.

I haven't bothered to try to fix it. Ironically, it seems to me that major bends are easier to straighten than minor ones. I'll let @gugie comment on that.
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Old 05-17-18, 06:57 AM
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Your finger looks bent.
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Old 05-17-18, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
To my eye, it does not look bent; and if (as you say) it rides fine, even no-hands, I don't think you have a problem. Does it really track straight, that is, you don't have to lean to one side while riding no-hands? If so, I'm sure it's straight. One way you can tell is: if it's tracking straight, you'll be looking straight down on the front wheel, not from a little to the side. I have one bike that is a little off, and when I ride it no-hands, I see the left side of the wheel.
It's not a big deal, but obviously the alignment is a little off.

I haven't bothered to try to fix it. Ironically, it seems to me that major bends are easier to straighten than minor ones. I'll let @gugie comment on that.
Rudi, it's easier to bend a lot than a little, but it also takes more iterations to get them even. If you figure that every time I bend it, I'm aiming for a certain amount of bend, and there will be some error on my judgement and/or bend. The larger the bend, the larger the error. Sometimes when I'm reraking only 7-8mm, I'll nail it first try. 15-20mm always takes more iterations. Same with spreading rear triangles.
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Old 05-17-18, 09:04 AM
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I always look at the distance between the front wheel and the downtube. You can usually see if the front wheel is scrunched up too close in there. That and, crinkled paint. Your bike looks OK to me.
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Old 05-17-18, 11:02 AM
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You really need to pull the lowrider pannier rack off to get a better look. From your posted photo, it does look to me like the blades are slightly bent just below the canti brake studs. (Usually forks bend up closer to the crown, as that is where the greatest bending moment occurs. In your case, the heat from brazing the brake studs probably weakened the thinner steel down there, enough that it was the weakest point, even though the bending stress is lower there.) I doubt most folks would notice it unless you pointed it out, and I doubt it would have any noticeable effect on the handling. I would just try to forget about it.
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Old 05-17-18, 11:10 AM
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Even if it is slightly bent (which isn't at all clear) I wouldn't see the point of trying to straighten it if it still rides fine (no pulling to the side) and steers smoothly.
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Old 05-17-18, 12:00 PM
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That’s a cool bike, how do you like it with the new bars so far?

I had a similar incident years ago on a ‘91 Rockhopper that looks pretty similar to your Kuwahara; I was riding in a snow storm and found a burried curb while moving at a decent clip. I had the same concerns about a bent fork and wound up deciding if it was bent it wasn’t enough to matter. It handles fine and tracks straight without hands. Similar to your photo above the leading edge of the fork blades appears slightly more in line with the headtube than the trailing edge, but without ‘before’ pics (in both our cases) it’s tough to tell if that’s just the way it came from the factory. Like you and others said, if you can’t discern any negative impact from the, errr, impact then good to go.

One more consideration: how is the headset adjustment now? Does it bind at one point (~dead center) and remain in good or loose adjustment elsewhere? If it binds you might pull the fork and hold a straight edge to the steerer tube at a few locations plus check the bearing races while it’s apart.

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Old 05-17-18, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
Your finger looks bent.
Keep it up and he'll straighten it out for you.

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Old 05-17-18, 02:39 PM
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I think to "KNOW" you are going to have to drop the fork, my hunch when in a jig the blades are not following the steerer centerline, it is easy enough to check the displacement, the movement may well be contained to the sweeps toward the steerer.
I bent one that way once, similar style fork.
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