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I need to get a fork steerer fixed. Guide me where to get it done!

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I need to get a fork steerer fixed. Guide me where to get it done!

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Old 09-24-18, 09:41 PM
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shuru421
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I need to get a fork steerer fixed. Guide me where to get it done!

Quick details;
So awhile back, I bought a lovely pink Zunow (yes that was me) in hopes to own one of Japanese finest (and in a lovely color). Everything went smooth and according to plan. Payment sent, frame was shipped out and delivered in less than a week. I opened the big rectangular package, and I was in love.. The Zunow was beautiful even with all of its scuffs. The paint was still nice and pearly and ofcrouse, the Ditchex tubing has its unique characteristics in many areas. I could not wait till I got it on the road. The Zunow is currently sitting on full Dura Ace 74xx models, minus the brakes which are 7800(?). Luckily, I managed to get all my parts mint or NOS condition. The only 2 pieces which are non-Dura Ace is the seatpost (Suntour Superbe Pro 27.0) and the hubs (Mavic 571/HG). Ive been looking for 27.0 Dura Ace seatposts but might have to opt to Campagnolo. This bike is a work of art. Love the hummingbird pantos. I can see why Zunow was/is respected as one of Japanese top bicycle manufacturers. Is it crazy to say but another reason I was so keen on getting this bike was to match my girlfriends pink Univega. But its looking like things could change..

Just recently, a good friend asked if I would ever sell the bike, just frame itself. It is not for him, HIS friend inquired about it. I thought about it, thought about it ALOT..pondering, pondering and decided that if I sold the frame, I would not take less than 750 as I paid almost 900 for this frame while needing a replacement fork in the process (which the seller refunded me 160 reimbursement for a replacement fork). It is a Moser AX Leader fork, Campagnolo dropouts. I didn't have the fork fixed immediately when I realized there was damage to the fork (fork steerer) so opted to go with a replacement fork solely because I could not justify sending out the original fork to get it repaired after JUST receiving the frameset. Not to mention, I did not have much knowledge on where to get it repaired. His friend said the fork would compromise this deal and wants me to get it fixed before the sale. I told him,the Moser fork is a really great addition to the frame and compliments it really well (other than the mismatch paint, but that is quite an easy fix). It rides beautifully and both fork and rear dropouts are Campagnolo (It had to atleast have matching dropouts now..cmon, were not monsters here). He said the original fork would make it "more complete" (verbatim) and told him that I have inquired about repairs in the past and Yellowjersey was one of my top choices. He said if I get it fixed he would give me 800 for the frame. Its going to cost more than 50 dollars to get it repaired..

I need to get it fixed and need your guys help.





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Old 09-24-18, 10:06 PM
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Thankfully that's a tall enough headtube so a solid repair can be both below the stem quill and above the butted section of the steerer tube.

Looks like it can be sleeved and brazed with no impact on the fork's paintwork or chrome.

Now to just find a builder who is completely down with this approach. Luckily it costs little to ship a fork both ways.
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Old 09-24-18, 10:25 PM
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Check with Mike Terraferma. Can't recall, but I think after I nagged him, he researched and did a few steerer sleeve replacements. Can't hurt to ask.

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Old 09-24-18, 11:02 PM
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Not sure where you are located (and have not checked in with Bernie in about a year) BUT Bernie Mikkelsen does this sort of repair all the time and tho his price has climbed since he did 2 for me, i'm sure if he's still fixing them so they stay fixed!
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Old 09-25-18, 12:39 AM
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Our “own” @gugie, located in Portland, OR, did an amazing job replacing the complete steerer tube on @RiddleOfSteel’s ‘74 Paramount, while saving the beautiful chrome fork crown. It seemed like a miracle, having seen the fork before and after the repair. There’s a thread by Gugie somewhere out in the C&V archives of showing the work as it progressed.
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Old 09-25-18, 02:03 AM
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As @Dfrost has mentioned, gugie did the repair and chronicled it on Page 5 in Post #111 in this thread. All the photos I posted mysteriously disappeared, which is a mystery. Oh well. My Paramount rides on today, a year and a half later, better than ever. He took a chance on 1) a mystery frameset and fork 2) a non-traditional way of replacing the steerer (to save the chrome) 3) some random BikeForums member with a Conan the Barbarian reference as his online handle.

Looking back, with its original Kool Lemon yellow paint, I think that it was quite a nice yellow (I'm not a yellow fan per se, but can appreciate). Maybe one day she will be painted yellow again. I do like the satin/matte black and chrome a lot, though.

All that to say, a steerer can be replaced, but if you want to save the chrome, it's super tricky, and certainly on a case-by-case basis. My Paramount's fork crown is generous in its accommodation, versus your lovely Zunow's compact fully sloping crown fork. That complicates things. And like you said, this isn't a $50 job. Mine wasn't. A local builder/shop here charges IIRC $125 for non-chrome forks and $175 for chrome forks that need a steerer replaced.

In the run-up to ultimately replacing the steerer, the sleeve-and-weld/braze idea was batted around, but I think ended up being advised against.

Apart from the repair direction, it looks like you have a monetary situation to navigate. You know how much you're into the frame, you've given a can-go-no-lower amount, yet have a friend's friend pushing you hard to take a loss on something you don't want to take a loss on, and he's being, IMO, unreasonable in that regard. It's not just the frame repair, it's the repaint, and probable repaint of the fork crown, and that adds to your cost to get the frame into "acceptable" shape for your friend's friend to buy. Semi-educated guestimate of $200-250 for all of this? [don't murder me, people, these are reasonable Seattle rate guesses]. You have a rare frame that you seem to really like, and it certainly makes for a beautiful bike. I understand the prospect of making a big chunk of money back on something, but to lose a net $300+ on the whole deal (900 buy + 200 repair and repaint = 1100 in the frameset, - 800 in sale = 300 in the hole) that you don't seem to keen on? A good part of me is of the mindset to politely tell your friend's friend to pound sand. Demands that don't take things into account, or unreasonable/low offers reek of disrespect and they are a waste of time and energy to deal with. I get the whole old school "drive a hard bargain makes you a man" thing, but I don't subscribe to that mentality (and therefore work a different strategy, to satisfactory effect) as it burns a potential long term good (friendship/relationship) for a short term gain (get what you want). We're all kind of on the same (C&V) team here, and it's not a huge team, so in a world full of friction, I'd rather not add to it.

Anyway, I'm off my soapbox. Carry on.
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Old 09-25-18, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
Thankfully that's a tall enough headtube so a solid repair can be both below the stem quill and above the butted section of the steerer tube.

Looks like it can be sleeved and brazed with no impact on the fork's paintwork or chrome.

Now to just find a builder who is completely down with this approach. Luckily it costs little to ship a fork both ways.
The chrome could be a problem for welding or brazing. But, I've always thought one could cut off the damaged section. Install an internal reinforcing, and weld or braze it together. If done right, you'd stay very far away from the paint, and the repair would be relatively cheap or easy to do.

It might be easiest to convert to 1" threadless, if that is acceptable. And thus not have to worry about quill stems.
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Old 09-25-18, 08:01 AM
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The the OP, I could certainly braze a new steerer in, and possibly save the chrome. The paint, however would be ruined. Splicing a new piece in would be preferrable in this case, due to the unique paint and decals. One should be able to keep the fork crown area relatively cool with a wet towel wrapped around it, I would think. A good splice would be internally tapered so there wouldn't be a stress riser at the intersections, although I'm not sure if that's absolutely necessary for the forces a steerer would see.
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Old 09-26-18, 03:16 AM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
As @Dfrost has mentioned, gugie did the repair and chronicled it on Page 5 in Post #111 in this thread. All the photos I posted mysteriously disappeared, which is a mystery. Oh well. My Paramount rides on today, a year and a half later, better than ever. He took a chance on 1) a mystery frameset and fork 2) a non-traditional way of replacing the steerer (to save the chrome) 3) some random BikeForums member with a Conan the Barbarian reference as his online handle.

Looking back, with its original Kool Lemon yellow paint, I think that it was quite a nice yellow (I'm not a yellow fan per se, but can appreciate). Maybe one day she will be painted yellow again. I do like the satin/matte black and chrome a lot, though.

All that to say, a steerer can be replaced, but if you want to save the chrome, it's super tricky, and certainly on a case-by-case basis. My Paramount's fork crown is generous in its accommodation, versus your lovely Zunow's compact fully sloping crown fork. That complicates things. And like you said, this isn't a $50 job. Mine wasn't. A local builder/shop here charges IIRC $125 for non-chrome forks and $175 for chrome forks that need a steerer replaced.

In the run-up to ultimately replacing the steerer, the sleeve-and-weld/braze idea was batted around, but I think ended up being advised against.

Apart from the repair direction, it looks like you have a monetary situation to navigate. You know how much you're into the frame, you've given a can-go-no-lower amount, yet have a friend's friend pushing you hard to take a loss on something you don't want to take a loss on, and he's being, IMO, unreasonable in that regard. It's not just the frame repair, it's the repaint, and probable repaint of the fork crown, and that adds to your cost to get the frame into "acceptable" shape for your friend's friend to buy. Semi-educated guestimate of $200-250 for all of this? [don't murder me, people, these are reasonable Seattle rate guesses]. You have a rare frame that you seem to really like, and it certainly makes for a beautiful bike. I understand the prospect of making a big chunk of money back on something, but to lose a net $300+ on the whole deal (900 buy + 200 repair and repaint = 1100 in the frameset, - 800 in sale = 300 in the hole) that you don't seem to keen on? A good part of me is of the mindset to politely tell your friend's friend to pound sand. Demands that don't take things into account, or unreasonable/low offers reek of disrespect and they are a waste of time and energy to deal with. I get the whole old school "drive a hard bargain makes you a man" thing, but I don't subscribe to that mentality (and therefore work a different strategy, to satisfactory effect) as it burns a potential long term good (friendship/relationship) for a short term gain (get what you want). We're all kind of on the same (C&V) team here, and it's not a huge team, so in a world full of friction, I'd rather not add to it.

Anyway, I'm off my soapbox. Carry on.
To be honest, he's not pushing me hard to for the sale, but he does REALLY like the bike. IM the one biting hard on the potential outcome..
I am aware of the monetary commitment I have made towards the Zunow, I paid just about 9 after the refund. So why IM giving this a hard look is because there is another frameset that could potentially be a worthy replacement. A great opportunity at a good time perhaps? Maybe. Do not get me wrong here, I love this Zunow and is a truly a machine you need to ride to appreciate (as a bike not just art), but the fact is, Ive always wanted an Merckx MX Leader and theres a local who has one in a pink/black paint that is willing to sell it to me 'for the right price'. Ideal situation, keep the Zunow and get the other frame. But reality is, I don't have another $1000+ to just dish on a frame at the moment and also, Id die (girlfriend would kill me). So this is why Im willing to take that loss.. Do you blame me? Ive alwaysssssss wanted to know how an Merckx MX Leader would ride like, and it just might happen.
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Old 09-26-18, 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
The the OP, I could certainly braze a new steerer in, and possibly save the chrome. The paint, however would be ruined. Splicing a new piece in would be preferrable in this case, due to the unique paint and decals. One should be able to keep the fork crown area relatively cool with a wet towel wrapped around it, I would think. A good splice would be internally tapered so there wouldn't be a stress riser at the intersections, although I'm not sure if that's absolutely necessary for the forces a steerer would see.
Hey gugie, how long does a process like this take? Any way to repair and and have it all chrome IF you chrome that is? I don't mind not being able to save the chrome since I would actually rather have it all chrome (after the repair) with the hummingbird pantos in a burgundy/maroon paint. But I guess finding someone who can chrome is another facet.
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Old 09-26-18, 03:38 AM
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This project the way described, ie re-chroming is not gonna be cheap imo. And what if the buyer doesnt want an all chrome fork? I'd reevaluate the entire plan, honestly. Not trying to rain on your parade but you're asking a lot to be done for very little money.

Out of curiosity, how did the damage happen in the first place - over-tightened quill stem?

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Old 09-26-18, 03:59 AM
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Butt Welding A New Top On A Steerer

The BEST way to do it is cut the top part of the steerer of and butt weld a new threaded section on.

The TIG weld is going to be as strong as the original steel and that's not a particularly highly stress area of the frame. The person who does it needs to have a rotating welding fixture to keep the ends accurately aligned and know what they are doing.




TIG welding will put less heat into the steerer than brazing and there's no need for a sleeve which cold cause some interference with the stem.

WARNING: welding or brazing on chrome plating releases toxic fumes. The plating should be removed in the heat affected area.

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Old 09-26-18, 04:45 AM
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Frank the welder did a great job of lengthinng two steerers for a few years ago. I got some nice Tange steer tubes from a frame parts company and sent those and the forks to Frank
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Old 09-26-18, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by shuru421 View Post
Hey gugie, how long does a process like this take? Any way to repair and and have it all chrome IF you chrome that is? I don't mind not being able to save the chrome since I would actually rather have it all chrome (after the repair) with the hummingbird pantos in a burgundy/maroon paint. But I guess finding someone who can chrome is another facet.
Send me a PM and we can take it offline.
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Old 09-26-18, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by verktyg View Post
The BEST way to do it is cut the top part of the steerer of and butt weld a new threaded section on.

The TIG weld is going to be as strong as the original steel and that's not a particularly highly stress area of the frame. The person who does it needs to have a rotating welding fixture to keep the ends accurately aligned and know what they are doing.




TIG welding will put less heat into the steerer than brazing and there's no need for a sleeve which cold cause some interference with the stem.

WARNING: welding or brazing on chrome plating releases toxic fumes. The plating should be removed in the heat affected area.

verktyg
I'd agree. If the OP can find someone to do this, that'd be my first choice. No risk to the chrome or paint, both of which are unique and specific to that frame.
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Old 09-26-18, 01:22 PM
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I think the seller should have refunded you more than 160.
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Old 09-26-18, 01:24 PM
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Hey Gugie,
Back in the day we used a paste of some sort to keep the heat off of the paint for adding braze ons. it worked super well and the paint with in about a 1/4 inch of the silver solder site would be untouched. still had to touch up for the area the pain was removed from. is that stuff still available, and would that keep the heat from the chrome on the crown, and the paint at the top of the legs?
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Old 09-26-18, 02:01 PM
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Heat Shield Paste

Originally Posted by mgopack42 View Post
Hey Gugie,
Back in the day we used a paste of some sort to keep the heat off of the paint for adding braze ons. it worked super well and the paint with in about a 1/4 inch of the silver solder site would be untouched. still had to touch up for the area the pain was removed from. is that stuff still available, and would that keep the heat from the chrome on the crown, and the paint at the top of the legs?
Coldshield Thermal Paste 32 oz $27.97

https://www.eastwood.com/coldshield-thermal-paste.html

Vigor Heat Sheild Paste 16 oz $14-$18, 2 oz tube $9.00

https://www.esslinger.com/heat-shiel...paste-1lb-jar/

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Old 09-26-18, 03:04 PM
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Call Jack at Franklin Frames in Ohio. He's a no nonsense guy and will tell you what can and cant be dont.
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Old 09-26-18, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by verktyg View Post
Coldshield Thermal Paste 32 oz $27.97

https://www.eastwood.com/coldshield-thermal-paste.html

Vigor Heat Sheild Paste 16 oz $14-$18, 2 oz tube $9.00

https://www.esslinger.com/heat-shiel...paste-1lb-jar/

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Old 09-26-18, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by shuru421 View Post
To be honest, he's not pushing me hard to for the sale, but he does REALLY like the bike. IM the one biting hard on the potential outcome..
I am aware of the monetary commitment I have made towards the Zunow, I paid just about 9 after the refund. So why IM giving this a hard look is because there is another frameset that could potentially be a worthy replacement. A great opportunity at a good time perhaps? Maybe. Do not get me wrong here, I love this Zunow and is a truly a machine you need to ride to appreciate (as a bike not just art), but the fact is, Ive always wanted an Merckx MX Leader and theres a local who has one in a pink/black paint that is willing to sell it to me 'for the right price'. Ideal situation, keep the Zunow and get the other frame. But reality is, I don't have another $1000+ to just dish on a frame at the moment and also, Id die (girlfriend would kill me). So this is why Im willing to take that loss.. Do you blame me? Ive alwaysssssss wanted to know how an Merckx MX Leader would ride like, and it just might happen.
I sensed there was some reasoning behind your willingness to let go of it--something you weren't telling us. I'm glad the guy really likes it, but still, he has to understand that there's no free lunch. At any rate, it looks like some great (and less costly) suggestions have been made and you're well on your way to resolving the whole thing. I understand, we like what we like and we seek to get it via any legal way possible, finances willing. Welcome to the club.
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Old 09-26-18, 10:14 PM
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I thought I'd posted here, but....

If you are planning on selling the frame, I'd get some contacts, perhaps some quotes for the work, but leave the actual repair to your buyer. That way it takes you out of the loop of liability, and allows the buyer to make the ultimate choice of threaded or threadless.

If you're planning to keep the frame, go ahead and get the fork repaired. The matching fork will look nice.
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Old 09-27-18, 07:41 AM
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Honestly, if it were me, I'd keep the Zunow and have the fork fixed. More rare, arguably more collectible, certainly a beauty.

An MX Leader or MXL/MAX bike is not going to handle any better unless you are a really big guy who puts out a lot of watts.

And I say that as someone who owns a Zunow and has owned (and sold) five MAX tubing frames.
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Old 11-08-18, 12:18 PM
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A quick update and new question!

FORTUNATELY, the Mx Leader deal did not go through, and the last 2 posts were convincing enough for me to be happy it didnt!

I have a "new" Zunow fork on the way! Bought from Brewsmith (thank you!!) from the FS section and the anticipation is killing me! It is an aero model, straight blade fork in red. However, I will have to send out the fork to get the appropriate steerer tube length (I believe it is too short for my frame currently). I believe the combination of the 2 will result in a very unique Zunow. The new fork has seriously motivated me to consider repainting the entire frame/fork to match. Now the question is, where to find the same Zunow decals you see on my frame for repaint purposes. Ive googled and can only find the older versions with the Zunow with the "O" in a spade shape. I like the style of decals that I currently have ("O" in a shooting star style) so I was hoping someone could guide me to where I can source one for this exciting project. Help?
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Old 11-08-18, 02:43 PM
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I realize this idea is long past its due date, but I'm curious anyway.


Would it be possible to force the tube back to the right shape and then TIG weld that split shut? You'd have to remove the plating and clean up the split before welding, and afterwards you'd have to ream the inside of the steerer and run a die down the threads to clean up the threads. You'd lose the groove; but wouldn't it be strong enough?
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