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Crash, Trashed fork, a way forward?

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Crash, Trashed fork, a way forward?

Old 03-16-19, 12:15 AM
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Crash, Trashed fork, a way forward?

On Wednesday we had a sunny beautiful day locally so I took a ride, like you do. I took my 1987 Nishiki Cresta GT a bike I got from a Forum Member (@The Thin Man) I put a lot of time and effort and $$ into building this bike up and I was really liking the end result. I gave myself the xmas gift of a Nitto front Rack, I will say for context that when I mounted the rack I used a nut with a built in nylon washer on the bolt that attached the rack to the fork crown, the kind that makes it hard to get the nut on and off the bolt without a wrench. I say this because I crashed on my ride and my theory is that the bolt came loose, the rack then slipped forward (it was mile 3 of the ride) acting as an emergency brake on the front wheel; endo city, me on bike path. It sucks that I did this to myself and doubly sucks because I thought I was being extra careful in mounting the rack. Again this is my theory i don't know what actually happened but that's kind of a moot point now.

I am ok aside from bruises and a sore wrist and knee, it could have been alot worse, but the fork is toast and my question to the forum is has anyone else had a crash resulting in a trashed fork? what are my options? what should I look out for? I know I could probably look for a canti 27" fork at the co-op but I am leery that there is more damage than just the fork. I can certainly salvage alot of what is on the bike onto a new project and if I am honest half the fun for me is finding the project, and restoring an old neglected bike to usefulness and tweaking it to be comfortable for me. I am prepared, I think, to walk away from the Cresta and I don't have a ton of extra $$ to have the frame fixed if its damaged (head tube etc) but am interested in others experiences with this type of damage. I have other bikes but I like the Japanese touring bike of the late 80s and I was digging the Tange 2 steel frame, then again maybe the universe is saying "this is why you can't have nice things"

Pictures or it didn't happen.



September refurb complete



after, trashed fork, death by Clydesdale



post crash

Last edited by ryansu; 03-16-19 at 12:19 AM.
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Old 03-16-19, 12:47 AM
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That looks like it could be rebent
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Old 03-16-19, 02:41 AM
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Im sure plenty of crashes resulted in trashed forks. VISUALLY its a dead give away. Replace the fork, check the frames alignment, if it costs more than what the bike costs, maybe invest in a new project. I know you like the bike..but the bike is definitely replaceable, sorry to say.
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Old 03-16-19, 02:53 AM
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I don't see any signs of a bent frame. Of course, it never hurts to look for signs in the usual places... Top tube, Down tube, 1" behind the head tube.

You'll find a good replacement fork, perhaps needing painted if you keep your eyes peeled.

I'm not seeing anything on Ebay that makes me terribly excited. Of course, there are a lot of forks that could be modified to fit your needs. Adding canti posts, etc.
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Old 03-16-19, 04:29 AM
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I would replace the fork, though it could be difficult to find a nice enough canti'ed (non-unicrown) one, depending on the selection at your local co-op. Then look around for a shade of white paint that matches pretty close. The color can be off a little and it won't be noticeable. Save those "Tange" stickers by steaming them off or using a hair dryer to carefully remove, and put them on the new fork.

I think the frame is probably fine. It may have been stressed momentarily, but not stressed enough to actually bend (i.e., it withstood the stress successfully) so unless there's something I'm not seeing in those photos, I think you're fine, frame-wise.
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Old 03-16-19, 04:39 AM
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Take it to Gugie. Or a local fame builder. I would not be surprised if they said the frame is fine and the fork can be restored. I'll bet they'll need to remove the fork to inspect the steerer tube. Call ahead to see if they would prefer you remove all the components first or bring it "as is". Lovely bike so don't make assumptions unless you have the expertise.
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Old 03-16-19, 04:55 AM
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Fork appears to bent in a favorable location. As mentioned in post #6 check around to see if it can be fixed locally. If nobody wants to do you can send it to me in Tampa, FL and I'll do it for free.
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Old 03-16-19, 05:58 AM
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Glad your OK Forks are relatively inexpensive, if you intend to use this a lot I'd look for a new fork.

This is interesting because I use those Nylock nuts myself for things like racks and fenders.
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Old 03-16-19, 06:35 AM
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@ryansu - Repairable. Take advantage of the repair options provided. I did my own with success. You must take the fork off the bike and examine the steerer. If it is not bent, it can be salvaged. Like this one.

WP_20150430_008, on Flickr

P1020998, on Flickr

This one did not meet the criteria:

P1030228, on Flickr
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Old 03-16-19, 06:42 AM
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Doesn't repeatedly bending steel cause it to get stiffer? If that's the case, it will never ride quite the same again. Forks are cheap, I'd just replace it.

Last edited by Lemond1985; 03-16-19 at 06:45 AM.
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Old 03-16-19, 06:42 AM
  #11  
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I prefer a bit more toe-to-tire clearance than that.

Seriously, I am glad you are OK. As others note, the frame appears to be OK, as well. If the fork is straightened slowly and carefully by someone who knows that they are doing, it may be salvageable. Otherwise, a Cresta is too nice a frame to part out of scrap, so find a usable replacement fork and continue to enjoy the ride. Fear of front wheel mishap is one reason I use panniers on a rear rack, instead, with just a small handlebar bag up front.
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Old 03-16-19, 06:52 AM
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I'm not knowledgeable about what it'll take to fix your bike but from the posts above it sounds like it's fixable. I'm glad you're OK and hope you get sorted asap.
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Old 03-16-19, 06:57 AM
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I've bent a fork back. It took a lot more force than I anticipated, but it came back.

I used this homemade contraption with a car floor jack sitting on the longer board pushing up on an axle (the one taped down) bolted between the fork ends.
This is the after picture, as you can see all is well. (The picture angle is not great, but the fork is)

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Old 03-16-19, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by ryansu View Post
I am ok aside from bruises and a sore wrist and knee, it could have been alot worse,

after, trashed fork, death by Clydesdale



post crash

The BIG thing is that you're OK. I'm glad you weren't seriously hurt.


To use the third most used phrase on Internet forums (behind "do a search" and "pix or it didn't happen")

"That'll buff out."



Good luck!!!
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Old 03-16-19, 07:45 AM
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How tough is that bracket? I wonder if you hit something, bent the fork and the bolt gave out. Any idea what grade it was?
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Old 03-16-19, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
Fork appears to bent in a favorable location. As mentioned in post #6 check around to see if it can be fixed locally. If nobody wants to do you can send it to me in Tampa, FL and I'll do it for free.
that is a kind offer @miamijim thank you, I think I probably have options in the PNW but I appreciate it.

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Old 03-16-19, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
The BIG thing is that you're OK. I'm glad you weren't seriously hurt.


To use the third most used phrase on Internet forums (behind "do a search" and "pix or it didn't happen")

"That'll buff out."



Good luck!!!
We have a winner! I was hoping someone would go John Candy, well played sir!
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Old 03-16-19, 08:08 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
How tough is that bracket? I wonder if you hit something, bent the fork and the bolt gave out. Any idea what grade it was?
The bolt was a tru-value hardware store M5 I think, I was on a flat bike path and although I was a bit shaken I did look in the immediate area for the bolt assuming if it had come off as a result of the crash I would see it, I did not find it. I didn't do a hard target search but it wasn't lying near the bike. I would like to think the rack was adequately secured to the bike but seeing as the rack was loose it seems like the most likely scenario was the bolt came off.
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Old 03-16-19, 08:30 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by ryansu View Post
We have a winner! I was hoping someone would go John Candy, well played sir!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vjAXB3G4Ys
To go along with that- Years ago on a BMW forum- somebody's engine burned up. It was awful- I felt so bad for the guy- and I posted the "that'll buff out" thing... I don't think went over with the levity I thought it would.

Along THOSE lines... a parking gate hit my BMW and scratched and dented it. I was mad, sad and everything... With as many times over the years I've posted that- it didn't even ONCE occur to me to try buffing it out until someone legitimately suggested it to me. It was pretty amazing.

Originally Posted by The Golden Boy, post: 16159581, member: 7900
The other week, I was driving along minding my own business when I noticed a school bus full of children crash through a barricade and perched itself perilously upon the edge of a cliff. Being a man of action, I downshifted my car, popped a wheelie- got up to speed on two wheels- flipped my car up into the air- up the 80 foot cliff and struck the front tires of the school bus full of children... and their nuns- and the bus flipped up into the air and landed safely on the road.

Having done my good deed for the day I noticed that when I saved the school bus full of disabled children and their nuns, a slight bit of damage had been done to my car. Although it looked more like the arm of a parking gate had struck the side of my car on the front quarter panel and rear door- it was actually caused by dramatically saving a school bus full of left handed disabled children and their nuns.

Over the past week I've driven around with that badge of honor on my car. But today I decided to attempt to remove these heroically attained scratches by using some rubbing compound. Having used the phrase "it'll buff out" in all kinds of inappropriate settings, it's almost ironic that I've never actually attempted to buff out scratches... even though the scratches were from saving a school bus full of legless , left handed, disabled children and their nuns.

I got a bottle of the Meguiar's Ultimate Compound and these little terry cloth puffy buffing circle things. I watched a couple of YouTubes and just applied the stuff in the circular motion- a little pressure, but mostly just like I'd be applying shoe polish when spit shining boots.

Holy cow- I saw the results and I thought of all the dings and scratches I've just lived with over the years- when it seriously took less than 5 minutes to buff that **** out and wax it up and what I thought would be a thousand dollars in body damage was pretty much gone.

So now, instead of letting the badges of honor on my car tell the story of how I saved the school bus full of puppy dog eyed, orphaned, legless, left handed disabled children and their nuns... and supermodels- and although it looked like the arm of a parking gate struck my car- I am going to just live with just the memory of the lives I've saved.
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Old 03-16-19, 09:39 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
...dramatically saving a school bus full of left handed disabled children and their nuns.
As a lefty, I approve of this story
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Old 03-16-19, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
To go along with that- Years ago on a BMW forum- somebody's engine burned up. It was awful- I felt so bad for the guy- and I posted the "that'll buff out" thing... I don't think went over with the levity I thought it would.
There is a great meme of Joe Dirt saying with with a small expletive but I keep getting in trouble for posting it here.
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Old 03-16-19, 10:51 AM
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This looks like ot would fit, but it looks like a stamped crown.

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F163483783352
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Old 03-16-19, 11:03 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by amerikaner View Post
This looks like ot would fit, but it looks like a stamped crown.

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F163483783352
thx I am going to the Co-op to have a recon this afternoon but this is good to know. I need to pull the current fork to check the stamp
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Old 03-16-19, 11:20 AM
  #24  
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The bolt probably sheared as opposed to the nyloc nut working loose. The rack supports might have saved your fork from the trash bin. I'd likely use them again, the rack and the fork.
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Old 03-16-19, 11:52 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
To go along with that- Years ago on a BMW forum- somebody's engine burned up. It was awful- I felt so bad for the guy- and I posted the "that'll buff out" thing... I don't think went over with the levity I thought it would.

Along THOSE lines... a parking gate hit my BMW and scratched and dented it. I was mad, sad and everything... With as many times over the years I've posted that- it didn't even ONCE occur to me to try buffing it out until someone legitimately suggested it to me. It was pretty amazing.
That was my 71 2002 BMW engine that burned up! And I will never forget or forgive! PO had installed an electric fan and it failed on a hot summer day in traffic over the bay bridge! ghahhh!!
(this is actually true but not the buff it out thing)
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