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Anybody recognize this fork?

Old 06-06-23, 07:58 PM
  #1  
albrt 
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Anybody recognize this fork?

Back story: I was trying to get rid of a 1982-ish Trek 614 last year. Nobody wanted it. I was thinking about rebuilding it into more of a gravel bike, and I came across the saga of the early 80s Ishiwata death fork. My bike seems to be low mileage and the fork seems solid, but the fork snapping off doesn't sound ideal for a gravel bike.

I went to my local co-op looking for a non-Ishiwata fork of similar dimensions. The only decent looking stem that was a good size match was a little sleek for the Trek, but it seemed like a solid fork. The color was celeste-ish and the paint was pretty beat, which didn't seem like a good match for the low-mileage, gun-metal blue Trek. So I decided to strip it. Here it is, mostly stripped.





This seems to me like a really nice fork. Anybody recognize it?
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Old 06-06-23, 08:35 PM
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juvela
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-----

it looks like a Tange Champion replacement fork but built with an ends set marked Suntour

this was likely done at the request of the cycle manufacturer contractee because it would be for a cycle kitted with MAEDA

the fork was also sold in an all polished chrome form with Tange marked ends as a boxed replacement fork available to the public


-----
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Old 06-06-23, 08:46 PM
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albrt 
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Thanks, that looks right.

This fork is just a couple millimeters shorter than the original, which looks like it will save me from having to replace the brake calipers, but will not reduce the tire clearance much when I replace the original 27s with 700s.

If anybody needs a death fork with an 8 inch steerer it's available for the cost of shipping.

Last edited by albrt; 06-06-23 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 06-07-23, 09:24 AM
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Moe Zhoost
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My guess was Tange as well. When you say 'shorter' do you mean the steerer tube? If so, headset stack height may be an issue, though a few mm is not a big deal.
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Old 06-07-23, 09:28 AM
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Sorry for the ambiguity. The steerer tube is perfect, didn't even have to swap out a spacer. The fork has a little bit less rake and the hub is maybe two mm closer to the fork crown. This is enough to make the calipers fit, but not enough to affect tire clearance much.
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Old 06-08-23, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by juvela
-----

it looks like a Tange Champion replacement fork but built with an ends set marked Suntour

this was likely done at the request of the cycle manufacturer contractee because it would be for a cycle kitted with MAEDA

the fork was also sold in an all polished chrome form with Tange marked ends as a boxed replacement fork available to the public


-----
Agreed. Looks like a Champion #124 fork:
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Old 06-09-23, 05:34 PM
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Here's the rough-build with the new fork. Clearance is tight in front but it rides pretty well.

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Old 06-09-23, 08:01 PM
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Hey, that looks like my Trek 412 build; stem shifters-check, turkey levers-check, dork disk-check. I even tried some of the half toe clips and put a triple on it, so check, check. I’m still rocking the death fork though. What size Paselas are you using?



1982 Trek 412 with very few original parts
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Old 06-10-23, 07:12 AM
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Tires are just 35s. The rims are skinny so I think it makes the tires look bigger,
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Old 06-10-23, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by albrt
Tires are just 35s. The rims are skinny so I think it makes the tires look bigger,
35s here also, and also on skinny rims. My usual are 32s, but I tried 35s and couldnít be more pleased with the soft ride. Maybe itís the frame too, or just a lucky accident. I hope yours rides as pleasantly, as it looks to be set up for long comfortable rides.
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Old 06-10-23, 09:51 AM
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I think the death fork issue was overblown. Any fork can develop cracks where those did, there wasn't really a design problem. If there was, a huge number of forks share the same problem. Like any old bike, just monitor for cracks.

The crown was almost identical to less expensive Nervex crowns found on hundreds of thousands of French bikes over the years.
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Old 06-10-23, 10:07 AM
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Honestly, I was just looking for an excuse to modify this bike because I didn't love the way it rode, and when I tried to get rid of it nobody wanted it.

I think I'm going to like it much better now. It probably shed about a pound with the fork change and better 700 wheels, and feels more nimble even with the fatter tires. I'll take it on a harder ride tomorrow.
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Old 06-11-23, 08:20 PM
  #13  
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Bike felt pretty good today.

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