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how resilient are Schwinn flat bladed forks?

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how resilient are Schwinn flat bladed forks?

Old 10-11-06, 06:02 AM
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how resilient are Schwinn flat bladed forks?

hi, all.

just had a question for the classic Schwinn afficinados...how resilient are the old 1960's Schwinn flat bladed fork blades? can they be rebent if out of whack and still stay fairly strong and true? I inherited a Corvette project bike, and the fork looks to be about a half inch out of whack and the blades are a bit 'wavy' looking, for lack of a better word.

do i try to straighten and cold set, buy an old fork off ebay, replace with a aftermarket replica flat bladed fork (haven't found one of those yet) or deny the bikes vintage integrity and put a new tubular fork on it for sheer ridabilities' sake? (I'm not interested in doing a frame-off restoration at this time, but do plan to do so in the future with this bike.)
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Old 10-11-06, 07:05 AM
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1/2",just bend it back.
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Old 10-11-06, 10:33 AM
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If the damage is "side to side" and not near the top of the fork, you should be able to realign it without problems. If the fork blade is pushed BACK, toward the rear of the bike, that could be collision damage that could weaken the weld area at the top of the blade. If the damage is "front to back", I'd want to replace the fork.
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Old 10-11-06, 11:09 AM
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How tall is the steering tube? Maybe one of us has a replacement laying around?
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Old 10-11-06, 12:52 PM
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My Dad sold U.S. made Schwinn bikes in the 60's and 70's. These solid steel Ashtabula forks were so strong that the frame bent before the fork did. Yes, they can be straightened front to back and side to side. I used to use a Park adjustable fork straightener tool. Hopefully, some bike shops still have them. Today it is just easier and more efficient to replace the bent fork.
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Old 10-11-06, 01:05 PM
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back in my dumb....I mean dumber days my brother used to go "mountain biking" on a Schwinn De-Luxe Twinn that temporarily had MTB tires and wheels on it. my bro was riding stoker at the time and forgot to throw his weight to help slide around a turn and we hit a tree. bent the fork so far the tire was touching the frame. when we got it home we tied the rear of the frame to the fence and a hand winch to a tree and the front wheel and pulled it back out. it was "good as new" or at least just fine even with our abusive riding style.
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Old 10-11-06, 03:27 PM
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I may have one of those too, if you need one. It should be able to straighten and still be usuable. They're pretty indestructible, actually. I have straightened them with a few pieces of 2x4, and a BFH.,,,,BD
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Old 10-11-06, 05:52 PM
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Can be straightened in either directions - back to front with a fork straightening tool, and side to side with your bare hands.

Excellent strength from the front, but these suckers can be bent sideways very easily...


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Old 10-12-06, 10:51 PM
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Thanks, All! I'm going to rebend them and see how they ride....
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Old 08-28-21, 12:14 AM
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Ashtabula forged forks.

Schwinn's bladed forks were forged solid steel welded to a headtube. Back in the 70's and earlier you could take a bent Schwinn to a Schwinn dealer and they would bend frames and forks true for you. They had tools for that sort of work. Harley Davidson used to do that for their customers also. Some repairers of bicycle frames and forks will bend a frame or fork true again for a fee. I don't know the rules that are used for how much bend was allowable before the frame or fork was a throw away. I have bent steel frames for years to accommodate every wider rear hubs and to center the rear forks so the bike would ride straight. I have bent steel front forks from side to side a small amount to center the fork onto the center line of the bicycle. Whenever rear or front forks are bent then the drop outs need to be bent to alignment. I have never had trouble with any of the bikes this work was done to. Use common sense and test ride the results until you feel confident in the re bending.
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Old 08-28-21, 02:14 AM
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meanwhile…15 years later…
1984 Cannondale ST
1985 Cannondale SR300
1980 Gary Littlejohn Cruiser
1984 Trek 760
1981 Trek 710
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Old 08-28-21, 05:10 AM
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Relative to frame bending, as a former 25 year UPS driver I had a customer who straightened Indian motorcycle frames. I would deliver frames from all over the country that he cold set in a jig he had made. The frame joints were castings on these frames. Not high volume, but interesting keeping them on the road. Towards the end, he even got into sand casting the cast pieces. He sent those out to a foundry somewhere for the iron to be poured in.
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Old 08-28-21, 07:14 AM
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