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-   -   Looking for somebody to align a steel fork (https://www.bikeforums.net/framebuilders/938193-looking-somebody-align-steel-fork.html)

avzay66 03-14-14 07:09 AM

Looking for somebody to align a steel fork
 
How does one go about finding a framebuilder willing to align a fork on an old vintage bike? No LBS is willing to take a job around here (CT), and all of the local framebuilders are famous and very busy/expensive. Can anybody here point me in a direction of a builder willing to do this in CT or even to have the fork shipped to them?

Scooper 03-14-14 10:52 AM


Originally Posted by avzay66 (Post 16576778)
How does one go about finding a framebuilder willing to align a fork on an old vintage bike? No LBS is willing to take a job around here (CT), and all of the local framebuilders are famous and very busy/expensive. Can anybody here point me in a direction of a builder willing to do this in CT or even to have the fork shipped to them?

Most builders don't want to deal with jobs like this because of liability concerns. Once they've touched it, if it ever fails they can be sued. It just isn't worth the risk.

Sorry.

avzay66 03-14-14 11:13 AM

are you telling me that any kind of issue with the frame/fork is impossible to get fixed in this country? No welding, brazing or anything required, just need a jig and cold-set.

Aren't there liability release forms specifically for these kind of situations?


Originally Posted by Scooper (Post 16577452)
Most builders don't want to deal with jobs like this because of liability concerns. Once they've touched it, if it ever fails they can be sued. It just isn't worth the risk.

Sorry.


unterhausen 03-14-14 12:32 PM

what's wrong with it? There are people that specialize in frame repair, really depends on what's wrong with the fork

avzay66 03-14-14 04:07 PM

the forks are mis-aligned, both pointing sideways in the same direction. The frame was not stored properly for a while.

Craig Ryan 03-14-14 04:25 PM

It is very common among framebuilders to not accept work on a fork unless it is their own product. Scooper is right, and so are the framebuilders for thinking so. Old bent forks fall into a couple of categories. They are just old and common, but not worth spending much money on, or they are old and rare using an unavailable crown which makes them valuable. Which do you have? Most builders will make a new fork to any specification needed given the crown is available. There aren't a whole lot of forks which fall into the second category.

twinTI 03-14-14 05:06 PM


Originally Posted by avzay66 (Post 16578350)
the forks are mis-aligned, both pointing sideways in the same direction. The frame was not stored properly for a while.

I kinda doubt the fork came out of alignment from bad storage. Maybe something fell on it in storage?

Scooper 03-14-14 07:41 PM


Originally Posted by avzay66 (Post 16578350)
the forks are mis-aligned, both pointing sideways in the same direction. The frame was not stored properly for a while.

Is there any way you can post a photo showing the problem?

avzay66 03-15-14 11:53 AM


Originally Posted by Scooper (Post 16578894)
Is there any way you can post a photo showing the problem?

it is really so subtle that it is very hard to capture on camera.

the bike is perfectly ridable, just the wheel wants to turn left when ridden at slow speed hands off. The bike shop here
diagnosed the problem but they don't have the fork jig, so they suggest I find somebody with one to get it fixed. The frame
is from the 60s, so making sure everything is aligned properly would be useful anyway.

Why is there such an apprehension when it comes to fixing frames and forks? Failure or improper installation of brakes, stem or wheels can cause a serious or fatal accident as well, yet working on those parts is considered perfectly safe, and is performed routinely by amateurs.

On my particular bike, both frame and forks are steel, where you get ample warning from the bike before catastrophic failure.

Andrew R Stewart 03-15-14 02:22 PM

Without seeing the fork i won't say whether I'd suggest aligning or not. I have done many but also said no to some too. Maybe Somewhere has a builder you can go to... Andy.

busdriver1959 03-15-14 02:47 PM

You may want to run over to the Classic and Vintage forum and ask there. I seem to remember a few guys scaring up somebody to work on forks for them. Can't remember if they found bike shops or builders to do the work.

Scooper 03-15-14 03:37 PM

Yellow Jersey does quality repair work including frame tube replacement, frame and fork alignment, paint, etc.

They're in Arlington, Wisconsin (about 20 miles north of Madison).

GrayJay 03-19-14 11:37 AM

A jig is needed for initial fork construction but not so much for subsequent alignment of a steel fork. If this is for your own riding, give it a try yourself and don't ever re-sell to unsuspecting victim unaware of the risk. Get a front wheel that is true and perfectly dished and you should be able to tell which way the fork is bent off-center by sighting down the steer tube and by comparing the gap between rim and each of the fork legs. Realize that if the legs are bent toward off center toward the left, then the rim will be closer to the right fork leg. Measure the gap between the dropouts, should be 100mm for a normal wheel. If the gap is not exactly 100mm, use this info to help you determine (along with the gap of the rim) if perhaps just one of the legs rather than both is bent inward of outward. Once you have an idea how the leg(s) need to move, gently clamp the steer tube in a bench vise and use a cheater bar pipe over the end of the leg to show it who is boss. Proceed bending carefully, making adjustments in small increments, stopping to re-measure after each attempt. Side-to-side alignment of forks is fairly straitforward, get much more complicated (and risky) if the blades have been pushed backward from a frontal impact and/or if the legs are twisted in relation to the crown. Probably would be a good idea to first get a junker fork and practice your technique in order to develop a feel for the effort needed produce movement of the fork legs before working on your keeper fork. Only ever attempt to realign steel forks, bent aluminum forks cannot safely be realigned and should be cut-up and thrown away if they show any sign of damage.

squirtdad 03-19-14 03:39 PM

there is a tool for that..Park Tool Co. FFG-2 : Frame and Fork End Alignment Gauge Set : Frame & Fork Tools

I think most shops anymore deal with so much carbon and aluminum (which have their own special knowlege) that things like steel frame alignment are becomeing lost skills....of course the whole liability thing does not help either

Homebrew01 03-19-14 07:49 PM


Originally Posted by squirtdad (Post 16593269)
there is a tool for that..Park Tool Co. FFG-2 : Frame and Fork End Alignment Gauge Set : Frame & Fork Tools

I think most shops anymore deal with so much carbon and aluminum (which have their own special knowlege) that things like steel frame alignment are becomeing lost skills....of course the whole liability thing does not help either

Those will align the fork tips, but not show you how far the entire blades might be off to the left or right. ( I lost mine somehow :notamused:)

Homebrew01 03-19-14 08:00 PM


Originally Posted by avzay66 (Post 16576778)
How does one go about finding a framebuilder willing to align a fork on an old vintage bike? No LBS is willing to take a job around here (CT), and all of the local framebuilders are famous and very busy/expensive. Can anybody here point me in a direction of a builder willing to do this in CT or even to have the fork shipped to them?

Where about in CT ?? I have a gauge we could use if you want to stop by (Shown in post #14 below). A little muscle and it will be good as new (almost)

And here's a thread on the subject.

http://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...ning-fork.html

Andrew R Stewart 03-19-14 08:27 PM


Originally Posted by GrayJay (Post 16592469)
A jig is needed for initial fork construction but not so much for subsequent alignment of a steel fork. If this is for your own riding, give it a try yourself and don't ever re-sell to unsuspecting victim unaware of the risk. Get a front wheel that is true and perfectly dished and you should be able to tell which way the fork is bent off-center by sighting down the steer tube and by comparing the gap between rim and each of the fork legs. Realize that if the legs are bent toward off center toward the left, then the rim will be closer to the right fork leg. Measure the gap between the dropouts, should be 100mm for a normal wheel. If the gap is not exactly 100mm, use this info to help you determine (along with the gap of the rim) if perhaps just one of the legs rather than both is bent inward of outward. Once you have an idea how the leg(s) need to move, gently clamp the steer tube in a bench vise and use a cheater bar pipe over the end of the leg to show it who is boss. Proceed bending carefully, making adjustments in small increments, stopping to re-measure after each attempt. Side-to-side alignment of forks is fairly straitforward, get much more complicated (and risky) if the blades have been pushed backward from a frontal impact and/or if the legs are twisted in relation to the crown. Probably would be a good idea to first get a junker fork and practice your technique in order to develop a feel for the effort needed produce movement of the fork legs before working on your keeper fork. Only ever attempt to realign steel forks, bent aluminum forks cannot safely be realigned and should be cut-up and thrown away if they show any sign of damage.

I have posted about simple tool fork aligning before. Here's a link:

http://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-me...ard-right.html post #6

My method uses a sighting tube placed inside the steerer. With the wheel's valve hole in line with the sighting tube you can sight from the top of the steerer, past the top of the wheel to the bottom of the wheel. So you will see any blade side splaying as the rim's bottom won't be on target with the line of sight. A pair of straight edges placed in the drop outs and at the tops of the blades shows with twist.

I hesitate to suggest that some one with no previous experience, or without a mentor watching, go onto actually aligning the fork. It's not hard to prod the blade too far and or induce more misalignment elsewhere.

Having used both a couple of the Park fork alignment tools as well as the Var version I'll say that i don't blindly trust their straightness even when used with care and understanding. I've aligned a few forks with them and then later checked with other methods and found the forks to still be off more then I'd want. Andy.


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