General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

chrome / nickel plating a fork

Old 03-19-16, 08:56 AM
  #1  
layztom
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
chrome / nickel plating a fork

Hello again,
If I were to chrome / nickel plate my fork, should i plate the entire fork (besides the threads off course) including the steerer tube, or should I only have the bottom part (fork crown downwards) of the fork plated?
Thank again, Tom
layztom is offline  
Old 03-19-16, 09:15 AM
  #2  
J.C. Koto
apocryphal sobriquet
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Star City, NE
Posts: 1,076

Bikes: 2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker "The Truckerino"

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If it were my bike I'd just nickel/chrome plate the part that would otherwise be painted. I wouldn't want the interior of the steerer tube to be plated since it might cause problems with the quill stem if the plating starts to chip or corrode. Granted I use threadless forks now so I don't know how much of an actual problem it might pose, it's still something I'd rather not have to worry about.
J.C. Koto is offline  
Old 03-19-16, 11:05 AM
  #3  
rekmeyata
Senior Member
 
rekmeyata's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 8,348
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 555 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by layztom View Post
Hello again,
If I were to chrome / nickel plate my fork, should i plate the entire fork (besides the threads off course) including the steerer tube, or should I only have the bottom part (fork crown downwards) of the fork plated?
Thank again, Tom
I agree with J.C.. Another option is to chrome just the bottom 1/3rd of the fork. If you chrome the entire fork (not the steerer tube of course) including the lugs then it might look odd that the other lugs aren't chromed and or the entire chain and seat stays aren't chromed, so if you do what a lot of vintage bikes did and do just the lower third of the the fork then the painted fork lug will match the other painted lugs. Of course there were some vintage bikes that did just chromed the entire fork and lugs and not chrome anything else which always looked a bit odd to me personally, but you may like it that way. Also if you only chrome the lower third of the fork it will be cheaper but the forks upper third will need to be repainted because I don't think you can chrome a part without damaging the paint nearby, but maybe they can?

I think that CyclArt charges around $225 to chrome a fork but check with them for the actual price but usually local platers can do it for less but they may not have the skill to do a bicycle fork.

Do be aware that chrome is porous which will allow water molecules to pass through and get the underlying metal to rust over time, and the chroming technique used on bike frames and forks is extremely thin vs chrome car wheels for example, so either have the chrome clear coated or you need to regularly use a chrome cleaner and chrome wax (actually use a wheel wax) on it to seal out the water. Some people say to use a chrome polisher after washing then use a wheel wax problem is that as I mentioned before that a bike frame and fork that is chromed uses a very microscopic thin layer of chrome that I would be worried about using an chrome polish that uses abrasives to get that polish look and in turn could, over time, take some of the chrome right off. For a more maintenance and worry free chrome I would clear coat it.
rekmeyata is offline  
Old 03-19-16, 11:29 AM
  #4  
AlexCyclistRoch
The Infractionator
 
AlexCyclistRoch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 2,208

Bikes: Classic road bikes: 1986 Cannondale, 1978 Trek

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 875 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have an old chromed fork (which I will soon be posting on EBay, FWIW), and it is chromed all the way up the tube and threads.

Having said that, one thing to consider is this: just how much will the chrome build up in your threads and on your seating area for the headset bearing races? If the chrome builds up, say, .001", that means a .002" increase in tube/seat diameter, and often a .004" buildup on the threaded pitch diameter. You might have to chase the threads before and after plating.
AlexCyclistRoch is offline  
Old 03-19-16, 11:32 AM
  #5  
pressed001 
glorified 5954
 
pressed001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Posts: 652
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts


Crown race down is what they did for mine. I guess they knew what they were doing. The company I used doesn't do bikes very often, they are mainly for industrial stuff, but they knew how to approach the bike fork. They asked me specifically if I want a proper 3-step chroming. I believe it is first coppered, then nickeled, then chromed. This process keeps it from ever rusting or corroding (thanks copper).

I paid 180 or so. But then we know the guys and order a lot through them.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
File Type: jpg
File Type: jpg
IMG_20150906_143250.jpg (103.6 KB, 39 views)
pressed001 is offline  
Old 03-19-16, 12:13 PM
  #6  
Shato37
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for the great info guys! And what are your thoughts about chrome vs nickel plating?
Shato37 is offline  
Old 03-19-16, 12:16 PM
  #7  
dedhed
SE Wis
 
dedhed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 4,978

Bikes: '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 651 Post(s)
Liked 40 Times in 33 Posts
Honestly it's probably cheaper to buy a new or used already chromed fork
dedhed is offline  
Old 03-19-16, 01:16 PM
  #8  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,572

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 183 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6743 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 157 Times in 133 Posts
if you want a polished look you must polish the base metal first.. factories that intend to paint over parts of the chrome
dont polish that part, but leave it sandblasted. the chrome will be rough like the surface under it.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 03-19-16, 01:23 PM
  #9  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 22,266
Mentioned: 160 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8402 Post(s)
Liked 36 Times in 32 Posts
I think chrome gives the shiniest coverage. A good plating job, however, might have multiple layers.
Triple Chrome Plating Process with Nickel, Copper and Chrome | Vernes Chrome Plating

As far as what to chrome on a fork. Some vintage bikes would just have a chrome fork, and painted rest of the bike, although that was often a sign of a replacement fork.

My old Colnago just has a chrome fork crown, with the rest of the bike and all lugs being painted. Cheaper bikes might have had a chrome cap put over the fork crown.

Contrast between chrome and paint is nice, so you might choose to chrome from the crown to the fork tips, then paint the middle section. However, I'd probably also chrome the ends of the seatstays/chainstays.

It is hard to beat the prices on new Asian parts. But, it would depend on the bike. Many people prefer a matching fork frame on vintage road bikes.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 03-19-16, 06:49 PM
  #10  
rekmeyata
Senior Member
 
rekmeyata's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 8,348
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 555 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Shato37 View Post
Thanks for the great info guys! And what are your thoughts about chrome vs nickel plating?
go to CyclArt, they will explain all this for you: Frequently Asked Questions | Cyclart Here you'll learn that some of the advice given here to you today is not correct.
rekmeyata is offline  
Old 03-19-16, 07:14 PM
  #11  
Jax Rhapsody
Rhapsodic Laviathan
 
Jax Rhapsody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 581

Bikes: Rideable; 83 Schwinn High Sierra. Two cruiser, bmx bike, one other mtb, three road frames, one citybike.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 69 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Chrome plating has nickel in it. metal is dipped in an acid solution, then in copper, then nickel(for the color, as chrome is clear), and finally the chrome coating.
Originally Posted by Shato37 View Post
Thanks for the great info guys! And what are your thoughts about chrome vs nickel plating?
Jax Rhapsody is offline  
Old 03-21-16, 06:07 AM
  #12  
Worknomore
Senior Member
 
Worknomore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 446

Bikes: Serotta CRL, Litespeed Blue Ridge, Bacchetta Ti Aero, Cannondale delta V, 67 Schwinn Sting Ray stick shift.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Structural vs decorative plating; anything subjected to stress that is plated should be post treated to remove hydrogen embrittlement which can weaken the fork. Treatment involves baking at moderate temps for several hours. Not all platers do this.
Worknomore is offline  
Old 03-22-16, 01:02 AM
  #13  
pressed001 
glorified 5954
 
pressed001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Posts: 652
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
mmm... baked forks!
pressed001 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
CrowSeph
Classic & Vintage
0
07-18-18 06:06 AM
PeregrineA1
Classic & Vintage
21
02-26-17 06:08 PM
Rad Fondo
Road Cycling
0
05-31-12 10:58 AM
VA_Esquire
"The 33"-Road Bike Racing
9
07-02-09 12:35 PM
TandemGeek
Tandem Cycling
0
04-27-06 04:30 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.