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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:23 am 
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yappin' kitty
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I would like to replace the truly awful fork on my bike with an only slightly awful fork. Yes, I should buy a truly good one. No, I'm not going to.

It's standard straight 1-1/8". The current headset has no brand name, but it is smooth and doesn't wobble. Is there any reason to replace it? I'm thinking not. If I get it apart and the cages are mangled or anything is rusty, I promise I'll buy a new one.

Is there anything tricky about the whole operation?

The part I am most unsure about is removing the crown race from the old fork. Are they usually really wedged on tight? Is removal something a meticulous guy can do with a thin screwdriver and a gentle touch with a hammer?

Thanks very much for your help. I do enjoy very much working on my own bike, and learning new things.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:31 am 
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stealth kitty
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Removing the crown race isn't that difficult. You can use bearing pullers or a flat screwdriver.

If you're using the screwdriver method, work your way around the crown race and pry it up a tiny bit at a time. Once you clear the 30mm bottom flare in the steerer tube, it'll just fall out. To install the crown race, I usually use PVC piping (HD or Lowes sells handy 2-ft lengths) to tap it into place without damaging it. Can't remember the pipe size offhand though....

Headset wise, if there's no wobble, there's no reason to replace it unless you're completely paranoid and/or anal about it.

What are you replacing it with?

-S

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:17 pm 
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big hucker
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I agree with Shibi that it's a fairly straight forward DIY job.

Remove the wheel and brakes.

Get a tie down and loop it through the fork and the frame. When you remove the stem there is a small chance the fork will drop straight down out of the frame and onto the floor. Speaking from experience here. :)

Now remove the stem. The fork may stay in place if the headset has a compression ring at the top (the ring grips the steerer). What I normally do at this point is gently tap the top of the steerer (straight down) with a rubber mallet. Once it's moved down an inch, push the fork back up and remove the compression ring. The fork will now come out of head tube easily.

Pay special attention to the headset components (and their order).

To remove the crown race (pressed into place at the base of the steerer) you could use a screwdriver as Shibi suggested. In my experience, I've buggered up the crown that way. Instead I grab a few of the pointed razor blades that are used in box cutters. They look like this:

Image

Gently drive them in (with a small hammer) between the crown race and the crown. That should separate the two enough that the race either comes right off or you have a lot more room to put in a small screwdriver and gently pry it up.

Cutting the new fork steerer. If you're going to cut down the new fork steerer, measure three times before thinking about cutting. Again, experience speaking here. :) A lot of people will use hacksaws (make sure it's a square cut) and then sand/file off the edge. I use a pipe tubing cutter. Worked great for me so far.

On the new fork, you'll need to install a star fangled nut (crazy name, eh?). I have a long (M5, I believe) threaded bolt I bought at the local hardware store. I thread the star nut onto the long bolt and gently drive it into place with a small hammer. You'll want it about 1/2" below the lip of the steerer.

Like Shibi said, use a piece of PVC tubing to drive the old crown race down onto the new fork. I'll look up the diameter when I get home. I lightly grease the base of the steerer and the race goes onto it nicely. Make sure it's flush all the way around.

Reassemble the fork (maintaining the proper order of the headset components) on the bike, bolt in the top cap, and adjust the bolt in the top cap (engaged in the star nut) first. Tighten it enough that there is no play in the fork (side to side) but not enough that you feel notching in the bearings when you turn the fork (should feel smooth when turning). When you're happy with that, torque down the stem binding bolts.

If your headset is a loose ball bearing model (most are), it would be a good idea to re-grease them right before installation.

Next time I swap out a fork, I'll do a step by step pictorial. I swapped one out a couple of months ago for a friend and the thought never crossed my mind. Let me know if you have any questions.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:02 pm 
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pussy
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If you replacing one fork with another one, use the same steerer length. If installing a new fork on a new frame, make it 1" longer than intended - you will be able to fine tune the cockpit setup and if you make a mistake in your calculations, the extra inch might be your card out of the jail.

I use a hacksaw and an old stem as a guide.

Image

Image

Image


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:50 pm 
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stealth kitty
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Sti, the stem method? That's a great tip worth sharing!!

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:26 am 
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yappin' kitty
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Shibiwan wrote:
Removing the crown race isn't that difficult. You can use bearing pullers or a flat screwdriver...work your way around the crown race and pry it up a tiny bit at a time... clear the 30mm bottom flare ...just fall out.
ok, that was what i thought.
Shibiwan wrote:
To install the crown race, I usually use PVC piping (HD or Lowes sells handy 2-ft lengths) to tap it into place without damaging it. Can't remember the pipe size offhand though....
hadn't thought about that part. ok, cool.
Shibiwan wrote:
Headset wise, if there's no wobble, there's no reason to replace it unless you're completely paranoid and/or anal about it.
ok, didn't think so.
Shibiwan wrote:
What are you replacing it with?
something only slightly awful.

marpilli wrote:
Get a tie down and loop it through the fork and the frame. When you remove the stem there is a small chance the fork will drop straight down out of the frame and onto the floor. Speaking from experience here. :)
ha ha ha haaaa. "oooookaaayyyy, the fork is off now. aaaand all the bearings, hmm."
marpilli wrote:
...compression ring at the top...fork will now come out of head tube easily.
Ah, good to know. i had not seen anything about this type.
marpilli wrote:
In my experience, I've buggered up the crown that way. Instead I grab a few of the pointed razor blades that are used in box cutters.
yeah, i can see how this would help. nice.

marpilli wrote:
Cutting the new fork steerer. If you're going to cut down the new fork steerer, measure three times before thinking about cutting.
Yeah, the one i am thinking of putting on is already cut, and I don't think I will need it any shorter. If I do, I will hack it in accordance with STI's awesome technique. I don't think I have a pipe cutter big enough.

marpilli wrote:
On the new fork, you'll need to install a star fangled nut (crazy name, eh?).
It's just fun to SAY "star-fangled", isn't it? :)

marpilli wrote:
I lightly grease the base of the steerer and the race goes onto it nicely. Make sure it's flush all the way around.
If your headset is a loose ball bearing model (most are), it would be a good idea to re-grease them right before installation.

Grease, check.
marpilli wrote:
Tighten it enough that there is no play in the fork (side to side) but not enough that you feel notching in the bearings when you turn the fork (should feel smooth when turning). When you're happy with that, torque down the stem binding bolts.
Good description, thanks.

marpilli wrote:
Next time I swap out a fork, I'll do a step by step pictorial.
That would be nice. It's always good to see pictures.


Thanks, guys!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:04 am 
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stealth kitty
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Want an old Manitou SX-e fork? :mrgreen:

Pay shipping and it's yours!

-S

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mmm bacon.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:31 am 
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grumpeh kitty!
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marpilli wrote:
Get a tie down and loop it through the fork and the frame. When you remove the stem there is a small chance the fork will drop straight down out of the frame and onto the floor. Speaking from experience here. :)


The guy at my LBS broke his toe by a wayward fork.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:40 pm 
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yappin' kitty
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Shibiwan wrote:
Want an old Manitou SX-e fork? :mrgreen:

Pay shipping and it's yours!

-S
i think there is a joke here i might not be getting...


random walk wrote:
The guy at my LBS broke his toe by a wayward fork.
owch.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:57 pm 
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big hucker
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Bill in Houston wrote:
Shibiwan wrote:
Want an old Manitou SX-e fork? :mrgreen:

Pay shipping and it's yours!

i think there is a joke here i might not be getting...

I doubt it. Shibi is kinda like Santa. PM him and I bet the deal is real...

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:04 pm 
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yappin' kitty
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Shibiwan wrote:
Want an old Manitou SX-e fork? :mrgreen:

Pay shipping and it's yours!

-S

would it be better than, say, this fork?
http://ghorba.org/forums/stuff-sale-wtb/3369


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:20 pm 
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pussy
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Are you shopping for a 26" fork or a 29" one? The one you posted is for a 29er. Does the Manitou have posts for a disc brake?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:52 pm 
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yappin' kitty
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29"


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