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Need help on installing fork(8 posts)

Need help on installing forkliu02bhs
Jan 1, 2002 8:16 PM
I want to upgrade to carbon fork on my bike. I want to buy it online because it's cheaper, but I heard the shops are reluctant on installing stuff they didn't sell. I am a student so I don't have that much $ to spend on forks the shops sell. Bike shops in Houston really jack up the price on bike components, they are in most case above the MSRP.
Can someone please tell me:
*How to cut the fork steerer w/o power tools?
*Is there any special tools required to change out the threaded headset to aheadset?
*How do you change out the headsets?
and any other suggestions are welcome.

re: Need help on installing forkRusty Coggs
Jan 1, 2002 10:02 PM
with all due respect, but given the questions you are asking,stick with the fork you have or save up enough to deal with LBS.Or, given all the shops in Houston,I am sure some will be willing to do an installtion for a fee.Check the 'workshop' at www.parktool for possible can cut a fork with a hacksaw,remove a threaded HS with a big cresent wrench, and the cups with a hammer and screwdriver, and install them with a hammer and block of wood.Adjustment of a threadless HS is with an allen wrench.There are others that would recommend all the specialized tools.If one does not know what they are doing or is hamfisted,screwups can be expensive.
I've got to go with the RustMeister on this one....sprockets
Jan 2, 2002 12:01 PM
but let me be a bit more succinct. Unless you need to do the swap-like your present fork is broken-you probably should not do this. I have a good carbon fork for the first time, and I find that I prefer a good steel fork. You gain little in a functional sense by doing the switch, except a lighter wallet, and the potential exists for this project to suck up lots of time and money, and for you to screw it up. Given your level of expertise-novice-you are biting off too much IMHO. There is far more for you to learn than the kind people here can help you with. Save your cash and in a few years get a whole new bike. That will be worth saving for.
re: Need help on installing forkDrD
Jan 2, 2002 4:35 AM
Ok - if money is truly an issue, stick with the threaded setup you have now - there really isn't any performance gain by going threadless (you might shave a few grams off the bike, but you won't notice it riding)

There are plenty of threaded forks out there - Kestrel, Profile, etc. all make them. Last time I looked, Kestrel was still selling their old EMS for $125 - quite a deal on an excellent fork (check it out at - you need to know what size your current bike uses - you need to measure the diameter of the steerer tube, as well as the length of the steerer tube.

Cutting the steerer tube can be done with a hacksaw and a fresh blade - just use something as a guide to make sure the cut is straight.

You will also need to either remove the crown race from your old fork, or get a new one, and install it on the new fork (a short piece of pvc tubing works well as a ram to set the race)

If you go threadless - you need a new headset, fork, and stem - removing can be done with simple tools (hammer, screwdriver) as can installation (hammer+block of wood, or threaded rod, 2 nuts, and 2 big washers) but if you have never done this before, you stand a very good chance of trashing your frame and the headset you are installing.
before you buy mail-order:Rusty McNasty
Jan 2, 2002 5:07 AM
What is the RAKE of the new fork, and is it the same as the old fork? If not, are you changing it for a reason? How much trail will the bike have after the fork has been replaced?
If you don't have a clue what I'm talking about, then take it to somebody who does-at a bike shop.
before you buy mail-order:liu02bhs
Jan 5, 2002 11:02 AM
I'm not trying to upgrade my fork because I want a different rake. I'm upgrading for shock-damping and weight-saving properties of a carbon fork. Personally, I prefer a straight bladed fork for triathlon. Since the road I ride on are mostly smoothly paved, I don't need too much rake.
Excuse me??Kerry Irons
Jan 5, 2002 5:07 PM
The rake (actually offset) of a fork is all about the handling of the bike - if you get a fork that is too far off what your bike was designed for, the handling can suffer. Smooth roads has nothing to do with it - the bike will either get twitchy or sluggish if the rake is too far away from the design point. This is all true regardless of the material of construction of the fork. Weight savings and absorbing road buzz are not the same as a change in handling.

As to straight vs. curved fork blades, they have absolutely nothing to do with anything. Straight blades are purely for looks. Not inherently better or worse than curved in any way. NO DIFFERENCE! Either curved or straight bladed forks can have the same offset, and so handle exactly the same. Shock absorbtion is NOT a function of straight or curved blades.
re: Need help on installing forkg-money
Jan 2, 2002 10:06 AM
First of all you don't need any power tools to cut a steertube. A pipe cutter or hack saw is fine. But, I have to agree with everyone else, either go with a new threaded fork or don't mess with it. If you use a screw driver to remove your current headset, and your bike is aluminum, you could really bugger it up. A screwdriver works fine, I made a tool from copper tubing with an x cut in it and flared it out a bit. Works fine. I personally have never used a wood block for putting in a headset, but you don't need the 2 million dollar Park tool either. A length of threaded rod with a couple of big washers and nuts works pretty well.

Either way it's a real possibility you'll f-up your frame or headset or both, if your not too mechanically inclined.

If you insist on the change... let your LBS do it. If you buy the stuff there then they MAY do it for free....

Good Luck