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 Post subject: Resetting steel forks
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:47 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 8:54 pm
Posts: 384
Hello

I have finally started to build up my Don Louis steel frame. All going well until I came to fit some V brakes to the canti studs on the forks.

One side of the rim much closer (say 8mm) to the fork leg than the other. Damn.

I bought the frame from a charity so don't know the background. The main frame looks straight with no apparent damage and verything lines up.

However, despite having no apparent damage, the forks are slighly askew.

Can this be fixed - i seem to remember reading that a framebuilder can cold set the forks in a jig?

Any suggestions welcomed.


Last edited by Slimtim on Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:54 pm 
rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:03 am
Posts: 398
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Slimtim wrote:
Hello

I have finally started to build up my Don Louis steel frame. All going well until I came to fit some V brakes to the canti studs on the forks.

One side much closer to the fork leg than the other. Damn.

I bought the frame from a charity so don't know the background. The main frame looks straight with no apparent damage and verything lines up.

However, despite having no apparent damage, the forks are slighly askew.

Can this be fixed - i seem to remember reading that a framebuilder can cold set the forks in a jig?

Any suggestions welcomed.


Not sure what you mean by "one side closer to the fork leg than the other". Normally fork blades are either out to one side or out of alignment by having one blade further forward than the other.

This is what I do for forks without cantilever bosses. If you have a bench vice and a couple of straight edges you can easily do this yourself to very good tolerances without the need for a professional jig.

Depending on the material, forks are really resilient and can easily be set back into line. I use wooden blocks that fit around the steerer and then clamped in a secure vice. 2 x straight edges or metal rules that you can lay across the blades, one at the top just below the crown and one on the top of the dropouts to check for forward/back alignment.

You also need to check for sideways alignment. Best way to do that is to mark your steerer tube on a flat sheet of plywood and mark the brake bolt hole and measure a centre line down the wood, down through the centre of the steerer and through the bolt hole. Most forks are 100mm between the dropouts so mark a line parallel with the centre line 50mm each side of the centre line. Laying forks on the wood template and lining up the steerer tube and bolt hole will show sideways problems as both dropouts should sit nicely on each of the 50mm marks when the steerer and bolt hole are lined up. Fork blades take a good old heave but will move and checking with the steel rules and the drawn template will get you perfect again after a few pulls in the vice.

If, after resetting fork blades, the bosses appear to be out of line then these may need repositioned and re-brazed.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:16 am 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:08 am
Posts: 6850
Location: Nth Somerset, UK
I had some Chas Roberts mtb forks that were decidedly one sided.

I paid Argos £30 and they came back perfectly aligned with not a mark on the (brand new) paint.


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