Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fork it

Change of plan, I had thought that getting a fork for the bike that was as good as or better than the Suntours lent to me by Uncle Riotous would be impossible for under £30. So imagine my surprise when I managed to bag a pair of Marzocchi MZ Comps for £21 on eBay. Now from what I understand about them they will not take any great hammering, but they are supposed to have 100mm of travel. They will do either as replacements for the Suntours on the P3 or on the Salcano. The process of fitting will be the same, and obviously I will need to fit the crown-race to either fork. Since I planned to add a very cheap pair of forks to the Salcano I think I should return the Suntours to Uncle Riotous who had planned on fitting them to his son's rigid frame, before he loaned them to me as an emergency replacement.

I think experience has shown that the Salcano is not capable of taking much more than the occasional drop and so over expensive forks are just a waste of money. I really don't want to spend a lot on getting a bike which will be used for family cross country rides up and running. Perhaps the best option is to now save like mad and get some bigger forks for the P3 and then transfer back.

Now though, I have the bike building bug. I am already planning on the next rebuild. Should Santa be kind and allow me to buy a good touring bike to replace my hybrid city bike, I may change it to a fixed wheel, now that would be an adventure into the unknown. My first bike was my grandad's bike which was a fixed wheel with a Sturmley archer hub. I resprayed it and cleaned up the gears, but I can remember nothing more of restoring the bike. It was great fun, it survived a side on impact by an inattentive driver, as did I. Then some git stole it! I ask you it wasn't as if it was expensive even in the 1980s. Then of course there is getting a full-suspension MTB and then there will need to be a full racer and then...........

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Crowning glory

At last a chance to work on fitting the headset to the bike frame - an FS Pig DH Pro I picked up on sale. A simple task of making sure that the frame is clean round the area for fitting and aligning the parts that fit to the bike frame as close to true as you can manage. Then thread the headsetpress tool through, and tighten until it all stops. Job done.

Next, remove fork from old bike and strip off the rather nice Avid 7 brake levers I had fitted previously to the Salcano. I also robbed off the headset spacers as I know I will probably need them. The poor old bike now rather resembles the state the P3 has been in since the Summer.

I change the brakes on the front fork, fitting the new Deore XT ones in place of the cheap no name ones already fitted. Then back into the cold to add the fork....

This is when I encounter the unexpected problem and discover a useful bit of information. Not all crown races are the same. Whilst the forks have a crown race fitted, the part that allows the fork to swivel on the frame mount of the headset, it will not seat comfortably. This is entirely probably because the crown race is from a standard threadless headset, and the Pig is a cupless headet. Not a disaster to replace as the fitting tool for a new one is essentially a pipe, and the removal tool is effectively a hammer and blunt screwdriver. There are tools designed to make this easier, but they are essentially the same thing.

Now I am faced with a partially fitted fork, which will fall off at a moment's notice. To make myself feel better I assemble all the final parts with a light fix onto the bike. At least I can now see how the bike will look when finished and I can swap the bikes over for storage spaces.