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Old 03-28-20, 02:43 PM
Some Weirdo
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: SW OH
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Bikes: '74 C. Itoh "Racer", '86 Maruishi Excellence, '86 Schwinn Prelude

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It really doesn't require much to do a general alignment on a bike, just basic tools and patience. Check frame alignment with the string test. Tweak with gentle persuasion with a 2x4. Check spacing with a ruler. My process for checking fork alignment is to remove it, clean it, and place it on a known flat surface facing forward/downward. Take note of the crown's position relative to the flat surface. One side might be a little lower than the other. Install a wheel without its tyre and sight down the steerer tube through the valve hole in the rim. Centered? Good. If not, realign the blades or file the dropouts, whichever is needed. Check dropout spacing on the fork. Assemble bike and properly adjust headset. Can you ride without hands? If not, re-rake one side of the fork with the appropriate tool (preferably a pro tool, but homemade works too). Have a shop align the derailleur hanger and check the dropout faces for parallelism. Done!

If at any point you feel uncomfortable with the necessary steps, take it to a shop, or better yet, a framebuilder.
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