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Fork ok??

Old 08-19-18, 03:10 PM
  #1  
WGB 
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Fork ok??

I have a Ross Aristocrat that I am rebuilding. When I got it , it had been ridden hard but other than the wheelset it was original. It was also beige and so I decided to powder coat. I got it back from the powdercoater and dropped it at an LBS to have the frame and forks faced and chased.

I was called back by the LBS who refused to work on the forks claiming they were unsafe though the frame was fine.

I collected the frame and forks. There is a hole on the front where the right blade enters the crown. The clerk at the LBS suggested that when the forks were made they used a blade that was too short and that is why there is the space (It's not as if the blade was simply inserted but not brazed in place).

I have two photos one shows that I can actually slip in a piece of pipe strap which is about 1mm thick.

My questions:

This is a 30 year old bike and it shows no sign of damage - does it look okay to ride?

If not okay to ride, could I weld it up and then file it smooth (would obviously need repaint)?

Give up and try to find a replacement fork???

Please note I am leaving for the north for a week and so can't reply to any suggestions until Sunday next week so please don't assume I am ignoring any advice. I just won't have the internet!

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Last edited by WGB; 08-19-18 at 03:11 PM. Reason: Front not back!
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Old 08-19-18, 03:49 PM
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Probably okay to ride but not a risk I'm willing to take. The welded surface area is comparable minus that little bit, but there's not enough material where the blade fits into the crown so there's a lack of interference fit, and that makes me hesitate despite being relatively tolerant of risk overall.
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Old 08-19-18, 04:56 PM
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Literally running out door with family in car....

tFunk - so would you seek out a new fork??

And for others - provided the other fork has similar dimensions, will any fork work as a replacement ( I realize I need one with with same thread size and same length of blades as well as same diameter) or should i advertise on here for a Ross fork (assume all signatures would have same fork sizes and lengths???)
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Old 08-19-18, 07:10 PM
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Strip, braze, re-coat, ride.
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Old 08-19-18, 08:17 PM
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Leave it as is.
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Old 08-19-18, 09:57 PM
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Well it hasn't been a problem for how long? Still I would likely seek replacement. If the next fork matches all the specs but the manufacturer how will the rest of the bike know? Andy
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Old 08-20-18, 06:55 AM
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As Andy noted, it hasn't been a problem for 30 years so it's likely to last a bit longer. That said, i'd also be looking for a replacement. If you can find a replacement fork with close to the same axel-to-crown and rake dimensions you should be good to go. You will probably only find threadless forks these days and that would entail a new headset and stem also.
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Old 08-20-18, 09:26 AM
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Interesting, novel, front mudguard mounting hole..

does look like production brazing has left voids , unfilled gaps..






...

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-20-18 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 08-20-18, 01:36 PM
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Impossible to know much with that thick paint. Best to strip the area and examine it closely to understand what happened -- brazing void or failure, damaged by prep for coating, cracked, something else?
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Old 08-24-18, 08:21 PM
  #10  
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Just got back,

Anklework - "brazing void or failure, damaged by prep for coating, cracked, something else"

The blade of the fork enters the crown only as far as you can see in photo 1. Per my post "The clerk at the LBS suggested that when the forks were made they used a blade that was too short and that is why there is the space (It's not as if the blade was simply inserted but not brazed in place)"

My question should have been - Should fork blades be inserted fully into the crown or is it normal for them to only enter a short distance? I don't want to strip this set down and then still have to find a longer fork blade that fits deeper into the crown. Having said that, if fork blades only need to go in a little bit, then it might be worth it to strip it re-braze and then re-coat.
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Old 08-24-18, 10:11 PM
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Typically one doesn't find blade that's long enough to fit in the crown after the fact. In general blades are cut down to fit. Since no axle to crown seat dimension is yet mentioned and that the fork is of a high production type and that the bike is likely a 630 or 622 rim with medium reach caliper I'll make an a-s out of myself and say that if you were to pull the blades out of that crown and were to replace them (and I hope you don't really try this at home) just about any easily available blade will be longer then you need and will need shortening, to fit fully in the crown.

So I suggest either ride the fork and don't do anything stupid or replace the fork. But, again, please don't pull it apart. That you are asking the questions your are suggests you don't have the skill set to replace the blades and make the results any better then the fork is already. Andy
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Old 08-25-18, 08:15 AM
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Andy - very true with regard to the skill set.

I was just looking at the advice of Anklework. I have a friend who welds and brazes but before I asked for his help I wanted to know if I could recover the old blade and have him re-braze or if once I stripped off the paint and removed the old blade I'd have to search for a new and longer blade so I could insert the new blade deeper into the fork crown than the old one had gone. If it was the former, I'd try that but it seems to lean towards the second answer which sounds like way more work than I would ever want and more expense than I could justify.

I am going to build the bike up for now. My plan was for a cruise around the neighborhood, shiny orange bike, not one to bike 100's of miles on. I will measure ever surface and then watch for a donor fork. When I find my donor forks I will get them powder coated to (hopefully) match the frame and that will be that and maybe then I will try the 100 miles.
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Old 08-25-18, 09:15 AM
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I'm in the leave it as is and ride it camp myself, with caveats: no wheelies, no curb jumping, no bombing down hills into potholes or cobblestones

Find a new fork at your leisure.
Manufacturing defect that has withstood the test of time for sure. Was there any rust around there when you got it might be my only concern.
As a curmudgeonly old welder/ brazer, (44 years and counting), I confess to getting a little bristly when "weld" and "braze" are used interchangeably. Please seek counsel with your welder friend
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Old 08-25-18, 09:20 AM
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Correct me if I'm wrong but Ross were a cheap, not-so-high-quality bike when they were produced and not a sought after vintage bike. When I was a kid these were right up there with Huffy. Not sure throwing any amount of money into it is really worth it. A cheap used replacement fork would be about the only worthwhile option IMO if you're set on making a change. But, as mentioned, this one has lasted 30 years so no reason to think it won't last as long as the frame which probably has about the same build quality.

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Old 08-25-18, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong but Ross were a cheap, not-so-high-quality bike when they were produced and not a sought after vintage bike. When I was a kid these were right up there with Huffy. Not sure throwing any amount of money into it is really worth it. A cheap used replacement fork would be about the only worthwhile option IMO if you're set on making a change. But, as mentioned, this one has lasted 30 years so no reason to think it won't last as long as the frame which probably has about the same build quality.
Ross had some top line models, comparable to Schwinn's Paramount. The Ross Aristocrat was often equipped with Shimano 600 components. https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...ristocrat.html
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Old 08-25-18, 11:54 AM
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FBOATSB - Wasn't trying to say I knew difference between brazing and welding. I would have relied on my neighbor who is wise and knows these things. There was no rust on the fork blades at the crown though there was near the dropouts. Powder coater had done many frames and he had no issue with the rust (just wish he'd seen this issue before I paid him to powder coat the frame.

Nfmisso and Crankycrank this was an Aristocrat with full 600 Arabesque so I figured when finished should actually be a nice bike.
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Old 08-25-18, 11:55 AM
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I can't understand why one would consider various remedies but not a full characterization of the problem.
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Old 08-25-18, 12:06 PM
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WGB, sorry if my lame joke didn't didn't work, maybe I should seek counsel

In addition, I would love to have a Ross Aristocrat in that condition to ride.
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Old 08-25-18, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong but Ross were a cheap, not-so-high-quality bike when they were produced and not a sought after vintage bike. When I was a kid these were right up there with Huffy. Not sure throwing any amount of money into it is really worth it. A cheap used replacement fork would be about the only worthwhile option IMO if you're set on making a change. But, as mentioned, this one has lasted 30 years so no reason to think it won't last as long as the frame which probably has about the same build quality.
My Ross Mt. Rainier wasn't exactly cheap when I bought it in 1984, and had Shimano XT components. The bike is still in my stable.
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Old 08-25-18, 06:03 PM
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I guess I stand corrected then. Never knew about the Aristocrat being such a nice bike. That gap in the fork is a little disappointing though but I would still keep it considering it's gone this far.
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Old 08-25-18, 06:47 PM
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I'm just a fool that's taken a few too many spills and landed on my head each time, but if it were my bike and I'd just had it cleaned up so nice, my only concern with the skipped spot is that it would be a future source of rust undermining that great looking paint job.
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