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Did I buy a damaged fork? HELP!

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Did I buy a damaged fork? HELP!

Old 06-19-22, 10:15 AM
  #1  
rr99
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Did I buy a damaged fork? HELP!

Hi guys,



I've recently acquired a used carbon fork (OCLV 120). I needed a fork with a longer steerer tube because the old one (original) was cut to the max.

Without checking it previously, and totally believing the seller description, I've repainted the fork so it can match my frame color. Long story short, when I got to the point to install my fork on the bike, my LBS told me that the fork is actually damaged saying that the left upper side of the blades had a visible bump which unfortunatelly I wasn't able to spot it myself, not even now. His explanation was that due to the fact that the fork is damaged, the steer tube is actually putting pressure on the headtube. When he tightened the stem screw, the handlebar rotates hard, probably because the steerer tube scratches the inside of the headtube, which might end up damaging it.



I'm all with question marks in my head right now. By reviewing the photos, can you spot a visible damage on the fork? Do not take me for granted, but is it possible also that the headset bearings are not working properly?



I was really looking forward to ride this bike this summer, but this thing with the fork made me really sad. Its pretty hard to find a matching fork let alone repaint it.



I'll appreciate all your thoughts and advices.



Thank you 🙏











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Old 06-19-22, 10:32 AM
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PeteHski
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Can't see anything there. I think your best bet is to have another chat with your LBS about it. It's not obvious from your description what the steerer tube has to do with the (invisible) bump on the fork blade.
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Old 06-19-22, 10:39 AM
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Nice looking bike like that deserves a really good looking fork. Finding out a new fork is not fitting is in fact quite humbling. Ya keep thinking back I should have checked this or that and what can I do to fix it. Some times ya just gotta scratch it off and start over. That might be best and you can paint a new fork to match this winter during down time.

I once ordered a new steel fork. Trimmed it, primed it, painted it, and at assembly found it was a 700c instead of a 27"... Ha... It has been so humbling that I dare not mention it till now...
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Old 06-19-22, 10:57 AM
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Something sounds off. I do not see how a bump on a blade could affect the steer tube. I think either the explanation was wrong, or, maybe misinterpreted. A couple of the pictures look to me like the fork may be bent right at the junction with the lower part of the head tube. That would explain the issue. Is the steer tube aluminum?
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Old 06-19-22, 11:19 AM
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Take a broadside photo or two, preferably of the drivetrain side of the bike, from several feet away so that the whole bike can be seen with as little photo distortion as possible. Leaning the bike against a white garage door is the gold standard for bike photos. The straight horizontal lines help to reveal how straight or bent the frame and fork are.
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Old 06-19-22, 11:28 AM
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'the steer tube is actually putting pressure on the headtube'

???

I also do not understand

Was the head tube faced ?
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Old 06-19-22, 11:35 AM
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Its bent enough that at first I thought it was backwards. Yes, the headset cups look seated, but the bend is keeping the bearings from sitting flush.
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Old 06-19-22, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1 View Post
Something sounds off. I do not see how a bump on a blade could affect the steer tube. I think either the explanation was wrong, or, maybe misinterpreted. A couple of the pictures look to me like the fork may be bent right at the junction with the lower part of the head tube. That would explain the issue. Is the steer tube aluminum?
Yes, the steerer is aluminum, with carbon blades
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Old 06-19-22, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by curbtender View Post
Its bent enough that at first I thought it was backwards. Yes, the headset cups look seated, but the bend is keeping the bearings from sitting flush.
Should I throw this fork in the trash than? There is no hope for it?
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Old 06-19-22, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by rr99 View Post
Should I throw this fork in the trash than? There is no hope for it?

You don’t know what caused the bend, I would not ride that.
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Old 06-19-22, 02:28 PM
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If it is in fact bent, which I believe is true, then I know of no way to straighten it to be safe for riding. Aluminum does not react well to being bent, more so to repair an existing bend.
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Old 06-19-22, 04:39 PM
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If I'm understanding this right, I'm kind of surprised that the LBS would install such a high liability part if they did not source it and knew it's history.

I don't think I'd mess with it since there's a potential for catastrophe. I'd write it off under the category of "every education has it's tuition." (Hat tip on that one to my late father in law the career high school teacher).
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Old 06-19-22, 05:49 PM
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your explanations don;t really add up and the pics can't possibly show anything which isn't a clear visible damage thing.
There could be any number of reasons why the fork doesn't rotate smoothly when the stem cap is tightened...
Lower race on the fork may not be seated properly - if it's off by even a small paint chip thickness, that would affect the function.
If either the lower or upper races aren;t seated into the head tube properly - same outcome
less chance that the bearings are not right - but possible...
if the steerer was ;hitting' the inside of the headtube, THAT would be very visually obvious!
if it's an alloy steerer and carbon crown, there would be some visual evidence of any 'damage' at the join of the steerer to the crown. But now that you've painted it, would be very hard to determine...
One thing you can do is : take the race off the fork crown - gently...
Look for anything which might be an irregularity where the race is seated to the fork crown - look the race over (inspect all of the headset components).
get a sheet of clean glass - thickness not important - place on a flat, solid surface, like a granite kitchen counter or similar solid material.
place the fork on the glass with the ENTIRE steerer on glass, but everything else from fork, hanging off - roll the steerer on the glass with you hand palm - you will feel any irregularity in the steerer. ALSO - take all the components of the headset - lower race, bearings and put onto glass - anything not flat will become obvious. You can do the same for the headtube races but that doesn;t conclusively say the inside race surface is milled to an equal depth (that may require using a mic. to measure...)
Alignment of the entire fork, blades, crown, steerer is a bit more difficult and requires some knowledge of the DIMS and construction... And how the head races sit in the headtube is a thing which needs to be checked , which again is particular to that frame...
good luck...
Ride On
Yuri
keep us updated, good education for all of us.
Don;t write off the fork until you've check it out tthoroughly...
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Old 06-19-22, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by curbtender View Post
Its bent enough that at first I thought it was backwards.
IKR I first thought this was a joke thread after seeing the first photo.
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Old 06-19-22, 08:03 PM
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Stick a fork in that fork, it's done.

Sorry, guy. I really feel for you. I have previously bought something I was SURE was going to be JUST THE THING!! and gotten all excited, only to find that it was, in fact, very much NOT "the thing". And aluminum and carbon, I don't think I'd trust it if someone bent it back straight, either.
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Old 06-19-22, 08:26 PM
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What a shame since it is such a beautiful bike.
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Old 06-19-22, 08:51 PM
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From every angle it looks like that fork was involved in a front end collision.

It reads to me like applying pressure at the preload cap causes the crack at the front of the crown race to further give way and separate. As the headset bearings are being compressed, the steer tube would be being placed under tension.

I mean, that's how the system works, right?
That could be what we are experiencing here. Total system failure.

In any case, whatever the mode of failure, or degree of failure, I'd toss it. It has failed, period.
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Old 06-19-22, 09:08 PM
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That fork looks very badly bent.
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Old 06-19-22, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
From every angle it looks like that fork was involved in a front end collision.

It reads to me like applying pressure at the preload cap causes the crack at the front of the crown race to further give way and separate. As the headset bearings are being compressed, the steer tube would be being placed under tension.

I mean, that's how the system works, right?
That could be what we are experiencing here. Total system failure.

In any case, whatever the mode of failure, or degree of failure, I'd toss it. It has failed, period.
You nailed it. In 90% of these cases I say just ride it, not this time. Sorry, just not worth the risk of the downside.
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Old 06-20-22, 09:06 AM
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these pics can be misleading. The 1st seems to show some backward orientation of the crown/blades, but at the angle taken and with the wheel turned strongly to right, the image can be misleading. The only pic which has a somewhat reasonable view is the last one, and there it's hard to see the alignment of the headset components... But, is that a 'paint' chip in the crown shoulder?
That could indicate a stress flaw from possible fork/wheel frontal impact. But again, I don;t write things off just from internet pics... which don;t indicate a certain fault/flaw and could be misleading.
Before you remove the lower fork race and if you have an accurate measuring tool - If the steerer is 'factory' trimmed, the distance from the race to the top of the steerer should be the same at all compass points around the race...
IF, the measurement is NOT the same at any point, then there's an issue. Some possibilites 1. The crown now sits at an angle to the steerer, and possibly indicate a front end strike in prior history.
2. In the process of 'painting', the paint was not distributed evenly and now cause the race to sit on the crown at an angle. Paint/seating issue...
If it's a 'paint' thing, there are things which can be done to seat the race properly (if the 'glass' test shows the steerer is 'straight - if the steerer isn;t straight then you have mulitple problems and possibly the result of a strike and possible future failure?).
It's really up to your inspection of the fork BEFORE the repaint was done. - A good, side-on pic of everything assembled, with wheel in, from a distance, done square on not an angle, can give a better - but not conclusive - indication of misalignment. Forks from that period bike were not fully straight blades, and didn;t have as much fork rake curve as prior generations of bikes - so it's really difficult to determine issues. WIth old school forks, the upper run of the fork blades were ALWAYS in parallel to the head tube/angle. On modern straight blades, they're never in parallel... LOL!
Most Bike shops will pop the races on, assemble and then adjust - if it binds, especially on any 'used' bike, their not gonna hunt much further - fork/bike are toast to them and they're not gonna spend time trying to figure out any further... which is totally expected and reasonable on their part.
Again, it's worth the effort to truly define the issues, not go by internet opinion.
Ride On
Yuri
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Old 06-20-22, 09:23 AM
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IF the old, original fork is OK, and all you want is a little higher stack to the bar top (hence the longer steerer idea) . If an 'inch' (25mm) is enough higher stack, Then get over the stem angle thing and get a stem allowing the higher stack OR
Get some bars with built-in rise. There are plenty of choices available.
I just noticed, at our usual post-ride coffee stop, that one of my good friend/ride buddies has a riser bar on his very expensive Spec Bike... Amazed that I hadn't noticed that before, he's had the bike for well over a year... but it didn;t look 'weird', looked 'normal'... perceptions change, especially as age creeps into and dominates the equation... LOL!
Personally, I don;t like long steerer projection, 25mm+ over the top race cover. 'Looks' are one thing, but possible bending (alloy steerer) and stress failure (CF steerer) from constant pounding, would worry me some...
Ride On
Yuri
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Old 06-21-22, 10:59 AM
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Thank you guys very much for taking the time to discuss my issue. I'm 99% sure that the fork was damaged during the repainting process. But well, when its not meant to be, its not meant to be. It's pretty hard to find a matching fork like this one again though. I'll buy a regular carbon fork because I want to ride the bike this summer and pretend that I'm Mr. Lance Armstrong flying the Pyrenees in his prime time years at the Tour.

Thank you and stay healthy! 🙏
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Old 06-22-22, 05:18 PM
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If you have a local frame builder who has a fork table that can be checked quickly, our local guy Andy Gilmour was happy to help me by checking a questionable fork.
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Old 06-24-22, 02:04 AM
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Not sure based on the photos. Some shots suggest the fork is bent but other shots do not show obvious damage. I'd trust the shop opinion that actually examined this fork in person over what this forum can speculate from photos that may just be dependent on the angle/lens.
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Old 06-24-22, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1 View Post
Something sounds off. I do not see how a bump on a blade could affect the steer tube. I think either the explanation was wrong, or, maybe misinterpreted. A couple of the pictures look to me like the fork may be bent right at the junction with the lower part of the head tube. That would explain the issue. Is the steer tube aluminum?
How I understood the writing, the bump is left over damage when the fork bumped onto something so it can simply be an uneven surface (when the owner possibly tried to repair or hide the damage with epoxy), probably invisible in the pictures but can be felt if you run your fingers on that part of the fork.

The obvious damage in the pictures is the fork bent backwards, visible from the bottom crown race. I wouldn't trust a fork like that. It's likely involved in a front collision or previous owner fell into a giant pothole at high speed.
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