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Is 6 vent holes in a fork enough? And, is this drunk monkey business repairable?

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Is 6 vent holes in a fork enough? And, is this drunk monkey business repairable?

Old 12-17-21, 08:01 PM
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Is 6 vent holes in a fork enough? And, is this drunk monkey business repairable?




​​​​​​"Won" a Raleigh Competition on Ebay. On closer inspection there are 4 extra vent sized holes drilled through the fork blades. They don't particularly line with each other. The Ebay seller-pro-bike-flipper-guy thinks I'm being fussy.... Theoretically would it be sufficient to strip the chrome and fill the random holes with brass?

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Old 12-17-21, 09:00 PM
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Given the early 1970s bike boom demands and Raleigh's known consistency issues then I have no surprise at the holes not lining up.

What's the goal w/ this fork? Why do the holes have to be gone? Andy
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Old 12-17-21, 09:08 PM
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My concern is that there a 4 extra unnecessary holed drilled willy nilly in the fork, besides the standard 2 vents. 3 of the additions are in the middle of the blade. Even if they lined up like there was a plan, I would be concerned about stress risers and such. If they don't pose structural problem, I still really don't like having a bunch of random holes drilled through a fork.

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Old 12-17-21, 09:22 PM
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The second issue is how the fork was offered. Were the holes shown or mentioned? If so than you have no claim. If not then maybe. IIRC the usual was for a hole up near the crown and another near the drop out for a total of 4 holes between the two blades. Andy
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Old 12-17-21, 09:50 PM
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Went and stared at it again, and looked at another Raleigh fork that has a total of 4 vents, 2 at the bottom and 2 up higher, above the chrome line. So it could be a factory drunk monkey feature. Perhaps after the fork was made with 2 right side blades, and the fix was to drill 2 extra holes...

So I can fill these with brass?
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Old 12-18-21, 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater View Post
Went and stared at it again, and looked at another Raleigh fork that has a total of 4 vents, 2 at the bottom and 2 up higher, above the chrome line. So it could be a factory drunk monkey feature. Perhaps after the fork was made with 2 right side blades, and the fix was to drill 2 extra holes...

So I can fill these with brass?
Yes, remove a little chrome and paint in the vicinity. Either silver in a piece of rod the same diameter as the hole, or just blob some brass on it, either works fine. Braze the hole quickly as you can, but if doing brass I'd probably wave the flame over it just a bit after I was done to slow the cooling a bit. With such a small braze, the self-quench can be fast enough to get a local hard spot. Silver (done right) doesn't get the steel hot enough for the self-quench to matter, so no extra time needed, get in and out about as fast as you can, and don't burn the flux! Faster brazing = smaller heat-affected zone in the steel, and less burnt paint.

File & sand it down, hit it with some black rattlecan and ride proudly.

Don't worry about strength, those blades are plenty thick.

Mark B
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Old 12-18-21, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
. With such a small braze, the self-quench can be fast enough to get a local hard spot. Silver (done right) doesn't get the steel hot enough for the self-quench to matter, so no extra time needed
Mark B
I hadn't thought about creating a hard spot. With that in mind, would it be a good idea to do any blade rakeing and alignment work before filling the holes?

From the loss of chrome and the miss alignment of the drop outs I'm going to guess the fork blades have been tweeked already a bit.

The steerer tube threads are also a bit suspect with a huge not so "flat" filed into the steerer, and a bit of previous cross threading sign.

The frame itself, I've only noted one absolutely cockeyed braze on and what might be a bulge seat tube at the bottom bracket. That could just be a lump of brass under the paint.

The seller offered me a partial refund, which is fine I guess, as he is certainly not responsible for Raleigh's quality control lapses, or to advertise the bike as a "breath taking example of bike boom drunk monkey nuttery"....
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Old 12-18-21, 02:18 PM
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Interesting that the OP has concerns about common vent hole but not re raking

I suggest doing any mods to the fork before using heat on it. Andy
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Old 12-18-21, 02:34 PM
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I think we've determined that 4 are common. 6 are exceptional. Be nice or I'll ask you to do the work...

It looks like the steerer threads went off axis when someone chased them, so that's something else to check as far as my evaluation..
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Old 12-18-21, 06:58 PM
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I hope the steerer's cross threading is from a race or top nut, only mushing the threads about, and not a die that cuts. Andy
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Old 12-18-21, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
I hope the steerer's cross threading is from a race or top nut, only mushing the threads about, and not a die that cuts. Andy
Its die cut. Theres a distinct transition between the old threads and new and the Raleigh branded threaded cup stops on it.

I'll clean the head set up and put it back together with new ball bearings and see if it binds.
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