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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fork Exchange...almost

I was going to swap out the heavy shock fork for a lighter aero-tube 10-speed fork from a 70s or 80s bike, and it looked like a good plan.

I knew I'd have a problem with the brake distance, since those v-brakes you see on the gold fork are set up for a 700c size wheel (I think), and I'll be using a 24" wheel, but I had a couple plans for that...however Murphy was watching again:

--first, the wheel I needed to use has a wider spacing than the fork was made for, by maybe 5mm or more. Ok, I can spread the dropouts.

--Then, the axle is larger diameter than the dropouts, by at least 2mm. Ok, I can file the dropouts a little bit, or use the axle from an older wheel that's made for these forks.

--I don't have any axles that small that will *also* work with the bearings and races for this wheel.

--Filing the dropouts will weaken them a little. This is a really heavy bike, and for a while will have no suspension, until I find all the stuff I need for the headtube shock.

--If I use the smaller axles out of the 10-speed wheel, they'll be too short to fully secure with the nuts on the wider wheel with the dropouts spread enough to fit. That could be dangerous.

--If I live with the nuts being not fully threaded on, the races still aren't large enough to press the bearings fully against the hub's races, even if I use larger bearings. That means the wheel will rattle around on the axle. Very bad idea.

--Since it's a 24" wheel on a 26" (actually 700c, I think) fork, it'll need something to extend the old v-brake arms far enough to actually work on the rims. Cutting the slotted section off some other brake arms and bolting them on wouldn't be long enough by far, it'd need at least two of those, maybe three. So I'd have to take some aluminum bar I have and drill it and bolt it on, to get the length.

--Even if I use that, none of the regular brake handles I have use the right mechanical advantage to pull the vbrake hard enough to even touch the rims, so I'd have to use the old style brake handle, which requires reworking some stuff on the bars to make room.

I think I had some other issues but I can't remember them right now, with all the other stuff above.

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