Friday, March 18, 2016

The One True Bike - Part 3 - Fork

WARNING: Unrelenting tedious detail of interest only to mentally unstable bike freaks follows. Read at your own risk of nearly fatal boredom.


Picking and buying a fork for a bicycle  should not be a big deal. Yet, I agonized. I ebayed and online shopped and brick and mortar store shopped and big-used-bike-part-store shopped. I researched, debated and dreamed about forks (honest). That was all before I bought the thing.

Let me back up a bit. I wanted a carbon fork for this bike. That made little sense, because in many respects I wanted this bike to be a very durable. Steel would have been a more rational choice. Thankfully, when building your own bike you can do whatever you want. My fixie had one and godammit I just wanted this new bike to have one too. In the immortal words of Selena Gomez, the heart wants what it wants, y'know***?

That said, there were some pretty great steel offerings; the usual good stuff from Surly (Cross-Check fork) and this lovely chromed thing on ebay (go to ebay and search cross fork):





As you can see, this fork has canti studs and fender eyelets, a requirement for me on this build. The fork pictured above would have been $200 US after delivery, then add taxes and duty. The Surly fork was better, at about $130 US and there are some bike stores that can get me Surly stuff in London now. No matter how I slice it though, the declining value of the Canadian dollar is really hurting me on costs. Canada has almost no good online sources for inexpensive bike parts. The UK has been my best friend for most bike part purchases, and this was no different.

Where was I? Ah yes, steel forks. The steel forks available were elegant and a little retro looking and fully awesome, but somehow I just couldn't see them on this bike. My stolen fixed gear had a similar frame and a carbon cross fork from Nashbar, and I loved that setup:


I was pretty philosophical about the loss of this bike at the time, but honestly, I miss this bike like crazy. I poured myself into that build, obsessing and agonizing over every little thing and loving the result more for it. This build is about making a bike I will love MORE, so I am obligated to torture myself even further. Woohoo!

So, for many mixed up reasons, I ended up getting a fork much like the last one, but with some nice graphics on it!


The frame has a tapered head tube, but I'm making up for the non-tapered metal steer tube on the fork by doing some mix-n-match top and bottom headset stuff. This is mostly because tapered forks were pretty much all full carbon, which was more expensive plus I worry about my caveman wrenching methods combined with a carbon steer tube. I did however, search high and low for a reasonably priced tapered fork with those damn canti studs and fender eyelets for a long damn time before going with what I knew. Did I find any? I can't even remember now. I feel like maybe Whiskey and maybe one other manufacturer made one, but prices were too high for the likes of me. 

This fork is a combo of strong and sexy, kind of like Snow Face. You don't know Snow Face the ass cameo dog? You can meet him a few places on this blog if you search Snow Face, or, for adorable youtube videos, follow this link!

I bought the Deda fork from Ribble cycles in the UK, to my door all-in for $171 CAD. By the way, if you're looking for a carbon cross fork with canti studs, there's this or Nashbar's carbon cross fork for under $200. After that, expect a steep price jump and trouble finding fender eyelets unless you're willing to try some of those straight from China ebay deals. I like to think my search was so exhaustive that I am 100% on this info, but if I'm not, please let me know in the comments and I will edit this and add some links.

I know I have mentioned brand names and retailers in this post. Please know I have received nothing from anyone for writing any of this.

Now, the cost tally:

Used frame                                                50.00
Headset cup removal tool                            fear (0.00)
Deda Cross Fork                                         171.00

Total                                                         221.00



May Your Steer Tube be Ever Uncut,
R A N T W I C K


*** Google analytics has informed me that 97% of my readers are Russian girls and women 15-26 years old using Netscape Navigator browsers, so that's why the pop culture reference. For the rest of you, please replace "Selena Gomez" with Emily Dickinson for an I'm-so-smart reference or for the more mischievous among you, Woody Allen for a kind-of-ewww reference.


PS - That very same fork is now listed at 215 CAD on ribble. I think I used a coupon code at the time, but that price went up for sure. Maybe they were slow to adjust to the sliding Canadian dollar? Damned if I know. Yay me!

6 comments:

cafiend said...

More info than any of us ever anticipated about how you fork yourself. :-D

Steve A said...

I've been looking for a fork for my fixie that would give me clearance for fenders without messing up the bike's stability. Not real hard,, but it'd be nice on those rainy Ocean Shores mornings.

RANTWICK said...

cafiend - it was pretty forked up

steve - despite all that tedious detail, I forgot to mention keeping an eye on rake and investigating the angles on the original Trek... fenders are our friends, especially in Ocean Shores, I would imagine.

Steve A said...

Rantwick, are Ontario flags at half mast in honor of Ford's passing?

RANTWICK said...

Toronto flags perhaps... he had many diehard supporters, as crazy as he was. RIP JF

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