What vintage fork will fit a 3-inch tire?

wret

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Feb 24, 2014
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I've had a bug in my head lately to build a leaf spring front fork. I'd prefer to start with a vintage bicycle fork but I think width might be an issue. My current tires are 2.75" and might some day have to go to 3".

Anyone know of a vintage style fork that will fit a tire that wide?
 

wret

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Thanks! That looks perfect. It didn't occur to me that guys are making and selling replica truss forks. I found a few old ebay listings but maybe someone is still turning them out.
 

curtisfox

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Dec 29, 2008
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The one you posted says 2 7/8" wide & 7 1/4" is a girls longer tube..............Curt

MEASURES 7-1/4 '' Long top fork is 2-7/8'' wide bottom is 3-1/4 wide
 

MotoMagz

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This is a 3" wide tire fork is a Cuda from bicycle designer. I used only the fork part. Front are tierods from go carts and hemi joints. The fork comes with rockers that except disc caliper...but I had a very wide rim so mine are thick stainless thanks to Mr C Fox.Leaf is attached to bottom of fork. Had a threaded piece inserted in opening and welded in. Harold looking good!
 

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wret

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That's a fascinating build you've got going on there Harold. I've been following. It would be great if I can find that fork. I'm using motorcycle tires and rims so I need about 3.5" at the upper part of the fork. It seems like vintage bike forks are out of the question. Waiting for an answer from the guy you bought from Harold. In a mean time I found another guy building them:

http://www.ubbcentral.com/store/ite...vintage-motorized-bike,-raw_162116983270.html

I don't think they are quite as attractive (or authentic) in appearance without the tripple reinforced crown, but it looks like an option.

Motogaz, it looks like took apart a springer fork? I have a Monark fork but it's not wide enough and I wouldn't want to try to bend it.

I also played around trailer springs and have decided they are too thick. I may try some old snowmobile sprints as others have done. I'm really set on that curled under loop.
 

wret

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Feb 24, 2014
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Vintage Ski-doo springs. I couldn't find any contemporary springs that were thin enough and wide enough. These seem just about perfect. I now might be able to give a little advice on spring bending if anyone wants to try something like this.

I found there are a couple guys selling some fairly realistic vintage/replica truss forks. Apparently there is not a huge market for them though and it seems there are not many in the pipeline. If I kept searching and pestering the vendors I might actually get my hands on one. Meanwhile, after considerable thought, I've decided that constructing the fork itself might be within my skill set after all. I just need to borrow a better welder.

One possible dilemma I haven't worked out in my head yet: how does one flatten the fork tubes? Bike frame component suppliers sell straight conical fork tubes. Leaving them round wouldn't really bother me but I'm trying to keep this as authentic as possible.
 

curtisfox

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Dec 29, 2008
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Yes would really like to know how you bent the springs? flaten fork tubs in vice Big one ) or hydraulic press....................Curt
 

wret

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This may seem obvious but the shape of the bend in the spring is highly dependent on the form you bend it around. A good blacksmith might be able to do this over an anvil but my practice bend on a trailer spring was not pretty.

I was working on setting up a bending jig using two straight hardwood boards I had laying around when it occurred to me the parallel sides of my harbor freight pipe bender would be nearly ideal to set up my jig. I used a stack of large washers for the "mandrel". The only other fixture in the jig was an anchor where the eye rests. I'll link a simple sketch. Whatever you use for a jig, you need to be able to anchor it so that can resist your 100 or so pounds of bending force. Keep the anchor close to the mandrel to get a nice round shape in the bend. Mine started out a little flat close to the eye.

You might be able to get the spring to bending temperature with a propane torch but I found that the torch used with my bucket forge (see youtube) worked well to heat a six-inch or so section of spring. I'm no expert on heat treatment of steel and after heating and bending it probably should be tempered, but I've seen several accounts of home mechanics that have heated and bent springs with no ill effects.
 

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indian22

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Dec 31, 2014
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Wret the Simplex fork that Racie35 metioned is what I've used for my Harley Peashooter build. I added girders & elimination of the coil springs while changing to leaf should be easy. The 1957 Simplex fork measured 3 7/16" at tire height of 27.5" with plenty of height available for taller tires. The steer tube is 1".

Shouldn't be too hard to find one of these either. Rick C.
 

indian22

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Wret this is a small motorcycle fork used on the Simplex Servi cycle built in New Orleans starting in the 1930's to late 1950's, check my Old guys Simplex (last few posted pages so you don't get lost in the Copper Gator info) thread to see the fork used in my Harley Peashooter build. I fit it (1957 fork) on one of Pat's Sportsman pedal bike frames. Rick C.
 

wret

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Feb 24, 2014
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Thanks for the information Rick. I took a look at Simplex forks. They do look great! I would feel bad cutting up a vintage fork as much as I would need to to make it look right and I fear there wouldn't be much of it left and the wheels are already turning on how to set up a fork assembly jig.

Curtis, I did find fork blades available pre-flattened. I do have access to a press but that takes a little of the guess work out it.