What vintage fork will fit a 3-inch tire?

Discussion in 'Board Trackers and Vintage Motorized Bicycles' started by wret, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. wret

    wret Member

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    Thanks Gilbert. You are right. the true test will be to see it rolling. I'm happy that it looks good but "works good" is more important.

    I had to take some time off yesterday obviously but I spent the last couple of days fitting the wheel/brake and clearing up some minor clearance and alignment issues. I'm very happy with the way it it works. I felt pretty smart for a moment, then reminded myself I had only copied a hundred year old design.

    Painting now and then we'll see!
     
  2. wret

    wret Member

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    Disassembled, painted, reassembled, and installed.

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  3. indian22

    indian22 Active Member

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    Wret your fork is a very impressive piece of work and complements your beautiful fabrication to date. Hope you've some good weather to test ride...looking forward to reports of your impressions. Best in the coming new year. Rick C.
     
  4. Mr.B.

    Mr.B. Well-Known Member

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    Pretty cool!
     
  5. wret

    wret Member

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    Well, we've had several very nice days here in Maryland and I've had a chance to ride around town a bit. I'm very pleased that I copied the design closely enough so that it articulates perfectly. It absorbs and dampens bumps extremely well and the reaction under front braking is manageable.

    One thing I didn't like at first is that the static loaded position was at the bottom limit of travel. The main reason for this is the curve of the leaf springs is a little more than what I planned. I succeeded in straightening some of the bend with my vice but after bending the handle a few times I called it quits. I could have done better with a hydraulic press. I had anticipated this during fabrication and welded on some bump stops so that my grease cups would not be the travel limiters. I don't know how the original design limits travel. A couple of weeks ago, after a lot of thought, I used my already trashed power plain to make an aluminum wedge that I inserted at the back of my spring stack. This gave me a bit of slack at the bottom of travel.

    Another slight modification I made was a rubber bumper inside the spring loop. I have seen that as an add-on for the original fork. It limits the flex of the loop, which is probably a weak point due to my heat treatment.

    The other concern is that upward travel will bring the tire in contact with the spring stack. Hasn't happened yet. I've deliberately rolled over some pot holes but nothing too extreme. All in all I'm extremely happy with the function and the look. It's had a lot of guys doing double takes and snapping photos.
     
  6. indian22

    indian22 Active Member

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    Wret I'd be surprised if you hadn't encountered some type of problems with a one off leaf fork build, trial and error is just a part of the process. I lift you up as a good example of building it and adjusting as you go. I've never built a leaf fork, but your experience is encouraging me to do so and I'll wager mine will require some adjustments or even redo's along the way as well.

    Good work! Rick C.
     
  7. wret

    wret Member

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    Thanks Rick, the members here are an endless source advice and inspiration. Nearly everything I've done has been done before (and probably better). Knowing a thing is possible before you start, always makes it easier.

    I thought I'd mention, I considered threaded adjusters when fabricating my spring struts. It would not have been too difficult to add them. This would help immensely getting the pre-load right. I was trying to make a faithful copy though and decided against it. Your design might not have this restriction.
     
  8. indian22

    indian22 Active Member

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    Wret I'm going to make a mental sticky about the addition of pre load adjustment to the leaf fork. I feel the idea holds merit & still look period correct. The more I view the early English & continental bikes the more I'm astounded by the variety of approaches presented by early fabricators to design functional sprung forks, so there may be examples of adjustable leaf forks being used. I would be surprised if they're not. Rick C.
     

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