Should I Wait to Install My Fork??- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Should I Wait to Install My Fork??

    I'm planning on upgrading my fork here pretty soon, but I'm not sure if I should go thru the trouble of installing it just yet. A new headset, stem, and handlebar are also in my near future, and I'm starting to wonder if I should just install them all together. The fork I'm riding on now isn't exactly awful (although it isn't exactly great either), so it's not crucial to get a new one on ASAP.

    So, would it be easier just to break it all down at once? I wouldn't have thought much about it, but when I decided to go ahead and get a new headset too, I thought I might just do it all together.

    Also, are there any special tools I need to keep in mind for the following upgrades? I want to work on this bike by myself so I can start to figure everything out, and I'll take a lot more pride in my ride afterwards.

    Thanks in advance!!
    I'LL FUNK ANYTHING THAT GROOVES

  2. #2
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    I would wait. You may have to disconnect the brakes from the fork (in one way or another) to get the fork out later to remove/press the headset. depending on your setup.

    I would be a pain if you have to go about adjusting stuff multiple time.

    unless you have lots of free time...then go for it


    Tools...hm. Depends on what you have.

    Integrated headsets don't really require any. If your bike is a soft material (ex: aluminum), I feel that the chances of you having a integrated headset are low. Without an integrated headset, you would need a a bearing cup remover and a headset press.

    (Some people make these tools cheap from the home cheapo because they are expensive. You can too, but using them is dependent on your mechanical ability and judgement. You want to be careful using a home made press cause you can screw up you head tube if you don't press it evenly. The press can be built with some threaded rod, washers and nuts, and some plumbing supplies)

    A fourth hand tool is convenient when adjusting non-hydraulic brakes.

    idk what else I can think of...i'm still pretty new to bike repair, but I think everything I stated is pretty accurate

  3. #3
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    If you do install the fork first, leave a little extra length when cutting the steer tube, in case the new headset and stem have a taller stack height.

    In case you don't know already, Park Tool's website is great.
    http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  4. #4
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    I'd wait as well. If you have the Cutting tool, installation tool and removal tool for headset then it's ok to just DIY. If it's not urgent then the LBS can do it to you all at once and pay them only once.

  5. #5
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    I'd like to install myself, but if the headset needs special attention I might just take it in.
    I'LL FUNK ANYTHING THAT GROOVES

  6. #6
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    ahh...forgot about the cutting tool (the guide for the hacksaw blade so you get a clean, straight cut)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkolb86
    ahh...forgot about the cutting tool (the guide for the hacksaw blade so you get a clean, straight cut)
    I think I can do that. I have access to a plumber's tool box.

    Right now, the headset is really the only part concerning me. The rest seems to pretty much just bolt on and make sure it's all straight and even.
    I'LL FUNK ANYTHING THAT GROOVES

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by zjenni01
    I'd like to install myself, but if the headset needs special attention I might just take it in.
    Well for starter you'd need a

    Vice to clamp the fork
    Saw of some sort to cut the steerer
    Star nut installer
    Crown race installer
    Headset installer
    Crown race remover
    Torque wrench would also be a great idea.

    These tools can cost you anywhere from $100 to $400. I'd say wait and take it in.

  9. #9
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    I bet that if you were to show up with the fork and front end apart, you could ask the to just remove/press the headset, they'd probably do it for $10-15.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885
    Well for starter you'd need a

    Vice to clamp the fork
    Saw of some sort to cut the steerer
    Star nut installer
    Crown race installer
    Headset installer
    Crown race remover
    Torque wrench would also be a great idea.

    These tools can cost you anywhere from $100 to $400. I'd say wait and take it in.


    ahh forgot the star nut installer + star nut


    Tools are expensive. If this is the only bike you plan on doing this too, i'd say take it in. It would be cheaper than buying the tools.

    Shouldn't be much for them to do that stuff. $50 or under for the whole job i'd say. A bike mechanic (somebody who has a lot of experience and tools) should be able to do the whole job in well under an hour)

  11. #11
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    You need to identify the type of headset you have. The newer designs don't require any tools. I'm a little curious why you want to change it. I have a decent one and an expensive one. Don't notice the slight difference on a trail. You may want to clean and repack the bearings if it's not smooth.

    Many of us install forks with just a hacksaw and use a socket to set the star nut. Because of the way it's designed, the cut doesn't have to be laboratory straight. You can usually remove the crown race with a flathead screwdriver.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlouder
    You need to identify the type of headset you have. The newer designs don't require any tools. I'm a little curious why you want to change it. I have a decent one and an expensive one. Don't notice the slight difference on a trail.

    Many of us install forks with just a hacksaw and use a socket to set the star nut. Because of the way it's designed, the cut doesn't have to be laboratory straight. You can usually remove the crown race with a flathead screwdriver.

    Integrated headsets (types that don't need to be pressed in) are bad for aluminum, so they aren't frequently used on aluminum frames. Look up the specs on your bike and find out if it is Integrated, semi-integrated, or a traditional headset (semi and traditional need to be pressed)

    I agree with the cut on the steer tube about not having to be straight, but it looks prettier when it is



    i also questioned the reason for replacing the headset, is it not some sort of sealed assembly (cheap headset)? Personally, the only time i've seen a headset that needed to be replaced was a cheap one that let water and such in...but I am not a bike mechanic

  13. #13
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Wait until you have the headset, then get the fork and headset installed by your shop.

    The other stuff is pretty easy.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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