Welded steerer tube, safe or not?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    one chain loop
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    New question here. Welded steerer tube, safe or not?

    Pardon the big pictures.

    I just got this very nice old rigid fork. It is a Segmented Tange Struts. Unfortunately, I am not aware that the steerer tube has been welded to make it longer as this fork is used to be threaded. The welds look decent and upon inspection, there is a tube welded within the steerer tube to make it more structurally strong, i suppose.

    Question, has anyone done this before or I am just asking for a Darwin award? I hate to let it go but if I really have to, it just sucks.

    As far as SS content, this will be mounted on a SS bike. Thanks.





    Last edited by fishcreek; 06-10-2008 at 04:35 PM.
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  2. #2
    Hit The Road Cyclery
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    As long as the weld isn't right at the top of your headset you should be fine. Back in the early days of mountain biking, some builders would weld or braze non-threaded sections onto threaded steerers to use the precursors to threadless stems, and some of those are still being ridden. The fact that it also has an inner sleeve makes me think that the welded part is probably stronger than the rest of the steerer. Besides, if it does start to fail, it will make a creaking noise that should tip you off that something is wrong well before it breaks off. It's not going to just explode and leave you with your hands in the air .

  3. #3
    DG5
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    All forks are welded together somewhere.Usually in much more highly stressed locations, The leg to steer tube junction sees a tremendous amount of abuse and it almost always holds together.....almost.It should be fine. IMO

  4. #4
    Out spokin'
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    Looks like whoever did the welding did a good job of it. I'd offer a recommendation about using it (or not) but I'm not qualified. Best of luck!

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  5. #5
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    I personally would not use it on anything other than a commuter bike (or a bike that doesn't see a lot of hits)...

  6. #6
    one chain loop
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    Smile

    Judging from the advices, I think I will give it a go. Wish me luck. Thanks guys.
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  7. #7
    Devolution is real!
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    I love the look of that fork. I would not be worried about the weld.

  8. #8
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    That thing has got to be as heavy as sin.

  9. #9
    one chain loop
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    That thing has got to be as heavy as sin.
    900 grams, not bad actually considering it is triple butted.
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  10. #10
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    Apparently, looks deceive. 900g is not bad at all.

  11. #11
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    You might as well take the gamble. I mean, if it fails we're only talking about your life here right?

    Forks are cheap. Wheelchairs and caskets aren't.
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  12. #12
    exacerbated member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    Looks like whoever did the welding did a good job of it. I'd offer a recommendation about using it (or not) but I'm not qualified. Best of luck!

    --Sparty


    I have the opposite opinion on the weld. A good weld will be very uniform in width and this uniformity will be an indication of uniform penetration, which is key to a good weld. I am not saying this weld will definitely fail, only that it would not pass inspection as a structural weld.
    Another consideration is how or even if the weld was quenched to re-harden the adjacent material.

    If you want to use the part I would recommend a Brinell hardness test adjacent to the weld to see if it matches the hardness say 4 inches from the weld.

  13. #13
    one chain loop
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    Don't worry guys, I haven't mounted it yet. Having second thoughts actually. I really like this fork but the location of the weld and the actual weld itself is holding me back to use it.

    So the question is: Is there any way to salvage this, welding method, TIG? or just keep it as a vintage junk.
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  14. #14
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    On a city bike used as a commuter, I wouldn't be unduly worried. But I wouldn't use it on a bike taking any kind of hits. Forks are cheap compared to the cost of fixin' yer face

  15. #15
    Danarchy.
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    Worst comes to worst, if I was unsure about it I'd probably cut it at the weld and do a real nice cleanup job then re-weld it myself so I know that if it breaks it would be my fault also you'd prob have more faith in it afterwards than you do already.
    It looks fine to me especially if they put a piece of pipe inside, just ride it gently then little by little throw more at it.
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  16. #16
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    is the weld gonna be in the headtube?

    just ride it. i've seen that done plenty of times. nothing bad ever happened.

  17. #17
    one chain loop
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    actually the weld is just above the headset, having a short headtube length. im not gonna ride it like that.

    i was thinking of having it cut and rewelded so it will be somewhere inside and center of the headtube.
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  18. #18
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    There are a ton of reasons not to ride this fork. Keep in mind yes forks have welds but at the ends usually where manufacturers know there is going to be heat, they put more material there besides when the reinforcement tube was welded in was there any heat treatment done after to cure the tube? If not you could be looking at at brittle piece of metal that can give way at any time. I was lucky when a fork broke on me I only ended up with 37 stitches on my upper lip chipped 7 teeth and had 14 more stitches on my forehead (yes I was wearing a helmet) and a 5grand in doctor bills. You may want to check with the guys in the frame building forum for this one though.

  19. #19
    Ride Responsibly
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    One idea, maybe two, Have a complete tube welded to the crown, or turn it into a truing stand.

  20. #20
    One What?
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    You could try X posting this in the frame building forum.

  21. #21
    NormalNorm
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    Being a welder myself....i wouldnt ride the fork. A few things stick out to me.

    It looks like it was painted then welded. Not good.

    Also, the weld looks like crap....which to me, it was done by someone that has no idea about welding. Ideally, it would be welded with a purge gas.

    I would use it below the weld line or scrap it. Not worth it IMO.

  22. #22
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    Hey guy,

    Despite it being a nice vintage design, the "repair" makes the use of this fork seriously suspect for your long term health.

    Here's why I say that;

    Fork steerers can be repaired, but it takes a knowledgable fabricator with the proper equipment. Ideally, a thicker length of tubing will be turned down in the lathe to provide a 2-3 inch section that will press into the existing steerer and butt up against the shoulder tightly. The extension within the steerer will then be bullet welded at the lower end and butt welded at the joint. All this MUST be done in a fixture to insure proper alignment.

    The issue we have with your fork is that...

    1.) we have no knowledge of the competence of the fabricator who took on the repair...often these are a "I've got a buddy with a welder in his garage that can do it" tasks. Who do you trust your safety with?

    2.) It is difficult to tell the length of the overlapping internal butt and if it is afixed at all in the lower end.

    3.) the weld at the butt joint is not uniform and does not show proper internal depth penetration...it is run too cool and simply sat "on top" of the joint.

    4.) the final location of the the weld above the headset is a very poor area for it to reside for both the stress and the unfinished surface.

    So...I'd not use the fork. But I think you had already come to that conclusion, yes?

    cheers,

    rody
    As requested by the MTBR gods, I am the voice of Groovy Cycleworks, check it out... http://www.groovycycleworks.com

  23. #23
    one chain loop
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    yes, i believe this fork is a POS. thanks for your time guys. lesson learned from buying online.
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

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