[CR] WTB: In serious need of help

(Example: Framebuilders:Mario Confente)

To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Wed, 5 Aug 2009 22:01:56 -0700
From: donald gillies <gillies@ece.ubc.ca>
Subject: [CR] WTB: In serious need of help


I sympathize with your fork problems because I've been in the same situation, twice.

Finding a vintage fork to complete a vintage rebuild is one of the difficult problems in restoration. All the money saved on components and/or tatty paint can be expended in moments in the purchase of a single vintage (custom) fork.

For the first time in several years, we have many new 1" forks being made in high quality tubing. These cost about $70-$120, and are a terrific valuej. If you find something with a close crown, I would not hestitate to get one as these high-quality 1" forks which may not be produced indefinitely. Primary producers are Surly, Soma, and IRD:

http://www.surlybikes.com/forks.html http://store.somafab.com/framesandforks1.html http://store.interlocracing.com/castfo.html

If you absolutely have to have a perfect restoration - either today, or in 5-10 years when you save the money for a repaint - the next best thing to an original fork is a custom fork with the right crown. Richard Sachs has a good supply of fork crowns in vintage types, and the last time I talked to him, he was quoting $300 to make a custom fork with parts from his stash (no paint or chrome). Given his level of workmanship and attention to detail and stash of vintage parts, this is a good value.

Mercian cycles in the U.K. can also make forks for about $250 (no paint), but they have fewer vintage fork crowns.

Here are most of the modern crowns available today ;

http://www.framebuilding.com/NEWPARTSPAGES/Cast%20Fork%20Crowns.htm http://www.novacycles.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=44_378 http://www.bikelugs.com/store/index.php?intCategoryID=8 http://www.henryjames.com/productlug.html#crown http://www.richardsachs.com/rsachstoys.html

Also, check ebay as frame builders occasionally sell off their excess fork crowns. Search sporting goods for "fork crown". The best situation is to find the crown you want or need, buy it and take it to a framebuilder to build your fork. Even if you don't have the bucks for a full-custom fork, you might get a production fork and buy the right crown for much, much later.

Another choice is to search for "531 fork" on ebay. I find that U.K. ebay has a larger supply of reynolds 531 forks than USA Ebay, usually at affordable prices ($15-$75, depending on used/NOS condition.) I have 3 times in the past found NOS Raleigh/Carlton forks (all on USA Ebay). A good frame builder can often change the length of the steerer tube for about $75, but my attempt at this (with a NOS fork) resulted in a cracked fork crown, and something I call my "maybe_fork" :

http://www.ece.ubc.ca/~gillies/maybe_fork/pc280010.jpg

Which I don't think is safe to ride ... *sigh*.

Olmo, as a mass production shop, also likely supplied forks to dealers they might show up on ebay once a year, perhaps ...

As for determining upon EXACTLY the right crown for your olmo, in the absence of catalogs (www.bulgier.net), the fixed gear gallery has many closeup photos of Olmos - perhaps you can find a frame that matches yours, and see what kind of a fork crown it has ??

http://mdcclv.com/fgg.pl?string22=olmo&submit222=fix+me+up

http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/2008/aug/4/NicoloLavoratori.htm http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/2008/apr/1/RiotBMX.htm#image_2 http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/2007/oct/2/WadeHaskell.htm

(perhaps you could get a cinelli-copy crown and take it to an engraver to have 'olmo' engraved in it ??)

http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/2007/sept/3/NicShepherd.htm#top

(a modern copy of this crown is made by richard sachs: http://www.richardsachs.com/rsachstoys.html, but you'd need to get a star and 'olmo' engraved into it.)

- Don Gillies
San Diego, CA, USA