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Builder's Corner Restoration and preservation. Keep them running in perfect shape. What size is your bottom bracket?

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Old October 18th, 2015, 11:50 AM   #1
Sauce
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Default Short Fork

Hoping I can get some advice. I have a fork that was cut about 3-5mm too short for my 1990 Wicked. I was wondering about having the head tube faced. I could probably get a couple of mm from both end but worried this would compromise frame or Change the geometry. I am using a Dura Ace headset that from what I've found has a very short stack height and would rather not use a different fork. The fork is teal and is a nice contrast to the candy frame. Advice and thoughts would be appreciated.
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Mike
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Old October 18th, 2015, 2:34 PM   #2
jpicard616
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It would change the frame geometry, but wouldn't compromise the integrity of the tube (assuming the head tube isn't butted) as long as the welds are untouched. That being said, you have to make sure that you maintain around 13mm on the bottom end to accommodate your lower stack (so that it won't bottom out against the down tube during insertion). Professional frames are always built with a lower stack height in mind, and I can't imagine a reason for having excess head tube extending below the down tube. So you might not want to face any off the bottom at all, because you could risk ruining the frame.

If I were in your shoes, I'd find a fork with a longer steerer.
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Old October 18th, 2015, 10:15 PM   #3
Sauce
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Thanks for the reply. Not what I wanted to hear but the truth hurts.
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Old October 19th, 2015, 12:20 PM   #4
rick
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you can also have the steer tube extended. I have not had this done myself, but know a few people who have done this with zero problem. Might be a bit heavier, but if the fork is special, it might be worth it
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Old October 19th, 2015, 12:33 PM   #5
I-ROBOT
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My 2 Cents

Here's my two pennies

The head tubes on the Wicked (and regular Fat) are machined from thick-walled 4130 mechanical tube. Without having my own Wicked right in front of me, I believe that the thicker ends of the head tube are about 5 - 6 mm in length (as opposed to the machined center) Since you have a 1990 Wicked, I will assume that it has a chin gusset which is welded to the bottom of the downtube and the head tube and only leaves about 2 - 3 mm of the thicker section showing. You can face the bottom of the head tube a little bit as long as you leave at least 2 mm of the thicker section extending beyond the weld of the gusset. I would not take more than 1 mm off of the head tube here though, this area is highly stressed during hard trail riding especially with a unicrown fork (assuming this is what you have) and will alter the geometry by a small amount (head tube angle will increase)

There are two other areas where you can gain some space. The top of the head tube is subject to far less stress and that can be faced down about 2 mm and this will not change your frame geometry. Both of these can be done with the correct tool, good cutting oil, and the confidence and skill of an experienced bike mechanic.

One other option is to turn down the crown race on the fork. You may be able to gain another 1 - 1.5 mm here but this will change the frame geometry a little bit just as facing the bottom of the head tube will also change the geometry a little bit. Is that enough to notice while you are riding? I can't answer that for you.

In order to turn the crown race on the fork, I would recommend that a machine shop with a decent lathe be employed to do this. Look at your crown race carefully and see if there is a enough material there to turn a millimeter off of it before even contemplating this.

Best of luck and keep us posted
Scott
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Old October 19th, 2015, 7:42 PM   #6
Sauce
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Hi Scott,
Thanks so much for the cost benefit analysis. Just what I needed. I will let you know what happens

Regards
Mike
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Old October 31st, 2015, 8:00 PM   #7
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Definitely have the fork steerer extended. Just ask around to find the right guy in your area.
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Old January 18th, 2016, 12:28 PM   #8
Sauce
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Default Update

Tried an XT headset instead of the Dura Ace that it came with. Shorter by a couple of mm's and although I've only had it out a couple of times it has held so far. Thanks again for all the advice. Nice to have access to this group. Should post pictures but my feeble attempts to master the process has come up short.
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