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  1. #1
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    Fork Install with Regular Tools

    Will I fuck up my new fork doing any of these?

    -Install the star nut with a screw driver down the center hole and a rubber mallet.

    -Cut the steerer tube with a Home Depot pipe cutter.

    -Install the 1.5 crown race with a 2 inch PVC pipe and a rubber mallet.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTsession View Post
    Will I fuck up my new fork doing any of these?

    -Install the star nut with a screw driver down the center hole and a rubber mallet.
    use pliers to pinch the bottom row of flanges on the star nut a little bit. This will help it go in straight, which is the biggest problem you'll have. Instead of using a screwdriver, screw an appropriately sized bolt into the nut and hammer on that. Use a regular hammer - rubber mallet won't work well.


    -Cut the steerer tube with a Home Depot pipe cutter.
    if it's a steel steerer, you'll be fine. If it's aluminum, you'll probably end up with a sizeable flange and have to do a bunch of filing (which isn't the end of the world). If you have an old stem that you don't care about, clamp that on the steerer and then hacksaw it. You can use the top of the old stem as a guide.

    -Install the 1.5 crown race with a 2 inch PVC pipe and a rubber mallet.

    Thanks.
    That should be fine, as long as the pvc contacts the crown race cleanly. Preferably you don't want it to contact on the bearing surface, although I don't think PVC is going to do much damage.

  3. #3
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    +1

    I have done all these things before successfully. Just take your time and it will be just as good as if you use the "proper" tools.
    "Always remember to be yourself. Unless you suck" Joss Whedon

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTsession View Post
    -Cut the steerer tube with a Home Depot pipe cutter.
    No worries there. As toast mentioned, you will want to file the top of the newly-cut tube to make sure you don't screw up the seals when installing the headset. Also, be careful to make sure the cutter doesn't start to "walk" during the first revolution. That is, make sure it ends in the same spot you started. This is usually more of a problem when the cutting wheel gets a little older. I like to do a couple of very light revolutions to start forming a groove, then once that's in, you're good to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by VTsession View Post
    -Install the 1.5 crown race with a 2 inch PVC pipe and a rubber mallet.
    The flanged metal tailpipes for kitchen and bathroom sinks works perfectly - the flange on the tailpipe will sit right on the crown race. Best of all, these come two sizes, which happen to work great for either 1 1/8" or 1.5" forks. I usually put a block of wood or something on top of the end of the pipe to better distribute the pressure of the blows from the hammer.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the tips guys. This is easier than I thought.

    My trip to Home Depot was a success. For $7 I got 1 foot of 2 inch steel pipe. I can't imagine the $50 Park Tool could work any better. The crown race popped on so easy. $30 pipe cutter worked perfectly too. I just need to get the star nut in.

  6. #6
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    Big advantage of the Park crown race setter is there are fittings for different sizes and bearing contact surfaces. Chris King and Cane Creek also have their own fittings, which are really nice to help save the rubber lip that higher-end races include. Even the slightest deformation to the crown race can result in a headset that is difficult to adjust - could result in a 'tick,' the steering wanting to 'center' itself, sometimes even in the wrong direction, or bearings that are tight in one direction (sometimes even binding), and loose in another. Setting the crown race carefully can help avoid a lot of these issues. Higher-quality sealed bearings also help - a lot. Loose balls were/are a lot less tolerant of imperfections.

    There are few things uglier than taking off a headset spacer or two and revealing a butchered steer tube. If I were buying a used bike and ran into this, I'd steer clear. Maybe most people wouldn't mind. Should be fine if you use a cutting guide, or take your time with a pipe cutter.

    Star nuts are a bitch to remove - even if you're drilling it out. Best to take your time on this one. I'd put a 6mm bolt that you don't care about in one, and using a hammer, get it going in, and then don't forget about the ability to tap the bolt laterally to keep it going in straight.

    Cliffs: be careful, go slow.

  7. #7
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    Most shops will have a star nut installer, they will do it for you cheap or if you are kewl let you barrow it to DIY. A 6er works pretty well for the latter.
    watch out for snakes

  8. #8
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    I use a piece of PVC pipe to set crown races; it's soft (softer than the Park tool, which is brass), so I don't think it'll hurt anything.

    I bought a headset press from Nashbar on a sale; they're around $35, and work fine. Not as smooth as the Park tool, but much cheaper.

    Also picked up a star-fangled-nut setting tool from Nashbar, around $8 IIRC, and much easier than tapping it in with a bolt threaded into it. Goes in straight every time.

    For cutting a metal steerer tube, I just mark the desired cut with tape (a little longer than I actually want), and cut it with a hacksaw. This never cuts straight, so I clean it up and trim it down to the desired length with an angle grinder. Works great, easy to smooth off the exterior burrs too. Not the prettiest result, but so long as it's smooth on the outside cut, who cares.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  9. #9
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    The star nut was kinda of pain the ass. I may get a that Nashbar setter for future use. I ended up taking a clear wax scraper and laying it flat on top the star nut and gave it one good whack with a rubber mallet. From there I used a bolt and regular hammer to straighten and get it set down far enough.

    Even though the pipe cutter worked great, it did leave a little lip and some burs. It took a bit of filing to get it smoothed out.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Star nut is easily installed using a socket and 3" or 6" extension.
    Just find the right size socket that fits just inside the "folds" of the star nut and hammer on the extension.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jer View Post
    After the first three seconds, Corbet's is really pretty average.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Malcolm View Post
    I mean, it's not your fault. They say talent skips a generation.
    But hey, I'm sure your kids will be sharp as tacks.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTsession View Post
    The star nut was kinda of pain the ass. I may get a that Nashbar setter for future use. I ended up taking a clear wax scraper and laying it flat on top the star nut and gave it one good whack with a rubber mallet. From there I used a bolt and regular hammer to straighten and get it set down far enough.
    Next time, you can bend the bottom row of flanges in more and it'll make it easier. I usually bend them to the point where they barely grab on the walls of the steerer. This makes is so the bottom row of flanges basically acts as a guide, and the top row is what holds the nut in. Works like a champ, and I've successfully avoided buying a nut-setter for 15 years.

  12. #12
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    I've used a chunk of bamboo to set a crown race.

    For all future crown races I'll be cutting a notch in them and making them split races.

  13. #13
    Hugh Conway Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    For cutting a metal steerer tube, I just mark the desired cut with tape (a little longer than I actually want), and cut it with a hacksaw. This never cuts straight, so I clean it up and trim it down to the desired length with an angle grinder. Works great, easy to smooth off the exterior burrs too. Not the prettiest result, but so long as it's smooth on the outside cut, who cares.
    Use a miter box to cut the steerer tube or drill an apropriately sized hole in a chunk of wood. dowel for the star nut

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    For all future crown races I'll be cutting a notch in them and making them split races.
    What does that do?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by knumbskull View Post
    What does that do?
    you don't have to hammer them on - they just slip on by hand. Downside - some headsets don't like split races and you end up with a permanently loose headset.

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