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Discussion Starter #1
Had a nasty experience last Thursday on my favourite high mountain road in Mid Wales when a powerful cross-wind gust threw the bike into a fence on the side of the road and left me sprawled next to it. The bike came down on its right side and the crash bars stopped too much damage but when I got it upright the front wheel and bars weren't pointing in the same direction, so had to limp the last 10 miles very carefully. Looking at it later the bars definitely don't line up with the steering head, but it's really difficult to tell whether the forks are bent as well and what's going to need replacing. Anyone else had a similar experience and is there a simple way of checking the fork alignment without special equipment? Unfortunately I'm back in London now and the bike's still in Wales so I need to go back armed with replacement parts and sort it out. Any suggestions gratefully received.

Roger
 

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OK, you could be lucky, the front end might have only twisted in the yokes.

On the otherhand, if there are bent parts these are most likely to be...

1. Handlebars/levers - this'll be obvious
2. Fork legs - you really need to take the legs out and have them checked, unless you can see an obvious bend (usually right under the bottom yoke).

To be honest I wouldn't buy any bits for it until you know it's not just twisted. Slightly slacken the top yoke pinch bolts, mudguard/forkbrace and the four nuts on the axle clamp - just loosen them a bit mind. Push the bike forward into a wall/tree/car (not your own) so the front suspension compresses. Repeat a few times and the bits should be untwisted. Don't forget to tighten up all the bolts.

Best of luck :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks - that's really sound advice - will definitely give it a go before buying anything.
 

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twowheelkelly said:
Had a nasty experience last Thursday on my favourite high mountain road in Mid Wales when a powerful cross-wind gust threw the bike into a fence on the side of the road and left me sprawled next to it. The bike came down on its right side and the crash bars stopped too much damage but when I got it upright the front wheel and bars weren't pointing in the same direction, so had to limp the last 10 miles very carefully. Looking at it later the bars definitely don't line up with the steering head, but it's really difficult to tell whether the forks are bent as well and what's going to need replacing. Anyone else had a similar experience and is there a simple way of checking the fork alignment without special equipment? Unfortunately I'm back in London now and the bike's still in Wales so I need to go back armed with replacement parts and sort it out. Any suggestions gratefully received.

Roger
Sorry to hear of your misfortune,

As Jim say's it could be just twisted in the yolk's, also check the wheel spindle isn't bent.

A quick way to check the fork's is to drop them out of the yolk's (you'll have the pinch bolts slackened anyway), remove the springs and see if they slide freely throughout their full stroke.

Good luck, Phil
 

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Quick & Dirty tip: Put a piece of glass or a mirror across the fork legs. If it tilts, they're not straight and/or parallel...
 
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