Fitting a fork is one of those things that most bike owners don’t get to do very often, so they find it difficult to justify the cost of a professional tool to do the job.
If you fall into this category – or you’re just a bit tight – then you may want to know how I built my own version of this very simple tool.
The pipe needs to be cut to length, but should be at least a couple of inches longer than the longest steerer that you’re likely to encounter.
The 40mm coupler is pretty much the exact size required for the crown race that I was fitting, but you may want to take your crown race with you, when purchasing the parts, to make sure it suits yours.
The purpose of the length of pipe, is not only to keep the 40mm coupler in line with the steerer (as the pipe’s internal diameter is a pretty good match for a 1 1/8 steerer tube). Unfortunately, the 40mm coupler doesn’t fit onto the 32mm pipe, so the 32mm coupler serves as an adapter shim, between the pipe and the 40mm coupler
Couplers, err, coupled…
Couplers attached to the pipe…
To use the tool…
- Slide the crown race into the steerer by hand, pushing it firmly into place, as far as it will go, making sure that it isn’t sitting at an angle.
- Place the tool over the steerer tube, until it is sitting flush againt the crown race.
- Hold the pipe in one hand and the crown of the fork in the other.
- Turn the whole thing upside-down, and tap the end of the pipe onto a hard surface (concrete floor, etc) whilst maintaining a gentle downward pressure on the fork crown.
- A few firm, but careful, taps are all that should be required.
- Check that the crown race is seated evenly, and that there are no visible gaps underneath it
- Fit the fork to your bike.
A few points to note…
- There is no need to glue the parts together, as the alignment is good enough for the way that they are used.
- It may be possible to mount a 1 1/8 inch crown race, by using just the pipe and the 32mm coupler, but I haven’t had the chance/need to do this yet – maybe somebody can check the sizing and let me know.
- This worked for me, but you will have to use your own judgement, as to whether you want to do it yourself , or get your LBS to do it for you.