Fork it!

29 07 2011

Sharon wants to get rolling again...

So Sharon needs a new fork for her Surly Cross Check. That’s no problem Surly sells replacement forks, but they only come in black. Rather than trying to get a paint match that might or might not work out we were thinking of getting the new fork chromed for a little front end bling. I’ve never gone down that road so if anyone knows a thing or two about the process and any likely problems we should look out for let me know. The other option is to strip her frame down and get the new fork as well as the frame powder coated together.


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20 responses

29 07 2011
jman22

Chrome plating is a very cool process. The thing that will save you the most cash is to have the part to be chromed ready to be plated. Most of the labor for chrome plating goes into the polish. You will want the part to resemble a chrome mirror finish prior to plating. Any small scratch or nick will show after the plating is complete. It is well worth the effort to do it right. I am in MN and was able to find a chrome plating facility in my area. I contacted them and turns out the owner was a bit of a bike geek like myself and was very willing to take on the project.

The polishing i did was using a stand grinder (1/2hp) and polishing kit from http://www.caswellplating.com. The result was well worth all the effort, as I saved some money, but more importantly, looking at it i knew i did all the work to make it bling!

29 07 2011
thelazyrando

Mind if I ask what you paid?…I have no idea what to expect for a cost.

29 07 2011
Gareth

Getting a Surly fork and having it stripped and chromed is probably not the only way to get this result Vik, it might be better to get the Surly fork dimensions and buying a bespoke never painted chrome fork. This would cost you about £250 in the UK (which I think is about $425 Canadian)

29 07 2011
DanSwick

Soma has a really nice chrome cyclocross fork. It’s got a nice-looking curve as well – http://store.somafab.com/soclcucyfo.html. Looks like it’s the same rake as a cross check fork, but slightly shorter axle-to-crown.

29 07 2011
thelazyrando

Ahhh…if the chrome route is that expensive I’ll likely strip her frame and get it powder coated with the fork. For $425 I can nearly get a whole new CC frame in the blue she likes.

29 07 2011
Gareth

If these forks fit they would be an amazingly cheap alternative

http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_info.php?products_id=10828

29 07 2011
jman22

my part was a custom built seatpost i believe i only paid $20 and some patience. had to wait until they had extra room in their tanks. good luck!

29 07 2011
ratwell

Soma recently introduced a new line they call Classic Curve Forks:

http://store.somafab.com/soclcufo.html

There’s a chromed flat top crown model with cantilever studs.

Modern forks tend to be kinked at the rack eyelet and the touring forks from the 80′s had a gentle curve that started at the same place. This fork is more similar to the fork on your Boulder bicycle with the curve starting lower down with the rake coming out about the same.

I’ve been to ordering one for a couple of weeks now. Fairfield can bring them in SO or you can order them direct.

My bike is dark blue and I think this fork would look sharp on it. I’m just sure not convinced the factory fork isn’t doing a good job for the $200 it will cost me to experiment.

29 07 2011
Gerco van Vulpen

Can’t Surly provide you with the paint RAL-number. That way it should not be to hard for a professional paintshop to get the fork in the right colour.

It will definatly be the cheapest option..

29 07 2011
Lucienrau

Up till this past model year surly didn’t use colors with RAL codes. They switched this year so you should be able to get the code from them for a color match. I had this conversation with them a couple of months ago. 2011 models and forward should be able to be matched pretty easily.

29 07 2011
John

Ask at your paint place. My local powder coast place now carries “mirror effect” powder coat. From further than a few inches away, out looks like chrome. Its more resilient than chrome, doesn’t rust, chip, or need constant polishing. Ok, you need to do a bit of surface prep, but just like with regular powder coat, any minor blemishes will be covered, but a perfect coat needs a perfect surface.

There is TIGER Drylac MIRROR SILVER 49/91260, which looks very much like a mirror finish, and then there is TIGER Drylac Xtreme Chrome 49/90177, which does need a clear coat top layer, but does finish up with a drool-worthy shine.

Costs vary, but are less than chroming, especially if the point booth its already doing a job

29 07 2011
Mike Croy

I have a carbon fiber fork that if the steerer fits it’s all yours. I cut the steerer tube too short on my first try. Whoops.

1 08 2011
Alex

Tange has good forks as well, but there are perhaps better options listed above. http://tange-design.com/

RAL colors are pretty limited in the blue department. i would be surprised if this Surly is a RAL blue, but i hope for you it is!

@John: I would be VERY surprised if any powder coat was more resilient than chrome: there’s a reason it’s used on taps, faucets, chair bases etc etc.

1 08 2011
Alex

me again. looks like the Soma forks are the Tange forks. maybe custom spec’ed, i can’t find these exact forks on the Tange site, but still . . . good choice.

1 08 2011
Christopher Grande

Be sure to look at all the measurements for the fork you buy–a different fork can completely change the geometry of the bike. It seems like a good opportunity to get a low-trail replacement that could handle a bar bag better, but that’ll probably mean the custom route which requires the monies. Otherwise I’d just get a Surly X check fork again.

2 08 2011
lovetocycle

Call surly and see if they can send you a blue fork. I had accident with my misty mountain grey crosscheck a few months after I bought the bike and I called up surly and they were able to send me a new grey fork.

3 08 2011
Chris Cullum

Maybe I missed the lead-up to this but what happened to the original fork?

3 08 2011
heather

Yeah, did the fork get damaged in her accident? I can only guess that is what happened. Yes, with a new fork you could go all low trail and write a thesis about how the ride changed. An alternative to chrome is nickel plating which costs less. The finish is a bit different, or you could just get the paint matched and have a new fork painted. The robin’s egg blue is so sweet, would be a shame to repaint the whole thing. Another option is as others have said to source a chromed fork that is the right size.

9 08 2011
Rocket

Can I ask why she is riding drop bars, didn’t she used to have h-bars? I’m curious b/c I was thinking of getting the H-bar for my wife b/c she hates drop bars, but I’m nervous the the h-bar set up would be too wide for girlie sized shoulders…

9 08 2011
thelazyrando

@Rocket – that’s an older picture. I wanted to post a photo of her riding where the fork was fully visible just to illustrate the post and that one fell to hand. Her bike no longer has drop bars on it.

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