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comreich
07-22-2009, 12:33 AM
After 1000+ miles on my High Roller I figured I should give an update -- and thank Brad again for such a great design. If you read through my build diary at http://comreich.ods.org/~reich/highracer/ you would have found out that I cut the head tube down to fit a 20" fork as an experiment and in order to return to the 26" suspension forks, I had to cut about 1.5" out of the steerer tube. To put everything back together I put in a support tube and then welded the pieces of the steerer together. It all went together well and that's what I've been putting miles and miles on since I got laid off.

This set of forks has taken me on a couple of 40+ mile rides, the latest with multiple climbs of 10% grades and 45mph downhill runs. I've bounced up and down curbs, over root heaves and the rough gravelly stretches of construction zones on our bike path. Apart from the creaks from the sprint braces, the bike has been rock solid and a blast to ride.

All of this ended on Saturday. Sixteen miles into a ride I was coming down a small hill and braked to make a sharp right hand turn back onto the bike path. Since I had to negotiate a bollard right in the middle of the path I was going quite slow but I still hit the curb with quite a lot of force. I heard something snap and the bike got real squirrelly and the first thought I had was that the bolts holding the sprint braces, or even one of the braces themselves had broken. Anyway, the bike and I hit the pavement. I wasn't hurt (not even road rash :)) but when I picked up the bike the front fork and wheel fell away :(. It turns out that I snapped the weld on the steerer and obviously didn't get any penetration to the reinforcing tube for support. :dunce2: To add insult to injury, I broke the brake lever and I have no spare V-brake levers.

Anyway, I've since rewelded the steerer and tinkered with the bike for a while. It doesn't handle quite as nicely now so I think there are issues with the headset and the repaired fork (since I also cracked the original headset).

So, next steps? After taking my DF for a 20 mile ride I'm convinced more than ever that my DF riding days are over. This means that I can either sell the bike or part it out and since it has such a nice chromoly fork with a 1" steerer that happens to be about the right length....

In the mean time, I'm going to be riding my LWB until I get the High Roller running again. I'll keep y'all posted as to how it changes.

GregLWB
07-22-2009, 09:52 AM
After 1000+ miles on my High Roller I figured I should give an update --
All of this ended on Saturday. Sixteen miles into a ride I was coming down a small hill and braked to make a sharp right hand turn back onto the bike path. Since I had to negotiate a bollard right in the middle of the path I was going quite slow but I still hit the curb with quite a lot of force. I heard something snap and the bike got real squirrelly and the first thought I had was that the bolts holding the sprint braces, or even one of the braces themselves had broken. Anyway, the bike and I hit the pavement. I wasn't hurt (not even road rash :)) but when I picked up the bike the front fork and wheel fell away :(. It turns out that I snapped the weld on the steerer and obviously didn't get any penetration to the reinforcing tube for support. :dunce2: To add insult to injury, I broke the brake lever and I have no spare V-brake levers.
So, next steps? After taking my DF for a 20 mile ride I'm convinced more than ever that my DF riding days are over. This means that I can either sell the bike or part it out and since it has such a nice chromoly fork with a 1" steerer that happens to be about the right length....

In the mean time, I'm going to be riding my LWB until I get the High Roller running again. I'll keep y'all posted as to how it changes.

comreich - glad you're okay. Hope that you can get it back to rideable condition soon. I have found that I really like riding my HR, although for much shorter rides than yours (usually less than 10 miles).:)

Greg

Radical Brad
07-22-2009, 12:04 PM
Thanks for the story - glad you were unbreakable!

Crank up the current a bit, rewled and you will probably never see a broken weld ever again!

Brad

alecw35
07-23-2009, 05:45 AM
At the bike shop I worked at they had a steerer tube threading tool.
I took a few forks to get threaded.

I have also used an old head set to thread the steerers down a little.
Takes ages doing that though

likebikes
07-23-2009, 06:55 AM
Hello comreich,
Glad you weren't hurt in the fall, I had to find out what a bollard was to try and get a picture of what you were doing!
Just curious as to what happened to the bike. Were your components chrome moly tubes? I looked at your pics and I seen that you used a round main tube and I read earlier about your shortening and lengthening the head tube. Did you use a mix of ChroMo and mild steel? I've had some difficulty mixing the two but I don't think I've welded ChroMo to other ChroMo yet. And I was wondering what kind of welding you do? Gas or electric? type?
I think the rear triangle on my LWB is ChroMo but not really sure, the rest of the donor bike was so I guess it was all ChroMo but those rear triangle components have a different feel than the main frame tubes. I still don't really know what I'm doing but I've been blessed with success thru no fault of my own! :wings:

Kevin

SirJoey
07-23-2009, 01:36 PM
Comreich, glad to hear nothing was hurt but the bike & your pride! :)

Just be thankful you weren't flying down a hill, full tilt, at 30 or 40 mph! :eek:


http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/7131/sirjoeysigmedij1.gif

comreich
07-23-2009, 06:34 PM
Hello comreich,
Glad you weren't hurt in the fall, I had to find out what a bollard was to try and get a picture of what you were doing!

Yeah, that's my Security background coming out :) I like the sound of the term rather than "that stupid post they put in my path" :rolleyes4:



Just curious as to what happened to the bike. Were your components chrome moly tubes? I looked at your pics and I seen that you used a round main tube and I read earlier about your shortening and lengthening the head tube. Did you use a mix of ChroMo and mild steel? I've had some difficulty mixing the two but I don't think I've welded ChroMo to other ChroMo yet. And I was wondering what kind of welding you do? Gas or electric? type?


The bike is a mix of stuff. The rear stays are from the chromoly forks off my old mountain bike. The main tube is basically mild steel, the head tube is probably mild steel and the boom is chromoly (I think) from the top tube of another donor bike. I have a "squirt gun" -- a Lincoln Electric MIGpack 140 running flux-core because I'm too cheap to run gas at this point. At this point I haven't had any problems (that I know of) welding mild steel to chromoly and I don't suspect that it's really a problem from a metallurgical standpoint. The issue is usually that chromoly tubes in bikes tend to be thinner so that they're a bit trickier to weld.

As for the steerer, it was just poor workmanship on my part. I welded it without fusing in the support tube and then, when I cleaned up the weld I probably thinned the base metal as well in order to get the bearings down to the race. It's gone back together okay and after putting in a new brake lever and cable housing the bike is ridable again. It feels a little different but I think it may be that I tightened the headset a little too much.

alecw, in hindsight I should have taken the forks in to get threaded, but the one shop didn't even have the tools for 1" steerers, and the other had the tools but weren't confident that the die would cut new threads. So I took the "easy" way out. A new set of forks is about $35 so I might just spring for a set when I'm working again.

Thanks all you guys for the good wishes. I'm looking forward to many more miles on this bike and hanging out here. Joey, I'm so glad I didn't crack this up at 45mph screaming downhill. But I tell you, even at that speed the bike was stable as a rock and it even felt slower because it's so stable.

KoolKat
07-23-2009, 07:09 PM
Whew - glad you're OK.

I nominate comreich to put his building and riding experiences in an article format to be included in the September newsletter.

All in favor, say "I"!

GregLWB
07-23-2009, 09:13 PM
Whew - glad you're OK.

I nominate comreich to put his building and riding experiences in an article format to be included in the September newsletter.

All in favor, say "I"!

I'll second that.

Greg

SirJoey
07-24-2009, 08:06 AM
I'll 3rd that! :jester:


http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/7131/sirjoeysigmedij1.gif

Shadowwalker65
07-24-2009, 08:45 AM
I will 4th that:hippy:

Maddog
07-24-2009, 12:12 PM
I'll 5th that (Jose Quervo)

jimFPU
07-24-2009, 12:40 PM
(Thread Hijack: good to 'see' you Maddog!! We need to see some build pics!)

likebikes
07-24-2009, 01:25 PM
I will probably begin wearing helmets now... It's this :rolleyes4: or this :builder2:

KoolKat
07-24-2009, 03:46 PM
Woo hoo! Comreich has agreed to submit a story for the September issue.

Radical Brad
07-24-2009, 04:53 PM
One day I think you might have to publish your own magazine!

Brad


Woo hoo! Comreich has agreed to submit a story for the September issue.