I finished up my first ‘regular’ segmented fork yesterday (no sleeves). I spent the better part of two days building and painting it before mounting it up to the short-stay 29er last night. I don’t practice my tig welding as much as I used to but I still think they turned out pretty good. I am still refraining from using the pulser on the machine and just pausing a microsecond while dabbing the filler rod before continuing.
The color patterns from the heat affected zone (HAZ) is so cool! I’m starting to be able to ‘read’ these color patterns. You can see where i angled the torch too far to one side, where i got a little too hot, where I didn’t clean up the tubes or filler rod enough or use enough argon purge.
The full fork all welded and aligned. The droputs are cast plugs from Ceeway this time, I just wanted to try to silver braze them in since I actually like their design. But I think I’ll mostly use Paragon dropouts not only because they’re made in the US but also they’re just better quality IMO.
The finished product on a test ride this morning. Not too ugly of a color combination, eh?! (That’s what I get when my local hardware store is my only source of paint!) At least it’s totally camo if I pop a wheelie in the forest. Except for the damned white stem…gotta replace that with something else. White is NOT the new black, it’s just ugly.
The bike rides really nicely with this fork. The specs are: axle to crown = 470mm, 51mm offset, fits any sized tire you can find, weight? forgot to check…oops, and it ends up giving the bike 86mm of trail. Ironically, this makes it feel relatively ‘twitchy’ since i’ve been riding the adjustable rake fork with well over 90mm of trail! I dig the feel of 86mm with the 69 degree head tube angle, but I think I may try for even more trail next time – 90 sounds about good…! I’ll also need to shorten the top tube and front-center length (distance between the center of the BB and front axle) as this bike is stable but too long in the front (25″ TT, 720mm front-center length). The short stays don’t do much for easy wheelie-popping if the front-center is too long. But as I’m almost 6ft 2″ tall and mostly torso (32″ inseam)…what to do?
Spring is in full effect in the foothills right now. Lots of new wildflowers just popped up this week including Blanketflower, Indian Paintbrush, Black-eyed susans, along with the Columbines.