Lugged mountain bike fork

This lugged crown is from Pacenti ( and it’s beautiful.  “This crown was modeled after the very rare and highly sought after crown Tom Ritchey designed for Bridgestone many years ago.” 

It fits any sized MTB tire you want (74mm clearance), except for fatbike tires obviously. The only think you have to do bend the 28×20 fork blades to get the proper rake since the crown is not offset. I’ve bent a total of 2 sets of blades so far so I am far from experienced in this, but this time I got lucky and it went very well. I set a ‘stop’ on the wood bending mandrel and bent to the stop, checked what approximate rake i was at, then re-set the stop and inched up to what I was looking for (44mm rake).  I only had to do one bend prior to getting it spot on.  Without a guide to cradle and hold the blade while bending, i worry about getting side-drift in the legs so when you sight down the fork one or both of the legs spays in- or outwards.  I think these turned out though as seen in the photo.  I used the crown and angle finder to get the blade as close to vertical in the bender as possible (not sure how others do this other than just eye’ing it).

The brazing went just OK. For some reason at the last minute i decided to go from Silver to Brass as the filler for the crown and legs.  I thought ‘how hard could it be?’  Well…the left side had messy shorlines until i kinda ‘got it’ and then the right leg turned out really pretty good…minimal cleanup with the Riffler’s file.  The left leg on the other hand…   Bad brazing really makes you want to get good at brazing since there’s little to no filing or cleanup after soaking off the flux.

If you are learning to build frames and forks, I highly recommend Kirk’s 4 part series blog on building a fork and frame just for the stepwise pictures alone.  It’s great to have a master outline his process so that lessers like myself can benefit from his years of experience. Here are my build shots for this fork.  It’s on my frame #10 the All-rounder frame with small tires right now for cross season but it’ll usually have some 2.o’s on it.

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