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I'm considering a springer fork for my 67 Typhoon.
The original Schwinn springer forks are obviously expensive, so what is the best quality reproduction model to buy?
Also, if looking at original stuff....do all of the 26" springers fit the Schwinn middleweight frames? I'd really love to find an original Schwinn springer that's all rusty and dull looking.
What about other original brands like Sears, JC Higgins, Monark, etc....will they fit a Schwinn frame?
I've used two of the repop springers (not made by Schwinn) and have had to modify both to get things to line up properly. I have a third one that is much,much better quality but I have no idea who made it.
The two repops were used on '67 & '61 Schwinn middle weights.
Out of the box, the spring and the tab on the headset would not line up. The misalignment was about 1/4" - too much to to force things together (IMHO) The was remedied by turning the steer tube on a lathe to get the lower headset bearing race sitting closer to the the pivot point. There was more than enough material to do this without compromising strength.
Judging from the number of old Schwinns out there with new springers, I suspect others may not have had the same difficulty that I did. I suspect that some brands fit better than others. The trick is knowing which is which - non of the repops I have show any branding
As for other style springers, most, if not all brands used 1" threaded headsets. So, if the steer tube is long enough, it should be workable. (in theory anyways...)
Hopefully some of the guys here with non-Schwinn springers can fill in the details for us.
yes an aftermarket springer will fit. the steer tube may be too long and it will have to be cut. the only thing i would suggest is having a bike shop install the lower crown race onto the fork. oh yes and some schwinn races will not fit the aftermarket springers so watch out. you will need a 1" steer fork. only thing i don't like about them is the chrome is kinda cheap. i would think that monarch repop fork would fit basicly as long as the steer is long enough, and it is 1" it will work.
PRESIDENT of The Hooligans B.C. c.c OF SACRAMENTO
10-4 on the quality of some of these 'no brand' springer forks.
I bought a project bike that has an aftermarket springer...it kinda scares me. The whole thing depends on that 'T' at the bottom and the single bolt that goes through the forks. None of the bolts have any 'grading' on the heads. If I keep it I believe I will replace all bolts with graded hardware.
Also the spring is like 'one rate fits all'...maybe for a 12 year old who weighs 100 lbs. I'm a big boy and well...this will not do. I'm thinking of taking that joke spring out and replacing with a stack of quality skateboard bushings (rubbers for the trucks). It will still have some give but not dive an inch or two when I get on. I like to RIDE my bikes.
I might just junk pile it...I see electra have a springer front end, anyone ever see one in person??? There stuff seems a little better quality. That is the tough part of buyng 'deals' on the internet, sometimes when you get it is isn't such a deal.
the electra fork is a bit better but is basicly the same deal as the others. not sure but if schwinn is still doing the locking fork repop those are very nice. other than that the monarch repop looks nice too.
PRESIDENT of The Hooligans B.C. c.c OF SACRAMENTO
Yes yes...that Monarch is fine lookin. Just saw that thread. Solid. Man sized . Might have to drop Firebikes a line.
But more $$$...My rat rod has turned more 'resto custom' as the bucks get spent. dang it I'm going to have to start over again on a real rat bike .
If you decide on the Monarch forks, be aware that they are not an easy fit onto Schwinn Cruisers. The headset parts provided are not compatible with the Schwinn bearings and cups, and the tube is a bit too short. It's a shame, too... because they are nice looking forks.
Everyone knows that SHEEP are stupid.- (from the movie BABE... and oh so true!)
The nice thing about the springers is the steer tube can be replaced with the proper size easily, since the whole thing bolts together. I think the replacement one I bought was close to 12" long, which would fit all but the largest of frames (but most any cantilever style frame I can think of).
I even found (and purchased) a bike that came with canti post on a springer fork.
It don't make her a bad girl, but it does make her popular.
I got one of the Monark repop springers and put it on my Nirve, looks pretty good I think. Although a close fit as the steerer tube was only 6 5/8" long. You need to carefully add up the stack height to make sure you can use it. In my case the steerer tube is about 5 1/4 inch tall had to use a set of headset reducers(~2-3 mm total height) to get the 1 1/8 head tube down to 1 inch to use the fork. Used an older Ritchey logic headset(~30.2 mm ccups) with stack height of ~38mm. The top plate is about .25 inch thick, I just made it, top not gets about 4-5 turns on it. Used a quill to aheadset adapter to use the stem I wanted.
Here's a pic;
That having been said, I was underwhelmed by the quality of the Monark repop springer fork after I began to mount it on the bike. I will probably end up removing it due to all the creaking due to fit issues as follows;
1) There is no press fit for the crown race(i.e. the steerer tube does not neck up to anything near the 26.4 mm crown race most 1-inch headsets require like schwinns), it fits sloppily on the steerer tube which is ~26.2 mm. Exchanged emails with the guys that makes them and I think he copied a Monark fork that had the crown race stuck, unaware of how the last 1/4 inch of the steerer should look.
2) Whatever jigs are used to make the 2 fork pieces have super loose alignment. The fork tabs were pointing in all different directions, the main fork is not square to the front tire and the front fork piece is not square to the rear fork. I've gradually bent things to be a little better, but to get the fork tubes in proper alignment may mess other things up like the finish.
3) The fork should have had washers or spacers on either side of the springs, I put some SS washers in and things worked generally better. Springs were eating at both the rubber above and the stud mounts below(which also have poor alignment).
4) If you intend to use it with a modern hub, the side plates need to be mounted on the outside of the fork and file out the mounting slot for a 3/8 axle. The fork mounting plate hardware is also poorly chosen IMHO.
Thanks for the detailed writeup. Because parts like these usually aren't available at the local bike shop, the first time most of us actually get to see these parts is after buying them off the net. This kind of real-world info, both good and bad is very worthwhile to know before plunking down the cash.
I wonder why they made the steer tube so short? The original is probably short, but making the steer tube 1" longer to fit a broader range of bikes seems like a no-brainer
i used a lowrider springer that looked like the origional...it was a perfect fit.
I've also purchased a lowrider springer and used some of the parts w/origional springer parts (see 'Orange bike').
I believe I brought up that same steere tube length issue with the seller, but he's very defensive it seemed to me and most of my comments to him probably won't be addressed. He just came back with "we've sold hundreds of these ...". I think you would need to face down the head tube on many Schwinns to use something like this.
Looking back, the crown race situation is actually a little worse than I described above. In addition to the steerer tube being just a straight wall going down through the decorative "chrome" shoulder piece to the fork crown, there is also no solid shoulder square to the steerer tube for the crown race to sit on. I shimmed the tube with some foil to keep side to side slop down, but the chrome shoulder piece on the fork crown is free to move to some degree and cannot be considered square or solid. So the crown race is more or less just floating.
I bought one of those too and have had many issues. I had the same line up issue and tweaked them into somewhat alignment. The dropouts didn't fit the wheels too, needed some grinding. Then when I tried to flip them to the outside the bolts were bouncing off of spokes, some washers fixed that. But during the first ride they would only move if I hit big bumps. I didn't buy a springer fork that wouldn't spring, so I made some dropouts at work, made brass inserts for the dropouts, made up some nylon washers for between metal parts and replaced those cheap bolts with some grade 8's. They worked great in the house but the first ride they were bottomed out. So I had springs from a seat I wasn't using that worked MUCH better. It was all going good until I hit a curb and bent everything. They are back to the drawing board with a twin dropout design and a double spring configuration....original small spring inside seat spring, they look really cool. Haven't made the dropouts yet..been busy at work but soon.
If you have a recent Schwinn cruiser it has a 1&1/8" threaded tube and is about 7" long. I am not aware ofa springer that is long enough to fit this tube. The 1" springers need to have a 180mm tube to fit. The Monark has an adaptor kit but it is only for a threadless tube and is therefor no use.
All the springers I've seen will not fit a modern Schwinn cruiser. The old Schwinn springer made in Chicago is a beautiful fork and well made but won't fit the new tubes on Schwinn cruisers.
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