Newbie question

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donald beach

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new to elder balloon tire type bikes and just picked (on ebay) up a late 40's CWC made western flyer frame sans fork and headset. planning a ratrod-ish build up and curious if a BMX type headset will work, and also what to look for in a fork and some truss rods. will any make work as long as the steerer size is long enough? i'm going to use 26x3 tires, or fat franks if the 3 inchers are too wide. if anyone has some to sell, let me know! don
 

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Captain Awesome

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Headset comes down to cup diameter versus the inside diameter of your head tube. There are a few different ones so it's best to measure first

Yes in general threaded forks for 26 in are pretty standard the only question mark will be what is your head tube length versus how long is the steerer tube on the fork
 
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thanks! mainly just wanted to find out if standard english threading was in use for american made bikes from the 40's time period.
Yes, but the cup diameters were different. 30mm for Euro 1" cup versus 32,5mm for USA 1". Old American BMX or cruiser headset would fit, any Euro-style 1" cups won't.
 
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will any brand 26 inch fork work?
The 26" fork should be wide enough for the tires; for a CWC-built Western Flyer the original tires were likely 2.125" wide, so 2.5" minimum or wider might be desired.
The steerer tube should be long enough to fit the head tube plus the headset stacking height (approx. +1.3"?). For a 5" head tube, the forks' steering tube should be about 6.3".

Some English bikes may have had 1" x 26 threads per inch headsets, of the upper and lower loose-bearings race design, (as opposed to cups and cones).
I would recommend more common 1" x 24-tpi parts for a CWC-built bike.
 
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I missed this thread somehow. I had the same frame and tried 26 x 3 tires, too tall. I then tried a 24 x 3 setup and had enough room. The 26 x 2.125 was what I wound up with later.

24 x 3 tires.
2yl8z9g.jpg


26 x 2.125 tires.
53 with copper.jpg
 

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