What fork/shocks to look for for a 49' DX Klunker project and other thoughts for a newb

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SA drum brake issues,
I was able to "fabricate" a strong metal strap for the brake arm but its not perfect. It still moves a little when applying the brakes. I think its just the fork shape. Its 32mm round , ( not flat / ovalish like regular forks ) , and the brake arm is at a weird angle so it doesnt fit snug next to the fork. Also the cable /Pin holder section on the brake hits the the fork a little.
How much does your'alls brake arm move?
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Mine doesn't really move, and it's best if it doesn't. When it moves it would slowly destroy both bracket and the surface of the fork and eventually fail.
Have you tried adding spacers and spreading the fork legs a bit?
 
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Ive tried to add washers and spread the fork legs and it gave me better results but the cable/pin still contacts the fork and the tire is noticeably off center .
Just for schitz and giggles I tried it on the opposite side and it seems to work perfect?! Is there any reason to not run it this way ???
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Ive tried to add washers and spread the fork legs and it gave me better results but the cable/pin still contacts the fork and the tire is noticeably off center .
Just for schitz and giggles I tried it on the opposite side and it seems to work perfect?! Is there any reason to not run it this way ???
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Correct me if i'm wrong, but technically that should work. I've taken apart hubs like that and they are symmetrical inside.
 
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Learned a lot on this one !!!!! But she is a dream to ride ! Loving the gear ratio, shuold be awsum on dirt trails . Chain line and BB issues still need tweeking, and I spent a good while cold forging the drop outs....what a huge diff that ..... makes, I know what Ill be eyeballing on my next Klunker frame purchase. ! Def gonna lengthen the chain too.
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Thanks for that insight, US56
Id love to get my hands on a prewar frame that isn't being overcharged for but until then I'll be using this one as a pathfinder and will def put it to the test ! Working nights shifts next few days so I wont get much done on this bike build until the weekend.
Just wondering , since you seem to be someone who puts their builds to the test, have you ever broken one of these old frames?
No, I’ve never broken one, they hold up well as long as you have a more modern fork. I have two with the forged blade forks and they don’t track very well, but you will be good with the fork your using. I’ve cracked two aluminum mountain bike frames, but steel won’t crack and can easily be fixed. Atomic Zombie in California sponsors coaster brake challenges several times a year and they posted a photo of a klunker that came apart at the top of the fork tube, but the down tube held. They used a ratcheting tie down to hold it together. You could most likely re weld this, right over some of the original brazing. You might want to try a reproduction vintage motorcycle brake lever. If you look on here for my build “Death Trap” you can see how to make shims so you can adapt the motorcycle levers to accept bicycle cables. I really don’t think you will be able to keep your rear wheel straight with coaster braking. Instead of looking for a pre war frame you can convert the forward facing drops to rear facing on your post war frame. There used to be a video on YouTube on doing this, how to measure so both sides are the same, but I can’t find it. I have posted a few photos below of my conversion on an old Schwinn frame.
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Here is the finished bicycle. I used track style chain tugs from eBay to keep the rear wheel from shifting in the fork ends. It’s a coaster brake setup with the brake band narrowed and attached to a slot welded on the inside of the non drive side chain stay. I tried to hide the coaster setup so on casual glance it looked like fixed gear. It fooled some people. The chain tension is easy to adjust and the rear axle doesn’t move when braking.
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Acquire welding tools and learn how to use them has been added to my post retirement activities! Looks great !
That’s what I did, started welding after retirement. I bought a home hobbiest Miller 141 wire feed TIG welder. It cost almost $1000 on sale 6 years ago, that’s without the gas tank. There still around that. Their small tank was around $200, empty. It welds better with the tank. In my opinion all its good for is to weld sheet, like fixing cracks in fenders, rear carriers and chain guards. I use it to attach something hard to position that I can remove with a hammer tap. I put on canti pegs, then mount the brakes to make sure there right. I also use it to tack on mounts for chain guards. I tap to get the mounts right but mostly they just fall off with a tap. Once they are where I want them I use my very old 240 volt AC Miller stick welder I got from an estate sale. It needed to be taken apart and cleaned. Minor repairs done but the total cost was less than $200. I did have to have an electrician put the higher voltage in my shop. The TIG welds aren’t durable they are too thin and brittle and cranking the heat way beyond what’s recommended doesn’t penetrate like the stick. I just weld over the TIG weld with my stick on hard to place stuff. I don’t think you need wire feed for what we do. I only use 6011 electrodes in a variety of sizes. They are easy to use and I don’t feel like learning how to use different ones. I have a few electrodes for stainless which I have used to make old fashioned handle bar mount vintage style water bottle cages. I also have a few filler rods but you can put a clean piece of coat hanger wire or the short piece of 6011 that was clamped in the rod holder and is too short to weld with in the gap and fry it with a 6011. Real welders will cringe. I would look for an old used Miller or Lincoln stick welder, DC would make less splatter but mine is AC and I can almost always remove the splatter with a hammer and punch. In my option for a beginner even a new good stick welder would be more useful than a TIG. Don’t buy a cheap buzz box stick welder, they don’t work good enough. If you can get access to two good car or marine batteries you can learn to weld with that. Look up battery welding on the net, it’s important to set it up so the electrons flow in the right direction, or else you won’t get an arc. I started this way using jumper cables for leads but they soon burned out. I used romax home wiring, splicing all three copper wires together at both ends. I held the romax to the batteries with vice grips. I also used vice grips to attach the ground and to hold the 6011 electrodes. You’ll need a good auto darkening helmet. Get at least a student grade one like they use in university industrial welding classes, cost about $100. Don’t get an internet or big box $35 one. I built a bike frame using battery welding and old bike frames welded together to make a custom. I did this years ago for a RRB Build Off. It was ugly with fat gob welds. It lasted one summer before one of the welds cracked, but that was partly because I didn’t have a tube long enough and tried to butt weld two pieces together. Start battery welding by buying a mild steel rod at the hardware store (it should say weldable on the tag), bend the rods on a wood form so they line up with the bicycle headset and front axle. Cut to length at the axle, cut a slot with a hacksaw or angle grinder and insert a washer or an axle centering washer with the tab that locks into the fork hole on cheap bikes. Battery weld the washer to the rod, thread the other end and thread on chrome acorn nuts. You just made a set of truss rods. If you don’t have a top rod mount take some angle iron, drill a one inch hole on it with a hole saw, battery weld the locking washer with the key way tab over the hole, grind and file the angle iron to look fancy and Art Deco and you have a set of truss rods you made for less than an eBay auction, maybe even including your investment in the welding rig. All of a sudden You’ll be using it all the time, it’s faster and easier to fix a wheel barrow by welding than by drilling and bolting. I still use battery welding for simple fabrication in areas where there is no electricity, like repairing a heavy duty steel shelf in a remote shed. I carry the stuff in my ATV trailer.
 
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Learned a lot on this one !!!!! But she is a dream to ride ! Loving the gear ratio, shuold be awsum on dirt trails . Chain line and BB issues still need tweeking, and I spent a good while cold forging the drop outs....what a huge diff that ..... makes, I know what Ill be eyeballing on my next Klunker frame purchase. ! Def gonna lengthen the chain too. View attachment 183490View attachment 183491
The layback seat post is the way to go. The chain and seat stays are very long compared to even 1980s mountain bike frames. The layback is a way to overcome some of this. Some of the original klunker riders bent their solid rod posts back. You will figure out if it’s too far back when you ride it, your butt placement will automatically migrate to what works best for you. At least that’s what happens with me. It looks right.
 
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Sturmey Archer makes boring steel clamps, might make something big enough for that fat fork.
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I can't remember who made them, but the cruiser guys over at the bmxmuseum were using cool anodized aluminum block clamps
For me the above clamp is the way to go, or else weld a loop on the fork that the brake arm fits into. Your’s is chrome so welding is out. You might think my idea is dumb until you get a flat way back on the trail. You don’t want pieces that you can loose and it’s got to be as easy as possible to get on and off. I rode with a guy that had a front drum brake where the arm was bolted to the fork. If he got a flat I hope he has the wrench to remove it and doesn’t loose the bolt. I’ve seen people drop a part on the trail, when doing repairs, and the whole group couldn’t find It. That’s my 2 cents.
 
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Surly HurdyGurdy is specifically for semi-horizontal front facing dropouts.

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Saw this as well...
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Seems like that verifies the concept.
Wow, I always wondered if there was a product that would do this. Thanks.
SA drum brake issues,
I was able to "fabricate" a strong metal strap for the brake arm but its not perfect. It still moves a little when applying the brakes. I think its just the fork shape. Its 32mm round , ( not flat / ovalish like regular forks ) , and the brake arm is at a weird angle so it doesnt fit snug next to the fork. Also the cable /Pin holder section on the brake hits the the fork a little.
How much does your'alls brake arm move?
View attachment 183374View attachment 183375View attachment 183376View attachment 183377View attachment 183378
Shouldn’t move, braking will be a little reduced from an already weak brake.
 
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I have already resigned myself to the fact that I'll prolly go with clincher type front brakes or a different fork eventually. This whole bike has been a pathfinder for me so there will be changes. I love the way it looks though !! ....learning a lot !
I will def resolve this before I go too far off the beatin' path.
thnx us564 !
P.S. What fork ais SA F-XD brake specifically designed for anyway??
 
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I have already resigned myself to the fact that I'll prolly go with clincher type front brakes or a different fork eventually. This whole bike has been a pathfinder for me so there will be changes. I love the way it looks though !! ....learning a lot !
I will def resolve this before I go too far off the beatin' path.
thnx us564 !
P.S. What fork ais SA F-XD brake specifically designed for anyway??
How about looking for a double bolt hose clamp. I’m not sure if you can get one small enough but I saw one at the Restore that was pretty close, maybe a little big? Perhaps you could attach a steel loop to one of the bolt sets. It would be madding fitting it up.
 
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I have already resigned myself to the fact that I'll prolly go with clincher type front brakes or a different fork eventually. This whole bike has been a pathfinder for me so there will be changes. I love the way it looks though !! ....learning a lot !
I will def resolve this before I go too far off the beatin' path.
thnx us564 !
P.S. What fork ais SA F-XD brake specifically designed for anyway??
Many forks are designed for drum/roller brakes, but probably not many 80's style BMX cruiser forks. But you can always buy a used one and weld a bracket on if you don't mind painting it.
 

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I used an Odyssey Posi Stop seat post clamp to anchor the drum on my klunker. My fork is 25.4 O.D. so this clamp might not work for you but maybe give you an idea to go parts hunting with. Maybe look at 32mm brake lever perches and find one that can be modified to work similar.

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