You should be prepared to do your homework before installing a fork on your own. If you don't have time to spend reading about how to do it, you're better off paying your LBS to do it for you.ifouiripilay said:i'm getting a new fork and i'm debating wheather or not i should install it myself or not. i really like doing things and compreding the "how to's" but haven't had much time to read up on bike mechanics. does anyone mind give me a crash course on how to install a fork and what i need (ie, grease, tools, pipe cutter).
Below, at a high level, is what needs to be done. You will need more detailed information than this to do the job, but this will give you a rough idea of what's involved. The Park Tool site will be able to provide you with the details for each step.
- Remove the old fork from the bike. To do this, you will need to detach the brake from the fork, loosen the stem, and lift the stem plus handlebars off the steerer tube. There will probably be spacers and perhaps a few headset parts that'll need to be removed too.
- Remove crown race from old fork and set aside for later. Depending on the fork and type of crown race, this can be either really hard, really easy, or somewhere in between. If it's really hard, you may want to visit your LBS and get help with it.
- Figure out how long the new steerer tube should be. If you like the height of your handlebars with the old fork, you can just measure the length of the old fork's steerer tube and transfer that measurement over to the new fork. If you're unsure, you can leave the new steerer tube a bit long and put extra spacers on the top. Regardless, be very careful with your measurements.
- Cut the steerer tube. Park makes a nice saw guide for use with a hacksaw. You can also make a DIY saw guide or use a pipe cutter.
- Install the crown race on the new fork. This step is usually somewhat easier than removing it. Once again, special tools are required, although it's possible to use homebrew tools for the job.
- Install the star nut in the fork. (This assumes that you're using a threadless headset.) You need a special tool for this too, though if you're resourceful enough you can probably fabricate your own.
- Put the new fork on the bike, reversing everything that you did in the first step. You'll need to adjust the headset at this point and make sure that the stem bolts are torqued the right amount.