I love to teach my son how to ride and repair stuffs the old fashion way. Here I will share some of our cheap DIY projects and repairs. I will also share some of my experience as a biker and as a pro mechanic. I am not a mechanic anymore but I still do repairs but mostly for my own machineries and this is why I try to keep everything easy and cheap. I also don't race anymore but I still love riding up the mountains where there is little or no help and all I can rely on is my small tool pouch and my monkey repair skills to bring me home whenever my bike or my friends bike breaks down.

If you are a tech-wiz or some kind of high-tech repair guru who likes spending too much $$$s buying stuffs and spends most of your time at a coffee shop posing your best biker battle gear clown costume and talking how great a biker you are then THIS IS NOT FOR YOU... Here we seriously ride our bikes and we try to keep everything simple, easy and cheap. Most of what I will share here are intended for riders who usually break their bikes to peices and may not be needed by other bikers.

I will also be sharing some cheap ways how I repaired my cars and computers. And for laughs, I will also add some weird / funny / odd stuffs that I or we did that worked and didn't work. Sorry about this blog's style, set-up or whatever you may call it, I'm an old school biker and its easier for me wrenching cars and bikes than typing on my keyboard...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Steering stem and Fork alignment

1. STEERING STEM: To detect if the steering stem is bent, the easiest way to find out is to loosen/remove "ONE" fork (doesn't matter w/c fork), then install it again. If the fork doesn't slide in easily to the steering stem (fork holder) then you may have a bent steering stem. The problem may not be severe so do not panic. Remove the handle bar and loosen the stem nut found at the center of the upper bridge (upper steering bridge) and try if the fork will slide in. If the fork doesn't slide in then the steering stem is bent. The lower bridge usually gets bent first before the upper bridge. It is advisable to replace the steering stem if the unit is bent. When tightening the center nut on the steering stem always remember that most stem bearings must not be over tightened. Most head bearings are tapered so always remember not to over tighten them. If you dont have a tool, just use your hand and turn it (without tools) as hard as you can then put the retainer back.

2. FORK: Use a ruler/scale if you don't trust your eyes... Loosen the center bolts and loosen also the fork stabilizer plate (most bikes does not have fork stabilizer plates), tie and lock the front brake lever, use tie downs and compress the fork and tighten the all the bolts. If you don't have a tie down strap you can pump the fork several times and let someone heavy to push down the fork for you while you are tightening the bolts. Remember that there may be times that you may need to loosen up the steering stem's nut to get the fork's proper alignment. Most of the times, pumping the fork will automatically readjust the steering stem's alignment.

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