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Despite a thrilling tour of the east side bike shops of Portland, I was not able to find a decent fork for my bike. It was a learning experience, though. I learned a few things about my bike and the fork - I'm probably right in thinking the frame is a 50's balloon tire frame, but several folks who looked at the fork told me it was a modern mountain bike fork. Hmmmm. What happened to the original fork? And why were all the vintage forks I found too narrow for a balloon tire? I don't know, but I finally settled on something that I could order and would be appropriate for a vintage style.

This weird chrome fork with the bulbous spring thing on the front is a spring or springer fork, invented by Schwinn back in the 1930's. It was created to give bicycles a more motorcycle-esque look. They were also created specifically for balloon tire bikes. You'll note if you scroll down to my post about the Schwinn Starlet, that the glamour shot of the bike features a spring fork. They were used on many bikes by Schwinn, including the famous Phantom and later the groovy Krate bikes with the banana seats. I've got one on order. Hopefully, it will do the trick. Here's a lovely old Schwinn with a spring fork.

My tour of the bike shops also taught me that there are insufferable snobs to be found within every hobby. 90 percent of the people I dealt with were awesome, but that other 10 percent? Apparently, there are some people who find vintage cruisers gauche, and these folks have no patience for newbies interested in them. Eh, whatever. I love to learn new things, and I know it will take a while before my knowledge is up to snuff. I really don't understand people who are impatient with newbies, especially if the newbie is really keen to learn. I totally get that there are a lot of newbies who act like they know everything, but I promise you I am not one of those people. I learned early on that there's no shame in not knowing something, especially if you're open and happy to learn. So, please be patient, I'm working on it.

I leave you with this ad.

Wow, that kid is REALLY excited!


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 20th, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC)
whoa! I'd be excited TOO if that was under my christmas tree!! :)
I don't think I'm mechanically inclined. You are talking about this Fork thing & I am LOOKING at the bike you are showing & I don't have any idea what you are talking about! hee hee! I don't see the parts, I see the whole.
Aug. 20th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)
I know, I think those bikes are worth a ton of money now too!

The fork is the part that holds the front tire on and is attached to the handlebars - the part that moves the tire when you move your handlebars. I don't know if I'm so mechanically inclined, I'm just stubborn!
Aug. 20th, 2008 06:30 pm (UTC)
OMG, that kid REALLY needs that new bike! hah! That other photo is making me drool, wow, what a looker! You're the third friend in a row here on LJ that has a post about bikes. I mean, I was expecting it from you, but funny that two others were right in line before you too. It must be bike season!
Aug. 21st, 2008 12:15 am (UTC)
That kid cracks me up, he looks insane! Though, I'd probably look like that, too, if I found a bike like that under the Christmas tree!
Aug. 21st, 2008 12:19 am (UTC)
hah! Totally! Me too!
Aug. 20th, 2008 08:56 pm (UTC)
omg that bike rocks...so far this week i found a 1942 schwinn, and 4 other bikes from the 40's and 50's....unfortunately ALL 26 INCH!!!! dammit..i need a 24 inch........sometimes i hate being so short :-(
Aug. 21st, 2008 12:16 am (UTC)
It's too bad you don't live out here, I keep seeing 24" vintage bikes on craigslist!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )