Can Heavy Steel Forks Be Drilled?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by kymanstaot, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. kymanstaot

    kymanstaot New Member

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    Obviously not from front to back, but from side to side? The majority of steel forks out there, like this one:

    [​IMG]

    ...are overbuilt to the point of lunacy.

    By staggering the holes between the inside & outside of the fork, you could eliminate weight without compromising structural integrity?

    Of course, after doing the "swiss-cheese" mod, you couldn't put abnormal stress on the thing, nor could you use it in the rain. But with a drain hole at the bottom
     
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  2. thepieeatingjay

    thepieeatingjay New Member

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    I don't know why not. They don't take away your driver's license for doing something like that, do they? Maybe lose your driller's license, though.

    I'm curious if it would make different whistling sounds depending on how fast you ride. Perhaps you could drill the holes at slightly different angles and in slightly different sizes and get it to play "The William Tell Overture" by varying your speed and shimmy. I'd pay to see that.
     
  3. Totalarmordestine

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    I dunno if it would be worth the trouble. But it could be done. Hopefully with a drill press. I'd hate to be drilling more than a couple holes by hand.

    If you have lots of money and don't need U-brake studs you could just buy a 20" carbon race fork and be under 2 lbs.
     
  4. tarverten

    tarverten New Member

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    I suppose the question becomes, "Do you want to be the guinea pig for a DIY-drilled fork?"
     
  5. blastguardgear

    blastguardgear New Member

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    I've worked in the bike industry. Any frame members or components on the bike forward of your knees (also the seatpost) are considered safety critical because if they fail you are crashing fast and hard. My experience is cycling companies test these components pretty carefully for ultimate strength and fatigue resistance. Drilling out these components would not be advisable, it would be a lot cheaper to go the direction you're considering and buy something lighter. Drilling opens the door to fatigue and corrosion.
     
  6. shadowsupernature

    shadowsupernature New Member

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    Salsa like to put lots of holes in their forks. Unfortunately there was a recall, but they're still putting holes in the redesign. They probably don't save weight after brazing in that threaded boss, though.
     
  7. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    This guy drilled his forks...

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    They did drill holes alright but they only drilled 3 small hole on the backside of the fork and not all the way through both sides, plus they're about 2 inches apart in row up the center of the back of each fork blade, then they reinforced the holes, something our drilling friend won't be able to.

    Back in the caveman era when I use to race there were people that did drill their own holes in various components to save weight, I did however had a friend who decided drilling holes in components wasn't enough, thinking that steel was tough he drilled some holes in his frame and fork, not the stays. Couple of training rides later the fork collapsed, he was hurt but not bad because just before the fork gave all the way out the front wheel went out of track suddenly so he was slowing down to around 5 or so MPH when the fork went the rest of the way, had that happened while he was doing 25 or so when the wheel went out of track he could have been hurt a lot more.

    I don't recommend you drill holes in your fork, unless you want to be a crash test dummy. If you do decide to drill some holes wear a helmet and then report back to us how the helmet held up in the crash.
     
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