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    • CommentAuthormeatroll
    • CommentTimeApr 7th 2010
     
    So I just got a pretty damn good deal on a '81 Bianchi Piaggio Special track bike. No brake holes, of course, so I was thinking about getting a keirin brake.
    I have seen a couple posts on various forums where people have claimed that because track forks are not designed for the kind of flex involved with braking, that you could potentially fuck your fork and it could fail on you. This kind of makes sense, but nobody ever backed up that information with proof and I've never actually heard of a track fork failing because of this. That, plus the fact that actual keirin racers use these brakes on their bikes for training makes me think that they can indeed be trusted.

    Thoughts? (with backup, preferably!)
  1.  
    FYI, I've seen a couple of those very '81 forks drilled with no issues, but I totally understand why you don't want to drill it. That said, people say that drilling track forks is dangerous and can cause a catastrophic failure and all that, but I've never seen that happen when the drilling was done by someone who knows how to drill shit (well, except for once on the internet, but that doesn't count for a myriad of reasons). I'm sure that it's totally possible to have a failure due to a clamp-on brake, drilling, rain, earthquakes, and loud music, but these things happen all the time and said catastrophic failures aren't commonly experienced. If the fork were carbon and you were asking about drilling it, I would reprimand you verbally, give you a time out, and take the fork away, but it's a steel fork with a reasonably normal sized crown -- you're not going to compromise it simply by adding a brake caliper, either by the drill or by the clamp.

    As for backup, I have none but my own semi-professional experience. If you want science, go ask SkidMark and JACN to go hug it out in a room somewhere.

    BTW: Piaggio was Bianchi's parent company at the time, it's not entirely necessary to add that to the bike's name.
    • CommentAuthormeatroll
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2010
     
    Thanks for the thought-out response. Still not sure whether I want to get it drilled or get a Keirin brake but I too have seen one of these with the fork drilled so it can be done.
    • CommentAuthorheadphone
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2010
     
    just pick up a chrome fork from spicer.

    no need to drill. no need to put on those ugly brakes.
    • CommentAuthorYo
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2010 edited
     
    I don't know if I would mess with the geo of the bike by just swapping out with a Spicer unit.

    One of my Panasonics was driled (poorly), and admittedly, it looks shady, but I still have 100% confidence on the bike. I personally don't run a brake on that frame, the PO must have drilled it to accommodate one. (you can see in the pic below how the PO actually got up into the crown race; I've since swapped headsets, but I seriously think the kid did this w a black and decker cordless drill):



    I hear the Kierin brakes are good. I remain skeptical because a round blade fork seen on track bikes is designed to be stiff for lateral forces, as opposed to the oval bladed forks found on road bikes designed around brakes. Even though the placement of the brake probably isn't low enough on the fork to create a damaging lever effect, I still think that the idea seems a little meh. But shit man, if you must have a brake, I'd rather slap on a kierin brake over drilling the fork any day of the week.
  2.  
    If you're not fat or trying to do endos with your sweet keirin brake I wouldn't worry about it because chances are you aren't going to create that much force. You can always get a different fork to run a brake on, which is what I would do if I were in your shoes.
    • CommentAuthordicklips
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2010
     
    Is this the one on craigslist for 500?
    • CommentAuthorwes m.
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2010
     
    I cant imagine this brake putting more stress on the fork than riding off a curb.
    • CommentAuthorYo
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2010
     
    I'd probably equate a hard smash on the front brake OTB to hitting a curb head on.
  3.  
    I rode a front brake on my Kilo TT when I had it. Granted it's not a real trake bike, but it is general quality steel, has a round fork blade profile, and that for flexed like crazy when I'd apply that brake. As you can see, I'm still alive. Make of that what you will, but it's partially because the fork didn't fail. Steel, at least in this case, is real because of it's resilience. I'd say drill it because you'd have fewer headaches and would likely be cheaper, but that's my opinion.
    • CommentAuthormeatroll
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2010
     
    Posted By: dicklipsIs this the one on craigslist for 500?


    Indeed! I nearly shit my pants when I saw the price. It's quite possible that I will just put this up for sale when my On One Il Pompino arrives and I get it built, in which case unless I put it on ebay, I will sell it locally for a similarly good deal (plus the money I put in to get the BB overhauled and the Cinelli Criteriums I'm putting on it)
    The guy I bought it from said he barely rode it when he first bought it, and it's been sitting in storage ever since.. Seems truthful as it's in really good condition and the only (minor) scuffs are consistent with it sitting in storage. He took good care of it too, everything was greased. All original parts including the original Bianchi tubulars, which still hold air!

    Trust me, I will only be drilling the fork if I plan on keeping it for a long time.
  4.  
    Theres a Piaggio selling on craigslist in the bay area too with a Campy record bottom bracket, but it's got a dent in the top tube which immediately drew me away from the frame.

    It's been on there for a while and I always seem to look at it hoping that dent will disappear.
    • CommentAuthordicklips
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2010
     
    Posted By: meatroll
    Posted By: dicklipsIs this the one on craigslist for 500?


    Indeed! I nearly shit my pants when I saw the price. It's quite possible that I will just put this up for sale when my On One Il Pompino arrives and I get it built, in which case unless I put it on ebay, I will sell it locally for a similarly good deal (plus the money I put in to get the BB overhauled and the Cinelli Criteriums I'm putting on it)
    The guy I bought it from said he barely rode it when he first bought it, and it's been sitting in storage ever since.. Seems truthful as it's in really good condition and the only (minor) scuffs are consistent with it sitting in storage. He took good care of it too, everything was greased. All original parts including the original Bianchi tubulars, which still hold air!

    Trust me, I will only be drilling the fork if I plan on keeping it for a long time.


    Yeah, definitely worth buying for that price. I wish I wasn't trying to save money right now, damn you bills.
    • CommentAuthorSkidMark
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2010 edited
     
    I'll remind all of you that there are plenty of bikes with round bladed forks that have brakes. A round tube can deal with braking forces.

    The concern with drilling a track fork is the possibility that the steerer tube may be thinner walled than a fork designed to have a brake. The fork crown itself may also have less material because it is not designed to have a hole in it. Almost all fork crowns come to the builder/manufacturer undrilled, some are meant to be drilled, and other are track specific. Unless I knew for sure about all these factors, I would not drill the fork.

    Actually I wouldn't drill it anyways, because track bikes don't have brake holes.
 
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