Installing the fork was my first order of business, at this point in the build I had already decided that I would attempt to get an “old school” look to this project. That means getting parts in silver wherever possible. You can do nice stuff with the anodized colors and flat black components, but that’s not what I was going for. I wanted to have the best modern components I could find (and afford) but look like it could have been built 30 years ago.
NOTE: I cut the steering tube before I installed the forks so I could mount it in a cutting jig and not have to do it on the bike. You should be very careful if you do this, I got lucky and it is long enough, barely. I easily could have been 1/4 to a 1/2 inch short because I forgot to include the height of the front cable hanger. If it was an inch longer I would not be unhappy. As I age or if I have another physiological change that requires me to raise the bars significantly, I will need to replace the fork if stem corrections are inadequate.
Chris King makes some great parts, if you need a part that has bearings in it, this should be one of the first places you look. I settled on a Chris King NoThreadset, in silver. The only place that had one in stock nearby was Belmont Wheelworks. I contemplated getting the Titanium version but there was no cosmetic advantage, only a weight savings, and the cost was significantly more. I could skip a few desserts and reduce the rolling weight three times as much.
I am fortunate to have several highly respected shops within a hours drive of my home, Belmont charged me $148.51 including MA sales tax. Belmont Wheelworks is a touring and tandem mecca here in the western Boston suburbs. They regularly win awards from the various local and national organizations. While it can be very busy at peak times, the wait is usually rewarded by them having what your looking for and an excellent sales staff that knows their stuff. It is the only shop I have ever been in that has Arkel and Ortlieb panniers on display and a rack full of Showers Pass and Gore rain gear. Many other quality brands are also in stock and on the sales floor. This is the antithesis of the “Trek Boutique Stores” where there are 15 aisles of Bontrager mediocrity.
With the fork and headset installed time to figure out what I want for tires,wheels and hubs.