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I got into an accident on my Raleigh Revenio 1.0 nearly 5 years ago. I've ridden it 400-500km since then with no problems. I don't see any damage to my top tube, down tube, or head tube. It turns out that I bent my fork, but I didn't know that until just last week.

I've moved from the USA to The Netherlands recently and I my local bike shop guy says professionally he thinks it is unsafe to ride, but personally he'd ride it. I have a few questions:

  1. Can I get this replaced? My LBS guy says it's some kind of integrated system that is out of date now. Also, the bike is American and I'm in Europe. Maybe I can get a replacement more easily in the USA?

  2. How dangerous is this to ride? I have a race (triathlon with 40km bike) in 2 weeks and I'm hesitant either to switch bikes now (plus I'm kinda broke) or to use a rental for the day.

I know tons about swimming and running (coached both for many years), but next to nothing about cycling, so any help will be very much appreciated. I know my bike is a 56cm frame, but beyond that I'm a novice. Thanks for any help you can provide.

Photo of full bike Closeup of fork

  • Looks like a perfectly normal fork. Measure the steerer tube diameter to be sure. Why not get a new fork (e.g. Ritchey Comp Carbon) and be on the safe side? Failures of the fork or front wheel can end very badly. You could also leave the steerer tube a bit longer to get rid of that horrible raised stem. – Michael Aug 2 '18 at 12:14
  • @Michael Just to clarify, when you say "Looks like a perfectly normal fork", you're using "normal" to mean that it's not an unusual product so should be easy to replaced, rather than to mean that the fork looks like it's in a normal, undamaged state, right? – David Richerby Aug 2 '18 at 13:52
  • @DavidRicherby: It was meant regarding “My LBS guy says it's some kind of integrated system that is out of date now.”. It certainly looks damaged (though all the angles and setup of the bike look rather crooked). – Michael Aug 2 '18 at 18:06
  • Looks like the cables were not lengthened when the tall, tall stem was installed, so the routings are a bit short. – Swifty Aug 2 '18 at 19:15
  • Does it feel weird to ride? IE, does it track strangely? Does the back wheel follow the same line as the front wheel when going straight? (ride through a puddle to confirm this) – Criggie Aug 3 '18 at 1:45
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You have three hazards.

First, there is some danger that the fork could fail catastrophically. But if you are religious about inspecting the fork for cracks on a regular basis (and taking action of some sort should a crack appear) then the danger of this is low.

Second, having the wheel pushed back reduces your toe clearance, which can result in nasty spills if your toe hangs up on the wheel. But there are many bikes designed with less clearance than yours, so this is a personal choice kind of thing.

Third, and possibly most significant, the damage affects the delicate geometry -- the "rake" and "trail" -- of the front wheel. This affects handling and stability in subtle (and not so subtle) ways. But if you've been riding the damaged bike for 5 years and not noticed this you've either become accustomed to this or the effect is not strong enough to worry about.

The bike looks like a reasonably popular one in the US, though I can't say about the specific model. It's possible you could find a damaged one to scavenge parts from, but you'd have to be sure the "donor" bike did not have front end damage.

  • There's also the risk that the frame as a whole was deformed. Imagine that the top tube and down tube are flexible and think about the effect of pushing the wheel back like that: the head tube will rotate in an anticlockwise direction (when looking from the viewpoint of the photos in the question), bending the top and down tubes. – David Richerby Aug 2 '18 at 13:50
  • @DavidRicherby - Yep. But if the damage to the fork is as imperceptible as it seems, the likelihood of frame damage (given the substantial appearance of the frame around the head tube) is minimal. One should look for cracks, of course, but it's not something to obsess about. – Daniel R Hicks Aug 2 '18 at 21:45
  • OK. The forks look pretty bent to my eye but I agree that if the forks are minimally damaged, the frame is very likely to be fine. – David Richerby Aug 3 '18 at 7:21
  • @DavidRicherby - A lot of factory-fresh forks have that "bent back" appearance, for some reason. – Daniel R Hicks Aug 3 '18 at 11:17
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Fork blades do like like they have been pushed back. This effectively reduces the offset (perpendicular distance between steering axis and wheel axle), and increases the trail (how far behind where the steering axis intersects the ground the wheel contact patch is).

If the steering does not feel weird to you, and you are always in control of the bike then it's not dangerous. This will depend on how fast you are riding though, problems may show up at higher speeds, or under harder braking.

A bigger concern is that the aluminum fork will develop a crack and fail, so you should replace it. There can also be problems with the headset bearings being damaged and the head tube being distorted,

Generic replacement forks for road bikes are available - obviously it's not going to match the paint scheme but a black one should look OK.

Re your questions about compatibility:

There should be no problem being in Europe vs. the US. The vast majority of bikes and components are made in the Far East for a global market. Raleigh is putatively a British brand anyway.

The head tube is not tapered so the fork very likely has a standard non-tapered 1​1⁄8" / 28.6mm steerer tube. [EDIT appears I'm wrong about this, see @Mike's answer]. An issue may be the headset bearings which appear to be an internal type. I think this is what your mechanic is referring to. 'Out of date' does not mean 'not available' though. You may not even need to replace the headset bearings.

I'd consult with some other repair shops and get them to explain exactly what is required to replace the fork.

  • please be aware that in the Netherlands most of the LBS's won't be eager to help with anything that isn't Gazelle, Batavus or some other typical (here) bicycle most likely because of unfavourable effort/profit ratio. One has to find either a very competent (and expensive) shop or an enthousiast/hobbyist. But once you know what to replace and how to replace it, why do you need LBS anyway? – Mike Aug 2 '18 at 14:15
  • @Mike fair point, in this case transferring the fork crown race might be one job to pay the LBS to do, if it’s a one-off, but agree the rest should be doable at home with Allen wrenches. – Swifty Aug 2 '18 at 14:25
  • If you can figure out the bearings needed with confidence, and can order them online, you will only need a LBS to press the bearings in. I would hope that when confronted with frame and bearings and the prospect of charging for 30 mins shop time for an easy job they would not turn you away. – Argenti Apparatus Aug 2 '18 at 14:42
  • Fork is chromoly – Swifty Aug 2 '18 at 19:29
  • It does not look like tapered head tube. The other answer is probably based on information for newer year model. – ojs Aug 3 '18 at 5:04
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Answering your first question: I did a quick search and it seems that some Raleigh Revenio have so called tapered head tube (the top bearing is then 1 1/8" and the bottom bearing is 1.5") while others should have a standard 1 1/8".

There are front forks for tapered head tubes are to be sourced in the Netherlands for under 100 euro (carbon, just checked) and for 1 1/8" are even cheaper.

Nevertheless, disassembling and measuring all the parts gives the most accurate answer.

The replacement itself should take not more than half an hour (own experience) provided that nothing else is damaged.

What part of the Netherlands are you located in? Perhaps I can help?

Good luck with your triatlon!

  • Have you got a source for the tapered head tube information? seems there is uncertainty – Swifty Aug 2 '18 at 19:16
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    I did a quick search and found it on this page: chainreactioncycles.com/nl/en/raleigh-revenio-2-road-bike-2015/… - as I look now it refers to the carbon frame and fork while the OP has a chromoly frame and fork. I'll edit my post. – Mike Aug 3 '18 at 7:39
  • orangecycleorlando.com/product/raleigh-revenio-1.0-148156-1.htm That’s the best listing I can find for the correct model. Note Al frame and Chromoly fork. No mention of headtube size not making life easy – Swifty Aug 3 '18 at 20:37
  • Den Haag, but my LBS guy found a replacement and installed. – Michael Aug 5 '18 at 6:38
  • Then it's the other end of the country. And if it's replaces - was it that difficult to find the replacement? Indeed something not typical? – Mike Aug 5 '18 at 20:17
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I do not advise you to drive like that, it's dangerous. It is better to replace the bent plug with a new one.

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    Hi there. That's certainly a valid point of view, but maybe you can edit your answer to include more details about what you want to say, as well as addressing the other aspects to the OPs question – Swifty Aug 2 '18 at 15:57

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