Just to confuse the issue further (sorry mate) but the amount of oil in teles is most critical because the air-space left in the tubes acts as a “spring” when compressed by fork movement – so you must always seek the manufacturer’s specification!! (note) there is no factory info for Birmingham Scott Dowty “Holder conversion-to-springs” teles, which required some considerable trial but simple modification to get them just right when I overhauled mine a few years ago.
However, returning to your forks – as I say adjusting the links is quite tricky to get just right, but keep persiveering – did the grease flow through the links O.K. as thats a good sign they are not clamped up too tight?
That said, where about are you, as actually checking and adjusting the links for you would probably be quicker than trying to explain.
I have attached the girder fork maintenance notes from an old Pearson guide, it happens to be the Velocette edition, but the subject is covered well and tells you everything you need to know when it comes to looking after your girders.
You will find that adjusting the spindles is very much a case of trial and error, because to gauge what you have done, after each adjustment you must tighten both nuts before checking the washers, and you may well have to do this several times before achieving the desired result. The difference between right and wrong is only a few degrees. It will become much more straightforward after you’ve done it a few times.
Please particularly note the “maintaining your girder fork” paragraph on page 124 (on copy #2) – initially back off the friction dampers to allow the fork to work properly, and then dial them back in small increments, noting the difference each time when you bounce the forks up and down. As Bob Burgess (the author) says “the fork must be allowed to work”!
Let us know how you get on!
Sorry! #2 had too much resolution to be added to my last post – I have reduced it and attach it now (hopefully!)
I have read the article Martin sent with great interest and followed the advice from Stan taking things slowly. I think I found the spindles – particularly the top one nearest the handlebars – too tight as grease only flowed out when I slackened them off. There is a definite improvement but I would still like Brian’s view about the rating of the spring. However, one step at a time.
I have learnt a lot. Thank you to all club members who have helped me make sense of girder forks. My only real experience of forks prior to this was working on telescopics so this has been really useful. Particular thanks to Stan and Martin: I may be back in touch.
Thanks again: great club.
If Brian identifies you should have a different spring – if push comes to shove there are a few spring makers about – one I use is in Redditch ( a sort of hub for spring makers) who make to pattern or drawing etc.
Yes I look forward to finding out how spring ratings translate into quality of suspension from the front forks. Can I pick your brains again? What tyre pressures do you recommend front and back? How sensitive is a 36 Squirrel to tyre pressure? I remember a Kawasaki I had that was unrideable if tyre pressures deviated by a couple of psi.
I can’t find my mid-1930’s Scott handbook (that’s if it even refers to tyre pressures), and of couse, I don’t know the size of your tyres.
However, the proper way to detemine the correct tyre pressures is to measure the weight on each wheel with you sat on the bike – then refer to the tyre manufacturers’ loading index – which you will find on the internet.
At a guess though, I’d say 28/30 p.s.i. front and 32 p.s.i. back would not be inapproriate pressures – but do check it out – perhaps if you post the tyre sizes someone with the same model/tyre sizes may be able to give better advise than me.
I think the advice re free linkage and good bushes is the most important thing I have kite forks so cannot add anything but I do have 2 other ridged end bikes a 52 Triumph with teles and a 35 Velo KSS with Girders the Velo is far superior at the front end its bushes are fine and the links well greased and adjusted the main spring looks pretty ancient
My thanks to Martin for posting the fork maintenance tips. I never knew that only one knurled washer was meant to turn, I’ve always set mine so they both turn, which is tricky to say the least! Now I can set them properly🙂