My first “good” bike was a ’93 Specialized Rockhopper, which saw lots of mountain biking action in the ’90s, but has been largely neglected ever since. It has an old front suspension fork with a blown seal. I’ve decided to fix the bike up and use it for winter commuting, and maybe some occasional single track. I think with a little TLC, it’ll make a great third commuter bike. The initial plan is to install a rigid front fork with threadless headset and stem, then possibly convert it to single speed. I’ll also swap out the cantilever brakes for v-brakes, and replace the brake levers. Among other things, the bike will need new tires, tubes, brake cables, and pedals.
I started out by removing the front fork and headset cups. The bike has a 1-1/8″ steerer tube. Following instructions I found at http://davesbikeblog.blogspot.com/2007/06/headset-removal-and-replacement.html, I fashioned a cup removal tool out of 3/4″ copper pipe I had lying around. 1″ would have been a better fit, but I didn’t have any on hand. With a little care, I was able to pop the headset cups out of the frame without too much trouble. I put the frame in a repair stand, braced the head tube against my work bench (padded with a towel), inserted the makeshift removal tool in the tube, and pounded the cup out with a ball-peen hammer. The frame is now ready for a new headset and fork.
Next step is to pick up a new threadless headset, and make sure it fits the frame. I’ll buy the headset locally, so I can return it if it doesn’t fit. Then I’ll buy a new fork and stem and put everything together. I’m considering a Surly 1×1 fork. Stay tuned.