Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Gear Talk => Topic started by: awbikes on January 29, 2012, 08:18:21 pm

 
Title: removing tabs on fork
Post by: awbikes on January 29, 2012, 08:18:21 pm
I frequently remove my front wheel for transport and would like to make the job less of a hassle by removing the little tabs or nubs at the lower end of the fork. I seem to have heard they are unnecessary and are only there to reduce the manufactures liability.  I had several bikes from the 1980-90's that did not have them.
Title: Re: removing tabs on fork
Post by: whittierider on January 29, 2012, 08:22:54 pm
The tabs are a relatively recent thing.  If you operate the skewer correctly and don't have a disc brake, the wheel will never come out while you're riding.  I file them off, since they defeat the purpose of having a quick-release.
Title: Re: removing tabs on fork
Post by: johnsondasw on January 29, 2012, 09:13:19 pm
They are nicknamed "lawyer tabs" for a reason.  If you inow how to mount a tire, you don't need em.
Title: Re: removing tabs on fork
Post by: Pat Lamb on January 29, 2012, 09:47:43 pm
As wr notes, don't mess with them if you've got disk brakes. 

I got frustrated enough to go buy a Dremel with cut-off disks to remove lawyer lips on one bike, although I haven't messed with them on a newer bike.  It's as good an excuse to buy new tools as any, and I've got my money's worth out of the Dremel since then.
Title: Re: removing tabs on fork
Post by: jrswenberger on January 29, 2012, 10:20:15 pm
They are nicknamed "lawyer tabs" for a reason.  If you inow how to mount a tire, you don't need em.

I perfer "lawyer lips" myself....  ;)
Title: Re: removing tabs on fork
Post by: BrianW on January 30, 2012, 08:52:54 am
I file them off on all my bikes. A Dremel makes it faster, but I usually just use an old-school flat file.
Title: Re: removing tabs on fork
Post by: DaveB on January 30, 2012, 08:57:03 am
Some manufactures will refuse to warranty a fork that has had the tabs removed.  Kestrel was very explicit that filing them off would void their warranty.  Other than that (and the disc brake constraint), they serve no useful purpose for riders who know how to use a qr properly. 

Also, I believe there are qr skewers that open wide enough to clear the tabs and that may be another way around them w/o resorting to tools.
Title: Re: removing tabs on fork
Post by: paddleboy17 on January 30, 2012, 01:05:14 pm
I removed from a road fork and was disappointed with the results.  The fork tines were slightly sprung, so even with the nobs filed off,you still had to over loosen  the skewer to get the wheel back on.

When I had my Waterford built up, I requested no lawyer tabs, and they actually built the fork that way! 
Title: Re: removing tabs on fork
Post by: Mag in NH on January 31, 2012, 04:47:54 am
Mine were filed off years ago. The only problem is that I can't load it on a roof rack securely. No matter how tightly I batten down the fork, it pulls out of the rack at high speeds.
Title: Re: removing tabs on fork
Post by: waynemyer on January 31, 2012, 09:10:06 am
Mine were filed off years ago. The only problem is that I can't load it on a roof rack securely. No matter how tightly I batten down the fork, it pulls out of the rack at high speeds.
I've experienced this too. It's not the linear speed that does it, but rather lateral acceleration. The carrier was so tight that I had to use a rubber mallet to tap the latch closed. Even taking it easy, my friend's Peugeot slipped out of the fork carrier and creased the dropout. Ugh.
Title: Re: removing tabs on fork
Post by: bogiesan on January 31, 2012, 01:46:02 pm
Mine were filed off years ago. The only problem is that I can't load it on a roof rack securely. No matter how tightly I batten down the fork, it pulls out of the rack at high speeds.

If the bike ends up in the windshield of someone behind you, that will be a new reason to call the Lawyers' Lips. Are you going to get a different rack system, add a hold-down bar, or replace your fork?
Title: Re: removing tabs on fork
Post by: waynemyer on January 31, 2012, 01:48:22 pm
If the bike ends up in the windshield of someone behind you, that will be a new reason to call the Lawyers' Lips. Are you going to get a different rack system, add a hold-down bar, or replace your fork?
The rear wheel strap would assure that the bike only flails the bejeezus out of the carrying automobile.
Title: Re: removing tabs on fork
Post by: staehpj1 on January 31, 2012, 01:53:02 pm
If the bike ends up in the windshield of someone behind you, that will be a new reason to call the Lawyers' Lips. Are you going to get a different rack system, add a hold-down bar, or replace your fork?
The rear wheel strap would assure that the bike only flails the bejeezus out of the carrying automobile.
+1, but in many years of hauling bikes quite a few of which were made before lawyer lips were used, and some with them filed off, I have never had a problem with a fork coming loose from the rack.
Title: Re: removing tabs on fork
Post by: BrianW on February 01, 2012, 09:26:42 am
For Mag in NH: simply turn your rooftop bike mount around so that the front of the bike faces backward. That way there won't be so much air pressure pulling up on the handlebars/fork.

But, I will say that in 25+ years of rooftopping bikes on Yakima racks, most if not all without the Lips, I've never had this problem. I suspect there is something wrong with your bike mount fork holder.
Title: Re: removing tabs on fork
Post by: Mag in NH on February 01, 2012, 05:38:21 pm
Thanks, briwasson, I might try that. These days, I just use my husband's truck. Much quicker.
Title: Re: removing tabs on fork
Post by: whittierider on February 01, 2012, 08:04:41 pm
Quote
For Mag in NH: simply turn your rooftop bike mount around so that the front of the bike faces backward. That way there won't be so much air pressure pulling up on the handlebars/fork.
Like someone else said, the big problem is not pressure from the front, but the side-to-side motion that tends to pry the fork ends away, one side at a time.  You could go ahead and file them down but not quite all the way, so that opening the skewer still lets the wheel out but there's still a barrier to a closed skewer.
Title: Re: removing tabs on fork
Post by: valygrl on February 10, 2012, 12:39:02 am
+1, but in many years of hauling bikes quite a few of which were made before lawyer lips were used, and some with them filed off, I have never had a problem with a fork coming loose from the rack.

Last year TWO of my friends' bikes with filed-off lawyer tabs unclipped from roof racks.  One was on a car I was riding in, and I know it was racked carefully (though I didn't do it myself).  Luckily someone in another car warned us before the bike fell over all the way, but it was leaning on my bike when we pulled over.  The other bike wasn't so lucky, it tipped over the side of the car, held on by it's rear wheel strap, the tip of the fork broke off, and there was some other damage to the bike. 

Both bikes had carbon forks, FWIW.  Personally after seeing/hearing about this, I wouldn't file them unless it was on a race bike where a quick wheel change was actually important.
Title: Re: removing tabs on fork
Post by: jrswenberger on February 10, 2012, 01:12:24 am
I still ride the same 3 bikes I bought in the mid-80's. They all came with cromoly forks and no lawyer lips. Together, they've probably logged 10-20k miles on the roof rack. I've used Thule, Yakima and Rocky Mounts fork mounts. I've never had a fork blade even work itself loose.

I wonder if the people having trouble with roof mounted fork mounts are the same ones having trouble mounting their wheels in the dropouts properly...leading to the over-abundance of lawyer lips.

Jay
Title: Re: removing tabs on fork
Post by: John Nelson on February 10, 2012, 10:34:20 am
Could there be some difference between dropouts that never had tabs and dropouts with the tabs filed off?
Title: Re: removing tabs on fork
Post by: staehpj1 on February 10, 2012, 11:49:30 am
Could there be some difference between dropouts that never had tabs and dropouts with the tabs filed off?
Yes, especially if they were filed off in a way that left the faces of the dropout anything but parallel.  My advice would be, in the interest of prudence, if you file them off just file enough of the tab that the wheel can be quickly removed and carefully avoid filing anything except the tab itself.

BTW, I've driven at least tens of thousands of miles and probably hundreds of thousands with bikes with no lawyer lips on top of the cars and never had one come loose.  That includes the time I foolishly misjudged the clearance and slammed one into an overhang hard enough to bend the bars and slide the rack back a few inches.