crack in steerer tube

it had a small almost invisible vertical 10mm~ crack in it when i bought the frame about 3 years ago, haven’t pulled the fork since then. had a check on it tonight, and it’s worse then i was expecting. it looks as if the insertion point of the stem pressed against the crack and split it horizontally as well.
do i have any reasonable priced options to repair it? i thought i could get it welded up and bored out, but the steerer has been shaved/flattened on the back section and there isn’t really any material to repair. i think i may be able to get a new steerer pressed in? it’s on the 1970 RIH so i want to keep it pretty stock for visual appeal (no new fork)
anyone know which builder would be happy to do this properly and neatly?

I don’t think that your quill stem should affect the crack - by the image (i’m not sure of the proportions) it looks as though its quite high up on the fork. You’ll find that the headset will make its way down and most of the force is taken by the threads downwards.

So long as your stem is at least inserted at its minimum point and you have all the right headset gear to close the threads up top, I don’t see a problem.

If you want have piece of mind, you have get a frame builder to replace the steer - i’m not sure where in melbourne. Sydney I’d go to the Bundy’s


on second thought - your stem may have a bit of play. That section has been shaved off because traditionally there is a washer with a flat surface the goes between headset lock rings to stop them from spinning. If your stem has play it will naturally press against this point and cause it to crack. - thats my 2 cents.

You’re ruling out the simplest & cheapest option.

I’ve had joe cosgrove cut and lengthen a steerer,
I think it was around $100
If its pretty generic chrome fork just buy a new one

Its a really nice double crown one, and classic and very pleasant to ride geo.

So Cosgrove cut it low, sleeved it and then welded a new section in? That sounds like a good possibility. I just don’t want to spend $300 on it when I could pretty much but an equivalent Australian frame for that much, but I do really like the bike.

buy a new bike?

Yeah that’s what he did, my frame was a 54 and it was just possible due to the quill insertion.
Bigger head tubes are easier
Looking at the frame and fork I’d just buy a new fork.
By the time you post it each way do the work it won’t be worth it.
Gear have nice chrome forks

actually… that’s a a cracker of a bike!

if it’s going to prove expensive to fix, i’d just bite the bullet and get a new fork.

Sorry, but your 2c are wrong.

The headset applies a compressive force to the bearings/cups/head tube by applying a tensile force to the steerer tube.

The filed flat on the back of the steerer, plus the stress concentration at the base of the cut threads, plus the existing flaw = tensile failure and crack growth.

That fork is unlike any stock fork you’ll get, the crown is unique, the offset is very low, and the blades slender. So if you want to keep the bike original, I would spend the money to get the steerer either replaced (if the chrome doesn’t extend beyond half the blades, but you’d still need to repaint the fork), or sleeved (should be able to achieve without repaint). Postage for a fork is cheap.

Slot the steerer? I have seen it done by Cinelli a bunch of times. My 60’s super corsa pista had it, so did Dubrats. If its quite a straight fracture I think this would be possible.

Slot as in an ‘english’ steerer keyway or cut a window?

The existing cracks are already through wall in two directions, so it’s not like you can broach a keyway to remove the flaw. If you’re talking about cutting a window in an already compromised steerer and in the threaded area I would be surprised if you could find a builder willing to do this and bear the insurance risk.

Even this stupid fork is only drilled in the unthreaded area:

The crack will continue to grow, assisted by the tensile force from the headset and forces from riding. It will eventually grow around the circumference until it fractures from tensile overload.

Personally I’d be retiring the fork until it’s repaired, but I like my teeth the way they are (crooked and yellow).

Talking about sawing a window straight down the steerer tube like the old Cinelli’s. I skimmed the OP and having just re-read it seen that it is fractured horizontally as well. New steerer fo’ sure! Like Dayne said, Cosgrove will cut down/lengthen steerers and rebraze them in also. That’s what I’d be doing with it. You won’t have the get it repainted and all the work will be hidden inside the headtube.

Yeah, that sounds good. Is Cosgrove better then Paco.n.I? They are the only place in Melbourne I know that would do something like this.

Paconi would handle it I’m sure, joe is just local and super perfectionist.
A quality I like

As Blakey mentioned if that chrome is on the steerer then it’s gonna make it a very expensive and time consuming job (strip chrome, fabricate & braze new steerer, re-chrome, postage from 2 to 4 destinations, paint).

I’ve got a Kenevans track fork you can have for cheap. It should have enough steerer as I was running it in my 57cm Bosomworth.

Made for 19mm tyre clearance, I ran it with alloy spacers above the axle and a 23mm tyre for about 3 years. PM me if you’re interested, it’s just sitting in my cupboard. this fork below…

My fork was chromed, he just cut the top2/3 off put a sleeve in and re brazed a new steerer on I think
I’d imagine no change from $200 with post

The actual steerer was chromed? Someone should point out to Joe that brazing over chrome is a great way to take in some of the worst carcinogens/toxic gasses - highly dangerous imo.

Joe cuts and brazes in a sleeve then new steerer on top then drills 6 holes above and below the join and welds and then files everything clean…

i dropped the fork off with kevin at paconi today, he seemed confident that brazing up the crack and recutting the threads would be fine, he won’t recut the keyway, so the added filler should add some strength to that part of the fork that was previously missing. he said he doesn’t cut and weld steerers anymore, i assume due to the possibility of terminal failure, and that even replacing the whole steerer ran the risk of cracking the fork crown occasionally, especially with drilled track and road forks. should be around $80. i will post a picture when i get it back for the foa databank.