Drilling forks for a brake

Has anyone drilled a pair of track forks to accomodate a brake? Is it possible?


It is possible but is one of the stupidest things you can do.

A far better option is a cheap replacement fork.

Yeah that’s pretty much what i figured. Would Abbotsford Cycles be the place to look? How much do you reckon i would be looking at (ballpark) for some forks?

Thanks for your help,

I might have a fork for ya…if u r looking for single crown and thread fork.
Just measure ur steerer tube…and pm’ me.

Im with spud, dont drill forks, much easier to find a pair of rd forks than flat out track forks, depending on quality you want for fork , have a look at bicycle recycle, they have heaps of forks, around the $20 however not a whole lot in the 700c 20+cm steerer tube, otherwise the odd op shop might have $20 bike in it, buy it grab the fork and you are away! With the odd spare part as well, even try a tip if u have one close
Otherwise the odd bike shop should be able to get some new forks for around $50 maybe less??

Cheers SP

Another alternative is to go with the Diacompte (Keirin) brake that was mentioned in the ebay posts recently. I am having Dan fit one to the project he is building up for me at the moment. The brake clamps onto the fork so it avoids having to drill.

I picked mine up from a guy originallly from Melbourne (Rene) who is based in Osaka and sells NJS gear through his website. It looks like the same as the one advertised on the ebay link. It cost around $79 plus postage and arrived within a week of ordering from Japan.

I’ll post the web address tomorrow if anyone is interested.

good option as long as the fork blades a round!

You can get one that fits either round or oval forks.

Check out:

sorry to plug, but yeah, i have the oval fork kit too… :expressionless:

Sorry to grave dig but I’m weighing up between drilling a fork and getting a clamp on kit
(buying a new fork seems like a pretty stupid option seeing as how I’ve got a perfectly good fork all ready that matches the frame)

Why the anti drill brigade?
Is it some romantic notion about protecting the purity of the track frame?
Or is it more along the line of, too costly, too hard etc etc

I’m leaning towards a clamp on kit because it seems easier. Although it also seems uglier and whilst this isn’t a decision making factor it is on my mind.
If there is someone in Melbourne who can bang a hole in my fork for a small fee with out fucking it up or with out my fork splitting in two 6 months down the track because of forces it wasn’t designed to handle or something then I might just get it drilled.

So what are the pro’s and con’s

I’d go with two cons, first because I love old steel track forks with no holes in them, and second because a lot of track forks have a round cross section, which makes them weaker (than oval cross section forks) when it comes to forward and backward forces, ie the ones you put on the forks when you have a brake (how much weaker and whether it is dangerous is the question I guess). Having said that though a lot of MTB forks solid forks have round cross sections, and the Italian track frame I ride wasn’t designed to be worked for hours and hours on the streets, so I’m pro choice on this one, though I still get sad to see pretty old forks drilled.



The relevant differnce between mtb forks and track forks is the amount of material that opposes the movement.

If the forks you’re thinking of drilling are the ones you bought off me then let me also encourage you not to. They are really lovely forks, certainly handbuilt, and drilling them cannot be undone.

I agree with sentiment. But if I’m going to be riding them for the next 4 or 5 years wouldn’t a big clamp hanging off the front of them make them far less lovely forks then they would be with a neat hole and a neat compact vintage caliper?
I’m not riding brakeless. Admittedly I hardly touch the brake most days but it has saved my life on at least two occasions.

However if you think that drilling them might damage them (structurally rather then ascetically, or emotionally) I wont let a drill near them.

If it were a choice between riding on the streets brakeless and drilling then i’d sugest drilling. But if you can get the clamp-on brakes you can ride safely without drilling. Also the ugliness of a clamp-on brake goes away when you take it off.

I dunno. At the end of the day though it’s your bike and it’s much better that it gets ridden than not.

Check with Dan… he’s drilled/not drilled a few over the years.

Also, Abbotsford Cycles have a bunch of forks new & 2nd hand in store.

I wouldnt drill it if the frame is particularly nice, or if its a track fork with round blades.

Otherwise, I’d do it. I’d rather ride a (previously un)drilled fork than clamp one of those ugly adapters on it.

Whether it’s safe to drill the fork will depend mostly on how much metal is in the crown I guess.

Why did you even buy a track frame/forks if you’re gunna ride with a brake?

Because you like track geometry and the sort of steering you get?

lol. I’m sure they were definite prerequisites :wink:

Is that a trick question?
I like track bikes (a sentiment that shouldn’t need explaining on this forum) I ride on the street rather then the track (again this should hardly come as a surprise, it’s not like I’m the only one)
The only reason my face isn’t planted into the rear of some 90 year old mans brown Falcon and my neck hasn’t been broken whilst flying over the hood of some mobile phone texting uni students Hyundai is because I watch the road, have good reflexes and RIDE WITH A BRAKE.

You find me a frame that was built as well as mine, looks as good as mine, has the same geometry, is drilled for a brake, is the same size and only cost $150 and I won’t put a brake on this one… all right tiger.