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Stiff forks?

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  • Stiff forks?

    Had my new TiLite ZRA for a couple weeks now. The connection where my forks are attached to the chair are what I would call 'tight'... They are just the regular 2 sided forks that come on ZRAs.

    They don't spin freely like a fork should. It barely affects steering, but still does, just barely. But I feel like they should be spinning freely, just like the wheel. All 3 of my other chairs have spun freely.

    My ATP said that since TiLite put the chair together they must have done it on purpose because it was tested before it was shipped. And that he contacted TiLite and they said, 'They will loosen up with time'. And that he doesn't really want to mess with them.

    Feel like I am hearing a bunch of excuses and that none of that is really correct.

    TiLite can always accidentally make something a little too tight. Never heard of them 'loosening up over time' before. All my other chairs didn't come tight. And its been long enough that I can tell they aren't 'getting looser'...

    Who is correct here? Me or ATP?
    And how to I adjust the tightness?

    Thanks again!!!

  • #2
    They should not spin completely freely. A little bit of friction there can eliminate caster fork flutter when rolling at more than a low speed. A rule of thumb that seems to work for a lot of people is there should be enough friction so (when the caster is off the ground) if you just snap the caster fork around with your hand, it carries no more than one revolution before it stops. Mine will go about 90% of a full revolution and tightening it stopped terrible fluttering I was having 7-8 miles an hour before tightening the bearings. I can go 15mph now with no trouble. If you only roll slowly or if your caster won't come near to one complete revolution, you might want to get the bearing preload nut loosened.
    Last edited by endo_aftermath; 07-31-2020, 04:31 PM.


    • #3
      Next post is gonna be, "So, my casters starting fluttering like mad going down ramps!" I'm just teasin'. Seriously though, better for them to be a little snug than a little loose. I'd give it some time. There are bearing and other surfaces that will burnish together a bit. If its so bad that when you go to turn it doesn't respond the way you want, then break out the owners manual, or check out their parts diagrams on their website to see how it's all held together. My Lasher did loosen up some over time. I have the Single-sided caster 'forks' on my TiLite. It's a year old this month and they are looser than they started but still not just free spinning. I can get a spin or two out of them with a swift hand flip but nothing like the caster wheels themselves. The wheels spin for daaaaays.
      "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

      "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty


      • #4
        Haha! Yes... I hope that's not my next post!!

        They are so stiff that they don't turn on their own. At all. So if I'm in a wheelie they stay put. They don't turn at all. Should I just wait and see if they get looser or try adjusting???

        My ATP came out for his last time and slapped some scissor locks on and then didn't want to touch anything else.... So I still want to get the anti-tips off. Guess Im doing that myself. And the caster forks not turning... Ugggg. I need a handy person near me!


        • #5
          You got me curious about my forks (also single-sided Frogleg Unitines). I'd tightened them last year to stop dangerous fluttering and just checked them a few minutes ago. One is still tight--I can spin the fork less than a full turn and in a 90 degree wheelie the fork stays put in any orientation. The other fork has loosened up and will swing toward the lowest point while in a wheelie. I just came in from a neighborhood ride including a 15mph downhill with just a hint of flutter, so it looks like I need to tighten one of them.
          You're not imagining things. I could feel the resistance to turning when I first tightened mine and it bothered me for a few days. I just decided that I could live with that more easily than the flutter.
          You can loosen your fork bearings if you really want to. It's a lot easier than removing the anti-tip brackets. Remove the screw in the center of the caster angle adjustment. The caster fork stem should pull out. Notice its orientation. I think orientation matters when you reassemble. There is a nut around the stem. Loosen that a small amount--start with less than 1/8 of a turn. Reassemble, test, and adjust as needed.
          Last edited by endo_aftermath; 08-01-2020, 05:45 PM.


          • #6
            Ok, thanks. Yeah, I can feel it a bit. But it's not life ending. Im just used to them flopping to the lowest point when their off the ground. Being nice and loose.

            My last chair they were nice and loose, or perfectly loose, and I never dealt with any flutter. Although I don't travel at speed outdoors often because I'm always with walking people who are slow! Plus my service dog doesn't want to run next to me. She is a little lazy. A slow trot is her fast speed! I mean don't get me wrong. I zip around inside a building like a mad thing. But not fast enough to have ever experienced flutter...

            I might wait a month or so and see if they loosen a little and if not and its still bugging me I will try and adjust.

            Thank you!!!!