Broken Flyte Front fork

i have heard a lot about the front fork on the Flyte being susceptible to breaking. i am wondering if anyone has ever had one break on them or if they know of someone who did.

I am riding mine a lot right now and wonder if this is myth or fact? The one flight I had before, had been ridden so much that the chrome on the front cranks had been worn away from the riders pant legs and the Gibson pedals had been worn away thru to the bearings, yet the original fork was still on there.

I LOVE riding it but the stories have me wondering, yet skeptical, about the breaking forks.

Cheers.... Wayne




Hi Wayne back in the early days it might have been a problem when the roads were gravel. But I don't think it's a problem with the pavement we have today. Just my take as I also ride my 37' Flyte quite often. Thanks for making my mind up I think I will ride mine tonite.

Thanks cruisersbylou! I'd heard rumours but never anyone who had one actually break on them. When I ride, I am careful about curb transitions and big potholes and such. I put on quality tires that give it a smoother ride, absorbing a lot of the vibrations. I really enjoy riding it as it is so smooth and efficient, just trying to build confidence in the fork.


I believe that most of the stories pertaining to Flyte fork failures stem from Calyton Foxalls's comments which have been reiterated numerous times, notably in Morris' 2014 treatise on the Flyte.

Certainly, there is potential for failure. Most of the reported failures occured at the fork crown. First, the curved blades are subject to more stress at the crown than a traditional design. Secondly, while the chrominium-molybdenum alloy used in the Flyte's blades is stronger, it is also thinner, meaning it is easier to overheat. This is compounded by the crown being a junction for three tubes, which requires more heat. Overheating can lead to fatigue failures, which is normally not a problem with steel alloys in a properly designed apllication.  The amount of overheating directly affects the level and number of stress cycles before failure.

CCM  also decided to chrome the Flyte fork, which can lead to hydrogen embrittlement if not subjected to a carefully controlled baking cycling to relieve stress. I'm not sure that this was fully understood during the pre-WWII era. While it would not be a problem on heavier, less stressed parts, it could have been a factor on the thinner, highly stressed, fork blades. 

None of this means that the fork will fail. However, if it had been subjected to overheating during heating and/or an improper bake after chroming, it could fail. Unfortunately, it is imposible to predict when and if this could happen. The best precaution is to regularly and carefully inspect the blade joints at the crown for signs of cracks. Once a crack starts, it will only propagate and lead to catastrophic failure. 


Thanks T-Mar! That's great info! I will inspect before every time I ride.