Agh. While my trip to the Bike Kitchen tonight was entirely excellent in that with the excellent assistance of the supervising cook the crown race on the fork got set (the crown race is the little ring that the bottom headset bearings roll on) and so did the top and bottom headset cups.
The only thing left was to come home and install the new forks, except when I did I literally came up a thread or two short, meaning that there was nothing for the headset lock nut to grab onto.
I wondered aloud, how can this be, godammit? Even going so far as to extract the new forks and measure them up against the old ones — and they were exactly the same overall height with exactly the same 220-mm steerer tubes.
The problem was the bearings of the new headset were of the sealed variety in comparison to the bargain basement ring o’ exposed bearings that were the original equipment, and the new bearings casing was juuuuuuuust efuckingnough to keep the locknut from mating with the threads atop the steertube.
So Le Noir is to be mothballed again for another day or two as I must now await delivery from nashbar.com of a fork with the 240-mm steerer tube and a set of spacers to fill in the excess should I not wish to risk cutting it down.
Of course now I’ve got to figure out a way to extract the crown race from these forks ‘cuz I’m gonna need it for the new ones.
Bikes, man. Just when you think you’re on, they pull you back off!