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Fork Design(5 posts)

Fork DesignVVS
Oct 17, 2002 5:23 AM
Why is a fork either straight or curved? Do they ride the same or differently? Any ideas? Thanks...
fork rakejw25
Oct 17, 2002 6:52 AM
Well, since a fork needs some rake to steer properly, the designer has 2 choices - angle the steerer and legs, or curve the legs.
As to the ride, I'd say the construction determines more than the shape. Different carbon layups or tube thicknesses and diameters will affect the ride.
Along those lines....rtyszko
Oct 17, 2002 10:33 AM
Do the two types handle any differently assuming that both bike designs' are sound?

Bob
Fork Design - MOreVVS
Oct 17, 2002 11:44 AM
When I originally posted, I was thinking that the curved style would be inherently more flexible and therefore would transmit less shock and possibly have better control characteristics on rough roads. Clearly both styles bend. However, comparing a straight aero design to a more traditional, curved design (which is slimmer and therefore less resistent to bending), both in carbon, it's hard for me to think they would have the same flex and, therefore, ride characteristics unless the curved style was made with more layers of fabric, etc. to make it a less flexible structure. E.G. a 2x4 bends more under a given load than a 2x6. If you reinforce the 2x4, it can be stronger than the 2x6. The aero design is thicker and seems more like the 2x6 in this analogy. Similarly, the curved fork design seems more like a curved seatstay which is built that way to be more flexible and shock absorbing while the straight fork seems more like the straight seatstay.
Uh, you've got it completely wrongKerry
Oct 17, 2002 4:47 PM
For any beam or tube (or similar structure) there is a certain amount of deflection per unit of applied load. In the case of bike forks, you can achieve this deflection rate with straight, curved, bladed, curly, etc. shapes. The tube diameter, shape (oval, blade, etc.), wall thickness, and material modulus are what will control it. So, the likelihood that a fork manufacturer would COMPLETELY ignore these factors when designing/building a fork are what? Zero, perhaps? Straight vs. curved fork blades means nothing, and there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about these two alternatives that suggests a performance characteristic that is intrinsic to one over the other.