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straight or curved carbon fork?(16 posts)

straight or curved carbon fork?pukka
Aug 16, 2002 3:52 AM
so i'm going to get a new set of forks,threaded, for my cannondale what are the pro and cons of straight v curved,i have curved at the minute and i'm more inclined to replace like with like although the straight ones look kind of racy,
When getting a forkFez
Aug 16, 2002 3:58 AM
make sure you are getting similar dimensions so you don't change the handling characteristics too much (unless you want to). That means getting the same fork rake as before.

Generally speaking, a straight fork will damp less, MAY be stiffer, and will most likely ride harsher. Is that what you want? That's probably why most forks you see are curved.
plus they look bettercyclopathic
Aug 16, 2002 4:15 AM
IMHO ;-)

I'd only consider straight fork for crits not for all around riding
I'll just wait for the mechaincal engineers to show up...TJeanloz
Aug 16, 2002 4:21 AM
This topic has been discussed ad nauseum on this and other internet boards, and the conclusion, backed up by a lot of math and engineering-speak, is that the only difference between a curved fork and a straight fork per se is cosmetic.

Straight forks are not, by their nature, 'stiffer', less damping, or better handling.

I'm sure some mechanical engineer will show up and explain why.
I read similar stuffFez
Aug 16, 2002 4:39 AM
but I don't know how credible any of the conclusions were.

Anyway, I said the straight fork MAY be stiffer, but because not all forks come in 2 versions (straight and curved), one cannot test this easily.

Also, I have heard from people who ride the straight say that regardless of stiffness or handling, the straight fork just seems to ride harsher, but this once again is rather subjective.
I read similar stuffRusty Coggs
Aug 16, 2002 4:56 AM
It's how it's built,not whether its straight or curved.Everything else being equal,ther is no difference.But,there is alot of hype and hooey.
true. diameter, guage, material are all bigger factors NMSpirito
Aug 16, 2002 6:16 AM
$0.02 worthNessism
Aug 16, 2002 5:04 AM
The design of the fork is the important thing; ie. blade diameter and shape, blade thickness, ect. How the rake is made is of lesser importance.

That said, I think if a designer used the exact same fork blades for both a straight blade and for a curved blade fork, the curved blade fork would be slightly more compliant. I have steel forks using the same fork blades in both straight blade and curved configurations and the straight blade fork is slightly stiffer.

I think the closest comparison you will find in a carbon fork is the Look HSC1 and HCS2. Look states the HSC2 is 15% stiffer because of the straight blades. Just a guess but this sounds about right to me based on my experiences.

I believe straight is cheaper to make as well (nm)ColnagoFE
Aug 16, 2002 7:21 AM
re: straight or curved carbon fork?aliensporebomb
Aug 16, 2002 4:59 AM
My two cents:

The only downside to a straight bladed carbon fork is
that getting a bike computer sensor mounted on it is
next to impossible.

I ended up mounting mine sensor on the rear seatstay
and that worked fine (see for info
on how I did it).
re: straight or curved carbon fork?aliensporebomb
Aug 16, 2002 5:03 AM
By the way, it rides just fine - no harshness that
I could see. It's stiff and transmits enough of the
road feel but soaks up the chattery bumps and what-

Sort of like the carbon road mute button.

And it does look nice:
Cool, TCR reflectors...Wannabe
Aug 16, 2002 6:12 AM
Sorry, couldn't resist. A little grumpy this morning. Nice ride though.

...where's my coffee

TCR Landjwarrenod
Aug 16, 2002 7:50 PM
Like the ride! But the reason's pretty obvious, isn't it....

thanks for the advice,i think i'll stay curved(nm)pukka
Aug 16, 2002 5:16 AM
re: straight or curved carbon fork?mapei boy
Aug 16, 2002 1:45 PM
I don't know if the demonstration was rigged or useless, but the guy who sold me my bike convinced me of the superiority of the straight-bladed fork in the following manner. He had me bounce the front wheel of a bike with a curved fork onto the floor, and then he had me do the same with a straight-bladed bike. When bounced, the bike with the straight-bladed fork wanted to bounce forward. The one with the curved fork wanted to bounce backward. Thus, according to the salesman, the straight-bladed fork tends to help you go over bumps in the road, while the curved fork tends to impede you. FWIW.
Per AMESteveS
Aug 16, 2002 2:54 PM
When I got my AlphaQ a couple of years ago, I spoke with Dr. Lee of AME of the differences between straight and curved and his opinion based upon feedback from AlphaQ owners was much the same as what Fez said, that the straight forks were a tad "harsher" and maybe quicker handling and that the curved forks a bit smoother in ride. In my case, I opted for the latter.

Plus, curved forks look better.