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  1. #1
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    Straight vs curved forks--is there a reason?

    Apart from straight probably being easier to make, I mean.

  2. #2
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katzenjammer
    Apart from straight probably being easier to make, I mean.
    Most of my bikes have curved forks The curve does a multitude of things, it adds wheelbase length, it can quicken or slow steering depending on how much there is. It can add some extra give to the front end. I think straight forks are fine...for BMX or MTB where you need the strenth, but on a road bike they make the ride harsh.

    Aaron
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  3. #3
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    They seemed to have become prevalent in MTBs shortly before front shocks became widespread. It wasn't really the best design on an MTB in my mind. Anytime you use more material to get to the same place the result is likely to be more compliance. As far as all the stearing and handling stuff is concerned you can get the same result by simply angling the straight forks.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Surferbruce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc
    it adds wheelbase length Aaron
    Huh???????

  5. #5
    na975
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    i have straight blade fork w/ no rake on my track bike and i cant ride w/out hands, too twitchy.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by na975
    i have straight blade fork w/ no rake on my track bike and i cant ride w/out hands, too twitchy.
    if you're having trouble riding w/out hands your frame is probably out of alignment. or your headset is eff'd up. unless you're riding some sort of circus bike, your fork has some rake. if your fork had no rake you could turn your bars 180 degrees and your front wheel would end up where it started.

  7. #7
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    I think I heard a story about the old days when they would heat up fork tubes to bend them. the legs kept breaking. then Ernesto came along and solved that problem with his straight blade fork with the rake built into the crown. some say curved forks have a touch of 'passive' suspension. others say it's all about looks. this is one of those campy vs shimano things that comes along from time to time.

  8. #8
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surferbruce
    Huh???????
    You used to be able to specify how much trail you wanted in a fork. It would allow you to increase the wheelbase of a given frame. I did this on several occasions back in the 70's to change the handling characteristics of a road frame. But you had to be careful too much and it would be too hard on the steering. (it wouldn't want to turn)

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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  9. #9
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    Might be a true story though Fork blade are very easy to cold bend and hot bending is a lot more trouble and requires enough heat to do bad things to almost any blade. With extremely fragile blades and rock hard wheels, used by athletes, there really isn't any reason to worry about the compliance of the fork and a straight blade should work fine. I have straight blades on one touring bike, and while they have a number of things I don't like, feel is fine. So technically why bend them

    Aesthetically I prefer cureved forks, and if one is doing non-stock things to offset, it's better to start with a straight lug and bend them. Otherwise the tiny tweak may look like an accident. I'm building some 70 degree head tube forks, and I need to customize the trail, so I have to do some bending.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    There is very little difference in performance between a straight blade fork vs. a curved one - assuming the same fork blades are used and the rake is the same. Many people think straight blade forks don't have rake but this is not true; the rake is set at the crown on straight forks vs. bent into the legs. Regarding ride quality, some people claim straight blade forks ride rough but this is controversial, even among professional builders. I think it's fair to say that the difference is VERY slight at best.

    Straight blade forks are about looks. Period. Oh, and they are slightly easier to build, at least I think so and I've built a few each way.
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