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Technical questions for the retro grouches on here

Old 04-08-24, 04:58 PM
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As proud RetroGrouches we take note of the fact that many of us have been at this sport enthusiastically for more years than most relative newbies have been on Earth. We've been recreating, commuting, and competing on stuff that may have been top of the line for pro cyclists. We have been thru HRMs, cadence sensors, a variety of computers, and dozens of accessories - and training techniques. We ride. And many of us also have a bike or two only a few years old, or less. Learning to experience and enjoy the entire world of cycling is not found quickly or simply with the latest carbon frame, or disc brakes or $3,000 wheelsets.
Take it all in. And roll on! Especially the techie-oriented newbies.


Classic vintage race bike

Classic vintage French fit


Carbon, Ti, newer lugged steel. Everyone should try the small builder, custom fitted frameset.


Di2 or full suspension


edit: Forgot the tandem experience as well. And who knows maybe I'll ride a recumbent somewhere down that life-long retrogrouchy road.

Co-Motion transpor-tation

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Old 04-08-24, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood
As proud RetroGrouches we take note of the fact that many of us have been at this sport enthusiastically for more years than most relative newbies have been on Earth. We've been recreating, commuting, and competing on stuff that may have been top of the line for pro cyclists. We have been thru HRMs, cadence sensors, a variety of computers, and dozens of accessories - and training techniques. We ride. And many of us also have a bike or two only a few years old, or less. Learning to experience and enjoy the entire world of cycling is not found quickly or simply with the latest carbon frame, or disc brakes or $3,000 wheelsets.
Take it all in. And roll on! Especially the techie-oriented newbies.
You are far too open-minded to be a proper retro-grouch!
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Old 04-08-24, 05:05 PM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by Wildwood
As proud RetroGrouches we take note of the fact that many of us have been at this sport enthusiastically for more years than most relative newbies have been on Earth. We've been recreating, commuting, and competing on stuff that may have been top of the line for pro cyclists. We have been thru HRMs, cadence sensors, a variety of computers, and dozens of accessories - and training techniques. We ride. And many of us also have a bike or two only a few years old, or less. Learning to experience and enjoy the entire world of cycling is not found quickly or simply with the latest carbon frame, or disc brakes or $3,000 wheelsets.
Take it all in. And roll on! Especially the techie-oriented newbies.
IOW, Ride All The Bikes.
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Old 04-08-24, 05:45 PM
  #129  
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I have said of the classic Euro road bikes - I want to ride them all. Several custom bikes from small American builders tempered my Euro desires and my cycling budget.
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Old 04-08-24, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood

Mine is almost retro. Iíve never seen another in the wild.

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Old 04-08-24, 06:04 PM
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Mine from 2004, the year I left California. Also Campy 10, but w/ FSA crank.. No, never another one on the road.

I especially liked the rear stay attachment

Jon ran me through the toughest fit session I ever experienced.
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Old 04-08-24, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood
Mine from 2004, the year I left California. Also Campy 10, but w/ FSA crank.. No, never another one on the road.
I got mine used half a dozen years ago. The seller must be my size, itís the best a bike has ever fit me. He said that it was based on Bayliss but I couldnít tell you if it was.

Itís got a ďMade in Moab since 2001Ē decal on it but I donít know the year of mine. Probably about that judging by the components. Iím not sure when he moved the operation to California.

Itís a rocket ship. Fast and stable. Climbs like a beast.
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Old 04-08-24, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
The only thing that occurs to me is an observation I made years ago, when switching from a Cannondale 3.0 frame to a Ritchey Road Logic steel frame. Descending the same road, and hitting the same patch of crappy asphalt on a turn, the stiffer Cannondale hopped slightly, and I could feel the rear end stepping out just a hair on each hop. I hit the same patch on the Ritchey and it rolled right over it with no hop. So maybe the idea is that a less compliant fork would corner worse by not absorbing bumps as well? But then if you're running modern, wider tires, you get both compliance and grip so does it still matter?
Originally Posted by PeteHski
I think it is actually quite a difficult question to answer. Tyre compliance is the dominant factor, especially on a modern bike. But fork compliance is likely to be a secondary factor. Vertical compliance will mostly affect ride quality and torsional compliance will affect handling. Itís hard to say what level of torsional compliance provides optimal handling and it probably varies depending on rider weight and road conditions. I just know that modern carbon forks on disc braked bikes handle very well and are not harsh riding. I donít believe disc brake loads present a real challenge for carbon fork design, but maybe they do for steel.
Thanks guys. I was thinking along the same lines and thinking that the strength to handle disc brake loads isnít hampering the ability for forks to handle well, especially carbon with wider tires. Handling is such a subjective thing anyway, very hard to quantify what is ďbetterĒ.
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Old 04-08-24, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
You are far too open-minded to be a proper retro-grouch!

Emphasis on the Retro, diminutive on the Grouch. Actually, very closed minded - but internet, public forum tempered.

One of my favorite BF images over the many years is @Bianchigirll 's chainstay protector = Your Bike Sucks
(but as a pacifist, I am bound, and smart enough, not to show-up at a group ride with one.)
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Old 04-08-24, 10:05 PM
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[QUOTE=NumbersGuy;23209225]Thanks guys. I was thinking along the same lines and thinking that the strength to handle disc brake loads isnít hampering the ability for forks to handle well, especially carbon with wider tires. Handling is such a subjective thing anyway, very hard to quantify what is ďbetterĒ.[/QUOTE

Look at it the other way around....how much better handling and lighter could carbon forks be if they did not have to have the strength needed to handle disc brakes?

granted all is difficult to quantify so ride what your have

and switching things up a bit there were disc brakes in the 70's....they just didn't work well

https://bikeretrogrouch.blogspot.com...under-sun.html
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Old 04-09-24, 01:31 AM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
Originally Posted by NumbersGuy
Thanks guys. I was thinking along the same lines and thinking that the strength to handle disc brake loads isn’t hampering the ability for forks to handle well, especially carbon with wider tires. Handling is such a subjective thing anyway, very hard to quantify what is “better”.
Look at it the other way around....how much better handling and lighter could carbon forks be if they did not have to have the strength needed to handle disc brakes?

granted all is difficult to quantify so ride what your have

and switching things up a bit there were disc brakes in the 70's....they just didn't work well

https://bikeretrogrouch.blogspot.com...under-sun.html
Still wondering what you mean when you suggest that non-disc-brake forks offer "better handling." The best-handling bike I own -and, not coincidentally, the one I enjoy riding the most - is a first-year Specialized Langster fixed-gear model, built with large-diameter aluminum tubes throughout both the frame and fork. Both the frame and fork are as stiff as it gets, so the rear wheel tracks the front wheel perfectly. It's a pure pleasure to ride.
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Old 04-09-24, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by NumbersGuy
Handling is such a subjective thing anyway, very hard to quantify what is ďbetterĒ.
This is my view on it. I can say "oh this bike rides nice". Or "this feels great going full gas on the flats" but that's the limit of my verbal explanation when riding road bikes. Maybe after some more experimentation with different bikes I can figure it out but I suspect it's just hard to tell or explain.
One person I know had an aluminum fork on a vitus 979(glued aluminum bike) and went to carbon. She said it was stiffer and more confidence inspiring on the descents. Others I read about here claim the steel forks tend to be made more compliant which soak up the road imperfections. All I know is more experimentation and logging of numbers is needed for each person so they can decide what they like.
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Old 04-09-24, 04:11 AM
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"Handling" i s sort of subjective .... what exactly do you mean? Can you quantify it? Can anyone show that a bike with a heavier fork does not "handle" as well as a bike with the same geometry as a lighter-forked bike? Dos this mean that no bike with a steel fork could ever "handle" well?

Some might think that "handling" is more a matter of frame geometry, and is here being used in an undefined way to support prejudices .... or so I imagine some might think .....
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Old 04-09-24, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad

Look at it the other way around....how much better handling and lighter could carbon forks be if they did not have to have the strength needed to handle disc brakes?
An S-Works Aethos disc brake fork weighs just 270g, so thatís your benchmark.

Most race bike disc forks are in the 350-450g range.

I donít know what the lightest rim brakes forks weigh, but I doubt they would be much less.

Edit: The last Emonda rim brake forks were around 300g, so pretty similar. Enve 2.0 rim brake fork is also 350g

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Old 04-09-24, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
"Handling" i s sort of subjective .... what exactly do you mean? Can you quantify it? Can anyone show that a bike with a heavier fork does not "handle" as well as a bike with the same geometry as a lighter-forked bike? Dos this mean that no bike with a steel fork could ever "handle" well?

Some might think that "handling" is more a matter of frame geometry, and is here being used in an undefined way to support prejudices .... or so I imagine some might think .....
I think fork weight is much to do about nothing. And the extra weight of a disc setup is the same meaningless dribble.

I would try disc brakes if I could. I think it is an upgrade. Iíve tried some bikes over the years, but nothing came close to my bone jarring Cannondale with a 74* head angle. Itís not the fork weight or material that causes it to dive into corners.

Few would want to ride it, which is more than fine with me.

John
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Old 04-09-24, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
Still wondering what you mean when you suggest that non-disc-brake forks offer "better handling." The best-handling bike I own -and, not coincidentally, the one I enjoy riding the most - is a first-year Specialized Langster fixed-gear model, built with large-diameter aluminum tubes throughout both the frame and fork. Both the frame and fork are as stiff as it gets, so the rear wheel tracks the front wheel perfectly. It's a pure pleasure to ride.
Going back to the basics, in case everyone has not read all the posts (i.e repeating a lot )

1) disc brakes put more forces on the fork, especially on the lower part than do rim brakes

2) everything else being equal a fork for disc brakes have to be built to handle this. (plenty of examples of forks converted to disc failing in early days of disc)

3) In a conversation with the Dave Kirk, who built my frame, he noted that the result of building a steel fork for disc it that the bike will not have the same lively feel and handling as if it was a lighter fork for disc and advised that if I did not ride consistently in situation where advantages of disc stand out, I would likely be happier with the lighter fork for rim brakes. I did not record the specific words or what weighted but it was overall it was feel, livleyness, ride and handling as I recall perhaps handling is a bit of a red herring, but overall mo bettah with lighter/less stiff fork

4) Dave Kirk is a skilled builder, rider and cool guy to talk to (in person at Cino and over the phone when planning the bike) He is definitely not a disc hater and includes being an early adopter of disc to steel as part of his innovations (Innovation | Kirk Frameworks) Bottom line he has a lot of creditability in this area

5) My point was not bashing disc, but saying that all technology has some level of tradeoff and it is not just old/retro vs new it is a mix of what you want and like for technology... and clearly any frame material can be mixed with any other technology

most important...it is going to be high 70's this afternoon.......I will get a nice ride in

now of my lawn whipper snappers
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Old 04-09-24, 12:28 PM
  #142  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
An S-Works Aethos disc brake fork weighs just 270g, so thatís your benchmark.

Most race bike disc forks are in the 350-450g range.

I donít know what the lightest rim brakes forks weigh, but I doubt they would be much less.
The Easton EC90 SLX used to be about the lightest fork, and it weighed ~260-275g.

I had one for a couple years. It was a noodle. Not fun at all when descending.
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Old 04-09-24, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
Going back to the basics, in case everyone has not read all the posts (i.e repeating a lot )

1) disc brakes put more forces on the fork, especially on the lower part than do rim brakes

2) everything else being equal a fork for disc brakes have to be built to handle this. (plenty of examples of forks converted to disc failing in early days of disc)

3) In a conversation with the Dave Kirk, who built my frame, he noted that the result of building a steel fork for disc it that the bike will not have the same lively feel and handling as if it was a lighter fork for disc and advised that if I did not ride consistently in situation where advantages of disc stand out, I would likely be happier with the lighter fork for rim brakes. I did not record the specific words or what weighted but it was overall it was feel, livleyness, ride and handling as I recall perhaps handling is a bit of a red herring, but overall mo bettah with lighter/less stiff fork

4) Dave Kirk is a skilled builder, rider and cool guy to talk to (in person at Cino and over the phone when planning the bike) He is definitely not a disc hater and includes being an early adopter of disc to steel as part of his innovations (Innovation | Kirk Frameworks) Bottom line he has a lot of creditability in this area

5) My point was not bashing disc, but saying that all technology has some level of tradeoff and it is not just old/retro vs new it is a mix of what you want and like for technology... and clearly any frame material can be mixed with any other technology

most important...it is going to be high 70's this afternoon.......I will get a nice ride in

now of my lawn whipper snappers
And I only brought a long sleeve jersey.
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Old 04-09-24, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
In a conversation with the Dave Kirk, who built my frame, he noted that the result of building a steel fork for disc it that the bike will not have the same lively feel and handling as if it was a lighter fork for disc and advised that if I did not ride consistently in situation where advantages of disc stand out, I would likely be happier with the lighter fork for rim brakes.
Most steel frames switched over to carbon forks years ago, so the "lively feel" of a steel fork might not be what most people want.
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Old 04-09-24, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad

most important...it is going to be high 70's this afternoon.......I will get a nice ride in

now of my lawn whipper snappers
Here too. Did a nice 25 mile ride from the house that included about 9 miles of dirt. Rode my all-steel Surly LHT with rim brakes, triple crank and bar-end shifters.

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Old 04-09-24, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
Going back to the basics, in case everyone has not read all the posts (i.e repeating a lot )

1) disc brakes put more forces on the fork, especially on the lower part than do rim brakes

2) everything else being equal a fork for disc brakes have to be built to handle this. (plenty of examples of forks converted to disc failing in early days of disc)

3) In a conversation with the Dave Kirk, who built my frame, he noted that the result of building a steel fork for disc it that the bike will not have the same lively feel and handling as if it was a lighter fork for disc and advised that if I did not ride consistently in situation where advantages of disc stand out, I would likely be happier with the lighter fork for rim brakes. I did not record the specific words or what weighted but it was overall it was feel, livleyness, ride and handling as I recall perhaps handling is a bit of a red herring, but overall mo bettah with lighter/less stiff fork

4) Dave Kirk is a skilled builder, rider and cool guy to talk to (in person at Cino and over the phone when planning the bike) He is definitely not a disc hater and includes being an early adopter of disc to steel as part of his innovations (Innovation | Kirk Frameworks) Bottom line he has a lot of creditability in this area

5) My point was not bashing disc, but saying that all technology has some level of tradeoff and it is not just old/retro vs new it is a mix of what you want and like for technology... and clearly any frame material can be mixed with any other technology

most important...it is going to be high 70's this afternoon.......I will get a nice ride in

now of my lawn whipper snappers
It seems that all of your points ignore the fact that engineers have learned a lot since those early days and have been making forks for quite a long time that can handle disc brake forces while offering stiffness and compliance in different ways that old tech steel forks can't. Not sure why you keep assuming that the only disc fork option is an early design steel disc fork. I quite enjoy the feel, liveliness, ride and handling of my carbon forked steel bike. I'll submit that Dom Thomas is also a pretty credible guy when it comes to bike design.
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Old 04-09-24, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by NumbersGuy
It seems that all of your points ignore the fact that engineers have learned a lot since those early days and have been making forks for quite a long time that can handle disc brake forces while offering stiffness and compliance in different ways that old tech steel forks can't. Not sure why you keep assuming that the only disc fork option is an early design steel disc fork. I quite enjoy the feel, liveliness, ride and handling of my carbon forked steel bike. I'll submit that Dom Thomas is also a pretty credible guy when it comes to bike design.
I don't think I have ignored that, I noted multiple times that my builder was an early adopter of disc for steel and experienced with with building steel disc forks. I also noted that carbon fiber tech could very well put strength where needed and support overall good properties (not in that many words thoug)

I also did not say you couldn't have feel, liveliness, ride and handling in steel disc fork, just that per my builder I would have better feel, liveliness, ride and handling with a fork not built as heavy as he does for disc breaks. That is pretty logical to me with lighter less stiff fork blades.

the references to early steel bike conversion failures were made in support of the idea that disc brakes require stronger forks....which some people don't seem to accept

I think my points have been made, maybe too many times, so will leave it at that for now

time to pump up my tires and go ride

enjoy your bike and the ride
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Old 04-09-24, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
The Easton EC90 SLX used to be about the lightest fork, and it weighed ~260-275g.

I had one for a couple years. It was a noodle. Not fun at all when descending.
Yeah, given a choice I would prefer a stiff fork to a noodle fork. Really, the only downside to an infinitely stiff fork would be a harsh ride, but tyre compliance is dominant anyway, especially with 28mm+ tyres.

I donít believe that the 270g Aethos fork is a noodle, so modern carbon design makes the disc brake loading a none issue for either weight or stiffness.
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Old 04-09-24, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes
That is not a rim brake, and it actually was made for a very good reason. With the rotor mounted on the rim, Erik was able to make a very lightweight wheel, since the "spokes" did not have to carry the load of braking. The majority of force went directly to the rim/tires, not the spokes. The lowered the unsprung weight, and lowered the gyroscopic action that works against turning inputs, making the bike much more "flickable."
Technically accurate, but I've never thought of a Buell as flickable.......
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Old 04-10-24, 04:15 AM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
I don't think I have ignored that, I noted multiple times that my builder was an early adopter of disc for steel and experienced with with building steel disc forks. I also noted that carbon fiber tech could very well put strength where needed and support overall good properties (not in that many words thoug)

I also did not say you couldn't have feel, liveliness, ride and handling in steel disc fork, just that per my builder I would have better feel, liveliness, ride and handling with a fork not built as heavy as he does for disc breaks. That is pretty logical to me with lighter less stiff fork blades.

the references to early steel bike conversion failures were made in support of the idea that disc brakes require stronger forks....which some people don't seem to accept

I think my points have been made, maybe too many times, so will leave it at that for now

time to pump up my tires and go ride

enjoy your bike and the ride
I did get out and have a very nice enjoyable ride, thanks!

Still think your builder leaned you to the springy, compliant fork and not anything designed for maximum handling. Sounds like he understood youíre not pushing the limits of handling and would prefer more flex. Pic of your bike setup seems to confirm thisÖ.
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