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new fork options

Old 10-14-14, 12:49 PM
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akexpress
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new fork options

We are in the process of frame changes and looking at fork options. As we ride in the mountains almost exclusively I want to go to a dual disc setup. We recently did a trip in Italy and used the hydraulic DI2 rear disc and it was the most powerful and nicely modulated brake we have ever used on the tandem. I now want it on both ends of the bike. I want to continue with a carbon fork on our Calfee and so there are not as many disc fork choices out there. As a disc brake puts some rather strong rotational forces on the fork leg I am considering thru axle choices. Does anyone have any experience with the Whiskey forks? I can't find much info on the Co-motion fork as to availability of thru axle. I am also going to move to a 142-12 rear thru axle rear spacing at the same time. Anyone's experience would be appreciated.
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Old 10-14-14, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by akexpress View Post
We are in the process of frame changes and looking at fork options. As we ride in the mountains almost exclusively I want to go to a dual disc setup. We recently did a trip in Italy and used the hydraulic DI2 rear disc and it was the most powerful and nicely modulated brake we have ever used on the tandem. I now want it on both ends of the bike. I want to continue with a carbon fork on our Calfee and so there are not as many disc fork choices out there. As a disc brake puts some rather strong rotational forces on the fork leg I am considering thru axle choices. Does anyone have any experience with the Whiskey forks? I can't find much info on the Co-motion fork as to availability of thru axle. I am also going to move to a 142-12 rear thru axle rear spacing at the same time. Anyone's experience would be appreciated.
Right. A good reason why I asked for an update in Plowhorse's thread as he spec'd a QBP/Whisky (note the spelling) thru axle disc fork. I assume that he has a "No.9" tapered steerer configuration, because Whisky appears to only make that thru axle fork with a 1.125” - 1.5” Tapered carbon steerer. Otherwise, the Axle-Crown specs for that fork are exactly what is needed for a standard Calfee geometry. I also like that this fork comes in a 49mm rake, plus can handle up to a 185mm rotor.

The ENVE Road Disc Fork has a couple points that irk me... 1) only comes in 43mm rake which I found makes steering too slow, and 2) can only handle up to a 160mm rotor, and 3) QR only, no thru axle.

All of the thru axle forks seem to be tapered steerers, and that having the bigger lower steerer/bearing race area may pretty much be a required design to provide adequate strength when using a disc brake.

Last edited by twocicle; 12-05-14 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 10-14-14, 04:34 PM
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I know lots of people riding that Whisky fork on the CX bikes, but no experience on the tandem. Very interested to hear what you think about the thru axle and dual disc brakes!
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Old 10-14-14, 07:57 PM
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Read a review of the No.9 TA and the No.7 QR mtb forks, review stated a max rider weight of 350lbs, but now Whisky rates each of their tandems as "no max weight." Do like how Whisky includes an "abuse" standard (i.e. pavement, no jumps, up to 12" jumps, ect).
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Old 10-15-14, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by LastKraftWagen View Post
Read a review of the No.9 TA and the No.7 QR mtb forks, review stated a max rider weight of 350lbs, but now Whisky rates each of their tandems as "no max weight." Do like how Whisky includes an "abuse" standard (i.e. pavement, no jumps, up to 12" jumps, ect).
I figure, if a team is over 350lbs then any carbon fork is probably not the best choice... go steel instead.

As far as jumping is concerned, my bet is that they are providing guidelines for Cross and trail riding where crazies might attempt substantial leaps. These forks are not meant to be used for bombing downhills and dropoffs. It should also not be confused with "jumping" curb transitions and potholes, which can result in much less impact stress than riding over those obstacles

Here's a couple pages with feedback on the Whisky forks:
Rigid Fork Shootout: QR Open Dropout VS Thru-Axle | Singletracks Mountain Bike Blog
Whisky No. 7 Fork | riding against the grain

Last edited by twocicle; 10-15-14 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 10-17-14, 06:38 PM
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So, let me get this straight, a Calfee with a tapered headtube and carbon fork, plus a through axle lower fork fitting. And to carry the back, a 142 x 12 though axle. Pretty darn neat setup.

However, am I reading that the discs are limited to 185mm?

185mm and I'm still sitting here with my tongue hanging out and wishing.

Again, very nice.

PK
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Old 10-18-14, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by PMK View Post
So, let me get this straight, a Calfee with a tapered headtube and carbon fork, plus a through axle lower fork fitting. And to carry the back, a 142 x 12 though axle. Pretty darn neat setup.

However, am I reading that the discs are limited to 185mm?

185mm and I'm still sitting here with my tongue hanging out and wishing.

Again, very nice.

PK
Paul
thats about it although it will have a 203mm rear disc. I believe that the 185 mm rotor and disc brake will still be far superior to the Dura ace caliper I presently have. The power of the new DI2 hydraulic brakes is very impressive and I want to transmit the forces to both sides of the bike in the fork and rear drop out area therefore the thru Axles. At this point my wheel choice is White industries hubs and the relatively new Velocity Aileron disc specific rims in 32 holes Sapin CX-ray aero spokes. I will use 6 bolt Hope rotors as we melted a shimano Ice tech rotor in Europe last year.
Maybe with the ceramic pistons the ice tech rotors would be ok but I am not taking chances. As we were riding mountain bikes today I realized that the tandem will not have any cables, a first for any our bikes. The 135 spacing should make chain line easy even though with Di2 the bike shifted flawlessly. I am looking forward to the new changes.
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Old 10-18-14, 10:46 AM
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Hey Mark, are you sure about using Sapin CX-ray for tandem disc wheels? Since a disc puts more stress through the spokes than rim brakes do, for a disc wheel I would up the spoke spec a notch from what we can get away with when using rim brakes. IMO, CX-ray might be passable for a single bike w/disc, but I don't have that same warm & fuzzy feeling for tandem usage.
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Old 10-18-14, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
Hey Mark, are you sure about using Sapin CX-ray for tandem disc wheels? Since a disc puts more stress through the spokes than rim brakes do, for a disc wheel I would up the spoke spec a notch from what we can get away with when using rim brakes. IMO, CX-ray might be passable for a single bike w/disc, but I don't have that same warm & fuzzy feeling for tandem usage.
B.
Yea I'm still debating the spoke choice at this point. The hubs and rims should work well but will probably do a bit stronger spoke especially in a 32 hole spoke count. What would be your choice for spokes?
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Old 10-18-14, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by akexpress View Post
B.
Yea I'm still debating the spoke choice at this point. The hubs and rims should work well but will probably do a bit stronger spoke especially in a 32 hole spoke count. What would be your choice for spokes?
For aero spokes on our rear 32h WI disc hub (CX-11 CLD), I used DT Aero Comp in cross-3. So far those have worked well and I would do the same for a front disc if we had one. Otherwise for non-aero, either Sapim Race or DT Comp.

Round spokes should provide more lateral stiffness, though the ones I built up (BHS/Kinlin) with aero spokes are laterally stiffer than any other wheels we have on any of our bikes. They may not be as compliant as Spinergy wheels, but then the performance gains (precise tracking and stealthy quiet/slick) is very noticeable.
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Old 10-19-14, 05:41 AM
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Is the fork rated for a 185mm max, or can a different caliper adapter bring it out to 203?

Regardless, it will be a very cool and likely very capable setup to ride.

Good brakes that are stronger than needed, but offer modulation and control are just fun to ride without worry.

Do you have a link to the fork you plan to run?

PK
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Old 10-19-14, 06:31 AM
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I would be interested in any information on tapered tru axle fork options. I plan to ride with different stokers and may hit the 400 lb rider weight. The Whiskey No 9 looks great but too lite for my comfort. Any other options? I had Walt works build one for my tandem mnt bike that ended being 5 lbs. I dont want one that beefy
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Old 10-19-14, 07:29 AM
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One thing that to consider is the whole carbon fork-front disc set up. Santana apparently doesn't think that it's a good idea: Mechanical vs. Hydraulic (last talking point/bullet). Granted, they're looking at a single disc up front. I'd think that a dual disc would only exacerbate the issue. Considering Santana's point of view, I'd probably ask Craig Calfee's opinion. Or whoever does his engineering designs.
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Old 10-19-14, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by PMK View Post
Is the fork rated for a 185mm max, or can a different caliper adapter bring it out to 203?

Regardless, it will be a very cool and likely very capable setup to ride.

Good brakes that are stronger than needed, but offer modulation and control are just fun to ride without worry.

Do you have a link to the fork you plan to run?

PK
Whisky is 185mm max due to fork blade clearance. link posted above.
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Old 10-19-14, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Sprout97 View Post
One thing that to consider is the whole carbon fork-front disc set up. Santana apparently doesn't think that it's a good idea: Mechanical vs. Hydraulic (last talking point/bullet). Granted, they're looking at a single disc up front. I'd think that a dual disc would only exacerbate the issue. Considering Santana's point of view, I'd probably ask Craig Calfee's opinion. Or whoever does his engineering designs.
The world according to McBill. Ask around about the WinZip disc caliper (or previous Formula), then factor that into the equation.

There are plenty of tandems out there with disc forks/front. Can you find any reports of fork failures due to disc setups?
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Old 10-19-14, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Sprout97 View Post
One thing that to consider is the whole carbon fork-front disc set up. Santana apparently doesn't think that it's a good idea: Mechanical vs. Hydraulic (last talking point/bullet). Granted, they're looking at a single disc up front. I'd think that a dual disc would only exacerbate the issue. Considering Santana's point of view, I'd probably ask Craig Calfee's opinion. Or whoever does his engineering designs.
I think you are confused when I say a dual disc setup meaning a front and rear disc not dual front disc. I have no concern about using a dished front wheel. We have front disc wheels on both of our mountain tandems that are also 100mm spacing and we put huge loads on the those wheels without issues. I think that is one of advantages of using a thru axle fork. The article you referenced above is actually quite outdated as Santana no longer uses the Winzip brake. I have had many long discussions with Bill McCready regarding tandem brakes and they are continuously testing new options. The newDI2 hydraulic brakes are the first system to be designed from the ground up as road bike brakes. They use finned brake pads , ceramic pistons and special rotors to dissipate heat. Shimano says there are no weight limits even with 140mm rotors. Bill is certainly testing these brakes and and may change his mind about disc brakes on carbon forks. At present Co-motion has two disc brake carbon forks that they build and offer as options. Craig Calfee is directly involved in the engineering of my frame and they have made a running design change in their frames due to the power these new brakes offer. They have designed an additional strut between the chain and seat stays to help with force distribution. This was initially used when they began producing mountain tandem frames in production and they almost exclusively use hydraulic disc brakes. I was in direct contact with Calfee before I installed and used the rear disc and in fact Rob there helped overcome some bleeding issues that this brake presents on a tandem. I believe these brakes will truly revolutionize tandem brakes but it will require going to DI2. Another member(uspro) here had good luck with the Sram red brake until it was recalled. The other advantage of the dual discs is a on a long descent one can alternate the two brakes much more effectively and dissipate heat even better. In discussions with Craig Calfee he is committed to disc brakes on carbon frames and forks and has more experience with carbon frames then just about anyone. We are fortunate to get to travel with our tandem and have done some amazing climbs and subsequent descents and have had brake failures (melted Avids on Mt Ventoux,Trp Hy/Rd that does not adjust for pad wear and a melted Ice Tech rotor). Everyone of these failures was duplicated by our friends on the same rides so I feel confident it wasn't just our bad luck or my poor technique. Therefore the quest for better systems and I am willing to be an early adopter. If one lives in a flat area then none of this matters any well adjusted brake will work but if you are a the top of long descent and you look up at the sign and it says 15% grade you certainly want to have the best brakes available. The tandem community is benefiting from the advent of carbon wheels and cycle cross that the manufacturer's are designing for.
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Old 10-19-14, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by eischman View Post
I would be interested in any information on tapered tru axle fork options. I plan to ride with different stokers and may hit the 400 lb rider weight. The Whiskey No 9 looks great but too lite for my comfort. Any other options? I had Walt works build one for my tandem mnt bike that ended being 5 lbs. I dont want one that beefy
I have seen Co-Motions carbon front disc fork and it is plenty beefy and "Tandem rated". It even has mid fork rack mounts for touring with panniers. For my purposes on this frame it is too robust. When we build a touring frame later this year it will be on my short list.
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Old 10-19-14, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by PMK View Post
Is the fork rated for a 185mm max, or can a different caliper adapter bring it out to 203?

Regardless, it will be a very cool and likely very capable setup to ride.

Good brakes that are stronger than needed, but offer modulation and control are just fun to ride without worry.

Do you have a link to the fork you plan to run?

PK
P.
Forks | Whisky Parts Co.
road No9 disc tapered head tube
Mark
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Old 10-19-14, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by akexpress View Post
P.
Forks | Whisky Parts Co.
road No9 disc tapered head tube
Mark
Mark, seeing the fork has bonded metal items inside, let's get you well instructed in coin tap techniques to keep a vigilant eye and ear for disbonds. I like it, but am always concerned, even with our own Wound Up, to watch for failure before it happens.

CX riding vs tandem braking seem to me to impose different loads into the fork. The CX bike will hardly flex the fork under braking. If jumped or heavily loaded, the force is more often forward, not aft.

Again, I like it, just not sure yet. Plus it is difficult to visually inspect.

PK
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Old 10-19-14, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by PMK View Post
Mark, seeing the fork has bonded metal items inside, let's get you well instructed in coin tap techniques to keep a vigilant eye and ear for disbonds. I like it, but am always concerned, even with our own Wound Up, to watch for failure before it happens.

CX riding vs tandem braking seem to me to impose different loads into the fork. The CX bike will hardly flex the fork under braking. If jumped or heavily loaded, the force is more often forward, not aft.

Again, I like it, just not sure yet. Plus it is difficult to visually inspect.

PK
Always a good idea to post sources for info.

From Thru the looking glass of Whisky: Thru axles are coming to road, ?cross forks - VeloNews.com
Whisky partnered with SRAM to develop a special, shortened Maxle thru axle that helps the appearance and weight of the forks. Unlike the large, bulbous nuts that many rigid thru axle forks require, the Whisky fork uses a non-replaceable insert bonded into the carbon leg. The look is elegant and should prove more than adequate for skinny tired applications.
Read more at Thru the looking glass of Whisky: Thru axles are coming to road, ?cross forks - VeloNews.com
Mark,

I sort of chickened out on modding our frame this last winter with thru-axle dropouts, but there was also a delay at that time on the parts they needed... so there you go.

For hydraulic disc brakes & their pesky fluids, until there is a zero maintenance product developed, I'll not be going with hydraulics. Love the feel and power but not the possible issues with fluids. Brake by wire while on tours is as simple as it can be.

Cool that you are pioneering this for the rest of us Looking forward to seeing and hearing of the results.

Last edited by twocicle; 10-19-14 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 10-20-14, 03:03 AM
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Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
Agree sources can be good, my comments were based on simply seeing the fork in catalog photos linked by AKExpess. The bonded in place metal inserts are clearly here, the internal layout / location is not visible though.

Overall I love the idea Mark is going to bring to reality. A 142 x 12 rear end, and through axle front setup.

PK
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Old 10-20-14, 11:05 AM
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PK and Twocicle
I appreciate and value the opinions you both offer as they come from experience. I have had the pleasure of talking to you both on the phone and we hope to ride with you sometime. I realize we are pushing the envelope some but am feeling more and more confident about the choices. After thirty five years in dentistry my hands having a few issues and the vibration and effort takes a toll on long trips. Therefore the DI2 and hydraulic brakes make it easier and the carbon helps with the vibration. As far the hydraulic brake concerns I have had various shimano hydraulic brakes on single mtn bikes for years and they have been absolutely trouble free. We also have them on both of our mtn tandems again without issues so I am not really worried about the fluid issue. Also by having them front and rear one can mitigate the heat buildup better by more aggressive rotation. I think we may wear rear tires more due to better braking. I am still trying to decide on maybe doing a set of carbon rims in 28 hole count but still gathering info. The changes to this bike will carry over to a new frame we are commissioning that will be a carbon touring tandem with panniers and racks and large tire clearances and a mix of XTR and Ultegra DI2 components to get a bit lower gearing. We will start that frame after a few rides on this tandem to make sure we have made the right choices.
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Old 10-20-14, 12:15 PM
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Mark, I'm curious how you are fitting a tapered fork to your current Calfee tandem.

Do you already have a 44mm headtube which AFAIK is typically needed, or find another solution/combo to fit a disc fork?
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Old 10-20-14, 12:24 PM
  #24  
akexpress
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putting on a new head tube. We recently had a new fit done and needed to raise my bars and the only way was a hideous stem on our current setup. As our current fork has 15k+ miles on it I decided it was time to replace so hence the changes and will do a head tube extension at the same time. If it is being reworked I want to do it all at the same time, it will be like a new bike.
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Old 10-20-14, 01:50 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by akexpress View Post
putting on a new head tube. We recently had a new fit done and needed to raise my bars and the only way was a hideous stem on our current setup. As our current fork has 15k+ miles on it I decided it was time to replace so hence the changes and will do a head tube extension at the same time. If it is being reworked I want to do it all at the same time, it will be like a new bike.
Am I correct in interpreting your post that you are most comfortable replacing carbon tandem forks at intervals somewhere close to 15,000 miles? Just looking for an opinion about what you are comfortable with and not implying a judgement of carbon forks in general.
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