Well I never...the hipsters steed!

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
robc02
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Re: Well I never...the hipsters steed!

Postby robc02 » 24 Jun 2019, 3:05pm

Grandad wrote:
in the 60's and 70's a single chainring would have been the norm on most sports bikes, albeit with a five speed block - typically 14 - 24T

My first tour was in 1950 with a school friend when we were both 15. It was 2 weeks of youth hostelling, riding from London to Lands End and exploring Devon and Cornwall. Gears were 14-16-18-20 with a 46 chainring. We rode everything, including Countisbury Hill, apart from a notorious one - name escapes me - up to one of the youth hostels.

My triple now has a 22 chainring and 28 sprocket :D


A four speed - proper retro (except it was probably cutting edge at the time)!

My first "five speed" was a secondhand BSA Gold Crest on which I could only get the Benelux derailleur to work across four. It had 46 x 14 -22 in theory. It was a Christmas present around 1969 - 70. I still have, and use, the Carradice Nelson saddlebag that came with it.

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cycleruk
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Re: Well I never...the hipsters steed!

Postby cycleruk » 24 Jun 2019, 4:17pm

pwa wrote:
cycleruk wrote:Not for me. Straight forks are a no-no ...:

Actually, the best forks I ever had in terms of smoothness over coarse road surfaces were straight steel forks. Forks with bends don't actually feel better.

Besides the aesthetics, I really can't see how straight forks absorb any road shock. A curved blade, as has been made on millions of bikes, must stand a better chance of giving a more comfortable ride.
I have no evidence to back this up it just seems like common sense to me.
(perhaps we should start another thread on straight or bent forks. :wink: )
I have only ever had one bike with straight forks and must admit that I didn't notice any problems. Soon sold the bike as it was not for me as a whole.
There's no such thing as a tailwind.
It's either a headwind, or you're going well.

random37
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Re: Well I never...the hipsters steed!

Postby random37 » 24 Jun 2019, 4:24pm

I suspect tyres and position of contact points are more important.
Still, I don't like it. It looks cheap.

pwa
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Re: Well I never...the hipsters steed!

Postby pwa » 24 Jun 2019, 7:41pm

cycleruk wrote:
pwa wrote:
cycleruk wrote:Not for me. Straight forks are a no-no ...:

Actually, the best forks I ever had in terms of smoothness over coarse road surfaces were straight steel forks. Forks with bends don't actually feel better.

Besides the aesthetics, I really can't see how straight forks absorb any road shock. A curved blade, as has been made on millions of bikes, must stand a better chance of giving a more comfortable ride.
I have no evidence to back this up it just seems like common sense to me.
(perhaps we should start another thread on straight or bent forks. :wink: )
I have only ever had one bike with straight forks and must admit that I didn't notice any problems. Soon sold the bike as it was not for me as a whole.

I have ridden numerous sets of curved forks and one set of (high end) straight forks. The straight set were the best at taking out road buzz. And it was the forks, because the tyres on that bike were 23mm wide at most. They angle forwards, so there is weight pressing down on them making them bend a little over road irregularities. I have heard it suggested that the bending of forks to make a curve changes the steel in a way that makes it less flexy, but I don't know if that is true.

Mike Sales
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Re: Well I never...the hipsters steed!

Postby Mike Sales » 24 Jun 2019, 7:52pm

If you dissect gash forks you will find that good quality forks have a constant wall thickness, achieved by taking a parallel walled tube with walls which get thinner towards one end and cold drawing it into a tapered tube.
Cheaper forks have walls which get thicker towards the narrow end, because they were drawn from tubes with constant thickness walls. There is as much material in the narrow end as at the wide.
This must make the curved bottom end resistant to bending to absorb shocks.
This at least is my understanding, and if I am wrong no doubt I will be corrected.
The shock absorbing qualities must be affected by this.

Greystoke
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Re: Well I never...the hipsters steed!

Postby Greystoke » 25 Jun 2019, 8:01am

There's a market for these types of bike's. I have a nice bike from the 80's.
Viking do a 'Retro Roadie' to cater for this market.

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Mick F
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Re: Well I never...the hipsters steed!

Postby Mick F » 25 Jun 2019, 8:18am

Straight forks aren't "straight".
If they were, the trail would be too short.

Straight forks are angled at the fork crown, but how they can give a compliant ride, I have no idea. There is no way that they can be as compliant as my Mercian with lovely curved 531c forks despite little trail and twitchy steering.
Mick F. Cornwall

pwa
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Re: Well I never...the hipsters steed!

Postby pwa » 25 Jun 2019, 8:29am

Mick F wrote:Straight forks aren't "straight".
If they were, the trail would be too short.

Straight forks are angled at the fork crown, but how they can give a compliant ride, I have no idea. There is no way that they can be as compliant as my Mercian with lovely curved 531c forks despite little trail and twitchy steering.


I think that is just not true Mick. I used to think that the curve must enable the bending, but the (as you point out) angled straight blades really can be springy if they are made well. I think it is more to do with the quality, the taper and the wall thickness. Having had lovely springy straight forks and harsh curved forks, I now believe the shape of the forks is in itself a poor guide to how they will feel.

The bike in the OP is relatively cheap and I would be surprised if the forks gave a nice ride whether or not they had a curve. The Guardian writer does not seem to have actually ridden the bike to be able to tell us. Perhaps they just had the same picture that we have to look at.

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al_yrpal
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Re: Well I never...the hipsters steed!

Postby al_yrpal » 25 Jun 2019, 10:37am

I agree with Mick. Mercian forks are tapered as well as beautifully curved down below. Both these things take out the constant jarring and thudding which one experiences from brutal non compliant straight forks. Straight forks are cheap to manufacture, nasty and uncomfortable. Ride a Mercian and feel the difference!

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. CTC gone but not forgotten!

pwa
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Re: Well I never...the hipsters steed!

Postby pwa » 25 Jun 2019, 10:45am

al_yrpal wrote:I agree with Mick. Mercian forks are tapered as well as beautifully curved down below. Both these things take out the constant jarring and thudding which one experiences from brutal non compliant straight forks. Straight forks are cheap to manufacture, nasty and uncomfortable. Ride a Mercian and feel the difference!

Al

But the straight forks I had were expensive Columbus EL ones that gave a very compliant ride, certainly much better than the curved 531 ST ones I had on another bike at the time. I know ST means they were built for strength rather than compliance, but I have had other curved blade forks in 531C that were no better than the straight blade ones at giving a smooth ride. I suggest that the compliance does not come from the curve but from the other factors, notably taper, wall thickness and outside dimensions.

sjs
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Re: Well I never...the hipsters steed!

Postby sjs » 25 Jun 2019, 11:07am

Mick F wrote:Straight forks aren't "straight".
If they were, the trail would be too short.



If they were straight the trail would be too long. More curve on a curved fork reduces the trail.

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Mick F
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Re: Well I never...the hipsters steed!

Postby Mick F » 25 Jun 2019, 12:29pm

Trail is a function of head angle and fork offset.
If you had a vertical head angle and straight inline forks, there would be zero trail of course.
Same vertical head but with a curved fork, and you will have trail.
More curve and a low head angle will give loadsa trail.

As for compliant straight forks, where is the flexing coming from? Do they bend due to the non-vertical angle?
Mick F. Cornwall

sjs
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Re: Well I never...the hipsters steed!

Postby sjs » 25 Jun 2019, 12:35pm

Vertical head and curved fork: negative trail.

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Mick F
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Re: Well I never...the hipsters steed!

Postby Mick F » 25 Jun 2019, 12:45pm

You seem to be saying that trail is function of head angle only.

I say, that for any given head angle, more fork curve gives more trail.
Mick F. Cornwall

tatanab
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Re: Well I never...the hipsters steed!

Postby tatanab » 25 Jun 2019, 1:17pm

^^^^^^^^^ Not so. It is less trail, which gives light steering.
Trail Rake.jpg