Straight vs. Curved Fork
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  1. #1
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    Straight vs. Curved Fork

    I know it's probably been discussed before, but does anybody here think there are any advantages/disadvantages to a straight vs. curved fork design other than aesthetics and expense of production?
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  2. #2
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    There's a slight weight savings with straight leg forks.

    I've ridden both and currently own both styles (steel forks), and can't tell the difference in ride quality.

  3. #3
    'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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    ^This^
    #promechaniclife

  4. #4
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    Is there any validity to the theory that a curved fork is structurally better because it doesn't have to make a bend at the steerer? Or is that poppycock?

    I do like the idea of a fork with less toe overlap since I wear size 12's.
    "Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital." - Aaron Levenstein.

    "With
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  5. #5
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    I've always thought that the curved fork was nothing more than a convention, left over from the days in the 19th century when a fork was often 2 curved leaf springs with an axle between them. People just assumed that rigid, curved forks would also work like a spring. If they were compliant enough, maybe they did....
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Is there any validity to the theory that a curved fork is structurally better because it doesn't have to make a bend at the steerer? Or is that poppycock?

    I do like the idea of a fork with less toe overlap since I wear size 12's.
    I've never heard that theory, and I've never had a straight bladed fork (steel) fail on me, and I own two of them.

    Designing a bike around toe overlap can be risky because it can affect fit and handling. Under virtually any situation except the euphemistic "U-turn in a parking lot" will you have a problem with toe overlap.

  7. #7
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    I don't think being curved or straight has one single thing to do with toe overlap, just say'in.
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  8. #8
    'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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    ^This^ The front axle is in the same place regardless of the fork blades. I think in the 'old' days framebuilders would buy fork blades and they'd come straight. Most guys bent them to get some ride quality...maybe? Nowadays it makes no difference what they're shaped like.
    #promechaniclife

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    I don't think being curved or straight has one single thing to do with toe overlap, just say'in.
    Toe overlap depends only on frame design; giving enough distance between the cranks and the front wheel.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    Toe overlap depends only on frame design; giving enough distance between the cranks and the front wheel.
    I believe you can get forks with different 'trail', one could certainly make one with a different trail, which would effect toe overlap.
    'trail' will definitely effect observed handling you feel through the bars.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    I believe you can get forks with different 'trail', one could certainly make one with a different trail, which would effect toe overlap.
    'trail' will definitely effect observed handling you feel through the bars.
    This is what I was thinking. And a curved fork vs. a straight one with a bend at the steerer wouldn't make one bit of difference in achieving this, it is just a different way of achieving this.
    "Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital." - Aaron Levenstein.

    "With
    bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."
    -- DCGriz, RBR.





  12. #12
    'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    I believe you can get forks with different 'trail', one could certainly make one with a different trail, which would effect toe overlap.
    'trail' will definitely effect observed handling you feel through the bars.
    Not trail, but offset or rake. Trail is a combination of offset and head tube angle.
    #promechaniclife

  13. #13
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    You cannot buy a fork with different TRAIL. Trail is a RESULT of fork rake, head angle, and wheel diameter.

    You CAN however, buy a fork with a different RAKE, which will change the resultant trail.

    Picky, picky, picky...

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