Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Stiffy, A Turtle, Chuck

A stiffy and a turtle.
Can you put those two things together?
Are they related in any way?
Not in the way you think.
Okay, not related at all.
I got rid of the squish on my bike.
For you non cycling people out there, that means I took off the front suspension fork on my bike and replaced it with a rigid fork:

For those of you following along at home, I've been talking about doing this for quite a while. The main reason I held out was the atrocious condition of the roads around here. Well, now that they(the guys that do this sort of thing) have begun to repave the streets around here, I had no more excuses.
The difficult part was deciding what fork to go with. Rigid forks run from less than a hundred dollars to around three hundred. Materials you can choose from include aluminum, steel and of course carbon fibre.
I decided to go middle of the road and went with a carbon fibre fork from Origin 8.
I believe Origin 8 is located in the United Kingdom. Most of their parts and bikes are sourced from Asia, but their designs are unique. Check them out.
Back to the fork:

First of all take all this with a grain of salt. I am highly susceptible to the placebo effect so I may not know what I'm talking about.
Like that's news to you.
Anyways, I have to give a shout out to the guys at The Bike Shop, town store and Kailua. There are a couple of things you need to do to change out your fork and I think it's best done with the proper tools. The guys at both stores helped me out with the hard stuff.
The good news: the ride is smoother.
That may seem contrary to reason. I mean I am removing a suspension fork and going rigid and all. Yet, to me, the ride over small bumps is smoother.
I am thinking perhaps the rebound adjustment on the squish wasn't correctly set, or maybe the Dart 3 was just a POS. The front end, while feeling lighter(duh) also feels more responsive. Power is transferred to the ground with authority.
Getting into Lanikai requires going over some small rollers. I gotta say going over them today was no problem. In fact I was surprised with how my legs felt once I hit the tops. Usually I have to ghost pedal a bit to recover, but today I could keep some power to the pedals.
I've been riding around with the suspension fork locked out for the last few days so I could compare. Let me just say that I have to wonder just how much power is lost to the front compressing on hard acceleration.
Not that I accelerate that hard, don't you know.
I would like to say that the massive amount of power in my legs was enough to make that fork flex. Truthfully, I never saw the fork flex once.
Then again, I wasn't really looking; I was concentrating more on the ride. I can say that stopping is a different experience. The old fork had beaucoup flex and now there is none.
The bad news: You can feel the big bumps. I mean you can really feel the big bumps.
It's a trade off I'm more than willing to make.
The Origin 8 Black Ops fork is available in both 420mm and 465mm axle to crown lengths.
I beg your pardon?
Oh, the turtle.
Well you see, there's this turtle that lives in one of the ponds along the levee. I see him every once in a while, but when I stop to get a picture, he slinks back into the water.
Yesterday, I caught him napping:

You can see him on the rock right above those branches. I moved off the right to get a better shot and down periscope he went.
The first time I saw it I thought I was seeing things for I blinked and it was gone.
I now have documented proof that the turtle does indeed exist:

Chuck is on.
Gotta go.


John Romeo Alpha said...

I've thought about adding a rigid carbon fork to a mtn bike. Would like to hear what you think after some miles on it.

limom said...

I'll do a little more detailed follow up in a week. So far, so good.
Disclaimer: I don't really go off road. The roads here just make it seem like I do.

FraSiec said...

I have a ridged fork on a mountain bike. I prefer the shocks.

limom said...

If I were going off road, I would prefer a full squish no doubt. I been thinking about checking out some local trails so that may be on the horizon.