Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do they compare? I am a heavy rider (about 210) and I like a solid feel, but my new frame is expected to be quite stiff, so I am thinking I can give a little and get comfort for assurance that I wont snap it in two when I hit the brakes hard. I am a bit concerned about the carbon drop outs on the Easton, but I like the look, and I like the weight.

WHat would you do? Anyone have experience with all of them?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Alpha Q Sub 3

I have the Sub3. Its full carbon w/alum dropouts. I'm 149lbs 5'6. Its comforable for me but i dont weight quite as much as you. Its stiff enough for me to sprint and just conforable enough for longer rides. I'd almost say it'll be to flexy for you but i'm speaking of the Sub3 and not about any other fork in their line. Happy shopping
 

· Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
How about Wound-Up?

From Spectrum cycles.


History
The development of carbon forks has taken many fits and starts over the years. The first widely distributed carbon fork was the Kestrel EMS designed by John Mouritsen. It used a steel steerer and crown (brazed together) bonded to a lay-up of carbon blades that fully surround the crown. The process of overlapping carbon blade material to bond to and cover the crown continues to be used in the majority of high-end carbon forks today. Obvious exceptions include the WoundUp fork and those lower priced forks, which use pre-fabricated carbon blades glued onto aluminum crowns.

As carbon forks became more popular, a number of different fabrication techniques were developed and in some cases dropped. Time's Equipe Pro, for example, started with a steel steerer bonded to an aluminum crown. Then pre woven carbon and polypropylene "socks" were drawn over flexible foam blade cores up onto the aluminum crown. Before the assembly was placed in the mold for resin injection and curing, a small piece of carbon cloth was wrapped down the front of the crown, underneath and up the back, very clean.

WoundUp continues today using a wound blade design bonded into a machined aluminum crown. This design gives WoundUp a great deal of control over the ride and performance characteristics of their forks, more than other forks we have tested. It also makes it relatively easy for them to make up custom forks with differing brake clearances, etc.

The most popular high-end forks today use either "Full Carbon" or "Carbon Rooting" technology. Properly manufactured carbon rooted forks give the most reliable ultra-light weight forks. The AlphaQ "Sub3" fork in the 1" size tips the scales at 289 grams and they now offer a "2.7" version. The lightest forks, those under about 330 grams do all suffer one way or another in the control department.

Time Fork Ride and History
When Time first began to market a carbon fork in Europe years ago, we were very excited about testing it. Both Spectrum and Merlin was interested in getting another fork supplier in addition to Kinesis at the time and the Time option was exciting. After reading some good reports about the Time fork, I began testing it for possible use on Spectrum an Merlin road frames. As soon as I got on the original fork I found that it was too harsh for my tastes. It had good control characteristics, but I was able to feel every bit of the road surface. We contacted Time with our concerns and had a new prototype on my bike in less than two weeks. (yes Time is a very responsive and responsible company).
The new version was a remarkable improvement. In talking with Jean Pierre from Time/France I found out that the "fix" was actually quite simple for Time to accomplish. The fork is made up of fiber "Socks" pulled up over a foam core. The original fork used only carbon socks while the new one had some "vectran" fiber built in. Vectran is a form of Polypropylene similar to Kestrel's "Spectra" fiber. In any case, the new Merlin/Time version did a wonderful job of insulating much of the harsh characteristics of the original fork.'As time continues to develop new forks, we?ll keep testing them.

The Alpha Q

The Alpha-Q fork, developed by Dr. Kyu Lee, was the first of the "Carbon Rooted" forks. Dr. Lee's design enabled him to reduce the weight of his forks further than others could at the time and still retain the strength and rigidity required in a high end fork. The other distinctive characteristic of the Alpha-Q line of forks is their hand workmanship. The lay-ups of their forks are simply the most beautiful in the business, period. In addition, Alpha-Q forks have become known for their superior rigidity. They are available with a variety of steerer materials, diameters and blade shapes. The standard straight bladed, 1.125" full carbon version is a very rigid, high performance fork. The same fork in the "Sub-3" version has a more comfortable ride without giving up too much in the control department. The "Sub-3" is a thinner lay-up version of their standard fork and comes in under 300 grams in the 1.0" version.









The REAL DESIGN SIGNATURE HP fork

Manufacturerd for Merlin by Taiwan's leading carbon fiber fabricator, the Signature HP is NOT just another knock-off, Asian carbon fork. Merlin's engineers spent months and a long run of prototypes getting the ride and performance characteristics that we wanted designed into these forks. While they aren't a superlight fork at about 340gr, they perform a lot better than the superlight forks. I have put hundreds of training and racing miles on this all carbon fork and plan to stick with it until Merlin sends me another prototype to test. Available in four rakes, we are not limited in our frame designs by this fork.














The Reynolds OUZO Pro fork
Now that the Ouzo has been out and in circulation for a while, (and we are offering it) I thought I'd write it up for all to see. Quite the fork! Tastes great, less filling. Actually, Reynolds Composites has come up with a new fork with an impressive balance between light weight, excellent control and traditional looks. The Ouzo is the lightest fully functional fork on the market. The lighter forks out there simply don't work well enough. Although the WoundUp has a slight edge over the Ouzo in torsional rigidity, the Pro still has what it needs in the control department. The top half of the Ouzo looks kind of like a smaller version of the original Kestrel fork while the bottom half looks like a Samurai sword. Finally, the ride is almost as good as it gets. Very similar to the Time Equipe pro but just a bit silkier, the Ouzo Pro is a real winner. As a bonus, Reynolds found a way to keep carbon steerers from failing due to star-washer nicks. The solution is elegant; they designed and produce an expanding plug that as slick as it is effective. I think all carbon steerer forks should use it. Very smart, very sexy.



Wound up for WoundUp
The excitement at Spectrum and Merlin over the WoundUp fork is both real and well founded. It took me a few hundred meters into my first ride on the WoundUp a number of years ago to figure out that we had something special here. It took a couple hundred miles to fully appreciate the fork though. Of course my first reaction to the fork was, UGLY! In any case, it is pretty odd looking at best and downright unattractive at worst. Once on the bike though it doesn't look too bad.

Now to what the fork does. Ultimately, the single biggest advancement by WoundUp over other after market forks is the torsional rigidity of the blades and fork as a whole. Most people assume that fork stiffness is most important in resistance to lateral forces. Actually, this is not the case. Torsional rigidity is considerably more important because sufficient lateral stiffness is very easily built into a fork while torsional rigidity is not. Try to picture what lateral forces do to a fork in the real world. There, you have a front hub clamped onto the front drops keeping them parallel. With that hub in there, lateral deflections will, by definition, force the blades to deflect in a "S" shape curve, not a "C" shape curve. What this means is that forks (in the real world) are about twice as laterally stiff as you feel when you squeeze the drops together. Torsional stiffness is tougher though. The front hub, as a part of the fork structure, only helps by forcing the two blades to work in tandem as they resist torsional stresses.

You might ask "what torsional stresses?" Actually, torsional stresses are not all that great, but they can really cause a fork to feel vague if not addressed. Take the Time Club fork as an example. Although it is very light and eminently comfortable, it is torsionally quite flexible. It is a great fork for putting on the miles. The problems develop when you put it in stressful situations. For example, hairy descents and hard criterium cornering can really stress the Club. Under these situations, the Club fork will make you feel as though you are not connected to the front wheel. Indeed, it seems as though there is actually a lag time between handlebar input and bike reaction. You loose the immediacy if input.

With a good competition fork like the Reynoldsl or Real fork, this is not the case. The WoundUp is the next step. While the Real and Reynolds forks are great forks and I would not have expected anything more, the WoundUp is clearly a better high performance fork when the going gets "on the edge."

One thing to note though, Avocet type sender rings do not clear the WoundUp fork blades when used with hubs that have flanges that are far apart. A Zipp hub would be an example of one of these. You need to use a Cateye type sender (on the spokes). The dimensions for the WoundUp fall right in the middle of the standard numbers, so you can use it on pretty much any road frame. You should note that on ordering a WoundUp fork, they are now available in three different rakes, blade lengths, brake configurations, etc. If your head angle is 73 or less, I suggest the 45-degree rake version.'If its 74 or over, you should get the 40-degree rake.

Awesome fork I have had it since 1998.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Stiff

I'm a litte afraid of newer forks being too stiff. Not as afraid as I am of the earlier ones which were such noodles they weren't safe.

Sounds like Wound-up and Ouzo Pro are the ones to ride. Can a supple fork make up for a very stiff frame?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
302 Posts
Considered Columbus Muscle?

I've had an ouzo pro and a columbus muscle on my custom steelie - IMO the Ouzo offers a solid ride but the Muscle craps on it for ride quality and lateral stability, especially on descents. I've swapped them over a couple of times now and always want to go back to the Muscle - Its does its job superbly,it's and I don't think about it. I'm always aware of the ouzo,and after longer rides feel it a little in my shoulders and wrists. BTW I'm a biggish rider at 6'3 and 230. For all that, the Ouzo comes in a range of rakes up to 50mm, the Muscle is only made in 45mm and integrated - something else to consider.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
302 Posts
While I'm at it

Armchair Spaceman said:
I've had an ouzo pro and a columbus muscle on my custom steelie - IMO the Ouzo offers a solid ride but the Muscle craps on it for ride quality and lateral stability, especially on descents. I've swapped them over a couple of times now and always want to go back to the Muscle - Its does its job superbly,it's and I don't think about it. I'm always aware of the ouzo,and after longer rides feel it a little in my shoulders and wrists. BTW I'm a biggish rider at 6'3 and 230. For all that, the Ouzo comes in a range of rakes up to 50mm, the Muscle is only made in 45mm and integrated - something else to consider.
A pic of the Muscle, fitted.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,085 Posts
I have to second the Wound Up. Great company, great product. If not them, I would say Reynolds, if only because they're the only manufacturer of those that you mentioned that hasn't moved all its production overseas in the last year or two. The Reynolds will certainly be much smoother riding than the Wound Up, but I don't find the WO to be overly harsh. More than anything, it just goes where you point it. It's about as close as you can get to a steel fork...which I will be replacing my Wound Up with in the near future (and my Dean), and would also recommend that route to you. Steel isn't for everyone, but it works great and always has.

<img src='http://forums.roadbikereview.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=50866&stc=1&d=1145747774'>
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top