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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in desperate need of feedback on whether it is viable to use an Alpha Q tandem fork on a single road bike. I recently completed a build of a Pegoretti Marcelo and after my first ride I've come to realize that the Reynolds Ouzo Pro that comes with the frame is simply to flexible for me. I'm 6'2", 250lbs and over the past 17 or so years of riding flex has always been my enemy.

Therefore, I'm considering replacing the Ouzo Pro with either an Alpha Q Tandem fork or an Ouzo Pro Peloton which I've found hidden in the basement of a retailer. Both would be new and involve more money than I'm willing to spend on something that is not optimal.

I'm leaning toward the Alpha Q Tandem because my non scientific rationale concludes that a fork made for a tandem will be stronger and stiffer than any fork made for a single. The only concern about the Alpha Q is that the crown to dropout measurement is approx. 4 mm longer than what the frame's spec fork, and it has a 44mm rake rather than the spec'd 45mm rake of the original fork.

The Ouzo pro Peloton that I'm also considering has the exact same measurements of the spec'd fork (Ouzo Pro), but I'm concerned about spending on a new fork and still not getting the needed amount of stiffness. The Peloton is said to be stiffer than the Ouzo Pro and may solve my problem, but if it doesn't I'm out of cash and still flexing up climbs and during out of saddle efforts. However, duplicating the excat specs of the original fork is attractive.

Does anyone have any experience with Tandem forks on singles, the stiffness of the Ouzo Pro Peloton fork, or what the impact of adding a fork that is 4mm longer and has 1mm less rake than is called for will do to a frames handling?

Any and all feedback is appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Weight and availability are the primary reasons. I'm not interested in super light or anything, given my size. However, 1000 grams for a fork seems a bit unneccesary in
2008. Particularly if I'm gonna have to have one custom built at a premium price
or worry about painting or de-chroming issues.

I've got three steel frames with steel forks, and I appreciate them each, but this new build is gonna be my primary bike. The others are older and are fun to ride and train on, but steel forks simply don't offer the advantages of carbon fiber, IMO. All of that said, If I can't find the right carbon fork, steel would be an option (actually, more like a last resort).

I like steel, but I'm not a steel purest. I've ridden and enjoyed carbon fiber and aluminum as well. Generally speaking, if I can find something lighter, cheaper, and better, that's the option I'm likely to pursue.
 

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You will not be able to tell a difference between 44 and 45 mm rake. I couldn't tell when I made a similiar change on one of my singles. If you are concerned about span length, you might be able to find a headset that has a shorter stack height for the lower assembly. Compare ck with cane creek. Might be able to save a mm or two.

But, a stiffer tandem fork is going to be more responsive. I noticed the change when I switched our steel tandem fork to the much stiffer Wound Up tandem carbon. So, I think the difference in stiffness is going to be greater than differences of a few mm.
 

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Vitix2 said:
The Steerer tube flexes under load.
It seems like you've gotten an answer to your question, but I am curious- how do you tell the difference between the steering tube flexing and general frame flex? And what part of it flexes? It's braced top and bottom by the headset. Wouldn't the head tube have to flex as well? Is it the part above the headset?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That's a good question, and I guess I really can't be 100% certain. However, based on a combination of deflection tests results that I've seen published in Ride Magazine on the frame (the amount of deflection at the headtube is extremely low compared to other frames [Carbon, Aluminum & Steel] ), the point along the front end where I notice the flex when I load the front end as I checked it (the stem and the bars move in unison just above the CK headset), and prior experience swapping out different forks on other frames, I feel relatively confident that it is the fork.

I also mounted the front wheel on another frame that has the same bar and stem setup as the new build to ensure that the wheel was not the culprit. So, I can't be 100% sure, but I am reasonably confident it's the steerer.

I've also read some technical stuff by Leonard Zinn indicating that flex also occurs along the steerer tube inside of the headtube, but obviously, this can't be seen.

I'm grateful to everyone for your feedback. I think I will actually end up going with the Alpha Q Z Pro, which has a steerer tube that has "double thick" density (4mm). The folks at Alpha Q suggested this model over the tandem fork and said that it was intended for Clydes like me. They also suggested that the tandem fork would probably have legs that are too stiff and might overly compromise comfort and plushness. They went on to say that for Clydes the issue is generally not the stiffness of the fork legs, but the steerer tube, which is why they manufactured the Z Pro with "double wall" density. Of course, you've got to be discerning when you take advice on what to purchase from someone who works for the company selling the solution, but that's life. We'll see.

Unfortunately, The Ouzo Pro Peloton that I was considering is no longer manufactured, and while I've found a shop that has some left (RA Cycles in N.Y.C.), and the folks at Reynolds say it should do the job, they could not give me spec's on the thickness of the steerer tube walls. So, I'm going with the Alpha Q which I consider to be more of a sure thing, despite the extra 4mm in crown to axle length and 1 less mm of rake than the frame's spec.

The responses I've gotten have also reaffirmed my belief and experience that so much of the stuff in the cycling world is not intended for Clydes. Cycling is a different animal when you're linebacker size.

Thanks!
 
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