February 19, 2007

New weightweenie fork mods

Ok, I like to say that I don’t care much about weight, but the reality is that if you own a gram scale (guilty, as charged) you’re pretty much solidly in the weightweenie camp. Now, don’t get me wrong – I have no interest in building *fragile* lightweight stuff, but getting rid of extraneous material is something I can dig.

In that spirit, I’ve been testing some new modifications (minor tweaks, really) to my fork designs to save a few more grams without giving up any strength. After some beta testing by yours truly and my “team”/guinea pig squad, I’m offering them to the general public.

First mod is pretty straightforward, but it took some work to make a fixture to hold onto the dropout to allow it to be machined down. See the pictures – I remove most of the plug portion of the dropout (since I weld these in, the plug isn’t necessary – it’s for those folks who want to braze the dropouts in with brass), which saves about 15g/pair, and then I cut/file away the rack mounts (which most folks don’t want/need) as well, to save another 7g or so.

Before:

And after:

I’ve also found some fork blades that will allow me to use asymmetrical blades on disc forks – reinforced/beefy left legs that can handle the extra force of the disc, with new lighter weight right legs, since the brake forces aren’t nearly as high on that side. This mod saves only a little weight on the constant diameter blade forks (usually 10-15grams) but it can save as much as 50g on tapering blade forks.

It takes a reasonable amount of extra work to do this, so I’m going to charge an extra $20 for the weightweenie mods.

Bottom line is that my lightest suspension corrected 29er forks will now run as light as 850 grams (final fork weight depends on the rider, of course, but the mods will save you 25-65 grams regardless) and I’ll still offer my “lifetime unless you do something stupid” warranty.