Friday, December 7, 2007

Small Details

This fork started out as a low-trail Frame-Neutral Replacement Fork™ for a Rivendell Rambouillet. As we discussed the customer’s current setup and future plans, the fork’s specification expanded to include some neat custom features.

The customer requested separate under-crown mounting points for both a fender and the new Velo Orange randonneur front rack. This rack, intended to be used with caliper brakes, features a center tang made from a flat strip which attaches underneath the crown. With the limited space available in the open end of the steerer tube, this called for a carefully designed piece to provide two threaded sockets with enough separation to be functional, enough depth-of-thread for a solid connection, and no interference with the brake’s center bolt.

The mounting solution shown above provides a 6mm socket (front) for the rack, and a 5mm socket (rear) for attaching the fender. The spacing between the sockets is maximized, and the socket depth provides 5mm of full contact thread. The bridge that carries the sockets is about 2mm thick, and, with this crown, provides the extra bit of vertical drop required to allow the rack’s tang to pass cleanly beneath the arch of a Tektro R556 caliper brake. With the additional fork length built in to compensate for the added fork offset, all of this stuff underneath the crown won’t interfere with the clearance needed to properly position the fender over a 700Cx30 Grand Bois tire.

The customer will use a generator hub, running the light wire all of the way up the right fork arm, then down the left arm to a low-mounted light. To eliminate that whole unsightly zip-tie and p-clamp scene, this fork received a full set of brazed-on lighting wire guides, along with a dedicated light mount low on the left arm.

Small details like these really clean up the appearance of a bicycle. In doing so, the details themselves tend to disappear from the casual observer. But they’ll always be there, providing a perfect foundation upon which to carry your load, keep you dry and light your way.