Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fork this!

I think a custom frame really needs a custom fork. The right fork ties the look of the whole bike together, and more importantly, it can be designed to give just the right handling for a specific rider.
Here are three forks from current builds- they are all about 75% done still needing final finishing and brake mounts. Three different routes to the same destination: From left to right 1. a 26" Fat tire fixed gear fork (getting a disc mount) 2. a much narrower 700c road fork (also getting a disc mount), and 3. a burly 26" BMX fork.
The rake in fork 1 is achieved by putting a 6 degree offset angle in the crown...really keeps you focused when hand filing it. I think this is the right look for the oddball fixed gear frame it will be going on. It has lugged leg sockets for strength and the shape will reflect to seat tube lug on the frame..it's the little things.

I went for a more traditional look for #2- the rake is in the blades and the narrower crown lets the top of the fork legs be flat (you'll notice the wider crown have angled leg tops to make sure they clear the down tube when the wheel is turned) giving it a nice old school profile.

#3 is one is a beefy bastard. It's going on a BMX/dirt jump bike so niceties like tapered legs for a springy ride aren't really a consideration. It's all about strength and stiffness here. Rake is acheived by rolling the crown peices forward and by the offset in the drop outs.

Up close on the crowns.



Next, frames to go with the forks!


  1. Those are some of the most beautiful forks I have seen. Did you braze the crown for the bearing race onto the steering column?

  2. Yo Meech,
    Thanks, I'm glad you like them!
    #3 is my favorite- after experimenting with a bunch of different crown angles and leg socket shapes, this is going to be my go-to style. My signature fork if you will.
    To answer your question, yes the bearing race is brazed on to the steerer on each fork- brass for one and 45% silver on the others.

  3. dig the forks... i can promote like you wouldnt believe (unm cycling team and nob hill scene) your work is like art by sight... you show potential of the next Jordan Hufnagel... legit word sir...thanks for the convo today..was great to catch up... keep crushing

    Jacob in Real Life

  4. It is definitely a signature fork. Hey, I was looking through your photos and stumbled onto the frame with the chevron-shaped seat stay bridge, a while back I had a customer send me a photo of that style bridge and asked if I could make it for his frames so I said, "sure."
    Anyway, I didn't mean to copy your work, not that I could copy it, but you know what I mean. With that said, the chevron style bridge is a nice touch to just about any frame. Love your work. Chao.

  5. Jacob,
    I was good to hear from you too!

    Don't worry, I'm far from the first guy to use a bridge like that. I first saw that design years ago on a bike by Whitney Moyer and here and there since then.
    More recently though, Drew Gulidian of Engin Cycles has been putting them on his "extra special" frames, so I think I'll stop using that shape.
    Rock on!