Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Forking Crazy

Before I even get into this, I'll admit to still being somewhat perplexed by Odyssey Director forks. While I know they feel the same as normal forks, and I know they have the same rake, and I know they're supposed to be both lighter and stronger than conventional, leading-dropout forks, I can't help but think—because the legs are raked out the way they are—that they'd be more prone to bending. I mean, I know better, but something about it just bothers me.

That said, I really don't understand the new Fly forks. I didn't understand the "integrated dropouts" when they showed them on their frames, and I still don't understand them now. Dig just ran this:
As you know, we´ve been testing the new frames dropouts over the last year and since they are so strong, we thought that it will work on the forks as well. We have been testing these forks for some months now and everything is going great. The procedure is the same as on the frames. One piece casting dropout witch creates a really solid dropout-blades conjuction. Blades are triple butted and feature integrated cone race as our current forks. We´ll start production in a couple of weeks so they will be available around September.

And the Fly site didn't have much more. OK, the Fly site didn't have anything more. And while I understand that English isn't their first language, and they don't want to give away whatever manufacturing secrets they have, the text and the photos really don't tell you much of anything. Are the legs and the dropouts cast as one? Is it possible to create dropouts and triple-butted tubing at the same time? Can someone explain this better?

(Also, it seems weird that you'd come up with this revolutionary new process and just make the same leading-dropout forks as everybody else. It's as if Ford developed unibody construction but just used it to keep pumping out Model Ts.)

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I assume that the dropout and lower part of the leg are investment cast (see sand cast) and then welded to the upper part of the leg?

Anonymous said...

Its as if Fly is Eastern but thinking a little more.

Anonymous said...

the dropouts on the frame and the fork are still just welded on, but they look prettier now. duh.

as for directors, i can assure you that riding these forks does NOT FEEL THE SAME as traditional leading dropouts. they are a mind fuck and ruin the feel of an otherwise solid bike. and think about this for a moment: odyssey may claim that nobody has sent in any bent directors, but it's because noone can visually perceive a change in the rake of a pre-bent fork.

digahole said...

Investment casting is different to sand casting in that the shape of the part is first created as a wax model which is then covered in ceramic coating which forms the mold. the mold is then heated and the wax is removed, then the metal is poured into the mould and the ceramic smashed away.

This means that you can have more complex shapes that cant be achieved with sand casting or die casting or whatever, where you need to be able to pull the two parts of the mold apart... did that make sense?

It also gives a really good surface finish.

So by using investment casting you can have more material where you need it ie. where the dropout meets the leg and less material where it's not needed.

Another advantage over cnc'd dropouts is that you can design the casting so there is a really good fit between the fork leg and the casting and so improve the strength of the weld. What I don't get is where the join is and why you can't see it.

I suppose you could also design the casting to meet the fork leg at a point where it is less likely to break or the weld is spread out over a larger area.

digahole said...

just one more thing...

regarding: why not do something more revolutionary than the same leading dropout forks as everyone else?

seems like people cant really handle it. think directors.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"Its as if Fly is Eastern but thinking a little more."

HAHAHAHA XD

Anonymous said...

What I don't get is where the join is and why you can't see it.

Dropout Witch cast a sanding spell on it.

Then she went back to school.

SAM F said...

YOU CAN'T CAST SUCH A THING ITS WELDED LIKE NORMAL BUT THE WELDS A POLISHED!! GIMMICK!!!!!

SpaceBagels said...

YOu can barely make out the 'dropout-blades conjuction'(WTF?!?) on the second pic rigt above where the dropout section ends and meet the fork blade tube.

It's mated, and highly highly likely welded and polished. The 'joint' has a larger mating surface area than normal forks thus the need for it to be investment casted so it 'blends' into the fork legs. What else do you do to joint dissimilar manufactured section, one being investement casted and the other a drawn triple butted tube (hello?).

Unless FLY is dumb enough to investement cast the whole frikking fork legs 'witch' (hehe) makes them much weaker than a comparable drawn tube 'witch' (hehe) has been 'mechanically worked' to achieve beneficial properties such as grain flow and stucture. These properties cannot be achieved by using investement castings, not by a long shot.

Nathan J said...

I know nothing of the technical aspects of processing forks that you guys are talking about. I do know that I will never ride any Fly parts. I also think Director forks look gross. Maybe if the legs had more bend to them and less of a dramatic rake at the top. Kind of like the old K2 (was that K2?) forks that McCoy rode. Which, buy the way, I would rather ride than some Flys for sure. Good day.

Anonymous said...

"Dropout Witch cast a sanding spell on it.

Then she went back to school."

Ahahahahaha! That made me laugh so hard I gushed-out some coffee onto my monitor!

To Anonymous 12:16AM Directors don't feel anymore different. If anything they feel stiffer which is a plus.

Like you say they are a mind fuck which is actually purely psychological.

word: reehipe

Plagiarist said...

I ride directors and haven't noticed and additional mindfuck (after about the first week), flex or anything else weird.

They're solid forks, I'd recommend them.

SpaceBagels said...

I've sent an email asking about their new forks. This is a diagram showing their manufacturing process:

http://www.hauntedprops.com/ProductImages/aaaaaaamakeuuuoo/CSWO130.jpg

G.S.GUCCILIFE said...

what about the Eastern Hawkeye forks,then?lets keep the hate goin...

Anonymous said...

I just like the Rick Ross quote for the label. A friend of mine swore by the Director fork, but for some reason he's running a Fly fork now. Maybe it's because he knows dudes that flow him stuff from both companies. I don't know, I just run my S&M Pitchforks that I've had since 2000.

Russ said...

RAWSE!

traskVT said...

Directors look as good as a raked pair of forks, which is a sight I never like to see... It just doesn't LOOK like it would work in the first place, I mean, you're putting a bend where something was once straight (steerer tube junction), so it just seems that it would actually end up being weaker at that point. The only thing I saw here: http://www.odysseybmx.com/dailyword/archives/2007/08/director_forks.html

says that they used a "joint construction" for the junction, but looking at the photos it looks like they just added another piece of metal and welded the bottom of the steer tube closed. what's everyone else think?


the Fly thing I'm totally in the dark about as well, I really hope someone clears that up too.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this will help-
http://www.novacycles.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=1567

Cast dropout, weld or braze it in, grind or sand the weld back..

//JK said...

http://digbmx.com/product/eastern


What the fuck is the point?

Anonymous said...

To the guy obove there somewhere:

Director fork legs aren't bent, they are welded at an angle.

The droupouts are drawn from the legs themselves during manufacturing, making them esentially one piece. There are inserts for the ends and to make them hollow.

Ty said...

Hell yeah it was K2. If Dennis put out a signature front end with that fork, front wheel and front brake, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.