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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:28 am 
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Rush wrote:
Enve forks are stiff enough at 1 1/8". A reputable frame builder has told me that the only reason the industry is moving towards carbon tapered steerers is that they are cheaper to make than straight steerers.


Rush, did your 'reputable builder' explain why he/she is claiming that? Something about the manufacturing process? On face it seems like an odd statement, I'd like to learn more.

edit: quote added for pagination,

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Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:28 am 


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:00 am 
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Said that the tolerances in the carbon lay-up process for a straight steerer were quite tight. By making the bottom of the steerer larger (and hence the fork crown) the lay-up process becomes easier (and therefore cheaper). I think its to due with making the radius of curvature larger, both in the steerer itself and the fork crown. It's easier to make moulds with larger curvatures.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:51 am 
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It's actually quite far from the truth. Tapered forks are similar in cost to (maybe slightly more costly than) straight forks, based on what I have seen with a large number of suppliers.

The ironic part is that many builders use straight 44mm head tubes and partially external headset to fit tapered forks exactly because straight titanium head tubes are MUCH cheaper to make.

In my experience, tapered titanium head tube costs several times more than straight ones. If you use straight head tubes, you could order very long tubes in truckloads, and just cut off pieces as you go along. But tapered headtubes require either solid chunks of ti or really thick tubing (36mm--58mm-ish, and the raw material is costly), and each tube will have to be individually machined in a conical manner, plus each individual size frame would require a different degree of taper (a 20CM head tube will have less taper than a 10CM head tube). And stocking many different head tubes is a pain and costly. That said, there is nothing wrong with a frame builder having to balance costs, but I find it slightly odd to blame the fork makers.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:47 am 
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elviento wrote:
It's actually quite far from the truth. Tapered forks are similar in cost to (maybe slightly more costly than) straight forks, based on what I have seen with a large number of suppliers.

The retail price has nothing to do with the cost of manufacturering. If you can decrease your manufacturing costs, while maintaining the retail price, you've boosted your profit margin.

elviento wrote:
The ironic part is that many builders use straight 44mm head tubes and partially external headset to fit tapered forks exactly because straight titanium head tubes are MUCH cheaper to make.

Of course they are, but that has nothing to do with mould fabrication and carbon-layups for carbon forks.
elviento wrote:
That said, there is nothing wrong with a frame builder having to balance costs, but I find it slightly odd to blame the fork makers.

It's not a question of blaming anyone, rather providing an example of how the bike industry pushes new 'standards' that are driven by profit margins as opposed to genuine improvements in bike design.

Has anyone ever found an Enve 2.0 or 3T Funda straight-steerer fork soft and flexible?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:28 am 
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Re the first point, I was talking about prices at OE level, where cost of manufacturing is paramount. I have on my computer right in front of me OE price lists from over a dozen carbon fiber bike/parts manufacturers in the greater China/TW region.

Even at retail level, it IS an important factor. Ever wondered why Cipollini RB1000 costs more than Dogma2 and others?

Ti tubes are relevant because ti head tube is a much more relevant example of manufacturer trying to save cost, and the difference is not 10% or 20%, but more like 200% or 300%.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:23 am 
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Rush wrote:

Has anyone ever found an Enve 2.0 or 3T Funda straight-steerer fork soft and flexible?

Mostly taller people, some medium-sized people. Besides, just because people didn't complain that much before doesn't mean it isn't a tangible improvement. They just didn't know what they were missing.
If it's all about cost and marketing, why would some companies vary steerer tube diameters based on frame size? They end up w four fork part numbers, four different headset sizes, increase in design/engineering cost (not just adding tube span to make bigger sizes) etc.
So much is written off by this forum as marketing, etc. Most of these companies have a very small marketing department, and most of the employees are passionate about cycling. Sometimes what they're telling you is simply the truth.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:45 pm 
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Rush wrote:
Enve forks are stiff enough at 1 1/8". A reputable frame builder has told me that the only reason the industry is moving towards carbon tapered steerers is that they are cheaper to make than straight steerers.


The longer I've been in the industry, I've started to realize that framebuilders more than any other segment of manufacturers have serious axes to grind with the rest of the cycling industry. While a good framebuilder can make all of their bikes handle adequately stiff, they primarily do this from artisinal know-how and relatively unlimited labor-budgets, whereas mass produced components achieve their goals through nearly unlimited R+D budgets.

In the eyes of some framebuilders, all new standards are driven wholly by profitability, while in the eyes of some engineers, a custom one-off bicycle is an anachronism. The truth is typically in the middle.

Moral: never completely trust a framebuilder that would lead you to believe that a new standard is without merit. Never trust an engineering firm that would lead you to believe a new standard is groundbreaking (cough, bb90, cough, overdrive 2, cough bbright, cough cough).


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:17 am 
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Well said.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:38 am 
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I've not had a chance to ride the bike in anger since fitting the Cannondale forks but I find myself troubled by the maths and would appreciate some feedback with the following thoughts. The original Enve forks that I took off had a 43mm rake, the Cannondale ones are 45mm and with the increase in front end height and subsequent slight head angle change will I guess increase rake even more and make the handling real sluggish as mentioned by previous posters? So I'm thinking to keep the same front end feel as the original it would be better to get a fork with a reduced rake like 40 or 42mm and with the increase in front end height this will still give me the ball park 43mm rake? I've seen some 1.5" tapered forks available with a 42mm rake. Another thought i had which I'm not sure about is if you managed to find a fork with a lesser axle to crown measurement won't this help with the increase in front end height the lower headset has added? I'm not sure of this last point, is axle to crown dimension a sort of industry standard thats doesn't alter very much to keep to keep forks and frames compatible?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:51 am 
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Raising the front end slackens the head tube angle. a slacker angle necessitates a longer rake fork. Your head tube slackening should be less noticeable with this fork's increased rake.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:49 am 
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BeeBee30 wrote:
I guess increase rake even more and make the handling real sluggish as mentioned by previous posters?


Increasing rake will make the steering quicker in every circumstance. The higher bottom bracket might be making the bike feel sluggish, or maybe 45mm is leaving you with still too much trail after adding a bottom headset cup that the bike was not designed for :noidea:


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:12 am 
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Well the strange thing is that adding a tapered fork is mentioned as an option in the advertising blurb so really it is designed for it?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:14 am 
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It is an option, but they should tweak the geometry for either an inset or standard cup. Moots does this with the RSL.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:43 am 
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Adding an external headset cup plus a slightly taller fork crown (15mm?) reduces the head tube angle by 0.8-0.9 degrees. You would need about 6mm--7mm more rake to compensate (rough math, but that's the general idea). But you only got 2mm, so you are still 4-5mm short on rake. That's why it feels sluggish.

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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 1:37 am 
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elviento wrote:
Adding an external headset cup plus a slightly taller fork crown (15mm?) reduces the head tube angle by 0.8-0.9 degrees. You would need about 6mm--7mm more rake to compensate (rough math, but that's the general idea). But you only got 2mm, so you are still 4-5mm short on rake. That's why it feels sluggish.


Yes, you are completely right. I built the bike with a tapered fork and an external cup and the bike ended up being to tall for me, and it feels more sluggish than my BMC team machine. I will have to get a -17 degree stem to get to my riding position or change the fork to a non tapered and change the lower assembly, and that will fix the problem.

Does anyone want to trade an enve tapered for for a non tapered??


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Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 1:37 am 


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