Fork Testing with the Camera

After all the drama of the winter injury season has subsided and the lazy days of COVID-19 are here, I finally got back to the fork test video that I had intended to do on the day I broke my clavicle….and then big toe.

Originally, I had intended to do this filming with a GoPro Hero 4 Session that I borrowed from a friend. The bike and fork were brand new and the fork design was totally un-tried. I had no data or experience. On the day of my injury, I had trouble connecting the camera and get it going so I left it off. I’m a total novice GoPro user. Sadly, of all the days to need footage of the front end, that was it. Knowing which failed first, the wheel or the bars would give me so much information and settle many theories. But no. All we see are shattered pieces.

Also, the plastic cage for the Hero 4 Session sucked to mount and was very flimsy. Then it broke. So my testing sat. Ugh.

Last week, I decided to finally make something happen. I had an old Hero 3 that I ordered a cage for and got in hand. I ordered an aluminum cage for the Session also but it won’t arrive for a while. The cage mounts with 37mm filter is pretty awesome and so so solid. It would give me the images that I wanted!

The mount to the handlebar is made from a 7/8″ FT4006 PMW tube block, slightly over-bored to ensure it doesn’t damage the bar. I counter-sunk a hole from the inside to fasten the cage. I should add two more holes for options that will better center the camera on the clamp.

I did some parking lot testing yesterday afternoon. Bashing into curbs hard. Making the fork bounce. Some slow motion.

Today, my wife and I did an easy lake loop at lunch that gave me a few opportunities to get good trail footage on the way down. Having rad singletrack so close to my house has always been great but especially now in the time of the #covidwars.

I’m a little off my game and trying to smash hard on the krunker is challenging for riders in good form.  I ride the krunker with flat pedals and I suck on flat pedals so I don’t go quite as big as usual for that reason alone. I keep saying that I’ll try the bike with clips but I never get around to it. That’s not the point of the bike. Still, I did ok. Slippery conditions but some small hucks.

The howl coming from the front brake is probably due to my prototype caliper mount or the prototype adapter or the Hope brake caliper or some combination of the bunch. I’m going to put some work into that soon. I just need to make a new adapter and try a new caliper. I’m testing a RX4 caliper in the rear now. I just need to get another caliper for the front and make a new SW160 to FM32R/160 adapter for it (need to get into the machine shop, Thanks Obama)

I’ve also got a loose BB in these shots making some noise. It was tightened up a few days later and is silent.

The fork flex is probably most visible on the staircases video. You can see how the fork is flexing (as is the goal) and that it doesn’t have as much internal damping as is needed. It’s legitimately flexing, hopefully safely, but the lack of damping is probably what’s making the ride most harsh. Remember, the whole goal for carbon in my bars and fork is to get flex, not to remove it. Still, that has to be balanced with a damped response or problems are just being made worse.

This is the nicest fully rigid bike that I’ve ever ridden…and I’ve been riding since before the RS1. It really is amazing what can be done with the klunker platform when it’s taken as seriously as the trail and enduro platforms. There really aren’t a lot of limitations to the bike. You don’t go quite as fast, you don’t huck quite as far, or drop quite as deep…but you have so much fun and smiles abound. That the whole point of riding.