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View Full Version : Can a fork change the way a bike feels? Yes it can!


SoCalSteve
10-03-2009, 05:24 PM
Hi all,

First off, I want to thank whoever at Serotta came up with the GENIUS idea of making a 1" F3 fork. Someone was THINKING!

Anyway, as most of you know, I have had a love-hate relationship with my Hors Categorie for about the last 4 years (when I bought it originally from ebay).

I loved it at first. So much so I spent big $$$ at Joe Bells having it restored/repainted. For some reason, not 100% sure why, my relationship with it kind of soured. I was more into riding bikes with sloping top tubes, threadless stems, just more modern all around.

It sat hanging in my garage for a couple years. I tried to sell it a few times but no one would pay me what I had in it or what I thought it was worth. So, I kept it.

I finally decided to modernize it. Replace the threaded F1 fork with a threadless one and re-do the gearing, wheels,stem-bars, etc. I did this and liked it a bit more. But, I was still not convinced. The bar-stem combo was great, but I still wasn't happy with the fork/front end.

Then came the great news that Serotta was bring out a 1" version of their forks. I knew I had to have the F3 version (not the S3) as I love the F3 on my Ottrott. Its just an all around stable-do everything well fork.

I received the fork yesterday. Installed it on the Hors Cat and today I did a 55 mile bike ride. The love affair is back on!!! The fork transformed the front end of the bike. Made it super stable, great handling and great feeling. You couldn't ask for a better product.

Add this new front end to an already spectacular rear end (DKS) and I now have an all around great bike! It got its magical feel back. The one I felt all those years ago when I first got it and fell in love the first time.

With the new fork, its now a KEEPER! :banana:

More pictures here (http://forums.thepaceline.net/showpost.php?p=711840&postcount=1)

Steve

Ahneida Ride
10-03-2009, 05:47 PM
I want a HC too! :D

Bigman had a flawless HC (was a 63) bit too small. :crap:
Pearl white too !!!


A few years back, I replaced the original stem with a Thompson.
I could not believe the vast improvement !!!!

and that was just a stem !!!!

Maybe a 1 inch F3 is on the Horizon ?

HC rules !

salem
10-03-2009, 06:11 PM
Just curious, do you know if the fork you replaced was the same rake as the fork that came off? Even a small difference there should easily be noticeable even if everything else in the fork design remained the same.

That said, the fork is the one piece of the frameset that isn't a triangle, so it is the most able to flex and could very well have the greatest effect on ride quality.

Thanks for sharing!

Elefantino
10-03-2009, 06:22 PM
I tried to sell it a few times but no one would pay me what I had in it or what I thought it was worth. So, I kept it.
...
With the new fork, its now a KEEPER! :banana:

See? You're happy and ... my WIFE is happy. ;)

Ride it like you stole it!

happycampyer
10-03-2009, 07:05 PM
Steve,

That is very cool. The F3 is an amazing forkósuper strong yet very smooth. It's unfortunate that you rarely see them on bikes other than Serottas. The bike looks great!

SoCalSteve
10-03-2009, 07:05 PM
Just curious, do you know if the fork you replaced was the same rake as the fork that came off? Even a small difference there should easily be noticeable even if everything else in the fork design remained the same.

That said, the fork is the one piece of the frameset that isn't a triangle, so it is the most able to flex and could very well have the greatest effect on ride quality.

Thanks for sharing!

Evolution of forks on the Hors Cat:

Serotta F1-43 rake
Alpha Q GS10- 44 rake
Serotta F3-43 rake

As for ride quality, I think wheels-tires and the fork all have the greatest effect on ride quality.

Steve

bironi
10-03-2009, 07:10 PM
Nice looking bike, Steve. Enjoy. :beer:

tylercheung
10-03-2009, 11:32 PM
you can customize the rake, right? i think my frame is specced for a 45mm rake...

but congrats on finally finding the sweet spot :beer:

false_Aest
10-03-2009, 11:45 PM
Hrm.

Eventually painted to match?

SoCalSteve
10-04-2009, 01:00 AM
Hrm.

Eventually painted to match?

I found it to look a bit "hokey" with the white fork that matches. I think all the carbon weave bits tie in nicely with the carbon weave of the fork.

When you see it in person, I think you may agree.

Tell me what you think... (http://forums.thepaceline.net/showpost.php?p=203507&postcount=1)

Just askin'

Steve

PS: The bike (and myself) have sure come a long way!

SoCalSteve
10-04-2009, 01:02 AM
you can customize the rake, right? i think my frame is specced for a 45mm rake...

but congrats on finally finding the sweet spot :beer:

Yes, you can customize the rake.

The F1 came in 43 only. The bike was spec'ed for a 43 rake fork, so that's what I bought.

And, thanks. I'm pretty happy with it the way its sitting now.

Steve

sw3759
10-04-2009, 03:03 AM
looks good Steve.i'm sure the carbon looks better in person since it matches the other carbon goodies on the bike i personally think the it looks better in the photos with the white fork..either it's a sweet lookin' Hors.

Scott

fungusamungus33
10-04-2009, 09:48 AM
Super HOT! I love the finished product. Classic, unique and modern all at once. Great work!

Ahneida Ride
10-04-2009, 09:53 AM
Super HOT! I love the finished product. Classic, unique and modern all at once. Great work!

Amen !

jhat
10-04-2009, 09:57 AM
Very nice looking! I like the current completed produce better than what you started with. I also like the carbon bits with the more traditional frame.

Jeff N.
10-05-2009, 05:32 PM
Those 1" threadless F-3's should sell like hotcakes. That's a very bright decision by Mr. Serotta! Jeff N.

Ozz
10-05-2009, 06:01 PM
Those 1" threadless F-3's should sell like hotcakes. That's a very bright decision by Mr. Serotta! Jeff N.
+1

It should make the owners of older Legends very happy! Both to revitalize an old ride, or make it more saleable!

Smiley
10-05-2009, 06:19 PM
Thank Mike Lopez as he posts here as Carbon Serotta. And the 44 mm rake fork made your bike a tad faster and my guess is the F3 is in a different league then the Alpha Q couple that with some pimpin wheels and the MOJO is BACK Steve. So sell it to me now for a BUY IT NOW PRICE :)

Jeff Weir
10-05-2009, 06:58 PM
Thank Mike Lopez as he posts here as Carbon Serotta. And the 44 mm rake fork made your bike a tad faster and my guess is the F3 is in a different league then the Alpha Q couple that with some pimpin wheels and the MOJO is BACK Steve. So sell it to me now for a BUY IT NOW PRICE :)

Cost plus List -10%

Marcusaurelius
10-05-2009, 09:15 PM
I always thought the F1 was a great fork and my only reservations about the 1" F3 is the change in axle to crown distance from 366mm to 372mm and the stiffness of 1" carbon steer tube instead of a steel one. I tried an 1" threadless alpha q fork and found it wasn't nearly as stiff as the F1. I am wondering if the F3 is as stiff as the F1?

SoCalSteve
10-06-2009, 01:21 AM
I always thought the F1 was a great fork and my only reservations about the 1" F3 is the change in axle to crown distance from 366mm to 372mm and the stiffness of 1" carbon steer tube instead of a steel one. I tried an 1" threadless alpha q fork and found it wasn't nearly as stiff as the F1. I am wondering if the F3 is as stiff as the F1?

As stiff and more comfortable.

Dave Kirk (who's opinion I value greatly) said that changing the axle to crown difference will NOT make any difference in the handling of the bike...

Buy one, you'll see.

Steve

Elefantino
10-06-2009, 02:55 AM
All this F1 bashing and speaking of the F1 in past tense as if it's dead is making me very angry.

Long live the F1! :argue:














Um, at least until I sell enough crap to afford another F3. ;)

Ken Robb
10-06-2009, 06:35 AM
As stiff and more comfortable.

Dave Kirk (who's opinion I value greatly) said that changing the axle to crown difference will NOT make any difference in the handling of the bike...

Buy one, you'll see.

Steve

And you may be able to fit bigger tires as the limiting factor on my F1 was the space between the top of the front tire and the bottom of the fork.

So the F3 is "stiff but compliant", eh? :)

SoCalSteve
10-06-2009, 10:50 AM
And you may be able to fit bigger tires as the limiting factor on my F1 was the space between the top of the front tire and the bottom of the fork.

So the F3 is "stiff but compliant", eh? :)

Yes, bigger tires.

Yes, stiff but compliant (lighter too) :banana:

Just sayin'

Steve

Pete Serotta
10-06-2009, 10:56 AM
Yes, some folks I know are using F3s on their non SEROTTA bikes and loving them.... :)

The F3 goes well with just about everything. :beer:

Smiley
10-06-2009, 01:58 PM
Yes, some folks I know are using F3s on their non SEROTTA bikes and loving them.... :)

The F3 goes well with just about everything. :beer:

My Bedford Fixee is wearing a F3 fork :)

Pete Serotta
10-06-2009, 02:37 PM
My Bedford Fixee is wearing a F3 fork :)
:)

Tobias
10-06-2009, 03:40 PM
Anyway, as most of you know, I have had a love-hate relationship with my Hors Categorie for about the last 4 years (when I bought it originally from ebay).

I loved it at first. So much so I spent big $$$ at Joe Bells having it restored/repainted. For some reason, not 100% sure why, my relationship with it kind of soured. I was more into riding bikes with sloping top tubes, threadless stems, just more modern all around.
First, let me say itís a great looking bike. Youíve done a very nice job restoring and updating it. :beer:

I read your post a couple of days ago and wanted to think about the part above before commenting. Iím not sure I can articulate my question properly so Iíll just ask it.

Although love-hate is only a phrase and ďhateĒ is too strong a word, I canít help but think that the previous forks you had on that bike could not have been so bad as to make the entire package something that much more inferior than at present. Granted your new fork may be great, but could the previous forks alone made you dislike the bike? If so, that seems very strange to me.

Which brings me to my question of why you really disliked the bike before in the first place? I understand that you donít know why you stayed away from it for so long, but there has to be something odd about it that you get tired of; maybe something you sense but canít put your finger on it. It may be a little heavier, and maybe looks a little different, but those seem to be things that are unlikely to have made much of a difference in the past since you already knew about them from the start.

I would love to know what actually made you tired of the bike, and I doubt it was a bad fork.

Pete Serotta
10-06-2009, 04:11 PM
Yes the last fork that Steve had on the bike was not the original and nt designed around the handling of the frame....the new one is!! :)

The difference between forks for a big guy can be that of night and day ;)

PETE


First, let me say itís a great looking bike. Youíve done a very nice job restoring and updating it. :beer:

I read your post a couple of days ago and wanted to think about the part above before commenting. Iím not sure I can articulate my question properly so Iíll just ask it.

Although love-hate is only a phrase and ďhateĒ is too strong a word, I canít help but think that the previous forks you had on that bike could not have been so bad as to make the entire package something that much more inferior than at present. Granted your new fork may be great, but could the previous forks alone made you dislike the bike? If so, that seems very strange to me.

Which brings me to my question of why you really disliked the bike before in the first place? I understand that you donít know why you stayed away from it for so long, but there has to be something odd about it that you get tired of; maybe something you sense but canít put your finger on it. It may be a little heavier, and maybe looks a little different, but those seem to be things that are unlikely to have made much of a difference in the past since you already knew about them from the start.

I would love to know what actually made you tired of the bike, and I doubt it was a bad fork.

Serotta_Carbon
10-06-2009, 05:46 PM
I always thought the F1 was a great fork and my only reservations about the 1" F3 is the change in axle to crown distance from 366mm to 372mm and the stiffness of 1" carbon steer tube instead of a steel one. I tried an 1" threadless alpha q fork and found it wasn't nearly as stiff as the F1. I am wondering if the F3 is as stiff as the F1?
Greetings everyone,

I've been reading lots of posts about the F1 fork lately and thought it was time to quantify some properties. It was a little tricky finding some F1 samples to pull data from but here's what I found out...

We did our standard battery of static tests which includes fore/aft bending stiffness, lateral bending stiffness, and torsional bending stiffness. The data indicates that the F1 is very close to the F3-8.5 lay-up in terms of fore/aft and lateral bending. In terms of torsional stiffness the F1 is much stiffer. That burly steel steerer really shines in this regard and at nearly twice the total weight I'm not surprised.

So...that's what the data says. Does this mean we need to make the 1" product line stiffer torsionally? I'm not sure but I know we can if necessary as we've done it before with some of the other forks we've done over the years. (Opinions seem to vary widely about torsional properties)

From everything I've heard the F1 is a great fork which was one of the reasons we used it as a benchmark for the development of other products. Personally I haven't ridden one so I'll have to take the word of those who have. Our goal with the 1" fork line certainly isn't to bash the F1 or any other fork out there. We're simply trying to service an ever shrinking niche and provide 1" carbon alternatives to those upgrading older bikes.

Thanks for the thoughtful questions and I hope this helps!

SoCalSteve
10-06-2009, 11:52 PM
First, let me say itís a great looking bike. Youíve done a very nice job restoring and updating it. :beer:

I read your post a couple of days ago and wanted to think about the part above before commenting. Iím not sure I can articulate my question properly so Iíll just ask it.

Although love-hate is only a phrase and ďhateĒ is too strong a word, I canít help but think that the previous forks you had on that bike could not have been so bad as to make the entire package something that much more inferior than at present. Granted your new fork may be great, but could the previous forks alone made you dislike the bike? If so, that seems very strange to me.

Which brings me to my question of why you really disliked the bike before in the first place? I understand that you donít know why you stayed away from it for so long, but there has to be something odd about it that you get tired of; maybe something you sense but canít put your finger on it. It may be a little heavier, and maybe looks a little different, but those seem to be things that are unlikely to have made much of a difference in the past since you already knew about them from the start.

I would love to know what actually made you tired of the bike, and I doubt it was a bad fork.

First off, thank you!

Secondly, hate is a strong word. I dont think it really had anything to do with the bike-fork-parts, etc...I just think it was what I was going through personally at the time. Losing weight, becoming a stronger-faster rider and using more modern parts on my other bikes are probably better reasons why the Hors Cat hung in the garage for so long...

When I decided to upgrade it originally, the F3 in 1" was not available. There were very few 1" high quality forks available, actually. Not sure why I chose the Alpha Q, but it was not a great choice. The F3 is a much better choice.

When I upgraded the stem, bars, etc to more modern and added the F3, the bike just came together for me. I still would rather it have sloping top tube geometry, but this is purely aesthetic.

Its like I have come full circle...But, a modernized full circle. The bike has truly come together with the addition of all the carbon bits.

Hope this helps a bit to answer your question.

Steve

Smiley
10-07-2009, 05:48 AM
Greetings everyone,

I've been reading lots of posts about the F1 fork lately and thought it was time to quantify some properties. It was a little tricky finding some F1 samples to pull data from but here's what I found out...

We did our standard battery of static tests which includes fore/aft bending stiffness, lateral bending stiffness, and torsional bending stiffness. The data indicates that the F1 is very close to the F3-8.5 lay-up in terms of fore/aft and lateral bending. In terms of torsional stiffness the F1 is much stiffer. That burly steel steerer really shines in this regard and at nearly twice the total weight I'm not surprised.

So...that's what the data says. Does this mean we need to make the 1" product line stiffer torsionally? I'm not sure but I know we can if necessary as we've done it before with some of the other forks we've done over the years. (Opinions seem to vary widely about torsional properties)

From everything I've heard the F1 is a great fork which was one of the reasons we used it as a benchmark for the development of other products. Personally I haven't ridden one so I'll have to take the word of those who have. Our goal with the 1" fork line certainly isn't to bash the F1 or any other fork out there. We're simply trying to service an ever shrinking niche and provide 1" carbon alternatives to those upgrading older bikes.

Thanks for the thoughtful questions and I hope this helps!

Serotta Mike Lopez aka Carbon Serotta knows Carbone Fibre like no one else. When he speaks we listen. GREAT freaking forks that new line of F3 and S3 forks and least we forget Mike while at Reynolds developed the Ouzo Pro line of forks no slouch eith in that regard.
Now a question for Mike which OTHER fork on the market would you buy if you could not buy a Serotta fork??? I know he's tested a few in his time.

rockdude
10-08-2009, 10:01 AM
I went to the Serotta's home page and looked for a webpage with the 1" F3 info & specs. and can't find it. Could someone post a link for me. (I feel stupid asking for this).

I have never been a fan of the way Serotta organizes its site. Its hard to find anything except the bikes.

Keith A
10-08-2009, 10:34 AM
rockdude -- I haven't tried finding the information on the website, but I just made Serotta_Pete's message about these forks a "sticky thread", so it will be at the top of the list in the General Classification section.

Edit: I also found the webpage about the Serotta forks here (http://www.serotta.com/paint/forks.html).

rockdude
10-08-2009, 10:41 AM
Thanks Keith.... The old legend my need a new update.