Thursday, April 8

Just when is a fork a frok?

Man. When The Pie asked me to let her write yesterday's post regarding James Dindin and his family's situation in Haiti I told her not to get her hopes up too high. "It's not like I'm Fatty and can pull money outta the sky for a good cause" I told her. Let me just say that I'm sorry I underestimated you folks, and by 4:00Pm you had two women close to tears with your generosity. Even I was a little verklempt when I saw what had been thrown into the hat. You guys rock.

Now back to bikes and my narcissistic attempts to make this all about me...

I mentioned last Friday that I had sent the White Brother's fork from the Death Stick to the guys at Suspension Experts in Asheville, NC (NSFW).

The following is an email I got yesterday from Mike Rischitell updating me on the status of my fork. I've annotated the email where necessary to clear up any misconceptions.

Dear Dicky,

Rest easy, your White Brothers fork is in good hands. Having recently modified WB forks for other famous (or not so famous) mtnbikers such as Eric 'Pisgah Productions' Wever, Rob 'Ohio Rob' (SSlOhio Rob... never forget that Rob put the Slo in Ohio) Kranz, and Maurice 'Dirt Rag' Tierney (he's sorta my boss, and I signed a contract that explicitly says I can't make fun of him or his immense largeness), I can assure you that your Fluid 135 is receiving the love and care that it deserves.

I am, however, approaching this particular job (and you as my 'custom tuning' client) with a very cautious optimism. It was not so long ago (May 18, 2008) that you ridiculed the custom suspension tuning industry (link wasn't working this AM, and neither was this one, so good luck). That and your generally purist attitudes toward bicycle gadgetry and technology have me just a little unsure what the outcome of this relationship will be...

That said, I can tell you that your fork and I, after some uncomfortable small talk and awkward touching, have begun our beautiful dance (I did not know that making my fork gay was a custom option... not that there's anything wrong with that). Issues are being addressed, needs are being met, and smooth sliding action has been achieved. Despite being treated coarsely in the past (would you believe someone filed the edges of the crown off?) (What kind of a moron would do that?), I see a happy ending (Now my fork is most certainly gay and will end up on some kinky porn site) on the horizon.

So it is off to sensitivity training next while I wait for some very special and expensive parts to arrive. I'd send photos of all this, but unfortunately my hands are all oily so I can't touch the camera.


-mike r
Suspension Experts

end email

I must make it clear that I never "ridiculed the custom suspension tuning industry". When I came up with my business idea to custom tune rigid forks under the operating name "Shove Industries" I had no intention of "ridiculing" anyone. I just saw a niche market waiting to be filled and went for it. I wasn't going to bring it up, but the guys at Suspension Experts and that other company not to be mentioned here both offered somewhere in the neighborhood of five figures to buy Shove Industries from me. Unfortunately I took what I thought was a better deal from an ousted Prince of Uzbekistan who offered me what I thought was six figures, but unfortunately due to some of the contract being lost in translation I actually ended up selling the company for six figurines.

Speaking of custom tuning rigid forks eventually I will get around to talking about my ride experience on my new Niner crabon frok.

photo stolen from Mutt

How solid is this frok? I recently found this video of a prototype being put through the paces on a testing machine.

OfficialNinerBikes September 15, 2009Niner's carbon fork undergoes a CEN-standard fork fatigue test. To pass CEN standards the fork must withstand 650 newtons of push/pull for 100,000 test cycles. The Niner fork goes far beyond this standard - exceeding 500,000 cycles on all tests.

Since I'm a believe it when I see it kinda guy I'm working on doing a little testing of my own.

I just gotta figure out how I'm gonna attach 43 packs of these to the frok before I start with all the pushing and pulling.


dougyfresh said...

The guys at suspension experts rebuilt my Reba Race 29 after I blew it up in India. They did a really good job.

Not sure if they touch Leftys though.

matt mccluskey said...

Let me put on my engi-nerd hat on an' 'splain how much 650 Newtons of force is.

It's equal to ~146 pounds of force on the end of the fork. That's how much force is being applied to the dropout every time that machine pushes down...500,000 times.

I'd say that fork will survive most anything you could throw at it.

ant1 said...

i heard that frok can survive hammer attacks. 2 legit 2 quit.

dicky said...

Thanks for the explanation Matt. One question though... how many fig newtons would that be?

Emily said...

Dougy: no, Suspension Experts won't touch Leftys. Even if you ask them nicely.

steve said...

I can't get past the fact that one newton is turned correctly and the others are turned the wrong way in an unopened pack. Strange.

Luis G. said...

I wonder how many big overhand rights from The Iceman can that fork take?

ridn29s said...

1 newton of fig = .14827 newton of force, thus you need 4384 fig newtons.

Newtons come 30 to the box (2 sleeves in a box) so that's 146 packs.

With regard to the sideways newton, this is a question which has plagued curious and concerned newton aficionados for generations. I've always considered the sideways newton to be a symbol of luck and carefully extract them so they can be shown their proper respect prior to consuming them. Nabisco denies that there is any intention or deep meaning in the sideways placement.