Product Development: Carbon Randonneur Fork

October 21, 2012

in Product Design

This is Seven Cycles’ first production heavy-duty carbon randonneur fork.  We’ve designed many rando forks over the past few years – most of which have been steel.  In fact, any randonneur fork on which we’ve provided rack mounts has definitely been steel.  This is the first carbon fork we’re offering with rack mounts.  Sounds simple enough.  It’s not.  And we’re including a lot of other feature firsts on a carbon rando fork.

Features and options include:

  • Medium reach brake to fit 33c tires – or bigger.  Or fenders with 28c – or bigger
  • Front rack friendly.  We’ve designed custom titanium low-rider rack mounts for this project.
  • Internal generator light wire harness
  • Every fork rake and bike handling option imaginable:  from full-on race handling all the way to big rake for the lowtrail enthusiasts
  • Custom light mount
  • Ride characteristics found in Seven Cycles 5E carbon road fork
  • Lifetime warranty

Project updates in reverse:

December 19  |  Working on the rando fork test procedure.  It’s a bit tricky because I haven’t found a test that duplicates what we’re trying to do.  We’ll mesh something together.  Hoping to begin testing right after the new year.

14 December  |   We’re just about ready to start testing the fork.  We’re trying to do everything we’ll be offering in this fork all at once, in one test.  It’s a bit much.  But it will be worth it.  We’re making the lugs right now.  Lugs on a carbon fork?  Test ride next week.  Fatigue tests start the second week of January.

12 December  |  I think I’ve got a wiring harness set up figured out.  Testing it tomorrow, maybe.  Also came up with a solution to internal wiring conflict with a lifetime warranty.  Punching holes in carbon is not conducive to product longevity – not without some tricky problem solving and testing.

11 December  |  Working on the internal wiring system for Seven’s new randonneur fork.  Not super happy with some of the compromises at the moment.  Still have time to come up with a better solution.  Skip – Seven’s electrical engineer, among many other things – is helping me today.

10 December  |  We’ve finally designed a fail-safe rack mount for Seven’s upcoming rando fork.  This challenge has always been one of my primary concerns about offering a carbon fork that accepts some front racks.  This solution was the last piece of the puzzle.  So, we’re going to start testing be week end.  Likely.

7 December  |   We’ve got an overall design mapped out.  All the features and options determined.  Matt O. is helping put the prototype together.  Bryan H. may help, too.  Neil is pulling together all the components that we’ll be testing with the fork.  Lug-work on a carbon fork?  Hmmmm.  I’m excited to test it out; I’m third in line, though.

28 November  |  We’re still prototyping.  Maybe one more round before we’re into pre-production testing.

21 October 2012  |  Today begins a randonneur fork project at Seven Cycles.  The primary success measures are:

  1. Lowrider rack mounts
  2. Internally wired generator hub and light harness
  3. Lifetime warranty
  4. All three in a carbon fork

{ 0 comments… add one now }