Eurobike: Oval introduces new forks

15-20 percent reduced drag, they say

Oval Concepts showed off two new carbon road forks at this year's Eurobike show with the latest version of its innovative JetStream design. 

The A911 closely resembles the fork used on the Ridley Dean – which was developed in conjunction with Oval Concepts – with deep blades and a particularly bulbous crown area, while the more svelte-looking R911 is intended more for general road use.

Both feature a revised JetStream layout that still uses a unique dual-blade layout, but the blade positions have now been swapped relative to the original JetStream – the forward legs are now set to the outside of the rearward legs. 

The r911 road version uses similar technology but in a lighter weight package. according to oval concepts, the dual-blade configuration pulls churning air away from the spokes for a 20 percent reduction in front wheel drag.:

The 2010 Oval R911 fork

According to Oval Concepts, this new configuration is even better at pulling air away from the front wheel's churning spokes than before, to the tune of a 15-20 percent claimed reduction in drag over a conventional single-blade fork. 

The extra material does add up a bit on the scale as compared to a standard fork design, however, but Oval Concepts principal Morgan Nicol says the aerodynamic advantage easily makes up the difference in most situations.

Oval concepts has gained official uci approval for several of its existing bar designs.:

Given the tumultuous happenings this year regarding the International Cycling Union (UCI) and aero bar shapes, it's also worth noting that Oval Concepts has secured official approval for its JetStream range so sponsored teams thankfully will have little to worry about in the 2010 season.  

Unfortunately, the flatter Laminar series of integrated and base bars still fall outside the 3:1 aspect ratio guidelines, though, and won't be allowed for UCI-sanctioned events.

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James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA

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