Eurobike: Oval introduces new forks
By James Huang, Technical editor | Sunday, September 20, 2009 6.00am
The new Oval Concepts A911 fork features the second generation of the company's unique JetStream split-blade design. James Huang
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 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.
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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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