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Telelever versus Earles versus Telescopic
- Subject: Telelever versus Earles versus Telescopic
- From: Ben Barkow <dr.ben@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 03 Feb 2005 11:19:54 -0500
> The Telelever design is great for the street, but traditional forks are
> preferred by racers for their feedback and dynamic geometry under
> My son is teaching mountain biking, also used to do Trial on bicycle. He
> rides my K75s on our tours. He is 28 and has the ability to handle something
> on two wheels and just the other day he was telling me that he loves the K but
> not in curves on rough roads. I had the same experience.
> Another thing. Road surface on some bridges is grating. A bike with
> traditional fork tends to wonder on such surface, on the RS you hardly feel
> it. Same applies to roads which are scraped for resurfacing and we have to
> run the grooves.
Telelever was a (typically) cynical move by The Factory to create a good
suspension which had eye appeal. It is pretty good but Earles is far better.
In olden tymes, Earles forks had a drawback of weight... which needed just a
tiny bit of engineering savvy to overcome. Otherwise, we are talking of
forks that can be spec'd to any geometry you want (and even changed by the
rider in 10 minutes if they added a sidecar, for example). has no stupid
slider-bearings, only tapered or ball bearings, and is real strong and solid
feeling. With Earles forks or Telelevers, you have all the room in the world
for smart springs and smart damping (unlike the tight space inside
telescopic forks) - which is why cars have far better shocks than most
bikes. I suspect Earles would work esp well with contemporary big diameter
disk brakes but have never seen any.
With Telelevers, you have the unsound engineering of a ball joint (barely
suitable for knees and shoulders as we all know) together with the unsound
engineering of slider bearings, and with Telescopics additionally the
unsound engineering of trying to get the skew out of stanchions attached
unsoundly to the unsound engineering of triple clamps.
True, for racers and other sophisticates, the degree of diving or
compression with Telescopics communicates some information about bike
dynamics. But I think it would be better to have more stable handling and
geometry than have feedback on bad handling. No way to install a good
suspension inside a slider.
Ben (riding weather in Toronto this week - at last)