As an example of how designing in house makes a bike better is our tandem disc-ready fork. Steel forks with disc dropouts are still fairly uncommon, and there was a lot of fear about whether they would be adequate for tandems not so many years ago. The fear was justifiable, because many builders assumed they could simply weld a disc mount onto an existing fork. Sadly, a few people had some nasty accidents due to the fact that the action of the disc brake had a tendency to cause the wheel to fulcrum itself out of the dropouts, or to tear a welded-on disc tab off the fork. Not a pretty picture.
We were not the first company to offer front disc brakes on tandem frames or forks. We tested and tested until we were sure we were considering all possible safety concerns, and that we had a system that was consistent for manufacturing as well as for the rider experience. We designed new fork baldest to reduce brake torque effect and we designed special dropouts that integrated the brake mount into the dropout itself. This feature distributes the stress of braking over the entire fork rather than in a small are, the Achilles’ heel of many disc forks. Extra precautions we took include positioning the dropout slots to make “fulcruming” impossible, and capturing the quick release with a raised ridge. We like to be really certain we’re doing things right!