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Discussion Starter #1
I rode about 100km of Alberta thick gravel the last Sunday, several different patches from 5 to 30km long, added some percentage to probably 10000 that I had done before, so they were not the very first gravel experience. The speed was. I flied over those 100 at 90 to 110 km/h, before, if I had ever dared it up to 70, I was sweating and ready to change my pants. Now no fear, just pure fun, massive.

What caused the change?

• I changed oil in the fork (springs, oil, damper orifices were modified before for several times)
• Returned the fork back to factory level, flash with triple tree
• Discarded a fork brace (it will appear in for sale board soon)
• Put on Shinko 705 in front, balanced it with dyno bead
 

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I'd guess fork brace. You removed a lot of stability when you got rid of that. I would expect a big handling decrease in gravel without a brace.
 

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Don't give the bike the credit that the rider deserves.
 

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No reason to get rid of the fork brace. It makes your suspension work better and should be a net plus in gravel riding (and in all other kinds of riding.)

..Tom
 

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In my esperience fork brace means nothing on and off road. It is here now http://www.stromtrooper.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52362
My experience with the fork brace is just the opposite. Wonderful improvement both on road and off. Makes my DL650 much more stable and steering is dramatically more precise in curves. It even made a big improvement in the side wind situation. NOTE: I had already installed stiffer fork springs and oil.

I guess this must be one of the many YMMV situations. I suppose it depends on your riding skill, which bikes you have ridden in the past, the places you ride, what kind of fork springs and oil you use and exactly how the rest of your bike is set up. Still, I can't imagine how removing a fork brace would improve anything, unless perhaps it wasn't installed correctly and it was causing the forks to bind. I believe the original poster changed a number of things at the same time, including the all important front tire, which makes it hard to determine the main reason for his gravel road handling improvement.

Take Care,

Mike Brown
Vancouver, WA
 

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Don't give the bike the credit that the rider deserves.
It's most likely that you were just more relaxed this time around. :yesnod:

Being tense or scared in sand or gravel multiplies the difficulty exponentially. :fineprint:

It's also possible that you like the vague feel of an unbraced fork (slower steering inputs)...or that your brace was installed incorrectly... :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The fork brace is not the subject of this thread, but all I can say is when I got it the last year, I did some very meticulous testing. I was putting in on and off, riding the same stretches and curves with and without, I came to the conclusion – wasted money. This year I started with it. Then I took it off, for good.
Back to the subject, yes, I was relaxed and confident that time. Why? It happened all of a sudden. At least 500 of gravel were done this season, about 10000 were done before. I have around 40000 clicks now in total, just at that specific Wee, probably about 300000 in total.
Anyway I checked it once again today, about 60km, 110 km/h on very thick well maintained gravel, no problem. Slide into a turn? – with big pleasure. Absolutely no problem with anything.
 
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