" I run the R32 fork because it is the strongest and lightest fork on the market. The 32mm offset makes it a good all around fork for street, ramps, dirt and racing. When you’re dealing with parts on your front end its super important to buy a fork you can trust… especially if you like riding bigger setups. ."
- Gary Young
WHAT IS FORK OFFSET?
Fork offset is simply the measurement of how far your front axle extends forward from the line of your forks. So a offset of 33mm means your front axle is further in front of you than, say a 25mm offset. What does all this mean for me? Simply put a larger offset makes your bike more stable which is great when going fast, airing ramps or jumping. A smaller offset makes your bike more responsive and twitchy - great for nose wheelies and street 360's.
RIDERS THAT RUN R32 FORKS
Q&A WITH R SERIES FORK DESIGNER CHRIS COTSONAS
Q: Let's start with the 41-Thermal guarantee that has been attached to various Odyssey products for over 20 years. What does this process entail, why has it been such a lasting representation of quality and what does it mean for the Odyssey “R” Fork specifically?
A: We’ve offered 41-Thermal products with a lifetime warranty since 1999. The process on the customer service side is still very similar to how it was when it launched 23 years ago. If the original buyer of a 41-Thermal product bends, cracks or breaks it under normal riding conditions then we will replace it for them. Normal riding conditions are more-or-less defined as using the bike in a controlled manner that is within your own capabilities. If it’s determined to be damaged outside of normal riding conditions, then we’ll typically do a crash replacement deal. Offering a lifetime warranty that will only cover manufacturing defects, as many other brands do, has never made sense to us. If the product wasn’t made right from the beginning, then it should always be replaceable under warranty. 41-Thermal has become synonymous with quality because riders have seen how reliable the designs are, and they’ve also seen that we will stand behind the product when a warranty is necessary. What this means for the R-Series forks is that you have 23 years of R&D, sales and real-world ride testing going into the forks we are selling today, and the warranty remains consistent and intact for anyone that is buying an Odyssey fork in 2022.
Q: Odyssey seems to always have great care for clean design and attention to detail. How does the design process take place from conception to customer when creating a product like the “R” fork?
A: We take feedback from our team riders, employees and go through any of our warranty claims to determine any possible areas of improvement that we need to address. Our most recent design for the R-32 fork hasn’t changed much over the last 10-11 years because our fatigue testing has shown that the current R-Series design is very hard to beat.
Q: Something that stood out to me about the Odyssey “R” fork is the specially formed fork legs and dropout shape to maximize grind clearance. Can you explain this in more detail and how it will benefit the rider? Are there any tricks you feel these features would specifically help one learn or do more easily?
A: The R-Series leg and dropout shape was chosen for better grind clearance, and to also accommodate a wide variety of hub guards. This leg shape improves weld surface contact between the dropout and the leg as well. The rider’s foot can also move a little more inward on the peg for greater shoe contact on tricks like a hang-5. The fork and dropout design can assist on some of the front peg grind or stall tricks where a typical fork design might get in the way. In these situations, it makes it easier to think about the trick itself instead of being concerned about having to adjust your riding for when an unwanted hang up on part of the fork might occur.
Q: Odyssey seems to do extensive testing to insure quality. Can you explain the “Stampy Test” that the “R” fork has been put through?
A: Our Stampy Testing uses a unique rig and fatigue testing protocol designed to replicate real world scenarios, and we take all of the forks we test to failure. This allows us to look for ways to improve our own products, and to also see how the designs from other brands perform. We’ve found that bicycle industry testing standards won’t tell you much for BMX as the loads applied are much too low, and the parts are never taken to failure.
Q: The “R” fork is available in 32mm, 25mm and 15mm offsets. Why the varying options and how does each fit a riders specific needs?
A: There has been a growing interest in adjusting the bike’s steering feel in recent years. We’ve always offered the R-Series fork in 32 and 25mm. The 32 offset is the long running standard and 25 was offered for anyone that wanted quicker steering. In the last year or so our R-25 sales have started to surpass the R-32 sales for the first time. The R-15 fork is relatively new and offers some crossover into flatland-style steering. We also offer the F-32 and F-25 fork, which takes the R-Series fork and adds brake mounts, and then there’s the F-Zero which is a zero-offset fork for flatland riders that want that option. If you have a cruiser, there is a R-32 for 24” wheels as well.
Q: Any additional comments or information to help a BMXer looking for a new fork decide if the Odyssey “R” fork is right for them?
A: There’s a lot of information on all of the forks we offer on odysseybmx.com. You’ll also find the Stampy testing videos there, and riders can contact us directly on social media or by using the e-mail links on our website. Thanks for the questions!