It’s pretty clear that over the course of BMX’s history, the level of quality a BMX product has, has improved substantially from the way they are designed all the way through the processes used to create it physically. In that time, the process has been fine tuned so far that now days a few millimeters or a couple of degrees in angle can make a bike ride and feel entirely different than another. There has been a lot of talk lately about how so many products are “the same” and essentially it’s coming down to the marketing of it or whose signature is on it. Which, it’s a fair assumption because there are a lot of products out there using similar materials, geometry, features and processes in creating it. But there are still A LOT of differences and unique, original products being developed all the time.
The other day we were talking to the guys at Wethepeople about some of their new products for 2015 and we got on the topic of Andrew Jackson’s signature Cream fork that in an era where pegs are about as important as a freecoaster to most riders, are designed to not only be pegless but have a unique look that is different than other forks available today. We decided maybe it would be a good idea to take a closer look to really understand just what these differences are. Let’s take a look… Oh and these photos are an exclusive first look at the new colors available for 2015 as well.
Let’s just talk about the fork as a whole to start this off. Andrew Jackson’s signature Cream (It’s actually C.R.E.A.M, but we’ll keep it simple) fork is made from full-liquid post-weld heat-treated 4130 “M2” chromoly. It features a fully CNC machined 170mm, single butted steerer tube with a built in crown race for integrated headsets, a cap on the bottom of the steerer tube, 6mm thick heat-treated 4130 chromoly investment cast drop outs, a 30mm offset and a 7075-T6 alloy top bolt that is M24 threaded.
Right off the bat, it’s pretty easy to spot a few differences that you can see on this fork versus others out there. One of the biggest things is that the bottom of the steerer tube is capped off. These days, this isn’t something we tend to see since it’s not really something that will add additional strength or really anything beyond an aesthetic touch that looks clean and helps keep the dirt and other crap your tires kick up when riding out of the steerer tube. Sure, this might add a little unnecessary weight to the fork, but it’s unique and does looks good.
The next major feature that stands out with the Cream fork is the drop outs. Investment Cast dropouts have been around for a few years now and it’s quickly becoming a common feature found on a lot of forks out there. Investment casting essentially removes that weld where you traditionally find the drop outs meeting the fork legs and moves it up higher to a spot with less stress from the impacts of riding. This not only gives it a cleaner look and makes it stronger, but it opens up a lot of options for what you can do with a dropout.
With the demand these days typically being riders looking for dropouts that will fit their pegs (metal and plastic) along with a hub guard, investment cast drop outs can be designed in a way that allows for the bottom of the leg and drop out to taper taking a slightly different shape since the welds are not necessarily a factor when it comes to finding that room to fit both of these items on either side of the dropout.
When it came to the Cream fork, they didn’t design this fork to fit pegs or a hub guard, so they had the ability to give it a smaller drop out with a few extra spots for weight savings and an aesthetic touch that makes it look clean and less bulky. Can you run pegs with these drop outs? You might be able to fit some smaller diameter pegs on them, but it’s not recommended.
As you can see from the design above, the drop out and end of the fork leg is a separate piece that is inserted into the legs and welded an inch or so above the dropouts then smoothed so you can’t see the weld. You can also see how the cap fits into the bottom of the steerer tube which we talked about above.
The CREAM fork features the liquid post-weld heat-treatment that Wethepeople has been offering for a while now on a few of their products. What does that mean? Well, it’s actually pretty simple. After they get done welding the fork, it is put into a huge oven where the heat-treatment takes place, then they move the fork from the oven to a liquid bath to help cool the fork down quickly. You can learn all about how heat-treating works right here, but essentially by quickly heating the metal to a high temperature then cooling it quickly will make the metal harder, which makes for a stronger overall fork.
So to wrap this all up, in a world of ever progressing BMX products and processes to create them, it might be easy to look through a catalog and say “these are all the same”, but in reality if you look closer you can find different features that make them unique and more beneficial for you to run one fork on your bike over another option available. If you’re a pegless rider, the Andrew Jackson CREAM fork might just be what you are looking for. The 2015 CREAM fork is now available through shops and mail-orders that carry Wethepeople around the world in black, Ice Blue, Translucent Green and Titan with a weight of 33.25 oz. (2.07 lbs.).
You can find out more about Wethepeople and their products by visiting their website — WethepeopleBMX.de