Hugh and Fred,
I have a little trouble keeping all the various fork blade specifications straight and the names one might call them. Fred has asked if "Continental Oval" and "Imperial oval" (The older Reynolds 16 x 29 section) are the same tube with 2 names. I haven't heard the trem Imperial oval for the older 531 but it makes sense. I suspect they are the same tube with different names. The "Continental oval" would be the Columbus and Faulk fork blade section (20 x 28 or so). I sort of remember the Reynolds version of the Columbus cross section being called the "New Continental Oval", but as I've said, I don't really pay that much attention to what people are calling them, I just know what I want when I build something.
As Marc mentioned and it makes sense, is that the older 531 blades and stays are "taper gauge" in that the thickness is not the same at the top and bottom of the blade. I can't for the life of me remember (if in fact there really is a name for the way Columbus made their blades) recall the name for a blade or stay that is even thickness throughout it's length. Seems to me that there must be a term for it, just can't think of it. Regardless, they are different and each has it merits.
The Super Vitus 971 fork blades are taper gauge also, if I recall, but as Jan Heine mentioned, they are tapered differently than typical 531 blades and are Cro-Mo as opposed to Mang-Mo as 531. I have several sets of Vitus blades and am planning on useing a pair on my next constructuer bike.
Brian Baylis La Mesa, CA You can NEVER have too many spare fork blades. If anyone has any sitting around, I'm starting to need more spares as repairs keep comming in. Also need standard Reynolds 531 TT and DT and the same in Columbus.
Subject: [CR]Continetal Oval vs. Imperial Oval
> During the recent discussion of Reynolds fork blades, the older
> style blades were called "Continental Oval". In other
> discussions, I've seen the older Reynolds blades identified as
> "Imperial Oval".
> Are these actually one in the same? Or were there two,
> slightly different profiles of fork blades available from
> Reynolds at that time?
Original Reynold blades, at least circa 1961 when I began using them, were relative long ( front to back) and narrow (side to side).
The Continental Oval blades were more nearly round and would fit the same crowns as Columbus blades.