Try hitting the roller on the back of a derny with a fork raked out front vs. one raked back?
I would much rather tap a roller with a backward raked fork. In this situation it looks like they are just using motor pace bikes. Even though there is no roller on the tandem.
As said before, the smaller front wheel and steeper front end also allow a tighter drafting position.
I've also read that those motor pace bikes have to be built to take some G-forces on banked tracks. The frame has to be reinforced, and the seat has a support for the nose from to counter the G-force at the higher speeds.
Reading about what happened to Eddy Merckx and his derny driver when the lights went out, I would not be too keen to get behind a derny. http://www.torelli.com/raceinfo/tdf/tdfhistory1970.html
Steven Johnson, Shiloh, IL
Okay, so I'm doing like I always do, catching up on the latest news in Cycling, albeit fifty years after the fact. And the Sept. 14, 1955 issue, summing up the Herne Hill track championships, has a photo of the tandem-paced 10-mile event (see link, below). It is of the massed-start champion Bernard King of the Coventry C.C. trailing Jerry Waters of the Kentish Wheelmen. With half-a-lap to go, King would come "cleanly round both Waters and his tandem in the home straight" to snatch victory.
What is truly amazing to me is that both King and Waters seem as if they're riding standard ROAD BIKES whose brakes have been removed and whose FRONT FORKS have been SPUN AROUND 180-DEGREES, I suppose to create a shorter wheelbase. These are not Bates bikes with Diadrant forks (which technically don't curve backwards, anyway). No, they're standard road issue, or so I believe. So, my questions are---
1. Are these in fact road bikes both chaps are riding, with the forks spun round?
2. If not, was there some kind of British (or other marque) track bike built with reverse-curve forks?
3. If they are road bikes, was it a common practice for clubmen to spin their forks round like this when racing on the track?
4. Have any of you ever seen, heard of, or attempted such a thing before?
5. On the practical level of physics and bio-mechanics, does reversing a fork absolutely help a track rider, or is there a trade-off in the area of stability, steering, etc.?
In retrospect it certainly is conceivable to me that many an amateur clubman would not be wealthy enough to afford separate road and track mounts, and that the idea of fork reversal might be appealing to them, but I'd never considered it before and this practice is, to me, anyway, a revelation.
Cheerio to all,
Peter Jourdain Wondering in Whitewater, Wisconsin