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Best descending forks? (compared to Air Rail)(6 posts)

Best descending forks? (compared to Air Rail)fallzboater
Mar 17, 2003 10:09 PM
I'm 6'3", 195 lb, riding an '01 Quantum Race frame with Icon Air Rail fork with 285mm steerer and about 1" of spacers under the stem. The frame is actually a little small, and I'm considering buying a fork with a 300mm steerer and using more spacers and/or a stem with more rise (I have at least 6" of drop to the top of the bars, now). This may limit me to an alloy steerer.

My other problem with the bike is descending. The steering is a little touchier than I'd like all the time, but it descends OK if I keep a very light touch on the bars and brake early. If I end up gripping the bars tightly due to bumps or braking later into the turn, I can get some severe head shake. I'm thinking this might be helped with a stiffer fork. Has anyone tried various forks and found any to be noticeably better (especially compared to the Air Rail)? If I'm going to invest in another fork, I'd also like to drop some weight at the same time. Cost is definitely an issue, too. Recommendations?

I feel like my descending technique is fairly good, since I also have a lot of practice with fairly hard cornering on a motorcycle. I can keep up with my buddies on the descents, here, but I'd like to be able to go even faster with more confidence.

KX light vs. TCR Compositepatwhto
Mar 17, 2003 11:25 PM
Anyone has experience on these two frames, the prices are about the same ? Don't know which to pick.
..I'd go with full record. nmSpunout
Mar 18, 2003 7:09 AM
re: Best descending forks? (compared to Air Rail)hammeringman
Mar 18, 2003 3:42 PM
For what it's worth, the AirRail OD is an awesome fork. Very strong and stiff. Granted it ain't the lightest (mid range for weight in carbon forks), but at 6'3" and 195# going to a lighter fork ought to be the least of your concerns. Forks, bars, stem are the last thing you want to have failing on you. Cut the weight by dropping a couple pounds rather than trying to save 150g on your fork.

If your getting shimmy in the front end when descending with this fork, it's most likely your technique. As you've already surmised, a light touch is important. Pay attention to your arms when descending. Keep your elbows soft (as they should always be when riding). Locked elbows are likely to cause shimmy, and it's easy to stiffen and get tense up when the descent is fast or sketchy. I've had this experience even on my Serotta Ti with F1 fork, and carbon forks don't come any stiffer than the F1.

Ride on,
Best fork? I don't forking know !tnbiker
Mar 18, 2003 8:27 PM
Reynolds Ouzo Peletonrussw19
Mar 23, 2003 7:26 PM
The one coming out that has my attention once it becomes available will be the Reynolds Ouzo Peleton. It will be a mix of the best of the Ouzo Pro and the Ouzo Aero. It is said to be stiff and still nearly as light as the Pro, but with a slightly more aero profile and with the extra profile comes more lateral stiffness. I can assure you, I will have one by the summer.