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carbon vs. aluminum steerer tube(7 posts)

carbon vs. aluminum steerer tubepeaches
Jan 8, 2003 9:33 AM
Hey Hey! Thinking of a new fork this spring. Carbon with aluminum steerer sounds cool and not too costly. Carbon with carbon steerer sounds cool but a little on the scary side (broken steerer = face deformities). Are they really good and reliable in the long run? I don't race, just have a good time and sometimes push hard. Reliability is key in my book. Anyone think a carbon steerer is going to be sketchy after a few years' worth of use. Are the extra damping qualities really that much better? And steel is always cool too. Hmmmm! Any thoughts?
re: carbon vs. aluminum steerer tubeflyweight
Jan 8, 2003 11:24 AM
An all carbon fork is going to be stronger than an alminum/crabon fork. Generally speaking, equipment made from two materials will be weaker than equipment made from one material.

Back in the 80's the trend was to make carbon fiber bikes by using carbon tubes bonded into aluminum lugs. Many of these bikes had reliability issues almost always related to where the aluminum and carbon met.

The only concern with all carbon forks isn't that they're all carbon but rather that there isn't enough carbon in the interest of putting low weight over durability. A 500 gram all carbon fork will almost certainly be stronger than a 500 gram carbon/aluminum fork. Also a 450 gram all carbon fork will quite likely be weaker than a 600 gram carbon/aluminum fork.
everything you need to know......weedman
Jan 8, 2003 12:57 PM right here in lennard zinn's article
everything you need to know......atpjunkie
Jan 8, 2003 1:44 PM
I've said I think they are fine in 1.125. I (as a bigger rider) wouldn't trust an all carbon 1" fork. The True Temper AlphaQ seems to be the best. It's more expensive but I don't think this is the part ya want to skimp on. The wound ups and Alans are good as well.
everything you need to know......flyweight
Jan 8, 2003 3:00 PM
Haven't tried the Alan but I'd definitely pass on the Wound Up. They use the same crown as their road fork which means you have little clearance on the sides when running anything greater than a 30mm tire. I tested a Wound Up on an Airborne for a while and found I had to deflate the tire (a Michelin Sprint) to get it out of the fork. The other alternative is to do what Gully did and hack off the back of your brake pads. For a race-only fork it's probably great. Mine road very nicely but since I prefer 30mm+ tires I'd go with something else.
everything you need to know......atpjunkie
Jan 8, 2003 5:57 PM
Alan has as much experience with carbon in cx as anyone. They make both Carbon and Carbon Aluminum forks. I'd trust their expertise but if I was in the market I'd go Alpha Q
everything you need to know......peaches
Jan 9, 2003 9:00 AM
Well now that's the kind of information I needed, and the article by Leo was a tremendous help! I would not have known about the limited clearance on the Wound Up- that's out. It seems to make sense with a fork made entirely of one material that it may not have the potential for problems at the joint (carbon to metal joint, that is). The old carbon-aluminum lugged Trek's come to mind here. Based on what I've read here I think the Alpha-Q will be a serious possibility. I'd much rather save a few more pennies (ok, hundreds!) and make a logical and informed purchase of a top notch fork than always wonder in the back of my mind, while cruising through the woods, what if! Thank you to all.