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Custom steel fork vs. carbon?(5 posts)

Custom steel fork vs. carbon?msmootsiemartin
Jan 29, 2003 7:25 AM
I would appreciate your thoughts. I am considering having a custom steel cyclocross frame built and not sure if I should spend an extra $200 for a carbon (alpha q) fork or stay with a custom steel fork. I will not be racing this bike, just using it for road riding around town and dirt roads in the mountains. And, FWIW, this bike will be a 40 something size and I am a fairly light rider (approx. 120lbs). Thanks...
re: Custom steel fork vs. carbon?kiwisimon
Jan 29, 2003 8:22 AM
if your frame is cuustom steel i'd go with a steel fork. use the extra cash to get better components, wheelset won't notice the weight difference if your not racing. good luck.
re: Custom steel fork vs. carbon?atpjunkie
Jan 29, 2003 2:01 PM
I agree. I saw the Fibre LayUp of the Alpha Q steerer and it looks to be a mono weave. I could be wrong but if so would make it prone to stress cracks. I wasn't that impressed with it.
go steeltriangleforge
Jan 29, 2003 2:17 PM
Also, with a frame that far on the small end of the envelope for a 700c bike, I'd want a fork designed with an odd front end in mind. Making a frame that small involves some compromises, and locking yourself into the specs of a particular fork is going to shrink those choices even further.

Road Carbon forks tend to come in just one axle-to-crown length and one or two different rakes -- three if the maker is extravagant with molds and tooling. I'm pretty sure that 'cross forks won't have even that many choices, probably just set of measurements for each different manufacturer, take it or leave it. That might be fine if you were near the average frame size those forks are designed to more or less fit, but I think you'll be much happier with the handling of a frame & fork made for one another.

If you do decide you can't live without a carbon fork, be sure to tell your builder that, and make sure to get the detailed specs on the one you choose (especially rake, and the measure from axle to fork crown), since he/she will need to basically design the whole frame within the limits imposed by those specs.

re: Custom steel fork vs. carbon?msmootsiemartin
Jan 30, 2003 2:47 PM
All good advice! Thank you!