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Please advise a retrogrouch on carbon forks(9 posts)

Please advise a retrogrouch on carbon forksDjudd
Aug 1, 2001 5:00 PM
I am the prototypical retro rider, maybe more so than practical, until six months ago all of my bikes were steel (a good friend knew I was going to buy another bike and talked me into trying aluminum)Now I want to stretch out and get a carbon fork which I'm told will surprise me. I would like to know from riders what kind of difference do these forks make,what are the best brands and any differences between brands.

Thank you
re: Please advise a retrogrouch on carbon forksDINOSAUR
Aug 1, 2001 6:05 PM
I'm kind of a retro grouch myself to a certain degree. I ride a Klein Quantum Race with a carbon fork. The carbon fork dampens out the ride, without it you would get beat to a pulp. The old al bikes had al forks and they were harsh riding. Consider a Reynolds Ouzo Pro fork. What kind of al bike are you riding? I love my Klein but I am comtemplating very seriously going back to lugged steel for my first ride and keeping my Klein as a back up. The trouble with upgrades is you always find something else to replace. Off topic, but a suggestion, why don't you just shell out a buy an al frame and have it built up???
re: Please advise a retrogrouch on carbon forksDjudd
Aug 1, 2001 6:47 PM
My aluminum ride is a Cannondale, it took some getting used to but now the stiffness is a welcome difference from the steel I usually ride. I'm actually considering a ti but at those prices it will have to be used.
I'm authentic retro and went to a carbon fiber fork...davidl
Aug 1, 2001 8:03 PM
My main bike is steel and I replaced the stock fork - aluminum straight blade - with a carbon fiber straight bladed fork made by Profile Design, a BSC fork. The difference was astounding. I never would have believed the improvement if I had been told. I just got mine because my brother bought a Bianchi veloce w/ a carbon fork and liked his. I'd never go back. My back-up bike is an elderly aluminum w/ AL fork, and it's ride is stiffer but ok for shorter rides. You really ought to go with a carbon fork.
re: Please advise a retrogrouch on carbon forksSkip
Aug 1, 2001 9:57 PM
Some of the better and more popular brands are Look HSC 1,2, and 3; Ouzo Pro, AME Alpha-Q, Time, WoundUp, etc. I recently changed mine from the Time Millennium (cromoly sterrer) to the AME Alpha-Q (carbon sterrer), and have been very happy. Much better road buzz absorbing, lighter, more nimble, great cornering, plenty stiff laterally, etc.
re: Please advise a retrogrouch on carbon forksMike Prince
Aug 2, 2001 3:32 AM
A year ago I would have been on the carbon bandwagon. My primary bike then, a Cannnondale had (and still has) a carbon fork, a Reynolds Ouzo Pro. I thought that this made a world of difference, even over the carbon fork (brand unknown) that it replaced.

This year I bought a steel bike. It has a straight-blade steel fork. I had all-steel bikes years ago and even a Merlin with an aluminum fork. Maybe it was the recent transition from an aluminum frame to the new steel frame, but this new frame/fork combo is perfect (to me) with the steel fork. I have even put the Ouzo Pro on the new bike as a test (advantages of common headsets on both bikes) and still like the "feel of the steel".

If you are on an aluminum fork now, I would consider an upgrade to carbon. If you are on steel, I would see if I can find someone with a similar bike with a carbon fork before I run out and pay 300+ for the latest greatest from Reynolds or AME. The feel of carbon will be different, but whether or not this is better only you can decide. I would look in the product reviews as you approach a purchase decision as most of the popular forks are reviewed there.

Good Luck!
re: Please advise a retrogrouch on carbon forkserock
Aug 2, 2001 5:39 AM
So is it fair to say that a Carbon fork is about the same as a Steel fork, minus the weight?
Agree...Mike Prince
Aug 2, 2001 6:32 AM
Yeah, at least to me when I compare the Ouzo to my Steelman. I know my steel fork is heavier than most carbon forks, especially the ones with carbon and titanium steerers. I think Steelman quotes the weight of the fork at 1.3 lbs, which is probably 1/3 - 1/2 lbs. heavier than the composite superlight forks out there.

I think it's hard to pinpoint the difference of different forks on different bikes as so many other variables (rider weight distribution, tire width/pressure, wheel construction, bar/stem stiffness and the like) contribute to the handling and ride perceptions. Maybe it's the retrogrouch coming out in me, but I can't imagine anything better right now than my Steelman.
I have a steel fork.9WorCP
Aug 2, 2001 7:13 AM
I love the ride as well - it just feels so precise. I could lose 3/4 lb if I put on a Look HSC or Reynolds Ouzo and I'm thinking about it, but I'm afraid of losing that stiffness.