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Does the steerer material affect ride?(11 posts)

Does the steerer material affect ride?patagrande
Feb 5, 2002 8:04 AM
Other than weight, how does the steerer material on a carbon fiber fork affect ride quality? I am looking at forks with both CF and aluminum steerers. I weigh 200 lbs, and have a 59cm 631 frame with a 1 1/8" steer tube diameter.
Feb 5, 2002 8:31 AM
Carbon seems to reduce vibration a little, and it's lighter.

Feb 5, 2002 9:40 AM
Got to second Doug's feeling that carbon is better. I had a Profile BRC carbon legs on an aluminum steerer before and now have an Aegis HR all carbon fork. The all carbon seems to absorb a lot more shock and vibration. actually notice a difference?ColnagoFE
Feb 5, 2002 10:27 AM
I've ridden both CF and AL and steel steerer forks (for that matter a good steel fork) and never could tell much difference in ride quality. Some were stiffer and some not as stiff, but I'm guessing that was more to do with the way the fork was designed than the material the steerer is made from. The steerer is such a small part of the fork overall that I really doubt it makes all that much difference. Any studies to back up that a CF steerer is better than a AL or steel one?
I could tellDog
Feb 5, 2002 10:36 AM
When I traded my Bianchi Alloro with carbon/aluminum to an EV2 with all carbon, I could immediately tell some difference in vibration damping. Not a huge difference, but noticeable.

you won't notice itColnagoFE
Feb 5, 2002 10:23 AM
That is unless you have a ton of spacers on top you might notice some flex, but I doubt you could tell the difference in vibration damping.
The steerer tube is pretty much 100% isolated due to the wayBIKE DOC
Feb 5, 2002 10:38 AM
its fastened to the head tube of the bike. It has no room to flex vertically. It can however "wind up" or twist. I would suspect carbon would be less torsionally stiff than a metal steerer.

If you run spacers it could make a difference like mentioned above.
The steerer tube is pretty much 100% isolated due to the wayyou guys have missed the point
Feb 5, 2002 11:19 AM
Carbon fiber steerer tubes do not defeat and battle vibrations by use of vertical compliance which you seem to suggest they do not do. They help defeat vibrations because carbon fiber unlike steel has a directional grain. Based upon how the fibers are oriented, you can mold a carbon fiber tube which will deflect and spread incoming vibrational resonance away from the top of the steerer tube much the same way CF tubes due on the chainstays, seatstays and seatubes of some bikes including all carbon fiber bikes.

CF deflects vibrations by two manners vertical compliance (which there is essentially none in the steerer tube) and directional resonance or lack thereof, so yes, a properly directionally designed CF steerer tube could be expected to deflect more vibrations away from the stem and bars (thus your hands) than say a non-grained resonating steel steerer tube which is gonna guide any incoming vibrations it receives upwards since it has no grain. Its lack of resonance or directional resonance is the key, whatever you choose to call it.
Taking this to the next stepDCP
Feb 5, 2002 1:47 PM
Would CF bars further reduce transmitted vibration or is the appeal to CF bars related to weight or longevity?
Feb 5, 2002 1:59 PM
I've read (and experienced) that carbon inherently reduces vibration compared to metal, plus it can be lighter for a given strength and shape. CF bars help, too.

I wanna see the tests...ColnagoFE
Feb 5, 2002 2:31 PM
Call me skeptical, but I really dont' think there's enough material there to really tell much of a difference. Bars maybe, but steerer tube? Also for a road bike a CF post stick out so little (unless it;s a compact) that I doubt it makes much of a difference either. Anyone done a test on this? I'm sure there is a difference, but how big. I can't imagine it's perceptible. Maybe the difference was your wheels? Your fork? Your bar tape? Who knows.