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Does anyone still use steel forks?(20 posts)

Does anyone still use steel forks?AC55
Jun 17, 2002 4:25 PM
My Lbs has what I think a good deal on a Colnago Master X light with matching steel fork and a chris king headset and Dura Ace bottombracket all new for $1100.oo . I here from a lot of people that a carbon fork is much better but I've never tryed one. I guess I need some assurence that I got a good deal, would like some feedback on the deal and steel fork. Thanks
Ever See A Carbon Fiber Fork Break? I didjose_Tex_mex
Jun 17, 2002 4:45 PM
I would absolutely use a steel fork - why not? I have an older LeMond which is all steel and I absolutely love it.

Anyhow, a few weeks ago I was #3 of three riders in a pace line warming up at about 22mph. They guy in front of me ran over a stick which was short and fat. The stick jumped up and spun into his front wheel. The spokes sucked it up and into the forks which sheared the fork in half. He did an endo (is ok but really hurt) and I obligingly crashed in to him(ok not hurt).

With that said I have carbon forks on two of my bikes and love them - no plans to change soon. I am still debating whether it was best for the forks to give vs doing an incredible endo. It's a theory I do not wish to test out.

The deal does sound good. If you do not like the fork (don't see why not) you can always buy another. I saw a carbon BSD the other day fo $150.
I've seen cars crash...I still drive one...nmmr_spin
Jun 18, 2002 6:26 AM
Ever seen a steel fork break? I did...TJeanloz
Jun 18, 2002 6:28 AM
Steel forks have at least the same, if not higher, failure rate of CF forks.
Well, that is a totally unsubstantiated claim...sprockets2
Jun 18, 2002 6:50 AM
I am not saying that the rate is not similar-but if it is, the data includes lots of 15 year old "Carbolite" French frames that have rusted out.

It would be foolish to not acknowledge the high rate of failure of CF forks that have dissimilar steerers and/or crowns. That failure rate has been very much higher than first class steel forks. That may have been a situation due almost entirely to the high-learning-curve new and early development period of that technology, but it cannot be discounted. While I did not break one myself, my wife did and I know of two riders personally who had problems-though not catastrophic failures like my wife. LBS where I go stopped carrying all but the Kestrel fork (of that not-all-CF type). While many of these forks are budget oriented, it is no excuse for the scary handling and problems that early owners enjoyed.
The data includes the data,TJeanloz
Jun 18, 2002 7:29 AM
Failure data of course includes 15 year old french forks that have rusted out. It includes steel forks on Schwinn cruisers. I thought we were talking about steel forks in general, not a specific make, model and age.

Furthermore, it is categorically unfair to put the safety record of all CF forks up against "first class" steel forks. You're right that a Profile carbon POS is certainly more likely to break than a Richard Sachs custom job.

But steel forks break, and in my experience, many more of them break than CF forks (partly because there are many more of them out there). I can only think of a handful of CF forks that I replaced at the bike shop (actually, I remember every one of them), but we routinely replaced broken steel forks. Rust was a typical culprit, but steel rusts, so it needs to be included.

That's just my experience, which probably doesn't count for anything.
Ever seen a steel fork break? I did...slow-ron
Jun 18, 2002 7:19 AM
steel typically yields, carbon breaks
I hardly know anybody who DOESN'T, on a road bikecory
Jun 17, 2002 4:50 PM
Of the six or eight guys I ride with semi-regularly, I think only one owns a bike that came with a carbon fork. All the rest are steel except one--the guy swapped last fall, replacing a five-year-old steel fork with a good carbon one (can't remember the brand, but he's an engineer and did a lot of research before he bought it). His judgment: "It's OK. I can feel a difference." The swap, including going from threaded to threadless headset, cost him something like $350.
Feel the difference...rwbadley
Jun 17, 2002 4:58 PM
On one bike I also switched from a steel fork to a carbon fork. I notice the carbon rides a little bit more 'damped' feeling. I can run the tire pressure in front a bit higher and it is still smooth.

The loss seemed to be a small amount of steering precision. I got used to it, and it's not noticeable now.

I would not hesitate to ride that nice steel fork. Go for it.
re: Does anyone still use steel forks?jc66502
Jun 17, 2002 5:17 PM
I have an IF steel fork on my Serotta, but I still lust after the Reynolds Ouzo Pro on my wife's bike. The IF fork rides very nice, but the Ouzo Pro just looks cool.

The price on the MXL seems fair. I wouldn't hesitate and I certainly wouldn't let the steel fork dissuade me.
steel forks?DaveL
Jun 17, 2002 5:34 PM
Sounds like a good deal from here. I've got two bikes with carbon forks that ride good. My next bike is already picked out - it's got chromed lugs and chromed steel fork. I'm going retro!
re: Does anyone still use steel forks?flying
Jun 17, 2002 5:45 PM
The price is Ok
I paid $1150 ish for one with a Flash Carbon fork.
You can get one with shipping & insurance from Maestro to the US for $1064.

I bought mine in Texas from Britton's which has great deals.
I also had a steel precisa so I can tell you that you will save 1/2 lb with the Flash carbon.

Both are great & I wouldn't worry about breakage with the Flash. BUT..... if you want one get it in the initial deal.
To buy a Colnago carbon fork after the fact is out of the question price wise.

Good Luck & here are links to the two place I mentioned...
No, they're obsoleteGangsta
Jun 17, 2002 9:27 PM
Steel forks are just not acceptable on a modern bicycle. The steering response is too precise and they provide too much feedback to the rider. Today's rider has a short attention span so they need a carbon fork that can smooth the ride and provide little feedback from the road or tires, we don't want Johnny overwhelmed with information. Besides that steel forks are heavy, they add 5 or 6 pounds of bike weight and that really slows you down compared to carbon fiber which is much more aerodynamic and technologically advanced.
Jun 17, 2002 10:28 PM
Master X-Lights look silly with carbon forks IMHO. It is a classic steel bike with chrome lugs and stays. Therefore it deserves the best fork - a steel one. A typical steel fork is not much heavier than a quality CF one that has an AL steerer. Not enough of a weight difference to matter.

If you really want a nice Colnago, try and find one with a threaded steel fork. That would be the best setup from a performance and positioning standpoint.
..the steel colnago fork on my master was harsh...koala
Jun 18, 2002 10:49 AM
and according to damon rinard it was the 3rd stiffest of the ones he tested. The carbon fork made a huge difference in ride. My new bike has a reynolds which has lateral stiifness and damps very well vertically.
Jun 18, 2002 2:15 AM
On my Gazelle SS. Got carbon on my Coppi. There is a difference, but neither is "better" particularly. I wouldn't hesitate to ride that steel you are looking at.
How much do you weigh?slow-ron
Jun 18, 2002 5:04 AM
I've primarily been riding Colnago bikes (Conic SLX, MXL & Mono-Titan) for the last 5 years. During that time I've always used a strait bladed chromed steel fork except for a one month trial of a Profile ARC carbon fork on the Conic. It could be that the carbon fork was of poor quality or that I weigh too much (200lbs.) but I like the feel of Colnago's steel fork much better than carbon. Once while cruising down a bumpy hill with the carbon fork I happened to look down at the blades. They were "vibrating" so fast it was like a blur. I've never noticed such a response with the steel fork.
re: Does anyone still use steel forks?PEDDLEFOOT
Jun 18, 2002 6:51 AM
Ive been thinking of upgrading to a carbon fork myself.I have a steel and thought the carbon would help with dampening the road buzz. I also thought that the weight savings would help out.I asked around at a few LBS and all of them said since I don't race that the weight savings and handling improvement would be negligible.I think you should make your decision on just what type of riding you do as well as how much you're willing to spend.Will you really appreciate the benefits of carbon in the ride?
Crome. nmrideslikeagirl
Jun 18, 2002 7:47 AM
sure, I dolaffeaux
Jun 18, 2002 8:06 AM
My bike has a steel fork - Tange Silhouette. It also has a 1" headtube and the headset is threadless. Rides great!