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CARBON V STEEL FORK(6 posts)

CARBON V STEEL FORKfredstaple
Jun 15, 2003 5:14 AM
I am looking into a new bike and have been posting lots of questions. I have refined my looking to a LeMond Zurich for the most part and maybe a Tom Teesdale custom. Most of the customs come with a curved steel fork (I ride a 21 year old 531 trek frame and curved fork). Most off the shelf bikes have a straight carbon fork.

Custom guys tell me theirs are better, shop tells me the carbon is better. I am interested in a smooth ride and will not be racing. I am also on the big side, 6' 200lbs. Anyone got any thoughts on what may be better for me. Thanks
re: CARBON V STEEL FORKRusty Coggs
Jun 15, 2003 5:44 AM
Nothing wrong with a quality steel fork.CF can save some weight. Almost any custom could be had with a CF fork,but I'm sure that there are some like Rivendell and Sachs that would have none of it. Don't buy the one is better than the other BS. Your old Trek may not be the best example of what a good current steel fork can be.
re: CARBON V STEEL FORKDINOSAUR
Jun 15, 2003 6:27 AM
I've talked to guys who have ridden the same bike with steel and carbon forks. Some say they can't tell the difference. The main advantage of a carbon fork is weight as you can make a steel bike about one pounder lighter. I ride a steel bike with a carbon fork with an al steerer.
re: CARBON V STEEL FORKRusty Coggs
Jun 15, 2003 6:32 AM
Yeah, I have good steel forks,and all CF forks,as well as some with steel steerers. IMHO,weight is the biggest difference. At his weight if an all CF fork is considered,it ought to be a 11/8" steerer.
Steel on the ColnagoAsphalt Addict
Jun 15, 2003 7:21 AM
I have a Monotitan that I've had for about five years that came with a precisa steel fork. I thought about upgrading to a carbon model but decided that mine is just fine. I also have heard of carbon breaking which scares the #$%^ out of me. I can't ever recall having a problem with steel as a kid abusing my Schwinn Stingray.
re: CARBON V STEEL FORKHeron Todd
Jun 15, 2003 9:49 AM
This all depends on the fork. The fork will flex near the crown and in the steerer. So, the type of crown and steerer can make a big difference. A steel unicrown fork can often ride harshly because the unicrown is stiff. A lugged, crowned fork (especially a flat crown) will allow the fork to move more.

Carbon can be tuned quite a bit. There are stiff carbon forks and soft carbon forks. Unfortunately, a lot of them, especially those with aluminum steerers tend toward the stiff side. Additionally, it's hard to determine which carbon fork to buy without doing a number of side-by-side comparisons on otherwise-identically-equipped bikes.

For me, I'd rather have a good, flat crown steel fork unless I was trying to build a super-light bike.

Todd Kuzma
Heron Bicycles
LaSalle, IL 815-223-1776
http://www.heronbicycles.com