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1986/1987 Allez: Replace steel fork w/ carbon?(2 posts)

1986/1987 Allez: Replace steel fork w/ carbon?killermustard
Jan 1, 2003 2:12 AM
I just bought a used steel 12-speed Specialized Allez circa 1987. The details of this bike and my previous posts can be found below.

I thought I was going to convert it to a beater bike w/ 24-speed Sora components (about $50 used). After putting on new wheels and the Sora stuff, I found that it is an incredible bike (handling, stability, comfort, and aesthetics), except for the weight (about 22 pounds now). My new plan is to upgrade it to 2 x 9-speed Dura-ace/Ultegra, and make it my main ride on fast group rides and possibly crits. Right now, it's in the shop to have the rear triangle spread to accomodate modern hubs.


Here's the issue:

My current ride is an 8-year old Giant CFR carbon-framed, aluminum lugged thing with an upgraded fork (Easton EC-70). With the carbon fork, I did feel an improvement over the stock aluminum fork.

With the steel Allez, I realize that I could cut about a half-pound if I were to go with a carbon fork and threadless headset. But aside from the weight, would there be much of an improvement with respect to handling/feel/stability over the stock steel fork. I'm assuming that the stock steel fork is also about 43 degrees (it's a 56 cm frame).

My focus is on performance/feel rather than weight/aesthetics. So, what do you think?
Thought about it, then didn't. But a friend...retro
Jan 1, 2003 9:16 PM
I have an Allez from about the same period (bought it used, so I don't know exactly), and I was going to swap for carbon until I decided to buy an Atlantis. But a friend with an '80s Centurion installed a CF fork last summer, and he loves it. It was a $1000 bike almost 20 years ago, and he's ridden dozens of centuries and tours on it--wanted a new ride but couldn't give it up. He switched to a triple crank, added a fork and upgraded the driveline. He's looking more for comfort than speed (so will you, when you're 53...), but he's completely happy with the change.
One thing to think about--you probably have a threaded headset now, and you're probably going to have to change to threadless when you convert. Not a big deal, but it is an extra expense.