Carbon forks on my Croix de Fer

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
IanH
Posts: 48
Joined: 7 Nov 2009, 1:50pm
Location: Wellington, Somerset.

Carbon forks on my Croix de Fer

Postby IanH » 22 Dec 2019, 9:23pm

Dear All,
I’m considering buying carbon forks for my steel 2017 Genesis Croix-de-Fer 20 -
https://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/bike/cgr1-carbon-fork
However they’re not cheap (£349 plus fitting) and I wonder if this would be worthwhile? My rides are mostly day trips on Exmoor, the Blackdown Hills and the Somerset levels. I try to stay off main roads and I ride for the enjoyment of the journey; average speed is usually 18-20 kph and 100 km is my normal maximum. I’m happy to ride bridleways, canal towpaths, farm tracks, etc.
Would this expensive upgrade be worthwhile? My head says this is too expensive, but my heart says I should go for it (while I can). My next bike will probably be electric!
I’ve never ridden a bike with carbon forks, and my Croix-de-Fer (which I love) is my first experience with drop bars after commuting on a hybrid for many years.
Thanks for your comments, even negative ones, as I need some sage advice.

hayers
Posts: 130
Joined: 27 Apr 2016, 1:50pm

Re: Carbon forks on my Croix de Fer

Postby hayers » 22 Dec 2019, 10:01pm

Are you looking at CF to reduce weight, or improve comfort?

For me, I'd not bother for the weight (as likely only equivalent to a water bottle at most) but would consider for comfort - which obviously depends on the specific forks (st and cf).

If possible try same bike with the cf forks - best way to see how different they are.

Bobbin
Posts: 19
Joined: 28 May 2017, 9:55pm

Re: Carbon forks on my Croix de Fer

Postby Bobbin » 22 Dec 2019, 10:20pm

Hayers is spot on I think. You will only know by comparison.
FWIW I have a crois de fer30, steel frame and forks and it is much more comfortable than my other two road bikes which both have carbon forks.One has carbon frame , t’other aluminium. But of course they are all different ,so shouldn’t really compare them :D

reohn2
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Carbon forks on my Croix de Fer

Postby reohn2 » 22 Dec 2019, 10:32pm

Don't bother,not worth the expense which far out weighs any gains which will be small.
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DWM1980
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Joined: 15 Jul 2018, 7:07am

Re: Carbon forks on my Croix de Fer

Postby DWM1980 » 22 Dec 2019, 10:37pm

Hi Ian

I replaced the steel forks on my old 2015 Croix with basic carbon forks. Saved quite a bit of weight. Marginal difference in comfort.

The forks are for sale if you’re interested! PM me if you want further details.

Cheers

Dave

tim-b
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Joined: 10 Oct 2009, 8:20am

Re: Carbon forks on my Croix de Fer

Postby tim-b » 23 Dec 2019, 7:35am

Hi
If you can handle a ruler, a hacksaw and an allen key then you can fit bicycle forks, however, (and I speak as someone whose bikes all have a CF monocoque fork) what's the reason for the change?
Comfort is more likely to do with your body position while riding the bike and, assuming that it's disc-braked, the forks will be solidly built from whatever the material and possibly less forgiving than a rim-brake fork
Ignore the generalisations that steel is springier, or CF less buzzy, etc, those features can be designed into the frameset materials
Bottom line; unless you've exhausted other avenues I wouldn't change
Regards
tim-b
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gbnz
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Joined: 13 Sep 2008, 10:38am

Re: Carbon forks on my Croix de Fer

Postby gbnz » 23 Dec 2019, 7:38am

hayers wrote:Are you looking at CF to reduce weight, or improve comfort?

For me, I'd not bother for the weight (as likely only equivalent to a water bottle at most) but would consider for comfort - which obviously depends on the specific forks (st and cf).

If possible try same bike with the cf forks - best way to see how different they are.


+ 2. I've kept one bike on carbon forks, another on steel, replaced carbon with steel on another :wink:

Depends what you want. On the bikes I use day in, day out I've always ended up going to steel, the marginal weight & alleged comfort factor being "worth" it on a superlight road bike used purelyfor specific rides, but not on a day to day basis. Have to say in reality I've never noticed in substantial difference between the two!

The only exception being when I fitted a unsuitable steel fork to a bike, it extending the wheelbbase and affecting the ride.

Though definately woudlc't consider it worth it at £349.00

belgiangoth
Posts: 1269
Joined: 29 Mar 2007, 4:10pm

Re: Carbon forks on my Croix de Fer

Postby belgiangoth » 23 Dec 2019, 11:02am

From a weight POV you could get a custom steel fork made that would save about the same weight, cost less and have a better failure mode.
Every couple of years I consider a cf fork form my pompino, not a chance at that price.
If I had a baby elephant I would let it sleep in the garage in place of the car. If I had either a garage or a car. (I miss sigs about baby elephants)

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Carbon forks on my Croix de Fer

Postby Brucey » 23 Dec 2019, 11:21am

'is it worth it?' is a question only you can answer really. I happen to think that the difference between two forks would probably not be very large, and that I could easily find better ways of spending £349. But that is just me.

Tyres make the biggest difference to most bikes. £349 buys quite a lot of very nice tyres....

cheers
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pwa
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Re: Carbon forks on my Croix de Fer

Postby pwa » 23 Dec 2019, 11:27am

reohn2 wrote:Don't bother,not worth the expense which far out weighs any gains which will be small.

I second that. You will not feel the weight difference. The comfort advantages of carbon are exaggerated and you can get more comfort by just choosing different tyres. And if you ride bridleways and the like, steel is less of a worry. For the sort of riding you describe I would actually prefer steel.

IanH
Posts: 48
Joined: 7 Nov 2009, 1:50pm
Location: Wellington, Somerset.

Re: Carbon forks on my Croix de Fer

Postby IanH » 23 Dec 2019, 7:18pm

I'm really grateful for these replies, and they've confirmed my feeling that it's not worthwhile.
When the weather's bad I mope around wondering how my ride could be improved. The weather's been good today - I've had a good 3 hours on my bike and all's well with the World!

pwa
Posts: 11710
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Carbon forks on my Croix de Fer

Postby pwa » 23 Dec 2019, 7:37pm

IanH wrote:I'm really grateful for these replies, and they've confirmed my feeling that it's not worthwhile.
When the weather's bad I mope around wondering how my ride could be improved. The weather's been good today - I've had a good 3 hours on my bike and all's well with the World!

If you do get the itchy feeling that you want to spend money on the bike to spice things up, look to the tyres. There is always something out there that will make the bike feel different. Softer off-road, faster on the tarmac, or whatever. Sometimes very expensive, but if you are open to spending that on a fork you might not be so daunted by spending £80 on a pair of new tyres. And you will feel more of a difference.

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SimonCelsa
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Re: Carbon forks on my Croix de Fer

Postby SimonCelsa » 23 Dec 2019, 8:00pm

Sheesh........£349!!!!..........Sheesh.

It's good to be frugal.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: Carbon forks on my Croix de Fer

Postby The utility cyclist » 23 Dec 2019, 8:44pm

This thread highlights yet another downside of disc braked bikes, massively expensive forks , whilst these will shave off a significant amount of weight and improve the handling a smidge and IME comfort they really are horrendously expensive compared to other options for rim braked bikes.

If you don't need the fixings on the fork then I'd say look outside of buying this particular fork.
Oh, one other thing, carbon forks are stronger than the vast majority of even modern steel forks, less likely to fold or break in most impacts/incidents, this means safer for you.

Brucey
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Re: Carbon forks on my Croix de Fer

Postby Brucey » 23 Dec 2019, 9:08pm

forks that bend before they break are absorbing energy. Forks that snap like a carrot (at high load or not) are not absorbing energy in the same way.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=broken+carbon+forks&FORM=HDRSC2

Safer? Not convinced. I'm also not convinced that the quality is always there in a typical manufacturing environment.

For example I don't think there is a single big bike maker that hasn't been forced to institute a recall on carbon forks that were shown to be unsafe.

The clincher for me is the failure mode; steel frame parts sometimes crack, then usually, the crack grows until the part is floppy, and you stop riding the bike before it actually breaks catastrophically. Other materials don't fail in quite the same way and (I think) are more likely to catch you out when they go.

cheers
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