Carbon fibre disk brake touring fork

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belgiangoth
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Carbon fibre disk brake touring fork

Postby belgiangoth » 17 Feb 2016, 11:04am

Motivated by pure upgrade-itis, I am considering upgrading my commuter's fork from a 1.2kg steel fork to something half the mass and carbon. I was thinking that maybe I should make the move to disks at the front at the same time as this would mean that I could swap in 650b wider tyres for winter (as I max out at 35s), have lighter rims, etc.
Thoughts?
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)

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honesty
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Re: Carbon fibre disk brake touring fork

Postby honesty » 17 Feb 2016, 11:13am

I now you can get a touring carbon fork with lowrider mounts (in the form of the Columbus Tusk Trekking) but this is canti/v-brake not disc. I am not aware of a carbon disc fork with lowrider mounts and discs. There are a number of options with discs and mudguards though, so I guess it depends on what mounts you want!

jk49
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Re: Carbon fibre disk brake touring fork

Postby jk49 » 17 Feb 2016, 12:10pm

how about this?
http://www.carboncycles.cc/?s=0&c=75&p=787&tb=001

I've no experience of this fork, but have read numerous favourable reviews of their offerings and service.
I fitted a carbon disc fork to my 90's mtb, which I'm very happy with, but bought it from picasia on ebay. I'd imagine they sell forks for 700c too.

thenorthwind
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Re: Carbon fibre disk brake touring fork

Postby thenorthwind » 17 Feb 2016, 1:54pm

I have an Exotic fork from Carbon Cycles as above. I haven't ridden it much, but most impressions I've heard have been favourable. They do lots of combinations of 26"/700c/29", disc only/V-brake/both, various axle to crown lengths/steerer lengths, road and MTB-style with lots of tyre clearance.

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tykeboy2003
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Re: Carbon fibre disk brake touring fork

Postby tykeboy2003 » 17 Feb 2016, 3:23pm

Carbon forks with disk brake sounds really dangerous to me. From stories on this forum, Carbon forks have a tendency to break and disk brakes have much more stopping power than any rim brakes.

Recipe for disaster.

jk49
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Re: Carbon fibre disk brake touring fork

Postby jk49 » 17 Feb 2016, 3:38pm

ok,I'll bite. You probably wouldn't love my mtb carbon disc fork much. You can easily see it deflect under hard braking. No idea if its going to break, but they have been around for 5 or 6 years as a kind of stripped down replacement for heavier suspension forks. Maybe the owners didn't live to tell the tale!

Brucey
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Re: Carbon fibre disk brake touring fork

Postby Brucey » 17 Feb 2016, 7:57pm

belgiangoth wrote:Motivated by pure upgrade-itis, I am considering upgrading my commuter's fork from a 1.2kg steel fork to something half the mass and carbon. I was thinking that maybe I should make the move to disks at the front at the same time as this would mean that I could swap in 650b wider tyres for winter (as I max out at 35s), have lighter rims, etc.
Thoughts?


Well call me a luddite if you like but if you wanted a light fork for a commuter astonishing did you get a 1.2kg steel monstrosity to start with...??? :shock: If you want a fork that is 'not too heavy' and 'nice and reliable' then a nice Reynolds 531 fork (with a 1" steerer) is only ~750g or so. Comfy too, because it can be fitted in a frame that isn't made to feel like a plank of some kind.

You can buy a carbon fork that will do the job you want but it is a pot luck job. Regardless of make, in commuting use one such may suffer in an unusual way; winter road salt tends to eat the aluminium parts (crown, dropouts, brake mount, nothing important.... :roll: ) out of the carbon.

Also I wouldn't necessarily choose 650B for winter use because there isn't a vast choice of tyres out there. In terms of tyre choice you would be far better off with 700C and unless you are riding on cobbles I doubt any reasonable length commute is going to kill you on 35mm tyres.

Disc brakes have their plusses and minuses, but for most of the winter there is no real benefit in terms of braking performance because that is limited by the grip of the tyre on the (wet, muddy, icy) road anyway. Rims are as likely to fail through corrosion or a prang as anything else on a commuting bike, and are presently rather expensive in 650B form (for no good reason other than they think they can get away with it).

I'm at risk of pointing out the b-obvious here but 700C rims and brake blocks are cheap consumables and last well; if you choose reasonably well you should get about 15000 miles out of a decent rim (although harsh conditions might shorten that) and then it is £20 for a new one. If you fit your 'light fork', 650B tyres and disc brake you will probably not end up with anything that is appreciably lighter overall (certainly not vs how a properly made steel frame ought to have been to start with), and it may be more expensive to run and work no better, or be worse even.

So IMHO you are looking to 'upgrade' to something that is arguably not a worthwhile improvement over something you could have bought 50 years ago. Some upgrade.... :roll:

-just my two-pence worth-

cheers
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Freddie
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Re: Carbon fibre disk brake touring fork

Postby Freddie » 17 Feb 2016, 10:05pm

My thoughts echo Brucey's; I will add for the kind of expenditure you're looking at (carbon fork, 650b wheels, tyres and disk brakes must be at least £350), you could buy a nice second hand lightweight frame, moving bits across from the old frame, and all for a lower cost than your original plan. I can't think of a way in which this isn't a better solution to your problem.

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bikes4two
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Re: Carbon fibre disk brake touring fork

Postby bikes4two » 17 Feb 2016, 10:27pm

To be fair the OP did say ......
Motivated by pure upgrade-itis,


..that's the power of marketing for you :D
Without my stoker, every trip would only be half a journey

belgiangoth
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Re: Carbon fibre disk brake touring fork

Postby belgiangoth » 17 Feb 2016, 10:28pm

If I got a new frame I would prob go with something that runs standard rear track hubs (as opposed to 135 spacing fixed I have now) which would give me better options. So I would move some bits over. It has crossed my mind, but I am not sure I could get something that is worthwhile lighter than my Pompino without other compromises or spending some serious money.
35s are plenty most of the time, but on proper snow I would go wider if I could.
One interest for me would be that I could try wider tyres, 650b and carbon fibre, all in one go. Therefore giving me some though as to whether n+1 would run with or avoid any of those. Maybe n+1 should have caliper brakes and 28mm 622s, but I won't know that I wouldn't be better off with fat 650s and disk brakes if I don't try it.
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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Re: Carbon fibre disk brake touring fork

Postby Brucey » 17 Feb 2016, 10:37pm

for 'proper snow' an old MTB works pretty well.

To my mind spending a fortune on revising just part of a 'workhorse' bike -at considerable cost- doesn't make very good sense.

BTW I've ridden thousands of miles on 584s and 590s and it wasn't in any way a 'transformative experience' or anything (vs other wheel sizes using the same kinds of tyres);... so don't believe the hype.

cheers
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Ivorcadaver
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Re: Carbon fibre disk brake touring fork

Postby Ivorcadaver » 17 Feb 2016, 11:16pm

I'm at risk of pointing out the b-obvious here but 700C rims and brake blocks are cheap consumables and last well; if you choose reasonably well you should get about 15000 miles out of a decent rim (although harsh conditions might shorten that) and then it is £20 for a new one.

cheers[/quote]
Deep breath.... I am going to disagree with Brucey. I commute 100 miles a week every week throughout the year and the last thing I want to do is spend time at the weekend faffing around adjusting/replacing brake blocks, getting aluminium slurry ingrained into my fingers and worry about when a rim is about to split (which from experience is no laughing matter). Longevity of rims ....mmm, well my rims with cantis were lasting about 5000 miles and not having the ability to build wheels myself it's either buy a new complete wheel or more faffing around taking wheels to the LBS for rebuilds. Discs are the way to go, I have hydraulics on my new bike which give smooth consistent braking all the time and are maintenance free - yes they will cost more when it comes to servicing but that's a price I am prepared to pay. I guess there is a weight penalty from discs due to beefier (and stiffer forks) but in my view it's worth it. In terms of comfort: I can't detect any difference going from a bike with rim brakes to one with discs but comfort is a difficult one as it's very subjective and what is a like for like comparison based on? So in conclusion, Brucey may I tentatively suggest that you may have Luddite tendencies.

Brucey
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Re: Carbon fibre disk brake touring fork

Postby Brucey » 18 Feb 2016, 1:01am

Ivorcadaver wrote:... and worry about when a rim is about to split (which from experience is no laughing matter). Longevity of rims ....mmm, well my rims with cantis were lasting about 5000 miles and not having the ability to build wheels myself it's either buy a new complete wheel or more faffing around taking wheels to the LBS for rebuilds.


-well I suspect you could have done a lot better than that with better rims and brake blocks. Rims have wear indicators you know.... I can recommend learning to put a fresh rim on wheels too; it isn't difficult and it is quite empowering. Very adequate rims are actually somewhat cheaper than decent tyres are, and last longer.... Even at the dismal life you are getting (what were your brake blocks made from, rocks...?.... :shock: :lol: ) that is only once a year or something?

Discs are the way to go, I have hydraulics on my new bike which give smooth consistent braking all the time and are maintenance free - yes they will cost more when it comes to servicing but that's a price I am prepared to pay.


'Maintenance free' huh.... :lol: so who tells you when your pads are done, the brake fairy? :lol: When they go wrong it will be faff city (you won't be riding your bike that day...) and/or they will go in the bin. That is how several local LBSs to me will 'repair' your hydraulic brakes. Quite a lot of unworn (but warped/DTV'd) discs go in the bin too.

I guess there is a weight penalty from discs due to beefier (and stiffer forks) but in my view it's worth it.

the OP wants lighter/comfier, not heavier...
In terms of comfort: I can't detect any difference going from a bike with rim brakes to one with discs but comfort is a difficult one as it's very subjective and what is a like for like comparison based on?


comparisons are difficult because everybody's use age and expectations are different too. But on the road nearly every disc-equipped bike I've tried has either had much fatter tyres than I'd normally use or it has just been horrible to ride, just dead and plank-like. Granted a lot of modern frames are pretty horrible anyway (they are almost all far stiffer than they need to be for unladen work) and maybe a lot of riders don't know any better...

So in conclusion, Brucey may I tentatively suggest that you may have Luddite tendencies.


Yes in a way (whatever made you think otherwise... :wink: ) but then again, no not really...I've been using hydraulic discs for over 15 years on some of my MTBs and there they have a place; they are not a perfect solution by any means but then it is a 'toy bike' not a practical means of transport. The problem with pads is that organic/semi-metallic pads get contaminated too easily, don't last long and don't work that well in the wet, Kevlar ones wear out even quicker and sintered ones (which would be my choice for a mechanical disc) transfer heat too well into the hydraulic system. So there is no good solution for pads, not there.

BTW I think it is an excellent idea to have a set of spare wheels for any commuting bike; that way you can have alternate tyres ready (eg for wintery weather), and/or if you have a flat tyre in the morning it isn't the end of the world. You can buy a decent set of rim-brake spare wheels quite cheaply.

I wouldn't ever use hydraulic brakes for commuting because they are bound to go wrong sooner or later and when they do they won't be fixed by the roadside, and whilst any other brake can be fixed in an hour or so of gentle pottering, hydraulic systems don't get fixed that quickly, ever, so it isn't an evening job either. Commuting on such brakes is IMHO almost as daft as having no plan for puncture repair or something like that. Cable discs are arguably better because they are readily fixable; also that you have to adjust the cable from time to time (what a hardship!... :roll: ) reminds you that the pads are wearing. You can have no idea how many people run hydro brakes down to the backing....

Anyway discs-shimischs; for clarty commuting the perfect brake is an SA drum brake, eny fule kno that; pretty much impervious to the weather, will last decades. :mrgreen:

A lot of people find it easy to mistake 'newness' for 'progress'; I'm not at all sure what I'd buy right now if I had to walk into a bike shop and get something, because the vast majority of vaguely practical machines on offer at present are actually pretty ghastly. They are mostly not very pleasant to ride, they are not any lighter than they used to be, they don't work any better, and they certainly don't last any longer because many of the parts fitted to them are just perfect examples of built-in obsolescence.

The weird thing is that I can think of hundreds of things that might be of real benefit to cycles and cyclists, but mostly 'progress' -as seen in many bike shops- appears to primarily consist of a load of pointless/counterproductive crap.

cheers
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jk49
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Re: Carbon fibre disk brake touring fork

Postby jk49 » 18 Feb 2016, 10:09am

Having done this to my utility bike/tourer/ riding trails and moderate single track 90's steel mtb, I think I've learnt a couple of things. A bit of back ground first.
The bikes wheel rims needed changing, so the front wheel cost the price of the new hub.
I've never owned a bike with disc brakes, wanted to give them a go, so looked for a normal steel disc fork. The price difference between the ones I found and the carbon one I bought was about £60.Throw in a bb7 and some brake cable and you have change from £160.
Now I know I could of re rimmed the original wheel for approx £20, but I would of missed a great chance to have a tinker and a bit of an experiment. Not for everyone, but its a personal weakness I have, to want to try and adapt and improve what I already have and generally just have a good tinker!
So..... has it worked?
The bike is noticeably lighter, and the front end is more compliant, maybe to much for some! I've got mixed feeling about the brake. It undoutably stops well, especially in driving rain, but its noise still annoys me! The vee brake on the back just goes quietly about its business.
I think there are elements of polishing a turd going on here, but I do think it works quite well as an exercise( careful to avoid the upgrade word!). We'll have to see how long the fork lasts.

Brucey
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Re: Carbon fibre disk brake touring fork

Postby Brucey » 18 Feb 2016, 11:04am

I have a weakness for tinkering experiments too, but I tend to carry these out on 'other bikes' rather than one I need to use on a regular basis.

This approach has its downsides but it does allow a direct comparison between two different bikes to be made. This way the 'emperor's new clothes' (or forks... :roll: ) are largely absent, and you have a better chance of 'newness' being identified correctly as 'progress' or not.

If I like the 'new bike' it'll likely be because it is genuinely better in some way rather than anything else; if there is really no benefit I have no compunction in flogging the new machine or reverting it to a heap of potentially useful parts.... :wink:

cheers
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