How do you tell if a fork is carbon?

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hippyonwheels
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How do you tell if a fork is carbon?

Postby hippyonwheels » 5 Mar 2014, 9:39pm

Any ideas folks? I just bought a pair of Exotic supposedly carbon forks for my mtb off of ebay. Not convinced they are carbon though, seem heavier than I expected and are just a matt colour- lacking the mesh appearance that I associate with carbon. Any advise on how to check the material- I know Exotic do an aluminum version of the fork- what would be the different in sound if I tap it? Any advice is much appreciated
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Deckie
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Re: How do you tell if a fork is carbon?

Postby Deckie » 5 Mar 2014, 9:49pm

Google the make & model and see what the manufacturer says.
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bumper
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Re: How do you tell if a fork is carbon?

Postby bumper » 5 Mar 2014, 10:02pm

The alloy version I've seen were Matt black. The carbon either have a weave or a smooth uni directional finish, which I have on the cube. The carbon versions are easily distinguishable from the alloy.

Valbrona
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Re: How do you tell if a fork is carbon?

Postby Valbrona » 5 Mar 2014, 11:06pm

Tap them with your knuckle. And the style of the droputs are usually a dead give away.

Lots of people think they are getting a uni-directional style of weave when they are in fact getting 3k standard weave carbon fibre which has just been painted with matt black paint.
I should coco.

Brucey
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Re: How do you tell if a fork is carbon?

Postby Brucey » 5 Mar 2014, 11:29pm

the basic construction of the forks is the same with plain tubes (ally or CF) bonded into sockets at each end, with an ally steerer.

If all the carbon models were painted you might struggle to tell the difference, but (AFAIK) most of the carbon models have a clear coat on them with a clear weave visible underneath. Only the UD carbon forks are painted, and they are not that much lighter than the ally versions. If you have good scales maybe you can tell the difference that way.

Decent forks have a clearly identifiable model number and/or serial number on them. You should be able to track back to the spec using this information.

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bumper
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Re: How do you tell if a fork is carbon?

Postby bumper » 6 Mar 2014, 7:45am

The exotic udi fork legs are raw carbon finish with a clear coat. They aren't painted. The monocoque udi version may be painted but they have a different look to them than the alloy/carbon forks.

The finish on them is very similar to a fishing pole not like a weave mat finish. Only the metalwork is painted either black or white on the carbon forks.

broadway
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Re: How do you tell if a fork is carbon?

Postby broadway » 6 Mar 2014, 9:00am


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[XAP]Bob
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Re: How do you tell if a fork is carbon?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 6 Mar 2014, 9:17am

Erm - hit it with a hammer - of course you wouldn't to do this to a fork you intend to keep...

Steel is easy to identify, it's magnetic.
Al/Alloys should affect the rate at which a magnet slides down them, whilst CF should not; of course that's somewhat hard to test.
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Brucey
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Re: How do you tell if a fork is carbon?

Postby Brucey » 6 Mar 2014, 9:52am

bumper wrote:The exotic udi fork legs are raw carbon finish with a clear coat. They aren't painted. The monocoque udi version may be painted but they have a different look to them than the alloy/carbon forks.

The finish on them is very similar to a fishing pole not like a weave mat finish. Only the metalwork is painted either black or white on the carbon forks.


I see what you mean; maybe these photos will help.

UD finish;

Image

3K weave finish

Image

aluminium fork model CC-F0145 with true weight (uncut)

Image

Image

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bumper
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Re: How do you tell if a fork is carbon?

Postby bumper » 6 Mar 2014, 12:55pm

That's them :D

Exotic have started doing a monocoque ud carbon fork, they look like they're painted in matt black. The crown, legs and dropouts are all smooth like road forks. Not like mine with the alloy dropouts etc.

I've not seen them in the flesh so can't say what finish is on them, look matt. I didn't buy them, they were more than twice the price of the normal exotic ud forks. I'm too tight to pay for them ;)

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foxyrider
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Re: How do you tell if a fork is carbon?

Postby foxyrider » 6 Mar 2014, 1:08pm

its actually very easy to answer the OP's original question.

A carbon fork will always feel warm unlike metal forks which will feel cool to the touch even in warm weather. :) Try it, its true.
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thirdcrank
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Re: How do you tell if a fork is carbon?

Postby thirdcrank » 6 Mar 2014, 4:14pm

I don't know anything about carbon tubes, so I don't know if there would be metal in carbon fork blades - as opposed to the steerer tube and the fork ends. I've a cheap detector to help avoiding drilling DIY holes into pipework etc and my opening gambit would be to try that.

Tonyf33
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Re: How do you tell if a fork is carbon?

Postby Tonyf33 » 6 Mar 2014, 6:13pm

Just ping them with your finger, the sound it makes is so much different to metal (well certainly steel & aluminium alloys)
Also look up the weights of the varying products in both materials, there's bound to be some reference on tinternet

hippyonwheels
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Re: How do you tell if a fork is carbon?

Postby hippyonwheels » 8 Mar 2014, 1:25pm

Hey guys thanks for all your replies, i tried the tapping test and the temperature test and seems to point to it being alluminium (I don't believe Exotic do a steel or ti). I showed them to a bike mech last night and he also confirmed. Looks like I've been mis- sold them so their goin back- was pretty dissapointed with the overall quality anyway. Thanks again for being awesome and helping me out :D
I never panic when I get lost lost- I just change where I want to go (Rita Rudner)

Tonyf33
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Re: How do you tell if a fork is carbon?

Postby Tonyf33 » 8 Mar 2014, 7:19pm

hippyonwheels wrote:Hey guys thanks for all your replies, i tried the tapping test and the temperature test and seems to point to it being alluminium (I don't believe Exotic do a steel or ti). I showed them to a bike mech last night and he also confirmed. Looks like I've been mis- sold them so their goin back- was pretty dissapointed with the overall quality anyway. Thanks again for being awesome and helping me out :D

don't forget to make them stump for return costs (under sale of goods act you should not be out of pocket for mis described/misrepresented goods), also get a signed for service as shifty types might say they didn't get it back.