Carbon Forks for Steel framed bike

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QUIST
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Carbon Forks for Steel framed bike

Postby QUIST » 5 Sep 2011, 12:58pm

Assuming that I can source a set of forks which are compatible with the frame's headset has anyone any experience of doing this / riding such a bike ( I'm looking to save weight on the bike),

toby

reohn2
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Re: Carbon Forks for Steel framed bike

Postby reohn2 » 5 Sep 2011, 1:01pm

As someone who's spent 5,000 miles trying come to terms with the rock hard ride of carbon forks and ended up selling the frameset. Why would you want to?
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Si
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Re: Carbon Forks for Steel framed bike

Postby Si » 5 Sep 2011, 1:11pm

Why would you want to?


because carbon forks are often lighter and can be more comfortable....don't be put off because you've had one fork that sounds like it wasn't well designed - the properties of carbon are such that you can design it to be very very comfortable or to transmit every single bump in the road up to the bars.

Nope, there are much better reasons why you should be put off carbon!

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Mick F
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Re: Carbon Forks for Steel framed bike

Postby Mick F » 5 Sep 2011, 1:12pm

The chap that did that TV programme and wrote the book, "It's all about the bike" spent a small fortune on a steel frame and shoved a carbon fork on it!

Why oh why oh why?

Sorry, but I've never ridden a bike with a carbon fork, so I have no personal experience, but it seems daft to me when a good quality steel fork does everything that a CF fork can do, but better and it's cheaper too. Only downside, is that it's weeny bit less light.
Mick F. Cornwall

LANDSURFER74

Re: Carbon Forks for Steel framed bike

Postby LANDSURFER74 » 5 Sep 2011, 1:13pm

That will the propensity to de-laminate ... like all carbon structures...

Valbrona
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Re: Carbon Forks for Steel framed bike

Postby Valbrona » 5 Sep 2011, 1:55pm

Steel forks are indeed heavy for what they are, especially if you have to use a long steerer. So, 'yes', carbon forks are a good idea if you want to reduce the weight of your machine.

You did not say what type of forks/headset you are using at the moment.
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rualexander
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Re: Carbon Forks for Steel framed bike

Postby rualexander » 5 Sep 2011, 2:25pm

I don't really notice any difference on my Thorn Audax Mk3 between riding it with the carbon forks fitted or with the steel forks fitted. It's a bit lighter in weight with the carbon forks but thats about all, if I was buying it again I doubt if I'd bother with the carbon forks.

phil parker
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Re: Carbon Forks for Steel framed bike

Postby phil parker » 5 Sep 2011, 2:29pm

QUIST wrote:Assuming that I can source a set of forks which are compatible with the frame's headset has anyone any experience of doing this / riding such a bike ( I'm looking to save weight on the bike)


Yes, I have experience of both carbon and steel forks on similar bikes - both Roberts and both extremely well 'specced'. when I had my Roberts compact (Audax) built in 2003 I was informed (by the media: not Chaz Roberts) that carbon forks were the in-thing and that they were much better, being lighter and able to absorb road vibration etc. I certainly don't doubt these claims; they are certainly lighter, by a couple of hundred grams, but I don't notice any tangible difference in comparison with my steel fork Roberts for comfort or handling.

The bike has covered over 30,000 miles since new with no problems whatsoever to the forks or otherwise. I have also fitted carbon forks to friends' bikes, both steel and aluminium, which have also had no problems and in some cases improved the looks and handling as far as the owner was concerned. However, if your main aim is to reduce weight you may need to consider additional measures as well as replacing the forks for it to make a discernible difference.

Image

KevinH
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Re: Carbon Forks for Steel framed bike

Postby KevinH » 5 Sep 2011, 3:06pm

I have swapped around between carbon and steel forks on my Thorn Audax Mk3 a few times. My carbon forks ( Deda Black Rain ) save 600g over the steel ones. I can certainly tell the difference between the forks, but I wouldn't say one is more comfortable than the other. The carbon has a more damped feel, while the steel feels more springy.

In the end I've left the steel forks on, mainly for aesthetic reasons.

reohn2
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Re: Carbon Forks for Steel framed bike

Postby reohn2 » 5 Sep 2011, 3:27pm

phil parker wrote:Image


Phil
What's going on at the top of your seatpost?It looks like a bracket to get more layback on the EA50.
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PW
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Re: Carbon Forks for Steel framed bike

Postby PW » 5 Sep 2011, 3:32pm

Sounds like a fair bet the steel frame has a 1" headset, and you want to fit a threadless steerer. It is possible but beware the headset bearings are getting less common. I'll have to acquire a stock myself soon. The old screw fit headsets for a quill stem are easier to get so it may be a good idea to hang on to a decent pair of 531C quill forks.
If at first you don't succeed - cheat!!

reohn2
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Re: Carbon Forks for Steel framed bike

Postby reohn2 » 5 Sep 2011, 3:37pm

Si wrote:
Why would you want to?


because carbon forks are often lighter and can be more comfortable....don't be put off because you've had one fork that sounds like it wasn't well designed - the properties of carbon are such that you can design it to be very very comfortable or to transmit every single bump in the road up to the bars.

Nope, there are much better reasons why you should be put off carbon!


I agree,one carbon fork doesn't make a summer but I really had to talk myself into carbon reassuring myself they were safe.After having read about their "vibration damping" abilities I found I had to fit as big a tyre as I could and bar gel under the bar tape to try to get any kind of "vibration damping".
Steel it is from now on,even a cheap HiTen steel fork as fitted to my Claud Butler offers more comfort albeit with a bigger tyre but I can see it flex on rough surfaces.
Give me comfort over the insane drive for ever lighter bikes.
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phil parker
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Re: Carbon Forks for Steel framed bike

Postby phil parker » 5 Sep 2011, 3:46pm

reohn2 wrote:Phil - What's going on at the top of your seatpost? It looks like a bracket to get more layback on the EA50.


It must look more confusing than it is, it is an EC 70 seatpost, which has a different fitting bracket, and the seatpost light mount is pressed firmly upwards, and the saddle is at its most rearward setting. I'm not actually getting anymore off-set/layback than standard adjustment will allow.

It is very comfortable though - and a very fast mile muncher even when fully loaded with 15 kgs!

reohn2
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Re: Carbon Forks for Steel framed bike

Postby reohn2 » 5 Sep 2011, 8:04pm

Phil
Thanks for getting back on that,I thought there'd been some serious fettling going on there :shock:
Capitalism is working... ...but only for some...
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rouleur gentil
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Re: Carbon Forks for Steel framed bike

Postby rouleur gentil » 5 Sep 2011, 9:06pm

Bear in mind that 'good' on a tourer isn't the same as 'good' on a race bike. That said, overall, steel would be my pick on a steel frame, as long as it's a good fork; they don't have to be terribly heavy. The Surly ones are excellent (as no doubt are others).

(Alloy forks are always terrible in my experience. But that's the answer to a question no one asked.)


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