Author Topic: New Fork  (Read 3104 times)

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Offline HappyHamster

New Fork
« on: October 22, 2007, 09:00:05 pm »
Hello,

I am getting ready to try loaded touring for the first time.  I have been riding road and mountain for 13 years and plan to set up my Cyclocross bike for touring.  I need to choose a fork and NEVER plan to carry anything on the front fork.  I plan to use a rear rack and/or trailer at all times.  Would I be better off (and safe) with a heavy duty carbon cross fork rather than steel if this is my plan?  I believe a carbon fork would be more comfortable and appears to cost the same as a high quality steel fork. I'm not worried about lighter weight. Just comfort.  Thanks.  


Offline DaveB

New Fork
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2007, 09:39:56 am »
I have bikes with steel forks, aluminumm forks and both relatively heavy and extremely light all-carbon forks and I really can't feel a significant comfort difference among any of them.

I think the concept that carbon forks are more comfortable is more marketing than fact.  A carbon fork can be a lot lighter than a steel fork but that's its real advantage.


Offline Badger

New Fork
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2007, 01:53:11 pm »
I will disagree with Dave on the comfort level of a carbon fork.  I put a Winwood carbon cyclcross fork on my T2000 Cannondale and it made a world of difference in handling and comfort this is on road and trail.  I'm like you I don't load the front I use a BoB tailer so there is no need. It's going to really end up being what's good for you or what you will settle for. See you on the road someday, Jim  


Offline DaveB

New Fork
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2007, 09:07:35 pm »
I put a Winwood carbon cyclcross fork on my T2000 Cannondale and it made a world of difference in handling and comfort.....

I don't doubt it made a difference in the bike's handeling as the rake and length may have been different from the stock fork but I still doubt the "comfort" difference.  No rigid fork of any kind can have significant complience and "shock absorbtion" or the bike's steering would be significantly compromised.


Offline Badger

New Fork
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2007, 11:28:29 pm »
I did forget one thing about using the carbon fork it makes the front end very light and with a load in back it can make stiring a little twitchy until you get use to it.  Jim


Offline davepix

New Fork
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2007, 07:08:31 pm »
Hey,

Similarly, I am interested in converting a Cannondale cyclocross (XR800) for touring.  The bike is STIFF! and I may have to switch to another unless I can make it a pleasurable ride for a good month.  Thus, looking for opinions on if a carbon cyclocross fork will save my hands and also if a carbon seatpost will perhaps be softer than the thompson elite aluminum on the bike now.

David



Offline whittierider

New Fork
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2007, 11:22:17 pm »
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but I still doubt the "comfort" difference

When our son went from an aluminum fork to a carbon one, his comment was that he could still feel all the bumps just as well, but they didn't hurt anymore.

Carbon's "smoothness" quality is not one of compliance and shock-absorbtion at all-- far from it-- but rather that it does not continue vibrating after every little bump like the metals do.  That's why some people think it feels "dead".  I like the analogy of a bell.  Think of a big bell in front of you, a foot or two tall, and you strike it, then put your hand on it.  The vibration you feel as it rings is not from the hammer, because your hand was not even on it at the time of the strike.  What you're feeling is the bell's response to the strike.  Carbon fiber would make a lousy bell, but it sure is nice for bike frames and forks.  The carbon bike I myself am riding now is stiffer than my past steel bikes, and yet in a strange way, much smoother.
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and also if a carbon seatpost will perhaps be softer than the thompson elite aluminum on the bike now.

The seat post, which, being shorter and thicker than frame tubes and fork blades, does not really ring, does not give any real improvement by going to carbon fiber.  I don't think you will notice any difference.
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and plan to set up my Cyclocross bike for touring

I don't have any experience at all with a cyclocross bike, but from my reading, I expect one would be less stable than you'd want for touring, the BB would be too high, and the chain stays might not be long enough to give good heel clearance with panniers.  It would be worth researching.


Offline WesternFlyer

New Fork
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2008, 03:13:19 pm »
I ride a Bianchi cyclocross with a carbon/aluminum fork and have concerns about the forks durability for touring.  Of course the bike shop emphasized it was made for racing in the dirt and built to take a beating.  Does anyone have any negative experience with carbon forks and touring durability?

I like the feel of the carbon fork and I have a small rack that fits on the brake bosses and it keeps a little weight forward over the front wheel, maybe 2-4 kilos loaded.  Handling does not seem to be a problem.  I use a Tubus Logo rear rack, which keeps the panniers low and back.  My size 11 ½ shoes have no problem with clearing the panniers.  

The only frame failure I have ever had, in fifty plus years of riding, was a broken chrome-moly fork right where the fork end meets.  I was touring in British Columbia.  Despite the conventional wisdom about steel frames being easily repaired while touring it was not my experience.  Of course they are not really steel frames but exotic ferrous-based alloys.   I cringed as the log yard welder blew a hole through my fork with a loud bang using his arc welder.  To his back woods credit he said it must be some kind of alloy, which I had tried to tell him before he started.  I finally convince him to braze it with a brass rod, which he said would never hold.  He put a really ugly glop of brass on the fork, but I finished the trip and continued to ride on it until the replacement fork came from the manufacturer some months later.  And how did I ride the twenty miles until I found a log yard with a welding shop?  You guessed itDuct-Tape, riding slowly and no front brake!  I know I could fix most any carbon frame or fork myself with $5.00 worth of hardware store epoxy and some fiberglass, but I would rather not have a frame failure at all.


Western Flyer
Western Flyer

We must ride light and swift.  It is a long road ahead.

King Theoden

Offline whittierider

New Fork
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2008, 04:08:00 pm »
Quote
I ride a Bianchi cyclocross with a carbon/aluminum fork and have concerns about the fork's durability for touring.  Of course the bike shop emphasized it was made for racing in the dirt and built to take a beating.  Does anyone have any negative experience with carbon forks and touring durability?

Although I can't directly answer your negative-experience question, I can make comments from what I found in my research before I bought a carbon-fiber (CF) bike.

I've run across quite a few 350-pounders on the forums riding CF bikes, with no problem.  One of them started out at 350 and worked his way down to 240 and had tens of thousands of miles on the CF bike, and had crashed it a few times in the process, with no ill effect on the bike.  CF does not fatigue like the metals do.

http://www.velonews.com/tech/report/articles/3270.1.html has some info on carbon forks' durability.  One notable quote there comes from John Harrington of Easton, maker of carbon forks: "In general terms, a component made from carbon fiber will far out-last a component made from metal."  When asked about the strength and durability of their CF forks, Reynolds responded, "...Our fatigue testing would indicate that well built composite forks are far superior to metal forks with cycle counts running hundreds of thousands of cycles rather than tens of thousands.  These tests are also run at much higher loads than metal forks can withstand further demonstrating the durability of composite materials."

This message was edited by whittierider on 1-9-08 @ 12:08 PM

Offline WesternFlyer

New Fork
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2008, 01:50:11 pm »
http://www.velonews.com/tech/report/articles/3270.1.html has some info on carbon forks' durability.

Thank you whittierider,  That is an excellent website with lots of tech info and exciting bike racing news, which for me is lots of fun.

Western Flyer
Western Flyer

We must ride light and swift.  It is a long road ahead.

King Theoden