Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Montpeculiar, VT
Bikes: Soma Rush, Fuji Cross, Raleigh Technium Mtn Bike, Ross 10 speed with Shimano 600.
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I'm not going to debate best, but a steel fork is very durable, and also works great both in terms of performance and comfort on any material frame. The main advantages of carbon are weight, and they cushion the ride a bit up front, but they are also expansive, and somewhat fragile. so if weight is not the most important issue, steel is a fine material for a fork. Some feel that aluminum frames need the damping of a carbon fork, but actually steel forks work well on aluminum frames as well, they are just heavy compared to carbon or aluminum.
In other words if cost and durability are your primary concerns steel is perfect, if weight is more important than cost or durability, go with carbon. Your weight shouldn't make that much difference in terms of the durability of carbon though. The main thing is that a carbon fork is unlikely to survive a crash.