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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 09-30-13, 11:56 AM   #1
Mithrandir
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Carbon Forks? (Salsa)

I'm considering getting a Titanium Salsa Fargo for a dedicated winter bike. I was thinking Titanium would be a good idea because it won't rust like Steel will in a harsh salty/wet winter.

However...

I'm looking at the 2014 Salsa Fargo spec page (http://salsacycles.com/bikes/2014_fargo_ti/build_kit/) and I see it comes with a "Firestarter Carbon" fork. Now to me this seems like it would be a bad idea for several reasons:

1) I still weigh 350ish
2) As a winter bike, the chances of wiping out are higher than in summer, thus it's more fragile.


Anyone have any experience with carbon forks as a megaclyde? Are they really a concern or am I just being overly worried?
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Old 09-30-13, 12:00 PM   #2
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Carbon isn't any more fragile than steel, TI, or aluminum. I crashed a CF bike, including the fork, hard enough to put me in the hospital for a few days. The frame and fork last another 15,000 miles and so guy is still riding it.

Do NOT worry about CF over any other material. If you do crash and bust the CF fork, you'd probably have done the same on any other material.
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Old 09-30-13, 12:02 PM   #3
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Salsa was clearly comfortable spec'ing this fork on a bike designed for a lot of abuse. I wouldn't sweat it but you can always write Salsa and ask your question. If you are worried, get the Fargo 3 which has a chrome-moly fork and save a lot of money as well.
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Old 09-30-13, 12:02 PM   #4
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Not as a "megaclyde" ... but my Trek has a carbon fork, and I've ridden it when I was a little over #300 , all the way down to #260 and places in between. Never had an issue or concern.

My cross bike (a Kona Jake) has an AL fork, and on my list of upgrades is a carbon fork at some point. CF helps deaden some of that road buzz you feel in handlebars.
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Old 09-30-13, 12:07 PM   #5
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I'm certainly a fan of carbon forks after getting my Secteur. Much more comfortable than aluminum forks, but not as mushy as a suspension fork. A titanium frame with a carbon fork sounds like it would be really nice.
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Old 09-30-13, 12:14 PM   #6
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if super worried about carbon on a touring bike, a niner carbon fork would be a great option. No rider weight limits, carbon layup is for strength IE bouncing off rocks and has good vibration dampening. I beat the snout outta my niner carbon fork and even jumped w/ it few feet high to flat land coming out of a stream bank and its fine. We have plenty of rocks where I ride and there is a HUGE difference going from a steel fork to the niner carbon. Shop around and it can be had for lower $300 range and WORTH IT

http://www.ninerbikes.com/Niner-tape...-carbon-fork_2

their test vid vs niner steel fork abuse
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_O9PLorYPA
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Old 09-30-13, 12:28 PM   #7
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i've never read about ti itself being great for an uber clyd... that isn't to say it would be a flexy noodle (depends on tubing diameter, thickness, material etc)... as for the carbon I can see your concern for crash worthiness alone being a winter commuter... salsa steel forks are nice, ran one on my rigid 29er, much nicer then the original karate monkey fork i'd had before

being a winter commuter I'd prob consider something a bit cheaper

I'd look at a pake c'mute http://www.bikemania.biz/frames/pake...o-cross-frame/ def not as sexy... but good old standard 4130 cromo... can use 130 or 135mm hubs... frame saver is cheap... no disc option on the frame but up front you could choose a disc fork easily enough...

if you are set on the fargo it's a $1500 premium for the ti fargo vs the steel... that much $$$ buys a nice sunny day bike ;-)... just to gain some perspective... you can buy a COMPLETE steel fargo and still have almost $600 left over buying that ti frame... if the frame ever failed you could go back and buy another frame and still only have spent what the ti frameset cost initally

just an option/thought
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Old 10-01-13, 08:26 PM   #8
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http://www.pinkbike.com/news/santa-c...-test-lab.html

In case anyone was wondering how strong a properly engineered carbon frame or part really is.
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Old 10-01-13, 08:57 PM   #9
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Um....Ti with Carbon forks? Hmmmm. Sounds like a pretty sweet setup to me! Love mine and would do it again in a heartbeat!

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Old 10-02-13, 07:43 AM   #10
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Thanks for the advice guys.

I ended up contacting Salsa directly to find out if there's a weight limit. They got back to me and apparently since it's for an "adventure/touring" bike there is no weight limit on the fork at all, it's designed sturdily enough so that it can handle loads far greater than anything I can toss at it.

That being said, they offer a Steel fork as well which they didn't mention on the website, so they said the question comes down to the pros and cons of steel vs carbon. Carbon will be more expensive and lighter, steel will be heavier and cheaper. The real question is "feel" however. I've never ridden on anything other than steel, how does a carbon fork feel compared to steel?
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Old 10-02-13, 08:47 AM   #11
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It will depend on what it is designed for. But CF can be designed to do more things at once than steel can. If that makes sense.
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Old 10-02-13, 09:07 AM   #12
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5 of my bikes have carbon forks including my titanium framed cross bike (Motobecane Fantom Cross Team Ti) and I have zero worry about them. I rotate my bikes just because I like change and currently I'm riding my Giant TCX with a carbon fork. I have zero worry about riding them and I'm over 350 pounds.

The one thing I do draw the line at are carbon steerers, I'm just not personally comfortable riding on them but I imagine you could get a carbon fork designed for super clydes with a carbon steerer but I don't know.
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Old 10-02-13, 10:11 AM   #13
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I went from this voodoo fork


to the niner carbon fork


Biggest difference other then the weigh was how I felt after about 30 mins into the ride. The steel curved fork has some dampening/flex but not much at all and the chatter is still felt through the entire triangle of the frame to the carbon bars and even pedals. With the niner, the chatter is muted by the time it gets to the frame and carbon bars. It was SHOCKING what the difference was!!! 2hrs MTB rides on the steel fork was plain harsh, beating up my arms, shoulders and wrist. 2hrs on the carbon, my body still felt pretty fresh and can keep going. Hell even did the death march with the SS and carbon fork setup. 7hrs ride, 65 miles and 9000ft of climbing with 32x20 gearing.

The weight difference was about 1.5pounds, making the front end easier to lift over rocks, ruts and other "stuff" when needed
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Old 10-02-13, 03:53 PM   #14
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The one thing I do draw the line at are carbon steerers, I'm just not personally comfortable riding on them but I imagine you could get a carbon fork designed for super clydes with a carbon steerer but I don't know.
I have a carbon steerer on my tandem. It's worked well. I've raced that bike at speeds up to 70mph. I wouldn't do that with a stoker on the back if I wasn't fully confident in my equipment.
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Old 10-02-13, 04:38 PM   #15
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I have a carbon steerer on my tandem. It's worked well. I've raced that bike at speeds up to 70mph. I wouldn't do that with a stoker on the back if I wasn't fully confident in my equipment.
Wow!

Does your team approach the weight of me though? I mean some teams are barely 250 pounds.

Is your fork rated for such big loads?
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Old 10-02-13, 05:30 PM   #16
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Wow!

Does your team approach the weight of me though? I mean some teams are barely 250 pounds.

Is your fork rated for such big loads?
I weigh between 230-250 by myself. My stokers vary between 100-160. The bike is a Calfee Dragonfly and was custom made for me to race. I'm pretty sure that Craig Calfee wouldn't put us on something that was unsafe.
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Old 10-02-13, 08:24 PM   #17
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I weigh between 230-250 by myself. My stokers vary between 100-160. The bike is a Calfee Dragonfly and was custom made for me to race. I'm pretty sure that Craig Calfee wouldn't put us on something that was unsafe.
LOL very true, however you need to consider that he probably specced a pretty high end good strong fork whereas a lot of the cookie cutter bike manufacturers like Specialized, Giant, Cannondale, Trek, etc will just use cheaper forks with lower ratings.
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Old 10-02-13, 09:48 PM   #18
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It's an Alpha Q fork. It's definitely high end and it is tandem rated. It's not heavy however. The whole bike weighs only 26lbs. Not bad for a tandem.
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Old 10-02-13, 10:19 PM   #19
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It's an Alpha Q fork. It's definitely high end and it is tandem rated. It's not heavy however. The whole bike weighs only 26lbs. Not bad for a tandem.
HOly crap! 26 pounds for a tandem!! Wow I want one.
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Old 10-02-13, 10:54 PM   #20
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What is the life expectancy for a carbon frame and a carbon fork? Either together or on their own?
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Old 10-02-13, 11:33 PM   #21
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HOly crap! 26 pounds for a tandem!! Wow I want one.
It's not too hard to do if you don't mind spending the $$$. I've seen them as light as 21lbs but that'd be pushing it for someone our weight (in my opinion). There are a number of manufacturers who come to mind who make really good performance tandems. Calfee, Paketa and Cafac come to mind. Check out Calfee's website. Some awesome stuff there.


The life expectancy for carbon bikes/forks are pretty much indefinite. Just like most materials. As long as you take care of it it will last you a lifetime. I have a friend who has an almost 30yr old (86/87) Kestrel and it works fine.
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Old 10-02-13, 11:36 PM   #22
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Guess it's not true without pics. Me and my stoker on my first Race Across America on the tandem. We were both over 200lbs!
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Old 10-02-13, 11:38 PM   #23
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Guess it's not true without pics. Me and my stoker on my first Race Across America on the tandem. We were both over 200lbs!
Awesome! I bet you guys FLEW down hills like a runaway freight train down a mountain.
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Old 10-02-13, 11:44 PM   #24
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Yeah, we went pretty fast. We have a transcontinental record. We topped out a little over 70mph. Notice that nearly everything on that bike is carbon. You can count the metal pieces on one hand.
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Old 10-02-13, 11:47 PM   #25
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I lied, you might have to use your hands and toes if you count all the sprockets separately.
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