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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 12-04-07, 05:06 PM   #1
maltess
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carbon fork benefits

Hello, I have a trek 7.3 for commuting and I am a little worried about potholes and and certain streets in bad state. I was deciding between a suspension or a rigid bike, finally I got the ridig, many people told me I donīt really need suspension in the city. I think is right , but still I find a lot of potholes etc. and rought streets. Can a carbon fork smooth the ride somehow? whatīs the real diffrence with a the aluminium fork?
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Old 12-04-07, 05:11 PM   #2
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It helps a tad but it is not worth the cost if you already have a working fork.

Of course, then you will get others who will say that CF forks are not durable.
Strangely enough both of mine are working just fine.
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Old 12-04-07, 05:25 PM   #3
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carbon is emplyoed to reduce the weight of the bicycle, which is the main difference between it and Al. The functional purpose of employing a CF as a shock absorber over Al would be minimal from my experience with steel and carbon forks.

carbon can also break under so much stress so potholes sound risky, if its the potholes im picturing

-->try and dodge the potholes, don't invest in a CF unless you have the money and would like to experience the difference for yourself.
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Old 12-04-07, 07:46 PM   #4
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I switched to a CF fork on my road bike from an aluminum one this past spring. The road vibrations were lessened greatly, but shock absorption from a bump or a pot hole isn't much better, and I try to avoid them anyway with a Cannondale 2.8 frame.

My 2 cents, use a suspension fork and a firm, but not tight, grip on the bars. Loosen up the shoulder and elbows and don't be so tense.
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Old 12-04-07, 08:08 PM   #5
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Tires make a greater difference for far less cost.
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Old 12-04-07, 11:08 PM   #6
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^^^

What he said. get a slightly wider tire in the front. You'll lose a nearly insignificant amount of efficiency and the ride will be greatly improved. You can go wider in the rear as well, but that's more likely to slow you down.
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Old 12-05-07, 11:22 AM   #7
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Thanks for the answers, my tires are 700 x 32 , flat road style but wider, if I get wider tires I guess they should be not that flat and a little more like mtb?
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Old 12-05-07, 01:54 PM   #8
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I swapped the alloy fork on my old Fuji Absolute for a carbon fork and was pleased with the results. Problem is,on your bike you'll need a fork that has V brake mounts,which means a road fork is out. You'll need a cross/hybrid/29er fork,which will be expensive.

Two better options are a steel fork or lower psi tires. Steel forks are cheap,you can get a nice one for under $75. An even cheaper solution is to go with lower pressure tires. I think your Bontragers are like 100-120psi? Try some tires that are around 80-90psi.

BTW,you are trying to avoid the potholes,right? I'm always amazed when I see people just bomb through them.
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Old 12-05-07, 01:54 PM   #9
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I have 700 x 38 Bontragers on my 7300. The differince in width is significant from 32s. Can't personally tell you of smoothing potholes though as I do have a suspension fork on my ride. I like my suspension fork as I do go off on some trails and once while riding fast at night , too fast for my light, I ran up on a curb. Without that cheap suspension fork, I'm sure I would've destroyed my front wheel, possibly even would've done a header. Anyway, if you are riding where its hard to dodge pot holes, get a suspension fork. I had 32s on at the time when I hit the curb, so I don't think tire width makes a lot of differince, went to 38s after I had a blow out in Boulder and the bike shop I was across the street from only had 38s.
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Old 12-05-07, 03:12 PM   #10
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Thanks for the answers, my tires are 700 x 32 , flat road style but wider, if I get wider tires I guess they should be not that flat and a little more like mtb?
Just drop 5 PSI and call me in the morning.
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Old 12-05-07, 04:24 PM   #11
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Hi, thanks for all te answers, I think the suspension is probably the best solution, I am reluctant to decrease psi because i feel the bike loose speed, anyway , I will like to try one bike with suspension and make myself clear

best rgards
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Old 12-05-07, 07:08 PM   #12
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You'll lose a lot more speed with suspension than a small drop n PSI/slightly wider tire.

I don't think anyone here advised you to get a suspension fork, but hey, it's your bike...
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Old 12-06-07, 02:31 AM   #13
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You'll lose a lot more speed with suspension than a small drop n PSI/slightly wider tire.

I don't think anyone here advised you to get a suspension fork, but hey, it's your bike...
I recommended a suspension fork. I have one on my 7300 Trek. It's not a race bike, but it's fast. The only time I can see it slowing me down if at all is now and then when I stand up and start seriously hammering then it does bounce a bit. I don't hammer often, and when I do. Not long. I have it set as stiff as possible so it actually feels almost rigid. But when I hit a major bump, it gives. I find its handy especially when you don't see a bump coming up.
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