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Old 05-04-13, 06:16 AM   #1
Crankykentucky 
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Yowsir! Which Fork To Use?

Ok, I'm visiting with one biking veteran in the LBO and he tells me to stay away from carbon forks!
I do like the idea of carbon, but does a steel fork really help with wrists and arms like he says?
Man, we are living and learning!
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Old 05-04-13, 08:03 AM   #2
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Outside fork for salad, inside fork for entres, fork at the top for dessert. I don't know about the fish fork.

This what my cycling physical therapist said: the more carbon fiber between you and the ground, the better for you. He said carbon forks are the way to go.
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Old 05-04-13, 08:08 AM   #3
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The prevailing wisdom is that carbon forks absorb shock and vibration better than steel. If possible, test ride both and see how they feel to you.
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Old 05-04-13, 08:58 AM   #4
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Test both, but carbon is supposed to make the ride less jarring(less vibration). I definitely would want the carbon forks.
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Old 05-04-13, 09:31 AM   #5
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"Help with the wrists and arms"

If you're having wrist and arm issues I'd be for researching my position on the bike more than researching fork material. Honestly, if everything else was equal, I'd think the carbon fork would be more comfortable. Carbon forks have been all but universal on moderately priced bikes for around 15 years. If there was a basic problem with carbon forks, we'd be hearing about it constantly.
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Old 05-04-13, 09:35 AM   #6
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The carbon fork on my Litespeed is 12 years old. Still works like when new.

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Old 05-04-13, 10:12 AM   #7
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I would agree that as a broad statement carbon forks are an improvement over steel. Having said that, just as not all steel forks are created equal, not all carbon forks are the same and not necessarily better than steel. I've been looking for a carbon disc fork for a cross bike I'm building and some of the carbon forks I've looked at weigh more than steel forks making me wonder how they perform.
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Old 05-04-13, 10:25 AM   #8
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I would agree that as a broad statement carbon forks are an improvement over steel. Having said that, just as not all steel forks are created equal, not all carbon forks are the same and not necessarily better than steel. I've been looking for a carbon disc fork for a cross bike I'm building and some of the carbon forks I've looked at weigh more than steel forks making me wonder how they perform.
Exactly this. The CF forks on my Giant OCR must be solid resin due to the weight of them and the stiffness wheras the steel Project II forks on my old Kona are still good after 20 years and have plenty of flex. A Quality CF fork will be strong and have some give for the bumpy roads and be plenty strong.
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Old 05-04-13, 10:50 AM   #9
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Outside fork for salad, indies fork for entres, fork at the top for dessert. I don't know about the fish fork.


This what my cycling physical therapist said: the more carbon fiber between you and the ground, the better for you. He said carbon forks are the way to go.

Thanks, now I am ready to go out in public and tackle the Ruth Chris Steak House! Spoons are next!


Interesting! This guy was talking like steel was tops because of the amount of reinforcement carbon forks have built in.
I thought he made a fascinating point.
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Old 05-04-13, 11:19 AM   #10
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Sounds like a guy living in the past and is just stuck on his way of thinking, thats Ok everyone is has that right but time has moved on as well as has everything else around us
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Old 05-04-13, 12:05 PM   #11
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Sounds like a guy living in the past and is just stuck on his way of thinking, thats Ok everyone is has that right but time has moved on as well as has everything else around us
Well fine then. What are you supposed to do with the fork at the top of the plate?
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Old 05-04-13, 01:39 PM   #12
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The carbon fork on my Litespeed is 12 years old. Still works like when new.


What a great bike! Thanks for sharing the photo!
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Old 05-04-13, 01:43 PM   #13
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Well fine then. What are you supposed to do with the fork at the top of the plate?
I see that I created a real hornet's nest with the fork issue. I say pass those top of the plate forks to the next person on the right! Keep all spoons, however.
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Old 05-04-13, 01:49 PM   #14
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Making a fork out of expensive thinwall heat treated steel , custom level .
is a night and day difference
from a fork made out of a cheap thick wall for extra security against Lawyers
steel tubing ..
then you have the whole argument between a long radius Arc stiff , but looks good, fork
Versus the older 40s~50's bends that were a sharper smaller radius at the Tip
that makes the fork more compliant, an adaptation to roads less well paved ..
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Old 05-04-13, 02:04 PM   #15
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The carbon fork on my Litespeed is 12 years old. Still works like when new.

Twelve? Why, it's just a baby!

My Litespeed and carbon fork are 17 years old.

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Old 05-04-13, 02:08 PM   #16
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Shows how uneducated the Americans are. That fork at the top of the plate is for dessert. Thought you would know this as a Dessert fork is the best for Pie.

But bike forks--I test rode quite a few bikes a few years ago and I cannot remember one single bike that had Steel forks. The majority of "Performance" bikes made nowadays will have CF as the fork material.
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Old 05-04-13, 02:31 PM   #17
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Steel or most any metal, rings. Tap it it rings. Those are vibrations being transmitted. Carbon dampens. It's the opposite of metal. Which material you use depends on your design goals. For a bike, I'd choose carbon.
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Old 05-04-13, 02:33 PM   #18
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Shows how uneducated the Americans are. That fork at the top of the plate is for dessert. Thought you would know this as a Dessert fork is the best for Pie.
Only one fork for dessert? That seems so limiting. Do you have to reuse your dessert fork for Second Pie?
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Old 05-04-13, 04:11 PM   #19
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CF does absorb some high frequency vibrations. But it's not suspension. Many old steel bikes had more of a curve at the end of the fork, with small diameter tubing, to have more give when hitting bumps. But modern steel forks aren't made like that and the old style fork would reduce trail, making for a less stable bike.

If your arms and wrists are hurting it's likely a fit problem. That won't be solved with a new fork of any material.
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Old 05-04-13, 04:55 PM   #20
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Most carbon Fiber Forks with an aluminum steerer are a Carbon Fiber wrap over an aluminum frame. These can be good quality but many of these are too stiff and just as heavy as a good steel fork. A Carbon Fiber fork with a Carbon Fiber steerer are far lighter and can produce a damp ride quality while remaining stiff enough for good handling.
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Old 05-04-13, 05:26 PM   #21
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Shows how uneducated the Americans are. That fork at the top of the plate is for dessert. Thought you would know this as a Dessert fork is the best for Pie....
Not all Americans Stapfam. I know...of course I did wait on tables at the officer's club. Of course if there's a small fork to the right of the soup spoon, that's a seafood fork.

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Old 05-04-13, 05:38 PM   #22
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Ya. But carbon fiber forks are ugly. Yes, I am the retrogrouch.
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Old 05-04-13, 07:03 PM   #23
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Test both, but carbon is supposed to make the ride less jarring(less vibration). I definitely would want the carbon forks.
Chances are a general rule is not possible. Steel forks can be large diameter, small diameter, straight blade, curved, or tightly curved at the end. The latter would be a fork with significant vertical flex. A steel fork with a large diameter blade and no curvature (and a very rigid crown) would probablyu feel stiff and harsh, though I haven't owned one.
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Old 05-04-13, 07:06 PM   #24
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Only one fork for dessert? That seems so limiting. Do you have to reuse your dessert fork for Second Pie?
Personally I like a second fork for the ice cream ...
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Old 05-04-13, 07:12 PM   #25
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Test both, but carbon is supposed to make the ride less jarring(less vibration). I definitely would want the carbon forks.
I think of jarring as referring to shock, where buzzing refers to vibration. A fork that flexes is good at absorbing shock due to its elastic bending - like thin diameter, modern, high-strength steel (OXplat or 853/953, or even CrMo, the venerable Columbus Cyclex or 531 steel). A fork made of material that has inherent energy dissipation properties would be better for preventing vibration from reaching the rider - carbon fiber composite excels at this due to the epoxy binding the fibers together. It's not generally as good at flexing as steel is.
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