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  1. #1
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    Ti Rigid Fork on a MTB

    I am doing some homework before plunging my hard earned money into buying a Titanium fork for XC. Trails, and nothing too technical. I am choosing Ti because it is light, tough, and lifetime warrantied (at least some). It would also absorb some light bumps. And of course, it looks cool!

    However, there are a bunch of them around, and I would really appreciate if anyone could advise me before I plonk out the dough.

    Aerolite, Morati, IRD, Ti Cycles, Spicer and Aquila. Of these, I think only Ti Cycles is made in USA, the rest are made in China, Czech, or Russia. The price differs from $200 all the way to $850!

    Is there really $650 worth of differences in between? Is there anything else to look out for?

    cheers, zeck
    ps. There is also a Carbon route (Pace RC31) which I have been recommended. I just need more opinions before deciding.

  2. #2
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    The PACE fork gets good reviews - I think Rich (not Rich C) has one and I'm sure if you drop him an email he'll happily advise.

    Richard
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  3. #3
    It's the fight in the man Rich's Avatar
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    Hi Zech,

    Glad you dropped by mate, you'll enjoy yourself here, nice bunch of people. Hope you find the answer you're looking for.

    Rich
    Making New Zealand a safer place :)

  4. #4
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    You could get a custom steel fork built for less than $200.
    Thats not a bog standard chromoly fork as on low-end MTBs but a lightweight model built to your specs, and matched to the strength of your frame.
    (When you have a head on collition you want the fork to fold up before the frame does)

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by MichaelW
    You could get a custom steel fork built for less than $200.
    Thats not a bog standard chromoly fork as on low-end MTBs but a lightweight model built to your specs, and matched to the strength of your frame.
    (When you have a head on collition you want the fork to fold up before the frame does)
    Hiya Rich,

    Yep. Remember the Kona deal? Well, I am in the midst of tying it up. I do not think I can pass this chance. Wish me luck.

    Thanks Michael. Where might I ask can I get a custom steel fork?

    cheers, zeck

  6. #6
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    Normally I would say from your local custom bike maker, but yours is probably in Japan. You may find it easier to buy a Ti or Carbon one.
    henryjames.com has an index of some US custom builders. There are some good custom MTB workshops in the UK, esp Dave Yates at mrsteel.
    If you are just riding, not doing any manic off-roading then a 26" touring fork may do the trick. These are lighter and springier than conventional MTB steels forks, but designed for heavily laden bikes and unsurfaced trails. Bruce Gorden in the US makes good ones.

    Id be interested to see how a custom steel fork fared against Ti or carbon.

  7. #7
    It's the fight in the man Rich's Avatar
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    Good luck on the deal Zech,

    Michael >> do you really think a custom steel fork could hold up to the same forces as a ti one? Just wondering...thinking that Ti would make for a better material than steel, having better shock absorbing qualities...:confused:

    Rich
    Making New Zealand a safer place :)

  8. #8
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    The strength to weight ratio of the best steel is better than the best titanium. Its just that most Ti frame builders compare Ti to bog standard Chromoly.
    Steel is still used in the landing gear struts of military carrier based aircraft. Dispite the salty environment, only airmet 100 steel is tough enough for the task.

    MTB ridgid forks are usually very stiff, and fat-tubed (like Pace Carbon). Steel is better suited to narrower tubed designs, ie a more forgiving, comfortable fork suitable for trail riding rather than aggressive sport riding. The downside of a very stiff, fat-tubes fork are most apparent in the repair dept. The fork is strong enough to resist frontal collision with logs, but the headtube is pushed inwards and the downtube buckles. Instead of a fairly cheap fork replacement, you need a new frame.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Michael. That is a viewpoint that I have never thought of. Sounds very logical. In a way, I am very relieved because I need not spend so much money at the outset. I tried to search for the UK builder's Internet address but to no avail. Could you direct me to him? (Dave Yates?)

    Thanks! zeck
    ps. Rich, will send you a mailer and lots of pics when I do get "her".

  10. #10
    It's the fight in the man Rich's Avatar
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    Thanks Michael,

    I never knew that, live and learn eh! Zech, here's the web address for Dave Yates;

    http://www.msteelcycles.co.uk/

    He is very highly regarded in the UK as one of our best frame builders, and would definately be worth contacting.

    Looking forward to seeing the photos

    Rich
    Making New Zealand a safer place :)

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