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Old 01-05-13, 02:07 PM   #1
wayback
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Those who've upgraded to a carbon fork

I'd like to get your input. Friend of mine has done some research and decided on a fork upgrade to benefit from the damping qualities of CF. Trouble is, he's not sure which one to get. Doesn't want the cheapest, more "mid-range".

Here's his bike: http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/B...e#.UOe6g6wsu4o

I'd describe him as a long-distance recreational rider and occasional commuter. He usually rides on weathered surfaces and is seeking a little more comfort.

Real-world impressions would be very helpful. Please let me know which fork you installed, what you think of it, and whether or not you might prefer a different one.

Thanks!

Last edited by wayback; 01-05-13 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 01-05-13, 04:37 PM   #2
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Had an '04 Fuji Absolute with straight blade alloy fork and skinny tires. It sucked. Picked up a Winwood cf cross fork for cheap at a local shop(steerer had been cut,but long enough for me). Night-and-day difference. Everything else on the bike was stock except the fork,and it rode much better.

Your friend will need a cross fork with canti mounts for his V brakes,1 1/8" steerer(threadless),and he'll want to get a curved model for the better ride and to match the stock fork's rake/trail. Like this one. I have a Nashbar branded one I didn't use as planned for a project;seems like a good quality piece,and almost half the price of the Ritchey. The curved Evo on my old Coda Elite rode real nice,but I think they only do straight blade anymore.

edit: also remember swapping forks isn't a straight swap. You'll need to remove the headset cup from the old fork and install it on the new one. And when cutting the steerer remember the old adage: measure twice,cut once.
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Old 01-05-13, 05:56 PM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback dynaryder. He's hoping for an improvement in ride quality similar to your experience with the Fuji. I'll ask him to take some measurements before ordering to make sure the new fork specs are close the current one re rake & trail.

In another thread I saw that some Ritchey forks have canti boss issues (http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...rk+brake+issue) so I'll check into the offerings from Ridley.

I'll let him know he might need to get a new headset as well depending on what he has now.

Appreciate the help!
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Old 01-05-13, 06:02 PM   #4
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Makes a big difference... I pt one on my Fuji Absolute 4 frame.... makes for a nice ride. And i used the Nashbar fork also.
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Old 01-05-13, 06:07 PM   #5
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Some wider tires will provide a plusher ride at a fraction of the cost of a new carbon fork...
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Old 01-05-13, 07:14 PM   #6
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Sounds like a good move, alloy forks on a alloy frame suck. I use a Karbona cyclocross fork. I don't think you'll find one of those but there's plenty other brands and check the axle to crown length is the same or up to 20mm shorter if he wants slightly quicker steering but don't go longer.
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Old 01-06-13, 11:15 AM   #7
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Thanks guys. After a fairly thorough web search, I was only able to locate three 1-1/8" cantilever-compatible 700c carbon forks with curved blades from Nashbar, Redline, and Ritchey.

Can anyone add to this list?
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Old 01-06-13, 04:21 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by wayback View Post
I'll let him know he might need to get a new headset as well depending on what he has now.
No no no. He doesn't need a new headset,he just needs to swap the part of the headset that's installed on his current fork to the new one. I mentioned this because if you don't swap out that part,the new fork won't fit properly. You can't just pull the cup off the old one and pop it on the new one by hand;you need a special tool or homemade apparatus to do it. If he pulls the old fork and takes it into a shop with the old one,they can do the swap. Or he can just let the shop do the whole thing.
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Old 01-06-13, 04:24 PM   #9
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Some wider tires will provide a plusher ride at a fraction of the cost of a new carbon fork...
Depends on the bike. My Novara Road Buzz came with 32mm tires. The ride totally sucked,so I swapped on some 42mm tires. Helped a little,but I still couldn't commute on it for an entire week without my carpel tunnel flaring up. So it had to go back to REI.
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Old 01-06-13, 05:46 PM   #10
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I knew what you meant. Sometimes the crown race from one fork won't fit on another (been there). Wouldn't expect a problem using a Logic headset with a Ritchey fork, but it could be different with a Redline or Nashbar fork. I'm pretty sure he's already gone to a larger size with the Armadillo tires and doesn't need any more rolling resistance there.
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