Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 04-07-08, 10:59 AM   #1
TommyL
convert
Thread Starter
 
TommyL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bellingham, WA
Bikes: 1994 Bridgestone XO-4, 2006 Trek 1500
Posts: 735
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Custom steel: Carbon fork?

I am in the process of (in my head at least) figuring out what I want for a custom steel bike. Apologies in advance for peppering this forum over the next few months+.

The question I've been looking at recently is carbon vs steel fork. Is a steel fork going to be just as comfortable over the long haul? Does a carbon fork really dampen the road that much? Will the carbon be as reliable in the long term? Lastly, can a carbon fork work with a fronk rack (carrying a Berthoud type bag)?

For the last question, something like this: http://cohobicycles.com/cohobicycles/Randonneuse.html

Thanks, everybody! I'm just getting into the whole long distance cycling thing, and could use all the help I can get!
TommyL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-08, 11:00 AM   #2
TommyL
convert
Thread Starter
 
TommyL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bellingham, WA
Bikes: 1994 Bridgestone XO-4, 2006 Trek 1500
Posts: 735
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
One more question: I'll be commuting on this bike long distances as well; it will be out in all kinds of weather. Any problem with CF in that respect?
TommyL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-08, 02:18 PM   #3
bobbycorno
Senior Member
 
bobbycorno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 2,544
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The main issue I have w/CF forks and custom frames is that you're pretty much restricted to one fork rake: 43mm, and forget about fenders. The only advantage I've found w/CF over steel forks is weight - steel is probably 1/4 to 1/2 lb heavier. Could be more than that. Don't have any hard numbers handy.

But if you're getting a rando bike, and want to use a big front bag, you'll want reduced-trail steering geometry, which means WAY more than 43mm of rake, and fenders are a good thing to have, even if the weather doesn't always suck quite as bad as it did on the ORR 600k last year (10 solid hours of heavy rain on day 1, and showers on day 2). All of that pretty much makes CF forks a non-starter in my book.

YMMV, of course.

Scott P
Bend, OR
RUSA 3481
bobbycorno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-08, 02:33 PM   #4
mattm
**** that
 
mattm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: CALI
Bikes:
Posts: 13,889
Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 209 Post(s)
i'd go with the steel fork, which is what i'm riding now (not a custom bike, an older miyata 312). and since you're getting a custom job done you could get a fork with two sets of eyelets (for fenders, and rack separately), and of course clearance for full fenders. (fenders are a must out here in the PNW)

you probably could get a front rack on a CF fork using p-clamps (they sell these at velo orange btw), but i'd just go with all-steel since your frame is anyway.

and i have a notion that a steel fork would do better in a crash than a CF fork, but i could be totally wrong on that one, just a gut feeling..
__________________
cat 1.

blog
mattm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-08, 02:53 PM   #5
MIN 
big ring
 
MIN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: philadelphia
Bikes:
Posts: 5,838
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Carbon is stiffer and lighter. 1/2 of the big steel builders use carbon forks. Food for thought. I'm ferrophile #1, but carbon fork are better, imo.
MIN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-08, 04:48 PM   #6
Bacciagalupe
Professional Fuss-Budget
 
Bacciagalupe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 6,438
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As far as I can tell, few carbon forks have bosses for front racks. The only one I know of is the cf fork on the Jamis Aurora Elite, which is kind of a sporty touring bike.

In terms of reliability, as far as I can tell it's about the same. Any impact that would ruin a CF fork would almost certainly make a steel fork unreliable as well.

That said, I'd opt for steel if you're going to use a front rack. I just think that in this case, steel widens your options.
Bacciagalupe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-08, 04:57 PM   #7
TommyL
convert
Thread Starter
 
TommyL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bellingham, WA
Bikes: 1994 Bridgestone XO-4, 2006 Trek 1500
Posts: 735
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Fenders, of course! That's definitely a deal breaker. I don't know how I forgot, but the question of clearance never entered my head. If no carbon forks come with clearance for full fenders, then steel is the only optiton for me. Are there carbon forks with plenty of clearance for full fenders? Thanks,

Tommy
TommyL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-08, 04:52 PM   #8
john hawrylak
Senior Member
 
john hawrylak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Woodstown NJ
Bikes: 1975 Schwinn Voyageur II (Made by Panasonic), 1988 Schwinn Voyaguer (touring)
Posts: 246
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Carbon forks seem to be designed for speed versus more general riding, i.e., no bosses, limited fender space, limited rake, no eyelets. Therefore, a steel fork seems to better a choice for long distance riding.
john hawrylak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-08, 07:13 PM   #9
KnoxBreezer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Knoxville, TN
Bikes:
Posts: 209
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There are at least a few carbon forks that have fender clearance, and some that even have eyelets for fenders. The IRD 57 Mosaic Carbon comes to mind. I think Wound Up has a new touring fork with eyelets.

Your major problem is finding something that will let you mount a front rack. Most people seem to prefer rack mounted front bags, so the bag has a lower center of gravity... but I know at least a few riders who use small handlebar bags without a front rack, like an Arkel or similar and it doesn't seem to worry or bother them at all.

I'm a big steel fan too, but if you want a carbon fork I think you'll be fine, so long as you can make the sacrifice of not having a rack mounted front bag. Carbon probably absorbs as much road noise as using slightly larger tires and a steel fork, so you can make up for it by running 28s or 32s with w/ steel fork and you probably wouldn't notice a difference. My experience is limited, I ride a steel fork on my steel rando bike with 32s, but have an aluminum tandem on 25s with an Alpha Q carbon fork.
KnoxBreezer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-08, 08:04 PM   #10
rtruectoc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: north bergen, nj
Bikes: cannondale caad 8 custom
Posts: 410
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i just put a carbon fork on my salsa casseroll. it replaced the steel fork that was damaged when i was hit by a car. i used a bontrager fork that is made for the trek pilot. it retains the same geometry and allows for my long reach calipers. it has eyelets for fenders and plenty of clearance.

i prefer the ride. more shock absorption, yet stiffer. these can be had for $70 from wheel and sprocket. weight with uncut steer tube is 560 grams
rtruectoc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-08, 08:34 AM   #11
swc7916
Senior Member
 
swc7916's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Machias, WA
Bikes: Rodriguez Toucan tandem, Rodriguez Rainer Lite sport/touring
Posts: 718
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My Rodriquez Rainier has a carbon-fiber fork, standard-reach brakes and plenty of room for fenders. R+E also makes a touring bike with a steel fork with 26" wheels (actually, it's a tandem fork) that has plenty of braze-ons and room for fenders. See www.rodcycle.com
swc7916 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:45 PM.