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Old 11-28-09, 10:02 AM   #1
intheways
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Best fork for gravel and dirt roads...

I'm planning on doing rides that involve significant stretches on dirt and gravel roads. I'm curious as to what fork material (carbon, steel, etc) is preferred.

Thanks

Last edited by intheways; 11-28-09 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 11-28-09, 07:26 PM   #2
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Steel would give you the best ride. But you can really use any fork you want to..

I might shy away from aluminium (except I use it) just because it might be a little harsher ride.
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Old 11-28-09, 08:54 PM   #3
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Your tire width and pressure are going to matter way more than your fork material. That being said, I would probably stick with steel or, if your frame geometry and bike set up allows it, a carbon CX fork like those made by Winwood or Ritchey.
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Old 11-28-09, 10:01 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I have a steel fork on my Soma, but I was trying to figure out how a carbon fork would compare. FWIW, I was looking at the Winwood muddy cross.
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Old 11-29-09, 05:47 PM   #5
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The carbon will be marginally lighter, and stiffer (better cornering and tracking in performance riding situations) and absorb a bit more high frequency vibration. Any difference in eating up the big bumps can be more than compensated for by playing with the type of tire you run. So if you have the money and think you will appreciate any of those advantages and losing about .5 lbs off your, bike go for it. I was considering the same fork for my Cross Check but decided the minor performance difference wouldn't be worth the money for the type of riding I do, plus I liked the looks of the lugged crown once I saw it on the bike. Its really a princess and the pea sort of situation so just do what will make you happy.
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Old 11-29-09, 06:25 PM   #6
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The carbon will be marginally lighter, and stiffer (better cornering and tracking in performance riding situations) and absorb a bit more high frequency vibration. Any difference in eating up the big bumps can be more than compensated for by playing with the type of tire you run. So if you have the money and think you will appreciate any of those advantages and losing about .5 lbs off your, bike go for it. I was considering the same fork for my Cross Check but decided the minor performance difference wouldn't be worth the money for the type of riding I do, plus I liked the looks of the lugged crown once I saw it on the bike. Its really a princess and the pea sort of situation so just do what will make you happy.
Probably not worth it for my uses. Thanks. I commute on my bike also, so banging around on the bike rack probably wouldn't be so good.
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Old 11-29-09, 09:17 PM   #7
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Your tire width and pressure are going to matter way more than your fork material.
Bingo. I would go so far as to say tires completely overwhelm fork material. A few extra millimeters of tire width will make much more difference than any fork change.
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Old 11-29-09, 10:29 PM   #8
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Bingo. I would go so far as to say tires completely overwhelm fork material. A few extra millimeters of tire width will make much more difference than any fork change.
I should probably look toward another wheelset. Velocity fusions are fairly narrow.
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Old 11-30-09, 07:44 PM   #9
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Make sure you have clearance in your frame/fork. I think the Soma does, but...

Velocity lists your rims at 19mm, so traditional wisdom holds that a tire up to 32mm or so should be safe.
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Old 12-03-09, 06:47 PM   #10
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here in vermont, i ride mostly dirt roads. they range from hard dirt to gravel dumped on top of soft dirt. my steel fork helps a lot. but i think the best thing i did was to get carbon fiber handlebars and seat post, to replace the aluminum handlebars and seat post. the ride is tons smoother now. if you think about it, your butt and your hands are the main contact points on the bike, so changing handlebars and seatposts will have the best benefit.
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Old 12-08-09, 02:39 PM   #11
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here in vermont, i ride mostly dirt roads. they range from hard dirt to gravel dumped on top of soft dirt. my steel fork helps a lot. but i think the best thing i did was to get carbon fiber handlebars and seat post, to replace the aluminum handlebars and seat post. the ride is tons smoother now. if you think about it, your butt and your hands are the main contact points on the bike, so changing handlebars and seatposts will have the best benefit.
That's interesting to hear. I had sort of written off carbon fiber, but might give it a second thought. My only concern is that I use my bike for commuting and wonder if the extra wear and tear will be a problem with the carbon?
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