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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 12-19-07, 04:11 AM   #1
schnee
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Help me choose a cyclocross fork: $$$ vs. Quality vs. Clydesdale

I've done a good hour of research and haven't dug up anything. I was hoping someone experiended like you would hear things.

Basically, I have a Jake the Snake, and want to replace the steel fork with Carbon. I'm looking at two grades of forks:
1) High end: Reynolds Ouzo Pro, Alpha Q, Easton... $320-400 - will have to buy with my own cash.
2) Cheaper: Redline, Ritchie or Sella Azurra... $200 tops - have tons Amazon gift certificates to spend, so these brands are effectively free.

I'm a big guy - 270 now, aiming for 255 in the summer. I'm not afraid of carbon - both my other bikes are made of it - but I don't know the reps of any of the 'cheap' choices I have.

So, should I worry about getting a Redline or Ritchie merely because they're cheaper? Any good, or bad to speak of them? I know the founder of Reynolds, so he's told me a lot about Reynolds and Alpha Q, but I don't know about the rest of them.
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Old 12-19-07, 01:45 PM   #2
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I'm only around 210# and had terrible problems with a Ritchey WCS - horrible flex and brake shudder. Went to an Alpha-Q CX (not the 20) which has been perfect for me. I was incorrectly shipped a CX20 which didn't seem much better than the Ritchey and returned it for tho plain (older) CX.
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Old 12-19-07, 04:48 PM   #3
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I bet you can get a Surly fork for about $100.
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Old 12-23-07, 02:26 AM   #4
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Great info, mhejl, thanks.
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Old 12-23-07, 09:15 AM   #5
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I've got an extra Alpha Q CX-20 New in box that I'd like to get rid of. PM me
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Old 12-23-07, 05:13 PM   #6
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I would go steel at your weight. Or maybe a tandem carbon fork.
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Old 12-24-07, 01:11 AM   #7
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I've put 1,000 miles on my Giant OCR3 Composite this year, and it's nothing special. The head tube is gigantic, but the fork is not any bigger than an average Reynolds or whatever. I don't abuse it, but I go fast, sprint, and commute with a backpack over some rough roads.

I'm wondering where people are getting that most carbon forks are so fragile that I'd want to avoid them. Personal experience? Am I just lucky?
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Old 01-02-08, 09:53 AM   #8
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Following up, I got the Ritchey carbon, and it was so flexy I returned it.

I decided to fix the problem at it's root - the aluminum frame - and bought a Gunnar Crosshairs. Since this is a knock-about bike, I said 'forget it' and went steel on the fork too.
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Old 01-02-08, 10:52 AM   #9
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You got a steel frame because an aluminum frame was too flexy? How does that work?
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Old 01-02-08, 10:54 AM   #10
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Sounds like a great purchase. Do you have pics?
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Old 01-03-08, 12:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIN View Post
You got a steel frame because an aluminum frame was too flexy? How does that work?
No, I got a steel frame because an aluminum frame was beating the crap out of me, and a cheap carbon fork (an attempt to fix the problem) was too flexy for my 270-pound linebacker-sized butt.

Rather than pay the real cash for a Reynolds and still have the aluminum frame to contend with, I just replaced it all. I could have kept the steel fork from the Kona, but it didn't aesthetically match.

I got the frame stealth - no branding on the top and bottom tubes. It's going to be gunmetal gray, and should arrive by the beginning of February. I'll post pics then.
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