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.
Habanero Ti road w/ Dura Ace, Habanero Ti Cross w/ Dura Ace, MTB w Deore XT
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.
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?
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.