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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 09-07-08, 04:39 PM   #1
mrbubbles
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Carbon fork over steel fork?

https://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?...20Road%20Forks

Worth it over this?

https://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?...20Road%20Forks

$90 more for carbon and over a pound weight savings. Doesn't seem worth it or does it?
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Old 09-07-08, 06:05 PM   #2
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The carbon fork should feel more damp and be easier on the hands. I went with a carbon fork to get a more damp ride. What frame?

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Old 09-07-08, 07:58 PM   #3
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Nashbar X.
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...Frames%2FBikes

I figure it's time to put my leftover parts to good use on frame, winter is coming so one of these might be a good idea.
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Old 09-08-08, 07:04 AM   #4
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I'm considering the same project, also with the Nashbar X! I think the extra $ for the Carbon fiber is worth it. It's actually an economical way to lose a significant amount of weight. It will also help the bike ride better, important on longer trips.

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Old 09-08-08, 09:45 AM   #5
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The only reason I stuck with steel is my old school looking build would've looked all wrong with carbon.
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Old 09-08-08, 09:52 AM   #6
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You can find significantly lighter steel forks than that Nashbar one. Look at Tange and IRD.
http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...?category=1634
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Old 09-08-08, 10:10 AM   #7
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When I was making a similar decision a while ago, what put me over the top was the thought of hoisting that extra pound, 2 or 3 times every lap...easily worth $90 for me.

I haven't noticed the extra damping but I suppose it is an "on-paper" benefit. But the difference in weight is *very* noticeable.
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Old 09-08-08, 10:54 AM   #8
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When I was making a similar decision a while ago, what put me over the top was the thought of hoisting that extra pound, 2 or 3 times every lap...easily worth $90 for me.
But it's important you are making the correct comparison. That Nashbar carbon fork is around 700g; you could pay less for a steel fork weighing in the 750-800g neighborhood. To get in the sub-500g carbon world, you have to pay over $200, at the very least. Meanwhile, there are other practical reasons one might prefer steel to carbon, especially for a non-racer.

For reference:
800g - 500g = 300g = .67 pound.
1 pound = 454g
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Old 09-08-08, 11:06 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by flargle View Post
but it's important you are making the correct comparison. That nashbar carbon fork is around 700g; you could pay less for a steel fork weighing in the 750-800g neighborhood. To get in the sub-500g carbon world, you have to pay over $200, at the very least. Meanwhile, there are other practical reasons one might prefer steel to carbon, especially for a non-racer.

For reference:
800g - 500g = 300g = .67 pound.
1 pound = 454g
ok
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Old 09-08-08, 01:04 PM   #10
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ok
Just to clarify, I wasn't disagreeing as much as saying you have to look at specifics. There's steel, and then there's steel; there's carbon, and then there's carbon.

I am currently considering switching my race bike from a Tange steel fork to Origin-8 carbon. As far as I can tell, it would save about 300g, nothing to sneeze at, but not life-changing either. And I'm certainly keeping the steel fork for future use, either training, or touring, or a "monster-cross" rig, or whathaveyou.

I agree (?) with you that carbon's "dampening" characteristics are oversold. For one, a steel fork has very nice ride characteristics. Also, a carbon fork might (might) give nice dampening characteristics when riding high-pressure low-volume road tires. Switch to high-volume low-pressure cross tires, I can't imagine it being a first- or even second-order effect.
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Old 09-08-08, 01:27 PM   #11
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Just to clarify, I wasn't disagreeing as much as saying you have to look at specifics.
OK. I just assume that anyone making a purchase will be doing that anyway (or be deserving of the consequences if they don't). That is just common sense. Then again, this is BikeForums

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I agree (?) with you that carbon's "dampening" characteristics are oversold.
Yep, that's where I was going with that. One hears "material X dampens better than material Y", and it may be true in the lab. But in practice it's difficult to evaluate and compare dampening objectively. Weight, on the other hand, is not

I guess there is the lingering question of whether weight matters, which is subjective and also dependent on one's racing activities or lack thereof. For me it's not difficult to justify $99 or even a couple of hundred bucks difference for a significant weight savings (whether it's life-changing or not). That sucker seems to get heavier and heavier every lap; anything I can do (in a relatively cheap way) to reduce what I'm shouldering or suitcasing 2-3x per lap definitely makes a difference.
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Old 09-08-08, 03:06 PM   #12
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More info. I'm not using this for cross races, there will be zero shouldering involved. Weight is moot really, I fancy carbon but I don't fancy it that much, maybe not $90 more.
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Old 09-08-08, 03:25 PM   #13
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More info. I'm not using this for cross races, there will be zero shouldering involved. Weight is moot really, I fancy carbon but I don't fancy it that much, maybe not $90 more.
Personally, I think both of those Nashbar forks are duds.

If I were you (I am not), I'd go with any of those Tange-tubed forks at the link I posted. For carbon, I'd save up a little more and get something lighter and nicer.
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