I bought a used Major Jake around Christmas 2008. Components had taken a little bit of a beating from the previous cyclocross season, but the frame was sound. I'm not the most mechanically talented guy, so took it to a LBS that knows cross bikes and had them adjust and replace a few things (pedals, cables, etc). Before I took it in, the bike had a terrible brake shudder problem. I knew this when I bought it, but figured a proper adjustment would fix it.
I've since had the brakes adjusted a couple of times, and while it's somewhat improved, the shudder problem remains. I have read that this can happen more frequently with carbon forks because of flexing, but not sure if that's accurate. I have less of a problem in the rain than when it's dry. If the brakes are indeed generating too much power, it makes sense that having them and the rims wet would solve the problem. However, since it doesn't rain 100% of the time where I live, I think I need a more permanent solution.
The other factor is that I'm paranoid about carbon in general. I'm also a rower, and have seen carbon oars brake on me and other rowers. Rational or not, I would be more comfortable with something other than carbon.
The question is, would switching to a steel fork help my brake shudder problem? If it's likely to do so, I think I would go that route, as it would help put my mind at ease about the carbon failure issue as well.
Any suggestions for steel forks? Would the one that comes stock on the Jake work? Do they sell that separately?
Oh, and I ride the bike on trails and roads, but the primary reason for purchasing it was to race cross this autumn. I did some beginner racing last year on a mountain bike and decided to step up to this bike for '09.