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Old 05-26-14, 02:49 PM   #1
The B
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Fork upgrade - Kona to EC90x ?

Howdy

I've got a '09 Snake with stock kinda-carbon "Carbon Cross" fork. I suspect it's on the heavier side, being mostly alloy, and wonder if the Easton fork might be significantly lighter and ride better.

Anyone happen to know what the Carbon Cross forks weigh? I know the EC90s are less than 400g, some even under 300... that's pretty damn light

Think the Easton fork will ride noticeably better?
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Old 05-26-14, 06:57 PM   #2
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Can't compare but I have an EC90x on my Santa Cruz stigmata. Tracks well, is pretty light, spec is 485 grams uncut, and it absorbs chatter well. Some users say they shudder under heavy braking load with canti's but I have yet to experience this. I'm running TRP mini v brakes on it. Came with the bike, I can't think of a reason to switch it, pretty boss.
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Old 05-27-14, 06:36 AM   #3
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I have a Kinesis carbon CX fork that is likely similar to what's on your Kona -- alloy steer tube, crown, and dropouts with carbon legs. Weighs in around 660g cut.
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Old 05-27-14, 08:22 AM   #4
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The Whisky fork comes in all flavors (canti/disc, tapered/straight) and the canti versions have a hole in the crown to mount a cable hanger.
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Old 05-27-14, 11:17 AM   #5
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Are you experiencing any problems with your current fork?

You might save half a pound in weight, but I'd be surprised if you feel that. In theory alloy steerers transmit more "buzz" to the handlebars than carbon steerers, but if you're running 32+ mm wide tires at relatively low pressure that will probably make the fork's buzz absorption irrelevant. If you're using your Snake as a road bike, maybe that will matter to you.

The biggest difference between CX forks seems to be how well they handle hard braking. Many carbon forks shudder badly under hard braking. Forks which allow a fork-mounted cable hanger generally minimize this problem. I don't know how the EC90 compares in either of these respects.
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Old 05-27-14, 12:40 PM   #6
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Are you experiencing any problems with your current fork?

You might save half a pound in weight, but I'd be surprised if you feel that. In theory alloy steerers transmit more "buzz" to the handlebars than carbon steerers, but if you're running 32+ mm wide tires at relatively low pressure that will probably make the fork's buzz absorption irrelevant. If you're using your Snake as a road bike, maybe that will matter to you.

The biggest difference between CX forks seems to be how well they handle hard braking. Many carbon forks shudder badly under hard braking. Forks which allow a fork-mounted cable hanger generally minimize this problem. I don't know how the EC90 compares in either of these respects.
No problems. But a half a pound of weight saved is appealing. Looking at weight-weenies, the only other Kona forks listed (the Carbon Cross isn't) are like 1300g.... if mines anywhere near that, it'd be a lot more than a half lb saved.

It's my long-distance commuter, but I have, and intend to do more CX races with it. I guess it's irrelevant, except that the bike generally does 120-200 miles a week on pavement- so a reduction in vibration might be noticeable. I originally had an EC90 carbon bar on this bike, for sake of reducing vibration, and specifically in the hopes of reducing hand numbness.. but I actually took it off in favor of an aluminum Deda I thought fit my hands better.... and while I can definitely feel the road more, I haven't found it a bothersome difference.

Guess the only way to answer to the question will be to pull the fork and plop it on the scale...
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Old 05-27-14, 01:13 PM   #7
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714g with 8" of steerer....

so yea, it'd probably be around a half pound shaved. And a smoother ride, probably...
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Old 05-27-14, 01:46 PM   #8
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I doubt it's anywhere near 1300 grams, but 700-800 doesn't seem out of the question for a fork with an alloy steerer and you'll be able to find a sub-500 gram replacement easily enough.

Fork shudder can really suck for CX racing, so make sure you get specific feedback on that out before you buy any fork. My 2008 Kona Major Jake originally came with an EC90X fork, but the owner before me replaced it with an Alpha Q CX20 (which I like a lot). I couldn't say why the original was replaced or even if the EC90X that came on this bike is equivalent to today's EC90 forks.

Have you considered using this as an opportunity to put a disc brake on the front? It would add weight rather than remove it, but it's a nice upgrade, especially for commuting.
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Old 05-27-14, 02:24 PM   #9
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I doubt it's anywhere near 1300 grams, but 700-800 doesn't seem out of the question for a fork with an alloy steerer and you'll be able to find a sub-500 gram replacement easily enough.

Fork shudder can really suck for CX racing, so make sure you get specific feedback on that out before you buy any fork. My 2008 Kona Major Jake originally came with an EC90X fork, but the owner before me replaced it with an Alpha Q CX20 (which I like a lot). I couldn't say why the original was replaced or even if the EC90X that came on this bike is equivalent to today's EC90 forks.

Have you considered using this as an opportunity to put a disc brake on the front? It would add weight rather than remove it, but it's a nice upgrade, especially for commuting.
I've pretty firmly rejecting the idea of going disk. Mini-vs seem to be pretty good, and while I don't go crazy with trying to slash weight, I definitely don't want to deliberately add it. I want to get into cross, but I'm too much of a roadie at heart.
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Old 05-27-14, 05:34 PM   #10
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I've raced Cat 4 on a 23 lb bike and a 19 lb bike and I actually did better on the 23 On the list of what matters for CX, a half pound of weight is a long way from the top (until you start riding in the elite categories). And a "smooth" riding fork usually means a lot of flex which is not a good thing for CX. If you want to go racing, spend your money on a set of CX tubulars. You'll likely drop more than a half pound AND actually gain a serious performance advantage.
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