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  1. #1
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    new bikes with aluminum frame and steel fork?

    It seemed like briefly in the late 90s/early 2000s, companies made some road bikes with aluminum frames and steel forks.

    Anyone know why this went out of fashion, and whether there are new make/models with this combo? I haven't been able to find any.

  2. #2
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Cuz carbon forks are cheaper to make than good steel ones.
    But there are still several low end roadies like that still.
    Khs flite 280, 150
    A few bikesdirect options

    Surely many more
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  3. #3
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    Carbon forks are strong and light - and when mated with an alloy bike, give it a plush ride comparable to the best steel bike.

    That's why they're spec'ced on many alloy road and commuter bikes. They're darn tootin' good.

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    I didn't know about the KHS ones, thanks!

  5. #5
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Steel forks are heavier than carbon forks.

    When people pick up the bike in the shop and say "Holy Cr@p this weighs a ton" ... well, you know.

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    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Yeah those khs rigs have hi ten blades. Probably 25+ lbs completes.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  7. #7
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    MOst entry level (Claris/sora) roadies made in South Korea run aluminium/steel. Brings the bikes setup weight (sans tools etc) to 10-11kg but I don't and never will care all that much about weight. They ride nicely. Just built one last week actually.

    new elfama.jpg

    Sweet ride. Had most of the parts in my possesion anyhow so it was a cheap build and really surpised me just how nice it is.

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    It really is too bad there aren't nicer models being produced in the U.S. Say, 4130 for the fork and tiagra. I may just keep an eye out for the older Trek/Cannondales.

    I know they can't compete with carbon in terms of weight, I'm more interested in durability and ride quality.

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    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    You could buy a steel fork and stick it on whatever bike you choose, or you could buy a steel frameset from Gunnar, Soma, etc.

  10. #10
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    Trek 7.0 FX is aluminum frame/steel fork 7.0 FX - Trek Bicycle

  11. #11
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Giant Defy 5 about $680 new. Steel fork. Aluminum frame.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
    Bret Stephens, WSJ

  12. #12
    ka maté ka maté ka ora pdedes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hackybiker View Post
    It really is too bad there aren't nicer models being produced in the U.S. Say, 4130 for the fork and tiagra. I may just keep an eye out for the older Trek/Cannondales.

    I know they can't compete with carbon in terms of weight, I'm more interested in durability and ride quality.
    really?
    By the time you're experienced enough to get something germane out of a test ride, you won't need a test ride.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hackybiker View Post
    It really is too bad there aren't nicer models being produced in the U.S. Say, 4130 for the fork and tiagra. I may just keep an eye out for the older Trek/Cannondales.

    I know they can't compete with carbon in terms of weight, I'm more interested in durability and ride quality.
    A carbon fork seems to have better ride quality, and the same durability as a steel fork.

  14. #14
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    The advantage of the steel fork over carbon is cost. The lower end steel is cheaper to manufacture than a carbon fork. The advantage over an alloy fork is, well, shock absorption. A steel fork, especially one with a rake, can really smooth out the ride vs alloy. Personally, I would still prefer carbon over steel. But if I was purchasing an entry level bike and had a choice of steel or alloy fork, I'd consider that an easy decision, steel all the way. I've owned and rode two all alloy bikes with alloy forks (back in my bike flipping days), one entry level, one mid-level (from the 90's). Hated both and promptly sold them.
    Roccobike BF Official Thread Terminator

  15. #15
    Steel80's vinfix's Avatar
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    Worst of both worlds. Spend a little more, get a carbon fork. Or get a steel bike.

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    I'm well aware I'm in the minority opinion about ride/durability; not going to debate carbon/alu/steel in this thread. There are already lots of good discussions on BF about this.

    Could we stick to listing actual bikes currently being produced? (It appears these are very few indeed!)

    @bbattle, I was thinking of a road bike with drops, so the Trek 7.0 FX doesn't really fit the bill.

    @roadwarrior, the Giant Defy 5 actually has an aluminum fork, according to the website: Defy 5 (2014) | Giant Bicycles | United States

  17. #17
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I'm rollin steel frame with aluminum fork these days. Hopefully get good steel fork for it soon. With 28mm tires I can't really tell the fork is alu.

    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by roccobike View Post
    The advantage of the steel fork over carbon is cost. The lower end steel is cheaper to manufacture than a carbon fork. The advantage over an alloy fork is, well, shock absorption. A steel fork, especially one with a rake, can really smooth out the ride vs alloy. Personally, I would still prefer carbon over steel. But if I was purchasing an entry level bike and had a choice of steel or alloy fork, I'd consider that an easy decision, steel all the way. I've owned and rode two all alloy bikes with alloy forks (back in my bike flipping days), one entry level, one mid-level (from the 90's). Hated both and promptly sold them.
    Alloy is much better designed since then. My commuter bike feels compliant and stable both unloaded and when carrying home groceries. Its an alloy bike with a carbon fork that makes short work of rough streets. I love it!

  19. #19
    ka maté ka maté ka ora pdedes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    I'm rollin steel frame with aluminum fork these days. Hopefully get good steel fork for it soon. With 28mm tires I can't really tell the fork is alu.

    I love this bike
    By the time you're experienced enough to get something germane out of a test ride, you won't need a test ride.

  20. #20
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    You guys know "alloy" doesn't mean "aluminum", right?

  21. #21
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdedes View Post
    I love this bike
    Thx man. She's getting better all the time. Next project: lace a clincher rim to the Campy Record front hub that's currently in a sewup wheel.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  22. #22
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    Alloy forks? Good for beaters and bikes I want to flip cheap. Riding one? No thanks. Transfers every little vibration directly to my hands. The biggest upgrade on a bike with an alloy fork is to replace it with either steel or carbon. All my bikes have steel, but I wouldn't say no to carbon if the price was right.

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