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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 10-20-06, 11:04 PM   #1
pat dasein
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Steel forks on alluminum frames

I've got a rush hour pro that I commute with on some crappy roads. It's got a stock cf fork.

I've been looking at a lot of the '90 gen cannondale track bikes (also alluminum) and wondered about the fact that they have steel forks. From what I gather the bike was praised for being so rigid. If so, why not go with a alluminum/cf fork as they're more rigid (atleast alluminum is)?

Let's say a steel fork would really improve my commute (brick roads, good pavement, bad pavement, random obsticals thrown into the street, really deep random pot holes), where could I find one for under $100? I looked into the Surly steamroller fork, but I'd like to find one with zero rake. Thanks.
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Old 10-20-06, 11:08 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by pat dasein
Let's say a steel fork would really improve my commute (brick roads, good pavement, bad pavement, random obsticals thrown into the street, really deep random pot holes), where could I find one for under $100? I looked into the Surly steamroller fork, but I'd like to find one with zero rake. Thanks.
you won't find a fork with zero rake. the steamroller fork is the mostly readily available fork with the least amount of rake. 99.9% of after market forks have 43 mm of rake.
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Old 10-21-06, 06:43 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by pat dasein
I looked into the Surly steamroller fork, but I'd like to find one with zero rake.
A fork with zero rake will seriously Eff up your handling. Look for a fork with a similar amount of rake that your stock fork has to keep everything consistent.

If you call up Tony at IRO, he might be able to sell a fork from a Mark V. I have no idea if he will, just an idea.
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Old 10-21-06, 07:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pat dasein
I've got a rush hour pro that I commute with on some crappy roads. It's got a stock cf fork.

I've been looking at a lot of the '90 gen cannondale track bikes (also alluminum) and wondered about the fact that they have steel forks. From what I gather the bike was praised for being so rigid. If so, why not go with a alluminum/cf fork as they're more rigid (atleast alluminum is)?

Let's say a steel fork would really improve my commute (brick roads, good pavement, bad pavement, random obsticals thrown into the street, really deep random pot holes), where could I find one for under $100? I looked into the Surly steamroller fork, but I'd like to find one with zero rake. Thanks.
Most people say that cf dampens bumps and vibrations better than steel. Why do you want to switch again?
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Old 10-21-06, 08:45 AM   #5
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Most people say that cf dampens bumps and vibrations better than steel. Why do you want to switch again?
That's what I was going to say. Stick with the cf fork. Spend the money elsewhere.
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Old 10-21-06, 09:10 AM   #6
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I don't know why I would want to switch, that's why I asking in the first place (like why did the cannondale have a allum frame + steel fork?). Plus, my current fork basicaly has no rake, so anything with rake will slacken the geometry
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Old 10-21-06, 09:31 AM   #7
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Call me stupid, but I'm pretty sure your fork has some rake. Maybe not 70s touring bike rake, but it has to have some.
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Old 10-21-06, 09:55 AM   #8
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I think the OP has a straight blade type fork. Your fork still has rake. rake is a different thing.
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Old 10-21-06, 10:03 AM   #9
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Yeah, most if not all straight blade forks have the fork blades (legs?) at an angle from the steerer. so they're straight but still have rake. Mine is like that, too. Now we know that, we only need to figure out WTF this thread is about.
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Old 10-21-06, 10:52 AM   #10
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ok..

Why do canndondale track bike have steel forks - why did the designers choose steel over alluminum or carbon fiber?
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Old 10-21-06, 10:57 AM   #11
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For applications like forks where repetitive stresses are high (in both frequency and amplitude) steel has fatigue limit and aluminum doesn't.
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Old 10-21-06, 11:13 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by pat dasein
ok..

Why do canndondale track bike have steel forks - why did the designers choose steel over alluminum or carbon fiber?
Al has a bad reputation for a -real or imagined- harsh ride, so it's pretty much out. Steel is usually a fair bit cheaper than CF, and it can survive crashes where CF would be shredded, so it often gets picked as a fork material.
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Old 10-21-06, 11:19 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Scooper
For applications like forks where repetitive stresses are high (in both frequency and amplitude) steel has fatigue limit and aluminum doesn't.
Yeah and one also gives warning of impending failure and the other doesn't. Guess which is which. I'm pretty sure your above claim and reference link are wrong but I don't have the time to redo my research at the moment.
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Old 10-21-06, 11:24 AM   #14
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By "has a fatigue limit" Scooper (Anvil) mean that there exists a stress level under which the material can tolerate an unlimited number of stresses. (=> a steel frame can last forever if not rusted or crashed, an Al frame can't. Sooner or later it will crack even with normal use)

BTW, Anvil say that Ti frames are heavier than Al, only just lighter than steel. Way outdated info. The current lightest production frame is Ti afaik, and Ti is certainly a lot lighter than Al.
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Old 10-21-06, 12:30 PM   #15
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Yeah and one also gives warning of impending failure and the other doesn't. Guess which is which. I'm pretty sure your above claim and reference link are wrong but I don't have the time to redo my research at the moment.
Steel can withstand an infinite number stress excursions below fatigue limit without any structural damage. Aluminum can fail catastrophically without any warning because it lacks fatigue limit and repetitive stress, even minute stress, will ultimately cause it to fail.

LóFarkas has it right. Please read the definition of fatigue limit. The OP asked why Cannondale uses steel forks on aluminum frames. I believe my answer to the question is correct.
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Old 10-21-06, 02:06 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by pat dasein
ok..

Why do canndondale track bike have steel forks - why did the designers choose steel over alluminum or carbon fiber?

They haven't used the steel forks for at least 6 years on their trackbikes. ("Major Taylor", "Messenger" and "Capo")
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