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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 01-24-08, 02:20 PM   #1
hazylines
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Aluminum fork vs street use

Looking into buying a new fork, Ive narrowed it down to a few, but my budget is tight. This fork will most likely see brakeless fixed street use. I do a bit of bunny hops, wheelies and curb drops.

How would an aluminum fork hold up to these conditions. Its brand new and 1-1/8th threadless.
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Old 01-24-08, 02:22 PM   #2
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I wouldn't recommend buying AU if you intend to beat on it like you stated.
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Old 01-24-08, 02:46 PM   #3
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i have been riding brakeless a threaded easton kinesis aluminum fork on a steel frame for a while now. it gets acid dropped. curb jumped, ridden off road and worse. basically the kinda stuff a bike that gets ridden every day goes through. It has held up just fine. I inspect is for cracks every so often and check my head set.
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Old 01-24-08, 03:02 PM   #4
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just inspect it as you would anything else. if it's a bonded fork, check the joints. i think people underestimate the safety margin that's built into most bike parts.
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Old 01-24-08, 03:03 PM   #5
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What types of headset problems would it cause? the only reason Im looking at a aluminum fork is because its cheap, light, and if I do break it doing something stupid, it was cheap. And I will have my old fork as a back up.
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Old 01-24-08, 03:05 PM   #6
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Fork won't fail or anything like that. But aluminum forks are said to be pretty harsh for road buzz.
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Old 01-24-08, 03:13 PM   #7
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I don't understand why in these threads people are always saying that it will see brakeless use like that puts extra strain on the fork. I guarantee that the average cyclocross fork sees much more abuse than that of an typical brakeless hipster.
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Old 01-24-08, 03:19 PM   #8
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Well, that is until you can't stop and ride directly into the back of a taxi. That's probably not good for a fork, heh.

If anything brakeless would be less mean to a fork than riding with a brake.
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Old 01-24-08, 03:32 PM   #9
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hm can't you find a cheapo carbon fork for the same money, they really aren't any more frail unless its a catastrophic structural failure as a result of a defect.
and yeah +1 on cyclocross comment and they use carbon forks
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Old 01-24-08, 03:35 PM   #10
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actually i am sure brakeless put no strain real extra on my fork, but being a idiot does
riding fixed puts strain on my fork, because i pulll up on the bars when i power up hills.
I inspect my headset, because I inspect and lube my entire bike atleast once a week. with only about 4-6 moving parts and no brakes I really cant afford for something to fall off. it is just a good idea to check everything

I notice road buzz, because my road bike has a steel frame. gel bars and a gel seat. all and all the ride is pretty comfy.
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Old 01-24-08, 03:41 PM   #11
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I know its less stress on the fork riding brakeless, but I included it because people always want to know what the said parts application is going to see in its daily life. Its brand new and cheap, cheaper than any carbon that Ive found in the same specs. Im just going with this until I have some money to spend on nicer carbon. Thanks for the input guys, Ive just never rode aluminum and had a few questions that Ive found the answers to. Thanks again. /end thread.
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Old 01-24-08, 04:26 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by eskachig View Post
I don't understand why in these threads people are always saying that it will see brakeless use like that puts extra strain on the fork. I guarantee that the average cyclocross fork sees much more abuse than that of an typical brakeless hipster.
Eh, he's just providing more background information on his question- because he doesn't know enough to answer it himself. No use ragging on him being a brakeless hipster when he's explaining under what circumstance the fork will be used.
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Old 01-24-08, 04:30 PM   #13
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My CX bike had a Al fork and it was heavily used on rough single track with drops and rocks larger than any curbs. It was replaced with a CF fork. Both are durable.
Al
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Old 01-24-08, 04:37 PM   #14
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my work bike used to have an aluminum fork. not fun to ride on all day. i would suggest steel if it'll fit, or carbon if you can afford it.
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Old 01-24-08, 04:46 PM   #15
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I wish high end steel forks were more ubiquitous. Even with a lightweight steel frameset is likely to come with a cheap fork.
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Old 01-24-08, 04:58 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by eskachig View Post
I don't understand why in these threads people are always saying that it will see brakeless use like that puts extra strain on the fork. I guarantee that the average cyclocross fork sees much more abuse than that of an typical brakeless hipster.
yeah if anything brake less would put less strain on the fork.
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Old 01-24-08, 05:27 PM   #17
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i pointed out the fact i rode brakeless on an aluminum fork, so he would understand there was someone in the same situation. I actually prefer it when people provide as much information about their ride, riding style, bike as possible. it makes it easier to provide a clear answer.

it is better than.
what bike should i buy?

on a side note, i think the aluminum fork just looks good on my bike.





unfortunately high end steel forks are somewhat of a boutique item just like high end steel frames are. you have to consider what the big companies sell the most of vs what they are willing to produce, it kills me i wont be able to get another steel allez from specialized if something happens to mine.
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Old 01-24-08, 07:28 PM   #18
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I'll speak from a comfort POV.

I don't like al forks. They make me tired on long rides because I can FEEL every bump.
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Old 01-24-08, 10:39 PM   #19
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al definitely has a tendency to do that. i had one on my pana conversion and loved the light weight and nimbler feel (vs. the stock that was damaged) but it was more fatiguing. can't compare to a full-carbon fork for comfort though.
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Old 01-24-08, 10:55 PM   #20
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alum fork, loved it. beat it up, shipped it, dropped. got to the point where the finish started to chip and the thing held up for well over a year. go for it. at least you would have better peace of mind with aluminum than you would with carbon.
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Old 01-25-08, 02:50 AM   #21
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Its for short rides, Saving for a nicer carbon fork for longer rides that wont see daily harsh abuse, or wrecked on the streets from something dumb. I just wanted to know it wasnt going to crumple after a few curb drops, even if it does fail, it was cheap and Ive got a perfect stock steel fork to replace it with.

The point wasnt really about hipster brakeless riding, alum vs carbon, or any of that non sense. I wanted something I could ride daily for cheap and not worry about it getting beat up or wrecked from daily rides.

Its on the way, was only $40, and a stock take off of something or other.
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Old 01-25-08, 05:03 AM   #22
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I wouldn't recommend buying AU if you intend to beat on it like you stated.
I wouldn't recommend Au either. Gold tends to be a little pricey and track racers don't like it for forks because it's too flexy. But they say the same thing about Ti.

As for an Al fork, if it's not made for racing, it's probably pretty burly.
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Old 01-25-08, 09:30 PM   #23
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Eh, he's just providing more background information on his question- because he doesn't know enough to answer it himself. No use ragging on him being a brakeless hipster when he's explaining under what circumstance the fork will be used.
Didn't mean to make it sound like I'm ragging on him, I'm just always puzzled that people seem to think the riding brakeless and fixed means that their bike is taking more abuse than any other bike in the city. I mean, it puts specialized strain on some parts of the drivetrain, but aside from that it's just like any other road bike.
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