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Old 09-03-10, 08:02 AM   #1
Jomayo112
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Touring on Carbon Fork

I was wondering if anyone ever tried any long distance touring with a carbon fork. I was thinking of putting one on my bike to reduce weight, but wasnt sure how it would handle the distance and weight of gear.
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Old 09-03-10, 09:01 AM   #2
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I personally have not. I would have no issues using a bike with a carbon fork to tour, and a handful of touring bikes are configured that way (e.g. Jamis Aurora Elite). That said, a few caveats.

1) If the carbon fork does not have mounts for a rack (like the Specialized Tricross fork does), I would avoid putting a rack on it. The brake bosses may not be strong enough, and I'd be highly reluctant to use p-clamps, as it'd be easy to over-torque and possibly crack the fork.

2) There is really no reason to switch to a carbon fork. The weight savings are negligible in a touring context.
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Old 09-03-10, 09:27 AM   #3
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As dude with long name said, it's perfectly fine if you're not planning on mounting racks.
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Old 09-03-10, 10:06 AM   #4
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Actually, as I learned a couple days back, the Old Man Mountain website has a customer-submitted picture of a carbon fork with a rack. Not that I think that it's the best idea, but at least according to Old Man Mountain it can be done. With normal p-clamps, the clamp would probably break before the fork did. My main concern would be that the p-clamp jiggles out of place when you change a flat or make any similar field adjustments.



Other than that, you should prefer cyclocross-type forks over regular road forks. Personally, I don't see the point of replacing a fork on a touring bike just to save weight.
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Old 09-03-10, 11:59 AM   #5
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putting less stuff on the bike is a real good way to take weight off before it goes on. How much would it reduce your total weight? 8oz-12oz out of 150,200,250lbs?
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Old 09-03-10, 12:03 PM   #6
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I clamp tons of stuff to my fork, so I would never use a carbon fork. Actually, I probably wouldn't use one even if that weren't the case -- I don't like plastic, sucky crap

j/k

No, you'd probably be just find with a carbon fork. Just be wary of mounting things to it.
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Old 09-03-10, 12:20 PM   #7
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I had carbon fork on a touring bike, but swapped it for a steel one after reading a report on this forum about a guy whose carbon fork failed catastrophically while descending a hill.

A better way to save 8 or 12 ounces is to leave a T-shirt at home.
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Old 09-04-10, 09:14 AM   #8
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I have a carbon cyclocross fork on my touring bike. Seems to ride a bit smoother than the aluminum fork it replaced, plus it can mount a disc brake. I don't use a front rack, though.
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Old 09-04-10, 09:47 AM   #9
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I had carbon fork on a touring bike, but swapped it for a steel one after reading a report on this forum about a guy whose carbon fork failed catastrophically while descending a hill.
So if I tell you stories of dozens of metal forks and frames that broke, what would you do next...?

Millions of cyclists use carbon forks; they don't spontaneously explode on descents. They're perfectly safe, again as long as you don't attach a pair of p-clamps and over-torque them.
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Old 09-04-10, 09:49 AM   #10
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So if I tell you stories of dozens of metal forks and frames that broke, what would you do next...?

Millions of cyclists use carbon forks; they don't spontaneously explode on descents. They're perfectly safe, again as long as you don't attach a pair of p-clamps and over-torque them.
there has to be a range of carbon forks just as there is with any other material, racing to touring. The Specialized TriCross Fork looks like it's designed for touring, are there aftermarket forks like them?
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Old 09-04-10, 12:32 PM   #11
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I have a carbon cyclocross fork on my touring bike. Seems to ride a bit smoother than the aluminum fork it replaced, plus it can mount a disc brake. I don't use a front rack, though.
I agree, those are good reasons to switch. I'm sure that they could make aluminum forks that don't handle like crap when loaded, I just haven't experienced one.

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Millions of cyclists use carbon forks; they don't spontaneously explode on descents. They're perfectly safe, again as long as you don't attach a pair of p-clamps and over-torque them.
I actually had my mind changed about p-clamps and carbon forks this past week. P-clamps should be fine on carbon forks, provided that the p-clamps are used to support the top of the rack and you have something more substantial to support the bottom (like an eyelet or a QR adapter). Most of the weight on the rack is going through the bottom support anyway. There's no particular reason to over-torque a p-clamp (and I think that, with most p-clamps, the p-clamp will break before the fork will). Naturally, it's better to get a fork with a lot of stuff to it (like a cyclocross fork).
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Old 09-04-10, 12:56 PM   #12
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On one of my rides, I've used one. Has worked fine. Saved over 3 pounds vs. the shock fork that it replaced.

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Old 09-04-10, 06:46 PM   #13
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The mass in the front bags does a fine job of taking the edge off rough roads ,
I hardly see the advantage of a Carbon fiber fork.
It will certainly lighten your wallet .. Its Your money..
I'd rather save the money for the actual trip expenses ..
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Old 09-04-10, 07:34 PM   #14
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It will certainly lighten your wallet ..
Not if you know how to shop. Between sales and coupons, I think I paid less than $100 for my Nashbar carbon cyclocross fork. To me, the $30 premium over a high-quality steel fork (that weighed twice as much) didn't seem like a huge extravagance...
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Old 09-04-10, 11:04 PM   #15
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still havent used it, but my tricross does have the fittings for a front rack.....have been told different amounts of weight to put on the fork (one said 10 lbs, read somewhere else more) so who knows, but I would be careful and play it safe with both torquing the rack on, as well as loading bags with clothes and such that keep the weight down (but as I have said before, I prefer a light end anyway, to keep the steering from becoming too heavy, jsut for fun in downhill turns)
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