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Steerer queston....again

Old 05-13-04, 10:37 PM
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nutbag
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Yeah, sorry, I'm gunna try my luck again in the mechanic's forum......

Which steerer is gunna feel stiffer: 1 inch carbon or 1 inch steel of the same length?
 
Old 05-13-04, 11:39 PM
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roadfix
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Perhaps you should be asking which fork will be stiffer..... but that also depends on how the fork is shaped. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only diff I see in steerer tube material is weight.
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Old 05-14-04, 03:16 AM
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Bruco
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Originally Posted by The Fixer
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only diff I see in steerer tube material is weight.
You could be right there. But my gut feeling is that if you have a lot of steerer tube (distance between headset and stem), flex might be an issue.
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Old 05-14-04, 10:53 AM
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SchreiberBike
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Steerer tubes of steel or carbon can be made stiff or relatively flexible.

For example, you know that cement is stronger than paper; right? But if you made a composite paper structure six inches by six inches by two feet long, it could be really stiff. If you made a cement beam 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch by two feet long, you could break it easily.

That is an extreme example, but to a smaller degree, given the constraints of a steerer tube, either a carbon fiber or a steel tube could be stiffer. Typically people use carbon fiber when they really want to save weight - so typically carbon fiber is used when stiffness is less of a priority than lightness - so typically a carbon fiber steerer might be less stiff - but what happens typically doesn't make a rule.
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Old 05-14-04, 11:12 AM
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Schreiberbike is right on the money. The design and construction of the fork/tube combo will dictate stiffness or flexibility. You can't make a call based solely on the type of material. To give a cycling example, Aluminium frames were notorious for being 'wet-noodles' until Cannondale designed a frame with super-sized tubes, played around with the tube thickness and butting and made frames that would rattle the fillings out of your teeth. Now, most people think that Aluminium frames are light but 'stiff'. I would say that the new carbon fibre stuff is awesome, providing light weight with impressive stiffness. But that is entirely dependent on good design and manufacture, and that typically costs more. I think that in terms of 'bank for the buck' steel will give you more, but if cost is no consequence, carbon fibre will take you to a higher level of performance.
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