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Replacing Carbon fork on Specialized Allez Elite to more be more touring friendly.

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Replacing Carbon fork on Specialized Allez Elite to more be more touring friendly.

Old 03-18-10, 05:38 PM
  #1  
Deific16
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Replacing Carbon fork on Specialized Allez Elite to more be more touring friendly.

Hi everyone,

I own a 61cm 2008 Specialized Allez Elite Compact, which I will be touring on this summer. My goal is to replace the "carbon fact" fork with a used aluminum or steel fork for durability and also to have eyelets to equip a better front fender.

I went to my LBS and they told me that my current fork has the following;
368mm axel to crown
225mm steer tube
1 1/8" diameter, threadless.
EDIT: Rake 43MM

The mechanic treated me as if I was a moron for wanting to switch the fork over, as if it would be way too hard to find a compatible used fork.

Anyone have any recommendations, or know if this is a lost cause? What should I be looking for? How will this affect my handling?

Last edited by Deific16; 03-18-10 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 03-18-10, 07:04 PM
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HillRider
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First, don't get a used fork, particularly not an Aluminum one. New steel forks aren't that expensive and have a known history. You want reliability right?

Second, the dimensions you quote seem very mainstream for a road bike fork to me and finding a new 1-1/8" threadless steel fork with a uncut steerer (typically 300 mm as made, cut to fit by you or the LBS) should be easy. You didn't give the rake on the current fork but you probably want to come close to matching it too.

Here is a listing of steel forks from Jenson USA. Note that they are all under $100 and all but the last one on the list should be suitable.

https://www.jensonusa.com/store/sub/1...ks.aspx?s=1617
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Old 03-18-10, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
First, don't get a used fork, particularly not an Aluminum one. New steel forks aren't that expensive and have a known history. You want reliability right?

Second, the dimensions you quote seem very mainstream for a road bike fork to me and finding a new 1-1/8" threadless steel fork with a uncut steerer (typically 300 mm as made, cut to fit by you or the LBS) should be easy. You didn't give the rake on the current fork but you probably want to come close to matching it too.

Here is a listing of steel forks from Jenson USA. Note that they are all under $100 and all but the last one on the list should be suitable.

https://www.jensonusa.com/store/sub/1...ks.aspx?s=1617
The only fork I would use from that list would be the Surly Pacer. Compared to your existing fork, the others either have a very different rake, or much longer axle-to-crown lengths. That might affect the handling and fit of your bike (particularly the axle-to-crown length). Depending on what kind of touring you'll be doing, the Pacer fork could work. You'll have clearance for somewhat bigger tires (28's with fenders), but no cantilever bosses or front rack braze-ons. But with a steel fork it's pretty easy to rig up some kind of front rack solution even without the brazeons.
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Old 03-18-10, 08:30 PM
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Awesome thanks for the response. I have a couple more questions though.

I noticed that it says that the fork you mentioned says that it will not accept recessed brakes... I'm assuming that this is referring to the back bolt on the rear side of the fork holding the brake down is recessed into the fork, which mine is. Is it possible to purchase a longer bolt so that it is not recessed?

The mentioned fork says 27", the same as 700c? It also says 1" threaded when the LBS told me that mine was 1 1/8" threadless.

Do you know if I purchase a new fork if it will come painted or will I have to paint it?

Thanks again for the response.
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Old 03-18-10, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Deific16 View Post
Hi everyone,

I own a 61cm 2008 Specialized Allez Elite Compact, which I will be touring on this summer. My goal is to replace the "carbon fact" fork with a used aluminum or steel fork for durability and also to have eyelets to equip a better front fender.

I went to my LBS and they told me that my current fork has the following;
368mm axel to crown
225mm steer tube
1 1/8" diameter, threadless.

The mechanic treated me as if I was a moron for wanting to switch the fork over, as if it would be way too hard to find a compatible used fork.

Anyone have any recommendations, or know if this is a lost cause? What should I be looking for? How will this affect my handling?
It may not be a lost cause, but it certainly demand some research first. My own take is that it isn't worth it. Carbon forks are actually more durable than steel and alu forks when it comes to fatigue damage since Carbon doesn't suffer from metal fatigue. Carbon forks may have a nasty failure mode, and be more susceptible to crash damage. But I would rather have a proven carbon fork from a well known company, than any used fork, or a cheap no name fork.

SKS Raceblades or p-clips and ordinary full fenders solve the lack of eyelets.

--
Regards
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Old 03-18-10, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Deific16 View Post
Awesome thanks for the response. I have a couple more questions though.

I noticed that it says that the fork you mentioned says that it will not accept recessed brakes... I'm assuming that this is referring to the back bolt on the rear side of the fork holding the brake down is recessed into the fork, which mine is. Is it possible to purchase a longer bolt so that it is not recessed?

The mentioned fork says 27", the same as 700c? It also says 1" threaded when the LBS told me that mine was 1 1/8" threadless.
HillRider said all but the last one. That one definitely won't work. In my opinion, you shouldn't use any of the others except the Surly Pacer fork.

Do you know if I purchase a new fork if it will come painted or will I have to paint it?

Thanks again for the response.
It'll be painted.
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Old 03-18-10, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by stedalus View Post
HillRider said all but the last one. That one definitely won't work. In my opinion, you shouldn't use any of the others except the Surly Pacer fork.



It'll be painted.
Regarding the Surly Pacer, do you know if my dual pivot brake setup can be installed without modding?
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Old 03-18-10, 09:25 PM
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From a handling standpoint I would expect a fork with a bit less rake than whatever you have now to be preferable as it would up our trail a bit. If handling geometry is the way you want it, leave everything exactly as it is. I agree with those above that I would rather have a carbon fork from a good manufacturer than an unknown steel one. I've known some people who had bad experiences with aluminum forks, although that was over a decade ago.
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Old 03-18-10, 09:40 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by jccaclimber View Post
From a handling standpoint I would expect a fork with a bit less rake than whatever you have now to be preferable as it would up our trail a bit. If handling geometry is the way you want it, leave everything exactly as it is. I agree with those above that I would rather have a carbon fork from a good manufacturer than an unknown steel one. I've known some people who had bad experiences with aluminum forks, although that was over a decade ago.
Well, another main reason that I want to go steel is that if it gets bent I can bend it back and at least get somewhere. I'll be in Central America, so I wont really have alot of opportunities to be buying new forks.

Last edited by Deific16; 03-18-10 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 03-18-10, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Deific16 View Post
Regarding the Surly Pacer, do you know if my dual pivot brake setup can be installed without modding?
I would check with Surly about that, but I would think so. I'm not sure why you'd want to hold on to your short reach brakes if you're trying to get fender clearance though.
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