Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

26 inch Rigid fork: Soma vs. Carver

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

26 inch Rigid fork: Soma vs. Carver

Old 03-31-21, 03:09 PM
  #1  
RALEIGH_COMP
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Fullerton, CA
Posts: 614

Bikes: 78 raleigh competition 70's Gitane Hosteller, '85 StumpJumper, 90's Rockhopper Commuter, '68 Raleigh Sports, 2018 Giant Talon 2

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 43 Times in 19 Posts
26 inch Rigid fork: Soma vs. Carver


My current (suspension) fork A2C measurement is 410mm. Both replacement offerings are available in 440mm, but the Carver is also available in 410mm. From what I've read, 30mm isn't a huge enough difference to be really concerned about the change in steering angle.

The first obvious difference is the price, the Soma I've seen priced at a few retailers for around $150 or $160 ish. While the Carver through Bikeman is priced at $79. Even though the Soma is about double the price, it's not prohibitively expensive.

I may run a front rack or basket(no fenders), but I'm not worried about having a certain setup, so just some/ any eyelets will be fine.

The bike will be ridden decently hard, I have a lot of good mountain biking trails of all levels of difficulty local to me.

Both forks seem to weigh close enough to each other as well.

Is the Soma price tag just paying for brand name tubing? Or is it likely that the Soma is really quite a bit nicer than the Carver? Butting, finish, welds etc. From people's experience on the forums, the Carver forks are quite good as far as cheap forks go.

Just looking for overall thoughts on these choices...

Oh yeah this is the bike:
RALEIGH_COMP is offline  
Old 03-31-21, 11:41 PM
  #2  
JacobLee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 461

Bikes: More Than Enough

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 196 Post(s)
Liked 229 Times in 114 Posts
I bought a Carver and I like it just fine. Iíd base the decision on whether youíd want to look at straight or curved blades on that particular bike.
JacobLee is offline  
Old 04-01-21, 07:48 AM
  #3  
due ruote 
Senior Member
 
due ruote's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 7,344
Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 774 Post(s)
Liked 263 Times in 178 Posts
The mid-blade mounts on the Carver are a bonus. I think the straight blades would look at home on your frame.
No experience with either. When I needed a fork for my Stumpjumper, I found a chrome Tange in the basement of the LBS. It was cheap and it works.
due ruote is offline  
Old 04-01-21, 08:19 AM
  #4  
mechanicmatt
Hoards Thumbshifters
 
mechanicmatt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Signal Mountain, TN
Posts: 1,018

Bikes: '87 Bruce Gordon Chinook, '08 Jamis Aurora, '86 Trek 560, '97 Mongoose Rockadile, & '07 Stumpjumper

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 185 Post(s)
Liked 200 Times in 120 Posts
The Soma brand tends to make their forks out of Tange Infinity tubing which I think is meant to be lighter, and being curved would have some theoretical damping due to the nature of the curve. The Carver is based off the old Kona P2 fork designs, which are nice forks too, and having a midfork eyelets is pretty nice.

If it were my money I'd probably take the Carver, I have a P2 Kona at 410mm on an old Mongoose and I think it's great. Save the money for more fun parts.
mechanicmatt is offline  
Old 04-01-21, 10:39 AM
  #5  
2old
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: socal
Posts: 2,778
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 507 Post(s)
Liked 278 Times in 206 Posts
I purchased a Carver and had some difficulty fitting it, but can't remember exactly. Anyway, it's held up well for a couple of years. If I were looking for a rigid fork now, first place would be Surly, then Of Spirit bikes (Mark Slate's company).
2old is offline  
Old 04-01-21, 10:56 AM
  #6  
daverup 
Senior Member
 
daverup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Michigan USA
Posts: 267

Bikes: 86 Centurion Ironman, 78 Schwinn Super LeTour 12.2, 83 Schwinn Le Tour, 76 Austro Daimler, 87 Puch Mistral, 89 Diamondback Axis XT, 94 Schwinn Crosscut, 2016 Rocky Mountain Blizzard, 1994 Rans Tailwind, Couple of early 80's Mixte's

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 68 Post(s)
Liked 125 Times in 78 Posts
Originally Posted by RALEIGH_COMP View Post

My current (suspension) fork A2C measurement is 410mm. Both replacement offerings are available in 440mm, but the Carver is also available in 410mm. From what I've read, 30mm isn't a huge enough difference to be really concerned about the change in steering angle.

The first obvious difference is the price, the Soma I've seen priced at a few retailers for around $150 or $160 ish. While the Carver through Bikeman is priced at $79. Even though the Soma is about double the price, it's not prohibitively expensive.

I may run a front rack or basket(no fenders), but I'm not worried about having a certain setup, so just some/ any eyelets will be fine.

The bike will be ridden decently hard, I have a lot of good mountain biking trails of all levels of difficulty local to me.

Both forks seem to weigh close enough to each other as well.

Is the Soma price tag just paying for brand name tubing? Or is it likely that the Soma is really quite a bit nicer than the Carver? Butting, finish, welds etc. From people's experience on the forums, the Carver forks are quite good as far as cheap forks go.

Just looking for overall thoughts on these choices...

Oh yeah this is the bike:
I overhauled my wife's older aluminum Gary Fisher hybrid. It had a blown front suspension fork, I went with the Soma,


daverup is offline  
Old 04-01-21, 08:12 PM
  #7  
RALEIGH_COMP
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Fullerton, CA
Posts: 614

Bikes: 78 raleigh competition 70's Gitane Hosteller, '85 StumpJumper, 90's Rockhopper Commuter, '68 Raleigh Sports, 2018 Giant Talon 2

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 43 Times in 19 Posts
Thanks for the replies, I'm leaning more toward the Carver now I think. It comes in 410mm, the strait blades will look better on the frame, and money saved can go into some nicer tires. Thanks again for the input, always helps to get extra opinions when decision making.
RALEIGH_COMP is offline  
Likes For RALEIGH_COMP:
Old 04-02-21, 05:12 AM
  #8  
bark_eater 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Eastern Shore, MD
Posts: 1,342

Bikes: Road ready: 1993 Koga Miyata City Liner Touring Hybrid, 1989 Centurion Sport DLX, "I Blame GP" Bridgestone CB-1. Projects: Yea, I got a problem....

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 450 Post(s)
Liked 193 Times in 143 Posts
Originally Posted by 2old View Post
I purchased a Carver and had some difficulty fitting it, but can't remember exactly. Anyway, it's held up well for a couple of years. If I were looking for a rigid fork now, first place would be Surly, then Of Spirit bikes (Mark Slate's company).
I couldn't find a picture of the Of Spirit fork any where. The Of Spirit page had a price but no pictures that I could find.

P.S. I found this: https://www.amazon.ca/OS-Bikes-Mount.../dp/B07P1BN293

Last edited by bark_eater; 04-02-21 at 05:18 AM.
bark_eater is offline  
Old 04-02-21, 10:30 AM
  #9  
2old
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: socal
Posts: 2,778
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 507 Post(s)
Liked 278 Times in 206 Posts
Originally Posted by bark_eater View Post
I couldn't find a picture of the Of Spirit fork any where. The Of Spirit page had a price but no pictures that I could find.

P.S. I found this: https://www.amazon.ca/OS-Bikes-Mount.../dp/B07P1BN293
That looks like it. I was on a weight weenie kick 10 or so years ago, changed the fork to a Niner carbon, and can't remember the one before that. BTW, the SOMA looks great and I've always liked curved forks since they provide the illusion of some bump absorption (possibly only an illusion though). Depending on your budget and goals there are less expensive alternatives. I purchased a Sunlite fork for about $30 for my daughter's e-bike, and, while mild steel, it's very serviceable (she rides bike paths and street only.

Last edited by 2old; 04-02-21 at 10:36 AM.
2old is offline  
Old 04-03-21, 07:26 AM
  #10  
bark_eater 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Eastern Shore, MD
Posts: 1,342

Bikes: Road ready: 1993 Koga Miyata City Liner Touring Hybrid, 1989 Centurion Sport DLX, "I Blame GP" Bridgestone CB-1. Projects: Yea, I got a problem....

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 450 Post(s)
Liked 193 Times in 143 Posts
Originally Posted by 2old View Post
That looks like it.
Absolute thread drift here, with disk brake content. When I went looking for a picture of this fork, which apparently is a 29" fork, I found the geometry charts on the OS website and a random forum discussion of how the fork is short and has a relatively high rake, and the OS bike with the ridged fork has a very low trail number for a 29" mountain bike. I'm going to have to go back and re-read some things, but this fork might be a good candidate for running a 29" fork on a 26" frame and ending up with a a reasonable trail number.
bark_eater is offline  
Old 04-03-21, 01:56 PM
  #11  
2old
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: socal
Posts: 2,778
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 507 Post(s)
Liked 278 Times in 206 Posts
Notice the fork is constructed with three different AC lengths; the shortest 435mm is about an inch longer than many rigid 410 mm 26" forks.
2old is offline  
Old 04-19-21, 09:27 AM
  #12  
RALEIGH_COMP
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Fullerton, CA
Posts: 614

Bikes: 78 raleigh competition 70's Gitane Hosteller, '85 StumpJumper, 90's Rockhopper Commuter, '68 Raleigh Sports, 2018 Giant Talon 2

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 43 Times in 19 Posts
I got the Carver!



Just got the fork installed, only had the chance to ride around the block. First impressions compared to the original fork: lighter and more precise feeling. I'll take some more pictures and let you guys know how it handles out on the trails.

Next will likely be a new handlebar/stem combo, something with a good amount of rise and sweep. Maybe the velo orange klunker bars, or a Jones Hbar. It would just be nice to shorten the steerer some more! Lol
RALEIGH_COMP is offline  
Old 04-22-21, 07:04 PM
  #13  
RALEIGH_COMP
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Fullerton, CA
Posts: 614

Bikes: 78 raleigh competition 70's Gitane Hosteller, '85 StumpJumper, 90's Rockhopper Commuter, '68 Raleigh Sports, 2018 Giant Talon 2

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 43 Times in 19 Posts
I like it



The fork feels great! Rides much like it did before, but without that *BOOIING!!* feeling when you hit bumps. Lol. But I'd say perfect for an old short travel 410mm A2C suspension fork replacement.
RALEIGH_COMP is offline  
Likes For RALEIGH_COMP:
Old 05-29-21, 03:21 PM
  #14  
mike_in_nyc
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hello. Iím in a similar situation as the original poster and was hoping to get some advice. I have a 2001 Marin Hawk Hill which I use primarily for riding around town and on rail trails. I would like to swap out the insync grind 328 fork for a rigid fork. The axel to crown measures 450mm with me not in the bike. I canít find specs on the fork but I think itís 80mm of travel. To me the bike sits a little high in the front so I wouldnít mind it being lowered a little but I donít want to totally mess up the handling. I was hoping to get an inexpensive fork on Amazon but they all seem to be around 395mm or less.

The forks I have identified as possibilities are;

Carver 410mm
Carver 440mm
Soma 440mm
Surly Troll 420mm
Dimension 395mm

If I take into account 15-20mm of sag it seems I would be between 410 and 440mm. Any thoughts on which way to go? Also, Iím currently riding Schwalbe Marathon tires in 26x1.5 so I donít need massive amounts of tire clearance and donít ever anticipate needing it.

Thanks for your help.
mike_in_nyc is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.