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Why no carbon frames with steel forks?

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Why no carbon frames with steel forks?

Old 04-12-20, 08:01 AM
  #1  
shrtdstncrdr
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Why no carbon frames with steel forks?

My carbon forked bike never gets ridden while my old steel Treks are what I choose without a second thought. To be fair the Giant is an aluminum frame. Other than on perfect roads, I don't enjoy that bike's ride. And my limited experience riding others' carbon bikes made me appreciate steel that much more. But...

If you could get a (or build your own) carbon framed bike with a steel fork, would you do it? It seems to me the lightness of the frame with the forgiving rebound of a curved steel fork would be a very good combination. I could be dead wrong though. Forum's thoughts?
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Old 04-12-20, 08:30 AM
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Why aren't there any diet plans that include regular overeating?
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Old 04-12-20, 08:58 AM
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I thought they all did
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Old 04-12-20, 09:03 AM
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Why not titanium frames with titanium forks?

Why are people no longer into the artistry of a designer? now it's all so industrial looking with no artistry at all.

Why hasn't magnesium alloy caught on when it's as light as carbon fiber and immensely stronger?

Why do components wear out and break down more often than they use to?

Why do I have to replace my shoe cleat every 2 years whereas before the cleats lasted 20 years?

Why has the cost of anything associated with cycling has gone up in price 5 fold since just 15 years ago?

Why ask why?
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Old 04-12-20, 09:07 AM
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No I wouldn't do it. I have a CF frame/fork that was designed to race cobbles, and even without some manufacturers "suspension" tricks, it rides better than my steel roadie.
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Old 04-12-20, 09:09 AM
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Compared to a steel fork, a good cf fork is lighter and (at least) as compliant.
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Old 04-12-20, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Wileyrat View Post
No I wouldn't do it. I have a CF frame/fork that was designed to race cobbles, and even without some manufacturers "suspension" tricks, it rides better than my steel roadie.
Thanks Wileyrat.
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Old 04-12-20, 09:14 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Compared to a steel fork, a good cf fork is lighter and (at least) as compliant.
So they are more compliant. My very limited experience with my own aluminum framed bike clearly isn't enough to go by to form any useful opinion (I don't mean this sarcastically-just acknowledging I don't know enough about this stuff)
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Old 04-12-20, 09:17 AM
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And when a CF fork fails, it shatters instantly, and you are on the ground!!!!
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Old 04-12-20, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
And when a CF fork fails, it shatters instantly, and you are on the ground!!!!
Are we really going to do this for the millionth time?
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Old 04-12-20, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by MNHarv View Post
My carbon forked bike never gets ridden
So sell it.
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Old 04-12-20, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by greatscott View Post
Why not titanium frames with titanium forks?

Why are people no longer into the artistry of a designer? now it's all so industrial looking with no artistry at all.

Why hasn't magnesium alloy caught on when it's as light as carbon fiber and immensely stronger?

Why do components wear out and break down more often than they use to?

Why do I have to replace my shoe cleat every 2 years whereas before the cleats lasted 20 years?

Why has the cost of anything associated with cycling has gone up in price 5 fold since just 15 years ago?

Why ask why?

Ti is too flexy for a fork, and if made stiff enough for that application youd lose its magic ride quality and it would wind up being as heavy as steel

Design trends come and go - who knows

magnesium is tough to work with and very brittle. I think this has been tried in the past with some frames that resembled girders made of magnesium, but the end result was not very pleasant,

components? I dont know- same reason my new homes ac condenser lasted 7 years while my mothers noisy old Lennoxx went for 30 inefficient years i guess

cleats? I would think 2 years to be pretty good if you're using plastic cleats. with Road shoes.
Steel spd cleats last awhile with recessed mtb shoes though

I don't see the rising cost as being that much. The extreme high-end of cycling has shifted upward though. High end used to be 5000 bucks, now it's More like 10-12k . My first road bike cost $900 in 1992. A Marin Limited outfitted with pre brifter 105sc 7 speed and a tig welded steel frame. Its modern equivalent would likely be an aluminum frame, carbon fork machine with 105 sti and rim brakes for roughly $1500 -- a little more than a third price increase for something lighter and better performing
-- mountain bikes have changed dramatically in all ways though , so comparing a nice mtb from 1992 to a nice one now is an apples to oranges comparison, but even still- something bling-y from Ritchey or Yeti would cost dearly back then,


but as Ted Nugent once sang when he was fronting the Amboy Dukes -- "Why is a carrot more orange than an orange?"
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Old 04-12-20, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by JayKay3000 View Post
So sell it.
meh
Maybe my kids will use it for college
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Old 04-12-20, 10:08 AM
  #14  
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Why don't you try putting a steel fork on your carbon bike? There are a few manufacturers of steel forks out there (Soma Fab comes to mind), just order one and go for it. It'd be interesting to get an opinion on how something like that rides.

FWIW: I've seen steel frames with carbon forks, but never the other way around. I've got an old Schwinn Letour with a hi-ten frame and nicely curved steel fork, rides really nice,
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Old 04-12-20, 10:18 AM
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Try the aluminum bike with as wide a tire that will fit and lower air pressure.
As for why carbon bikes don't use steel forks; steel forks weigh 2-3 times as much as a carbon fork, most carbon bikes use a tapered steerer and other than custom there are few if any steel forks with a tapered steerer.
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Old 04-12-20, 10:20 AM
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I'm sure Walmart will sell a carbon bike and advertise it as such. To save cost, they will use a hi-te steel fork. I mean, the do the same with crappy suspension forks.

Properly designed CF fork will be much better than most steel forks. And lighter.
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Old 04-12-20, 10:27 AM
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If you're comparing ride quality among your bikes and looking for a comfy ride,

I would guess that wheelbase would correlate more than fork material, and that the Giant has the shortest.
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Old 04-12-20, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
And when a CF fork fails, it shatters instantly, and you are on the ground!!!!
And I could die tomorrow morning falling down my stairs.
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Old 04-12-20, 11:03 AM
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People praise Giant for their carbon manufacturing expertise, but the composite components on my Al Giant don't feel as buzz-dampening as my Al Canyon of the same vintage (2017) riding on the same wheelset and tires. I know the Giant has an Al steerer tube while the Canyon's is full carbon, maybe that makes a difference?
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Old 04-12-20, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
And when a CF fork fails, it shatters instantly, and you are on the ground!!!!
Learn something about carbon fiber.

Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Are we really going to do this for the millionth time?
Really. Every new material that comes out is supposed to “shatter into a million pieces” upon the slightest impact. It wasn’t true about fiberglass used for Corvettes nor for aluminum bicycles (it was probably said about aluminum aircraft as well) nor is it true of modern carbon fiber. This bike is a 2006 Salsa with the original fork with 25,000 miles on it.

DSCN2007 by Stuart Black, on Flickr

It has zero problems and I expect to ride it for another 14 years. Many would suggest that 14 years is too many for the aluminum and it is likely to just “shatter into a million pieces”.
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Old 04-12-20, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Many would suggest that 14 years is too many for the aluminum and it is likely to just “shatter into a million pieces”.
Carbon fiber shatters into a million pieces; aluminum shatters into a thousand pieces.
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Old 04-12-20, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Many would suggest that 14 years is too many for the aluminum and it is likely to just “shatter into a million pieces”.
That would be Really funny .... it people hadn't actually stated it here over and over.

Maybe it is something about the different directions of force due to gravity when riding on the flat planet Earth.
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Old 04-12-20, 01:30 PM
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Colnago C40's used to have a steel fork... and it didn't stop Mapie getting a 1-2-3 at Paris-Roubaix in 1996.
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Old 04-12-20, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by MNHarv View Post
My carbon forked bike never gets ridden while my old steel Treks are what I choose without a second thought. To be fair the Giant is an aluminum frame. Other than on perfect roads, I don't enjoy that bike's ride. And my limited experience riding others' carbon bikes made me appreciate steel that much more. But...

If you could get a (or build your own) carbon framed bike with a steel fork, would you do it? It seems to me the lightness of the frame with the forgiving rebound of a curved steel fork would be a very good combination. I could be dead wrong though. Forum's thoughts?
I used to have a carbon fork (Ouzo Pro) on my Litespeed, but when I "garage doored" the bike and the fork took the brunt of it, I replaced it with a steel fork (Gunnar) since I felt that I was past my youthful weight-weenie-dom. Granted it was a straight-bladed fork vs the curved Ouzo, but I definitely felt the ride was rougher, with more road chatter. Everything else was identical, so it was all down to the fork.* I used this for a couple of years, but I kept an eye out for a CF replacement (and despite my earlier comment, the exactly 1lb weight difference did weigh on my mind as well as on my bike). Finally found an NOS Ouzo on eBay for not much cash (well known frame manufacturer who used to spec Ouzos had moved on to Enve's and were selling off the remnants of their old stock). Very happy to have a CF fork back again - I think the 43mm rake Ouzo Pro with my LS Vortex is a match made in heaven (or at least in Chattanooga...), from the handling and comfort perspectives.
I have always wondered what a Ti fork would be like, and I imagine that a skilled fabricator could overcome the Ti flexiness with good design, but I have never seen a good looking Ti fork - the ones that exist are unicrown style or rigid MTB forks - nothing like a nice sloping crown steel fork with tapered legs.
* It way well be down to straight vs curved - I have a curved steel fork in my fixie, and even when I ran a 20mm front tire on it when it was a geared bike, I don't recall it being anything but comfortable, so I not going to damn all steel forks just because I think my Ouzo is more comfortable than my Gunnar.

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Old 04-12-20, 02:13 PM
  #25  
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Thanks Everyone for the replies!
First off, no, I don't think carbon is a problem in reliability. I don't fear riding an old carbon fork.
Secondly, the roads here in central MN aren't great, but we do have some very well maintained rail trails. The trend has been chip seal for road repair (but not for rail trails it seems) and now that's how they fill our potholes as well. If anything's shattered around here it's the roads, not the forks of the bikes rolling over them.
Litespud nailed it by contemplating a curved steel fork blade versus a straighter carbon blade. That's really what I was wondering; which of those might absorb more road buzz? Obviously it isn't that simple.
The only thing I can do, and I know it won't apply to any other condition but the one I would attempt, is to put a curved steel bladed fork on the Giant and see what I think. Even then at best my answer will only be anecdotal.

Thanks again all,
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