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Carbon Fork on Aluminium Frame

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Carbon Fork on Aluminium Frame

Old 06-05-16, 07:29 AM
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hythamfekry
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Carbon Fork on Aluminium Frame

HI All , I have a speedster road bike with an alloy fork , higher models in speedster line have carbon/alloy fork with alloy steerer .. Most of other brands have carbon forks as well .

Q1 - Does it make that significant difference to have a carbon fork "On Alloy frame" .. Is it comparable with changing tires width or pressure ?

Q2 - I'm currently having a 700x23 tires , i'm thinking about having a secondary "28" Tires for long runs .. Will it affect my speed so much ?
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Old 06-05-16, 08:31 AM
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1. Yes it makes it a bit more comfortable. May also reduce weight, but that's not something that will be noticeable.

2. No there should not be a need to change tire widths or pressure.
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Old 06-05-16, 08:39 AM
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You have headset bearings in between them.. its a very subtile difference in how road buzz is transmitted thru the fork blades

and all the trendy people have them following the pack is important.

Remember 2X speed Meets 4X air resistance .. fast is either More work or buying an electric Motor.
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Old 06-05-16, 09:18 AM
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Now as i have alloy fork , i was thinking lowering pressure or installing wider tires can absorb some buzz
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Old 06-05-16, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
You have headset bearings in between them.. its a very subtile difference in how road buzz is transmitted thru the fork blades

and all the trendy people have them following the pack is important.

Remember 2X speed Meets 4X air resistance .. fast is either More work or buying an electric Motor.
I get your point .. so does it worth it to pay money to buy a carbon fork ?
Any real life experience with alloy bikes with Alloy vs carbon fork ... Theories always look attractive .. Effect in real life is what matters .
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Old 06-05-16, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by hythamfekry View Post
Now as i have alloy fork , i was thinking lowering pressure or installing wider tires can absorb some buzz
Brand and PSI in the tires has the most input on how soft the ride is.
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Old 06-05-16, 09:29 AM
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I'd always go with wider tyres. More comfortable, more puncture resistant (due to lower pressure), more protection for the rims in case of potholes - with minimal weight and speed penalty.

Moving to 28 mm tyres with the same quality would give noticeably comfier ride. Switching forks - only some more road buzz damping.
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Old 06-05-16, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by hythamfekry View Post
Now as i have alloy fork , i was thinking lowering pressure or installing wider tires can absorb some buzz
Tires will have a much bigger effect on road feel than fork. Go for the tires first.

If you happen to find a carbon road fork for cheap, it's not a bad upgrade. But the tires will have a bigger effect.

I have an aluminum bike with carbon fork and 28mm tires. The SO has an aluminum bike with aluminum fork and 30mm tires. It's there, but you can barely notice the difference.
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Old 06-05-16, 09:32 AM
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Tires for sure. Particularly width of tires, and quality of tires. PSI as well.
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Old 06-05-16, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by hythamfekry View Post
I get your point .. so does it worth it to pay money to buy a carbon fork ?
Any real life experience with alloy bikes with Alloy vs carbon fork ... Theories always look attractive .. Effect in real life is what matters .
Best to ask your Wallet.
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Old 06-05-16, 10:31 AM
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.. well , it's okey to pay for a carbon fork if i will feel the difference ...
Will try the tires first , PSI ...
Wait until i find a good deal on a carbon fork perhaps .. any advises for good source online ?
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Old 06-05-16, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
You have headset bearings in between them.. its a very subtile difference in how road buzz is transmitted thru the fork blades

and all the trendy people have them following the pack is important.

Remember 2X speed Meets 4X air resistance .. fast is either More work or buying an electric Motor.
Please do educate me on this. I always thought bearings were steel balls riding in between 2 steel races. I would imagine the steel to steel to steel interfaces would have no problem transmitting vibration. Are there magnets or some other device in there that create an insulating effect? Perhaps the grease is acting like a harmonic balancer on an engine? I would love to see some data.
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Old 06-05-16, 11:08 AM
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Carbon fiber and 7075-T6 aluminum , because of it's Zinc content, need insulating, but if laying up a carbon structure and such an alloy of Aluminum

the Initial layer of fabric should be Fiberglass .. Glass is a good electrical insulator.

NB: C+Zn+C+Zn+C+Zn, etc, stacked up = a Battery..

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Old 06-05-16, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Carbon fiber and 7075-T6 aluminum , because of it's Zinc content, need insulating, but if laying up a carbon structure and such an alloy of Aluminum

the Initial layer of fabric should be Fiberglass .. Glass is a good electrical insulator.

NB: C+Zn+C+Zn+C+Zn, etc, stacked up = a Battery..
I thought we were talking about transmitting vibration. You've strayed into galvanic corrosion and completely lost me
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Old 06-05-16, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by hythamfekry View Post
I get your point .. so does it worth it to pay money to buy a carbon fork ?
Any real life experience with alloy bikes with Alloy vs carbon fork ... Theories always look attractive .. Effect in real life is what matters .
I've never changed a fork on the same frame to know for sure.
I used to own an all aluminum cannondale touring bike with 35c tires. The road buzz was pretty terrible.
In around 2009 I bought a Specialized Sequoia - an "endurance" bike with an aluminum frame and a carbon fork ($800) that was designed to be a comfortable ride (though it's still a full road bike). It was a huge improvement in reducing road buzz.

I believe that changing the fork would help, but I don't know from personal experience.
But I definitely found that changing to a bike with a frame better built for comfort made a big improvement.
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Old 06-05-16, 12:13 PM
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35c tires ! ... i guess geometry/tires difference are major contributors as you mentioned .. thanks for the reply .
in sequoia specs it mentions it used "vibration-damping Zertz inserts" with the carbon fork , anyone can elaborate on this ?
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Old 06-05-16, 09:52 PM
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FWIW, my Allez came with an Al fork. Awful to ride on chip seal. Finally put a low end Nasbar carbon fork on it instead. Huge improvement. I had done tires with a good rep, handlebars, bar tape etc, and not nearly the improvement of replacing the fork. However I later changed tires to the Continental tires everybody loves and Shimano wheels, and that was another big improvement.
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Old 06-06-16, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by quicktrigger View Post
FWIW, my Allez came with an Al fork. Awful to ride on chip seal. Finally put a low end Nasbar carbon fork on it instead. Huge improvement. I had done tires with a good rep, handlebars, bar tape etc, and not nearly the improvement of replacing the fork. However I later changed tires to the Continental tires everybody loves and Shimano wheels, and that was another big improvement.
thanks for the reply , did yo u have an alloy steerer and carbon fork blades or All carbon .. my bike is made of 6061 alloy ..
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Old 06-06-16, 08:44 AM
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I have an aluminum fork that is more comfortable than the steel fork it replaced, and not any worse (afaict) than the carbon fork on my old road bike. Tires make a much bigger difference than fork material, unless maybe you go from the worst possible al fork to the best possible carbon fork. Also, if you go from 23mm tires to 28 mm tires with similar construction, you will likely get a slight decrease in rolling resistance, but a slight increase in aerodynamic resistance and a very slight increase in weight. In the real world you likely won't get any faster or slower.
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Old 06-06-16, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by hythamfekry View Post
thanks for the reply , did yo u have an alloy steerer and carbon fork blades or All carbon .. my bike is made of 6061 alloy ..
The bike was entirely 6061 alloy, fork and frame. As I said, it made a big difference for me. My carbon fork has an alloy steerer. But I also think it's more complex than just carbon vs Alloy. The shape of the fork will be very important. If the fork is a stiff straight peg with no curve, then that will probable transmit vibration better than a slightly curved fork, or curved at the end. With a curve the fork can act a bit like a spring. Even in the realm of carbon forks, some will be more vertically flexible than others, again acting a shock absorbing spring. Therefore those that report little change could be due to the carbon fork they switched to, or the alloy fork they switched from or both. They may have had a reasonable alloy fork then went a stiff carbon fork. and therefore got little improvement. So as usual YMMV.

I would suggest if you want to go the carbon fork route, to not go expensive, and look for one with a slight curve. JMHO
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Old 06-06-16, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by quicktrigger View Post
The bike was entirely 6061 alloy, fork and frame. As I said, it made a big difference for me. My carbon fork has an alloy steerer. But I also think it's more complex than just carbon vs Alloy. The shape of the fork will be very important. If the fork is a stiff straight peg with no curve, then that will probable transmit vibration better than a slightly curved fork, or curved at the end. With a curve the fork can act a bit like a spring. Even in the realm of carbon forks, some will be more vertically flexible than others, again acting a shock absorbing spring. Therefore those that report little change could be due to the carbon fork they switched to, or the alloy fork they switched from or both. They may have had a reasonable alloy fork then went a stiff carbon fork. and therefore got little improvement. So as usual YMMV.

I would suggest if you want to go the carbon fork route, to not go expensive, and look for one with a slight curve. JMHO
Thanks for the elaboration , any good online sources for carbon forks , what models you considered ..
Also what are the point to considered technically when buying a new one regardless obvious "weight, price factors" ...
As i know steerer can be cut to fit any frame , what concerns me that fork blade specs "length,angel" don't ruin the bike geometry .
Also a side factor , color , all forks are either matte or very glossy , not sure if decals can do a decent job here ..
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Old 06-06-16, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by hythamfekry View Post
Thanks for the elaboration , any good online sources for carbon forks , what models you considered ..
Also what are the point to considered technically when buying a new one regardless obvious "weight, price factors" ...
As i know steerer can be cut to fit any frame , what concerns me that fork blade specs "length,angel" don't ruin the bike geometry .
Also a side factor , color , all forks are either matte or very glossy , not sure if decals can do a decent job here ..
Off the top of my head, I think this is the one that I ended up with.
Nashbar Carbon Road Bike Fork

Honestly, I didn't do allot of research, other than to know that was my next best option, and getting the correct "type" for my headset, and the hardware that was needed. I was much more concerned about comfort over weight, and price was a concern since it was an experiment. For me as a fun hobby type rider, there simply is not significant value in going for higher end carbon forks. Therefore I w as not going to spend several hundred on a fork. Especially since it was an experiment anyway. I ended up having a LBS shop do the actual install even though I usually do my own work, but didn't have good tools for this. I did not want my steerer cut either, so I could adjust height as I saw fit as I'm not a skinny 20 something, so I used lots of spacers. End result for me, was that it was money well spent.

As for color, it's going to black, black, or black. Might find a white somewhere if you look enough. For my bike, which is traffic cone orange, the forks with the bike were a matching orange, but cables, pedals etc were black. So the black fork ended up looking good with the bike. Obviously that is not always going to be the case. To get color, you are either going to have to have it painted, or paint it yourself. Same for clear coating. As for decals, I would not worry about. I though about having my fork painted a matching orange, but in the end, keep my fork glossy black.
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Old 06-06-16, 12:34 PM
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I built up my steel frame bike with crabon (flat) bars thinking to improve the ride comfort.

I didn't like the hand position so I swapped them out for an Al road bar (also flat) and haven't really noticed any additional buzz.

Not sure what the fuss is all about...
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Old 06-06-16, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by hythamfekry View Post
35c tires ! ... i guess geometry/tires difference are major contributors as you mentioned .. thanks for the reply .
in sequoia specs it mentions it used "vibration-damping Zertz inserts" with the carbon fork , anyone can elaborate on this ?
You can also do a google search, zertz inserts supposedly further dampen vibration by absorbing some of the vibration as it travels up the frame. Whether it actually makes a difference is debate - specialized puts zertz inserts on their expensive full carbon roubaix, but does not put them on their expensive full carbon tarmac.

The part I can say from personal experience is that I found the Sequoia to be a comfortable ride and a vast improvement for road buzz through the handlebars compared to my previous all aluminum bike, even though the sequoia had smaller tires. (Someone thought that maybe the old tires were cheap and the new ones were more expensive, it's possible, but either way.)
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Old 06-06-16, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
The part I can say from personal experience is that I found the Sequoia to be a comfortable ride and a vast improvement for road buzz through the handlebars compared to my previous all aluminum bike, even though the sequoia had smaller tires. (Someone thought that maybe the old tires were cheap and the new ones were more expensive, it's possible, but either way.)
That's very possible - better tyres, although thinner, making a positive difference. That's been my experience: didn't notice much improvement with a carbon fork, but did with better tyres and even more with better and thicker tyres.
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