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Calling on owners of Columbus carbon forks

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Calling on owners of Columbus carbon forks

Old 02-18-18, 04:24 PM
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thrilhou
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Calling on owners of Columbus carbon forks

Hi all,

I've been a member for a long time but rarely post. I need the help of members who use a Columbus carbon fork.
I recently purchased a 1" Minimal and found the steerer to have a small chip near the crown. I contacted the vendor and sent some pictures. They contacted Columbus and I was assured that it was a cosmetic defect only. However, I was offered an exchange, no problem if I wanted. I thought about it, and decided, "This must be an outlier, if I can have one that's perfect, and it is being offered, why not?"

The replacement I received, is even worse, in my opinion, which has got me pretty upset and feeling pretty stupid for even bothering. Not only does it have a worse chip, it also has these weird scrape marks up both sides of the steerer (pictures attached). I have no previous experience with these forks, but I worked as a professional mechanic for about 7 years, and have installed many, many carbon forks from many different manufacturers in that time. I have never seen stuff like this... I don't blame the vendor, I think they are doing due diligence. I have an email out to Columbus asking them what the heck the deal is.

SO. Does any one who rides the Minimal or any other recently produced Columbus fork have a steerer that looks like this? ( I say recent, because the slightly older, clear-coated forks with the dove decal appear to have a slightly different construction...) Do you have any pictures you can share? If your fork looks this way, any issues? The "scrapes" as I call them have enough depth to catch the fingernail. This concerns me, and I am trying to collect additional data to determine if I SHOULD be concerned.

Thanks for your input in advance!


Copy of DSC_0464 by bryanthomas2_22, on Flickr

Copy of DSC_0461 by bryanthomas2_22, on Flickr

Copy of DSC_0470 by bryanthomas2_22, on Flickr

Copy of DSC_0469 by bryanthomas2_22, on Flickr

Copy of DSC_0467 by bryanthomas2_22, on Flickr

Last edited by thrilhou; 02-19-18 at 11:13 AM. Reason: Links were broken, switch to different host
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Old 02-20-18, 09:08 AM
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Anybody have any experience with Columbus carbon forks and can comment? I was under the impression these were fairly popular forks. Perhaps I am wrong?
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Old 02-20-18, 06:19 PM
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I bought one a couple months ago and it had zero issues.
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Old 02-20-18, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by droppedandlost View Post
I bought one a couple months ago and it had zero issues.
Thanks for replying.

By zero issues, do you mean it didn't have marks like this, performed without a problem, or both?
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Old 02-20-18, 06:27 PM
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Both. There were a couple "spots" for lack of a better term, but everything was smooth to the touch.
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Old 02-20-18, 06:27 PM
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I replied elsewhere, but that mark is just the end of the fabric that is spiraling out from the middle. You'll find a similar line inside the tube.

Is the crown chip in the photos?
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Old 02-20-18, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
I replied elsewhere, but that mark is just the end of the fabric that is spiraling out from the middle. You'll find a similar line inside the tube.

Is the crown chip in the photos?
Just saw your other reply, thanks. I suppose this is the problem with having the same thread on two forums, but I'll leave both up for now.

It's interesting, because the first fork I got didn't have these marks at all, just bit of a lumpy seam near the crown which I did assume was the layers overlapping, but nothing this far up, and nothing with depth. I guess I'm alarmed by what seems like inconsistent production than anything else.

Here is the chip on this one. Minor, but there. The first one just had a tiny void, like from a bubble in the resin while curing.

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Old 02-20-18, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by thrilhou View Post
Just saw your other reply, thanks. I suppose this is the problem with having the same thread on two forums, but I'll leave both up for now.

It's interesting, because the first fork I got didn't have these marks at all, just bit of a lumpy seam near the crown which I did assume was the layers overlapping, but nothing this far up, and nothing with depth. I guess I'm alarmed by what seems like inconsistent production than anything else.

Here is the chip on this one. Minor, but there. The first one just had a tiny void, like from a bubble in the resin while curing.

That's chip out of a layer of clear stuff on top of the carbon. It doesn't look even a little bit structural.

The other fork probably had the same seam, but the cloth cut nicer.
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Old 02-20-18, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
That's chip out of a layer of clear stuff on top of the carbon. It doesn't look even a little bit structural.

The other fork probably had the same seam, but the cloth cut nicer.
So, I guess probably not an issue then? Maybe I'll just inspect it occasionally for changes, but otherwise not worry too much.

Thanks, all, for your input.
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Old 02-20-18, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by thrilhou View Post
So, I guess probably not an issue then? Maybe I'll just inspect it occasionally for changes, but otherwise not worry too much.

Thanks, all, for your input.
Thinking more about it, that layer is probably there to protect the carbon from race and race setter.

The things you have to worry about with carbon are generally black in color.
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Old 02-20-18, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
Thinking more about it, that layer is probably there to protect the carbon from race and race setter.

The things you have to worry about with carbon are generally black in color.
You mean like a cracked, crushed, or dark-shinny from compression mark?
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Old 02-27-18, 08:29 AM
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You owners of this fork, what is the widest tire you can fit?

Googling I saw maybe 27 with guys guessing 28 would do. Just looking for solid assurance that most 28s would work.
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Old 03-03-18, 12:56 PM
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Resolved

Just an update for anyone interested or future visitors. I was able to correspond with the folks at Columbus.

They have assured me that the marks on the steerer are the result of removing carbon layers that remain "free" after molding. (I suppose this means filing or cutting carbon strands or prepreg that is sticking out of the resin after the molding, which makes sense since the marks are at the seam where the layers fold over).

They also assured me that, as long as one is using the Columbus expander, even if the lower bolt drops below the expander length, there should be no problem as long as everything is otherwise installed properly. Apparently, the specificity of the instructions relates more to the use of non-Columbus expanders.

In short, if you get a Columbus fork with marks similar to what you see above, it should be fine. If you are using the Columbus expander, it can be used with any stem stack height.

Thanks to the other members for input and also those confirming that they had forks with similar markings.
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