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First Impressiona with the Alpha Q CS-20 Fork

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

First Impressiona with the Alpha Q CS-20 Fork

Old 01-26-07, 10:52 PM
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VT to CA
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First Impressiona with the Alpha Q CS-20 Fork

Just set it up and did a quick 25.

First impressions are that it is a GREAT fork.

I had some concerns, some of which were answered before riding, others during the ride.

First up was weight. If you go on Alpha Q's (True Temper) website, the numbers being thrown around are pretty damn chunky. Although they do make the Sub 3 and the GS series, much of their stuff appears fairly weighty.

What really had me concerned was the lie factor. You know, a manufacturer says a fork is 360 grams... add 40 for a realistic figure. So something weighing in at the CS-20's claim of 425... add the lie factor... ouch.

Thankfully, this wasn't the case. Alpha Q forks may appear heavier on the page, but that's only because they don't lie about their figures. This fork weighed in at 420 when uncut with the (unistalled) glue-in shim/starnut system they use. I'm assuming the epoxy makes for the extra 5 grams, if you were to install the shim/nut system in an uncut stem.

By comparison, my Look HSC-4 claimed a weight of 350 grams uncut, but actually hit the scale at 418 grams uncut. Add an expanding bolt to that figure (as the CS-20 is weighed with it's shim system) and you have an extra, say, 35 grams... for a total weight of 453 grams.

After I installed the shim system and cut the steerer down to 20.5 CM, my CS-20 tipped the scales at 387.2 grams. Not bad, especially when considering it has a 10 CM internal aluminum shim for increased failure safety and support.

One caveat was that I had to take a quick trip down to the bike store to get an extra-long brake nut... although I'm glad it's merely extra long, and not one of those special slim proprietory (sic?) nuts like Reynolds uses...

ON THE ROAD.

This is definitely a fork that eats the bumps. I can see why CSC uses it for Pair-Roubaix. It's stiff, tracks exceptionally well, and corners with absolute certainty. Descents are dreamy smooth and completely shake or tremble-free.

And here's what suprised me- it loves hills. For not exactly being an ultra-light fork, this thing more than holds it's own... and out-performs some of the lightweights... I like the climbing ability of this fork more than my Easton EC90 SLX...

All in all, this appears to be great fork, and the price I got it at (90 shipped) was a steal, so I'm happy. I'll retire the HSC-4 happily. Hopefully a longer test period on this fork will yield similar good results.
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Old 01-26-07, 11:12 PM
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Dubbayoo
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did you have the EC90 on the same bike? how much do you weigh?
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Old 01-26-07, 11:14 PM
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I have that same fork on my Fusion. Its a great fork.
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Old 01-26-07, 11:18 PM
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$90 shipped? Are you sure it wasn't stolen?
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Old 01-26-07, 11:21 PM
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LOL.. I was thinking he musta bought it used or something for that price. I paid $225.00 for mine and thought I got a pretty good deal.
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Old 01-27-07, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Dial_tone
did you have the EC90 on the same bike? how much do you weigh?
Same bike, swapped it to another... great fork too, just not as stable and a little chattery for me... I'm 5' 10" and weigh around 150 (anywhere from 148 to 150, to be exact)...

wasn't stolen lol... guy listed it because he hadn't known about the whole shim-bolt installation thing, guess he didn't want to deal with the hassle (or the local bike shop?) strange, but worked out for me...
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