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Steel vs Carbon fork

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Old 04-23-07, 10:03 PM
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pat dasein
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Steel vs Carbon fork

I realize this might sound crazy but I'm curious as to what kind of difference in ride quality (shock absorbtion etc) a steel fork might have over a carbon fork. Right now I ride a Caad9 with the stock carbon fork. I love the ride but wondered if a steel fork might help emulate the feel of something like my lugged eddy merckx.
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Old 04-23-07, 10:41 PM
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there'd be the characteristic steel "spring and zing" coming from the whole Merckx frame, so it'd obviously be tough to get such a ride from a CAAD9

As with carbon forks, steel forks can be either very stiff or very flexy, obviously depending on the design of the blades (size, shape, wall thickness, and maybe even type of steel). However, most steel forks I've had are on the flexy/springy side.

If you find your Cannondale a little stiff, there are heaps of flexier forks around; or does your CAAD have the oversized head-tube?
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Old 04-23-07, 11:11 PM
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It doesn't have the ridiculous head tube like the liquigas, but it is larger than the Caad8 (the only real differentation I belive).

I think I've got the "slice premium" which is some sort of kinesis fork. I don't know much about road bikes, so I have no idea if that's stiff or not. Hypothetically speaking, I'd like to measure it's ride characteristics to an affordable cromo fork, like the surly pacer/steamroller forks.
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Old 04-24-07, 12:03 AM
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hmmmm, I see

Knowing Cannondale's reputation for making stiff bikes, I'd guess it's a stiffer-than-average fork.

If it's a standard 1"1/8 steerer, there are a bazillion options out there.

Even if you get a flexy carbon fork, carbon flex isn't quite the same as steel 'springiness', in my opinion. I'd say carbon is more 'predictable', if that makes sense

Generally, full-carbon forks (with carbon crowns) are more flexy than those with alu steerers and crowns, because a lot of flex comes from the crown.
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Old 04-24-07, 12:45 PM
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I came across the followng Sheldon Brown article when researching the same question: http://sheldonbrown.com/rinard_forktest.html . It give a good overview of what is avaiable in the market and compares their flex. Many of the Carbons have more give, and metals are stiffer. An intersting point mentioned is that "added handlebar tape or slightly more or less air pressure make about as noticeable a difference as a new fork".

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Old 04-24-07, 02:42 PM
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If you find your Cannondale a little stiff, there are heaps of flexier forks around; or does your CAAD have the oversized head-tube
Originally Posted by 531Aussie
hmmmm, I see

If it's a standard 1"1/8 steerer, there are a bazillion options out there.

.
Is a heap bigger than a bazillion?
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Old 04-24-07, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by CardiacKid
Is a heap bigger than a bazillion?
Yes by about 500,000 loads
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Old 04-24-07, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by CardiacKid
Is a heap bigger than a bazillion?
no way man!

...and a gazillion is bigger than a bazillion, and a trazillion is bigger again
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