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How beneficial is an aftermarket front fork?

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How beneficial is an aftermarket front fork?

Old 12-07-11, 06:58 PM
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bianchi10
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How beneficial is an aftermarket front fork?

I ride a ridley scandium. has "4ZA blyte" front fork. To be honest I dont know anything about it this front fork or any others for that matter. I saw the "be envious" thread and it looks like a SEXY front fork but if it isn't going to be much of a difference I wouldn't want to waste my money. I bought into the "must get new wheels" thing and even though i love my Boyd wheels, I think the asthetics was a bigger gain than performance.

so what is there to know about when looking between all the options for a front fork and why?
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Old 12-07-11, 08:53 PM
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I don't know anything about your existing front fork but if you think about what a really good fork of the proper size (rake, axle to crown height) could do, these include:
  • Better at absorbing road chatter.
  • More confident descending.
  • Better handling, feel more sure footed.
  • Lighter.
Note that I said could do. Personally, I'd only invest in a good fork (e.g., Enve), if I was putting it onto a really good frame and already had a really good set of wheels. When you're 95% of the way there, a great fork might get you the last 5%. It's not going to turn a POS into a diamond.
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Old 12-07-11, 08:56 PM
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In the instance that someone had a full aluminum fork, I'd say the transition to a full carbon fork is well worth its weight and shouldn't be considered as a last 5% upgrade, but could be considered as one of the first.
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Old 12-07-11, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by blcknspo0ln View Post
In the instance that someone had a full aluminum fork, I'd say the transition to a full carbon fork is well worth its weight and shouldn't be considered as a last 5% upgrade, but could be considered as one of the first.
What about going from a full steel fork to carbon?
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Old 12-07-11, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by phil15241 View Post
What about going from a full steel fork to carbon?
Steel is reeel.
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Old 12-07-11, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by blcknspo0ln View Post
In the instance that someone had a full aluminum fork, I'd say the transition to a full carbon fork is well worth its weight and shouldn't be considered as a last 5% upgrade, but could be considered as one of the first.
Fully agree. I don't know anything about the 4ZA fork (just looked them up but that model isn't listed) but if it's an alu fork an upgrade to a good carbon fork would certainly be worth it.
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Old 12-07-11, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by phil15241 View Post
What about going from a full steel fork to carbon?
just did this.

replaced my old steel ishiwata steel 1986 trek 310 fork for a 1 inch used TIME threaded carbon tined fork with steel reinforced aluminum steerer and aluminum dropouts. cost me about 90 bucks after having it cut at the lbs.

first ride felt like my tire was a little soft. i guess it's absorbing a lot of road vibration... weighs about 12oz. less too.

all in all, i have no regrets and recommend it.
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Old 12-07-11, 10:33 PM
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I recently changed to a Columbus muscle fork from the stock full carbon fork on an Al fuji. No ride difference, but now I get brake chatter from the stiffer fork not flexing under braking. The reason I replaced it was I bought the thing second hand and the previous owner had put a star nut in the carbon steerer, and it had been cut too short.
Spend money to solve problems, I reckon, rather than upgrade for looks.
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Old 12-07-11, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by blcknspo0ln View Post
In the instance that someone had a full aluminum fork, I'd say the transition to a full carbon fork is well worth its weight and shouldn't be considered as a last 5% upgrade, but could be considered as one of the first.
Al to carbon can be night and day, depending on the fork. I replaced an al fork with a full carbon Deda top end fork for a few rides and it changed the way the bike rode in a big way. I've ridden softer, crummier carbon forks and the difference isn't as marked, but Al is IMHO the worst fork material of the 3.

I have a Ridley track bike with a Forza fork on it and it's great.
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Old 12-07-11, 10:42 PM
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I was able to find a couple write ups saying it is a 4ZA CARBON front fork. It looks like carbon and I just figured it was, but didn't want to just assume.
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Old 12-07-11, 10:53 PM
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Mine's a carbon fork, al steerer and drop outs - fairly common combination. I think the only difference would be weight to go to a full carbon fork, but again it would depend on the fork. 4ZA is Ridley's in house brand, and I've been pretty impressed with the stuff (admittedly limited on a track bike).
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Old 12-08-11, 12:15 AM
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It makes a difference if your coming from a "not so good fork".

When I switched out my Slice (alu steerer/drop outs) fork to a 3T Funda Pro (full carbon) on my Six 13, I felt a noticeable difference in weight, vibration damping and steering response...but when I switched out the stock System Six fork for a Easton EC90 SL Taper on my System...I didn't feel much of a difference.
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