"best" carbon fork?



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Jim Beam

Guest
i'm thinking of finally making the investment in a carbon fork - i love the ride qualities on the
bikes i've tested that have them. what experience does the group have with failures and based on
that, which would be the best to use/avoid?

you bike shop folks - i /really/ want to hear about service failures from you!

i have a 1" steerer and am "clydesdale". ideally, i want something that's strong enough so the frame
fails before the fork when i hit that big pothole...

jb
 
M

Mike S.

Guest
"jim beam" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> i'm thinking of finally making the investment in a carbon fork - i love the ride qualities on the
> bikes i've tested that have them. what experience does the group have with failures and based on
> that, which would be the best to use/avoid?
>
> you bike shop folks - i /really/ want to hear about service failures from you!
>
> i have a 1" steerer and am "clydesdale". ideally, i want something that's strong enough so the
> frame fails before the fork when i hit that big pothole...
>
> jb
>
If you're a Clydesdale and running a 1" steerer, make sure that you get either an AL or steel
steerer "just in case."

Reynolds Ouzo Comps are good forks with an AL steerer.

Mike
 
M

Matt O'Toole

Guest
"Mike S." <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

> "jim beam" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

> > i'm thinking of finally making the investment in a carbon fork - i love the ride qualities on
> > the bikes i've tested that have them. what experience does the group have with failures and
> > based on that, which would be the best to use/avoid?
> >
> > you bike shop folks - i /really/ want to hear about service failures from you!
> >
> > i have a 1" steerer and am "clydesdale". ideally, i want something that's strong enough so the
> > frame fails before the fork when i hit that big pothole...

> If you're a Clydesdale and running a 1" steerer, make sure that you get either an AL or steel
> steerer "just in case."
>
> Reynolds Ouzo Comps are good forks with an AL steerer.

Wound-up makes carbon forks for tandems. I'd look into those.

Matt O.
 
E

Erik Lindeberg

Guest
"jim beam" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> i'm thinking of finally making the investment in a carbon fork - i love the ride qualities on the
> bikes i've tested that have them. what experience does the group have with failures and based on
> that, which would be the best to use/avoid? you bike shop folks - i /really/ want to hear about
> service failures from you! i have a 1" steerer and am "clydesdale". ideally, i want something
> that's strong enough so the frame fails before the fork when i hit that big pothole... jb
I have a True Temper Alpha Q CX fork (all carbon 1 1/8" steerer but they also have 1"). I had a
major high speed crash with it. The handle bar was bent, and turbed 90° on the steerer, the wheel
got hit so hard that the skewer could not hold the wheel in the fork and the wheel came out of true
(it was tightly secured!), the rider (196 lb with a 8 lb Camelback) was badly beaten up, but the
fork was in perfect shape! I am using it daily.

TrueTemper has different models of Alpha Q: Sub3 (295g), Pro (360g), Aero
(380g), and a tandem model X2 (445g), but I have not tested any of them. If I ever will need an
other carbon fork, however, I would buy an other Alpha Q due to this crash test.

Erik L
 
D

David L. Johnso

Guest
On Wed, 24 Sep 2003 16:40:44 +0000, jim beam wrote:

> i'm thinking of finally making the investment in a carbon fork - i love the ride qualities on the
> bikes i've tested that have them. what experience does the group have with failures and based on
> that, which would be the best to use/avoid?

There are stories of failures, but they aren't common -- I've never seen one. Jobst talks about
"just riding along" failures, but these must be extremely rare, or people would be falling down with
shattered forks on races and centuries.

Lots of folks in the 90+Kg range, like me, ride carbon forks with no problems. Mine is a Kinesis,
with a steel steerer. Works fine.

On the other hand, I do not believe there is all that much difference in ride. When you test-ride
those bikes, how can you tell how much of the ride is due to the fork, versus the new wheels, tires,
frame, etc? You can't. Biggest thing you will notice, if you are replacing a steel fork, is that the
bike will be a bit lighter (like 300-400g --- a significant amount, I guess).

I personally would be uncomfortable with a carbon steerer. But then, I prefer a threaded steerer, so
steel is an easy winner.

> i have a 1" steerer and am "clydesdale". ideally, i want something that's strong enough so the
> frame fails before the fork when i hit that big pothole...

That's odd. Let's see: frame cost: $1000, more or less. Fork cost: $150. Which would you prefer to
fail first? I mean, in this scenario, you are going down no matter what breaks.

--

David L. Johnson

__o | When you are up to your ass in alligators, it's hard to remember _`\(,_ | that your initial
objective was to drain the swamp. -- LBJ (_)/ (_) |
 
A

Alex Rodriguez

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...

>If you're a Clydesdale and running a 1" steerer, make sure that you get either an AL or steel
>steerer "just in case."
>
>Reynolds Ouzo Comps are good forks with an AL steerer.

AL??? I would stick with steel if I was a big guy.
-----------------
Alex __O _-\<,_ (_)/ (_)
 
S

S. Anderson

Guest
"jim beam" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> i'm thinking of finally making the investment in a carbon fork - i love the ride qualities on the
> bikes i've tested that have them. what experience does the group have with failures and based on
> that, which would be the best to use/avoid?
>
> you bike shop folks - i /really/ want to hear about service failures from you!
>
> i have a 1" steerer and am "clydesdale". ideally, i want something that's strong enough so the
> frame fails before the fork when i hit that big pothole...
>
> jb
>

I've never seen a catastrophic failure of a carbon fork myself. All of the failures I've see related
to carbon frames and forks usually have occurred at the joins of the tubes. Usually fork dropouts
come loose, or the seat tube/BB joint will start to crack (not that the tube is failing, but the
bond is failing where the tube joins to the bb shell, which are usually alu or some type of separate
part). I have seen enough of these failures to make me lose some trust in carbon frames. The Trek
OCLV bikes are much better at this, but the failure rate still far exceeds steel (only my anecdotal
evidence to go on here..perhaps shakey ground!). They have a great guarantee and all that, but it IS
a hassle. I've NEVER seen a loose dropout on a good steel frame or fork. I've seen at least 3 on
carbon forks. And I've seen many more steel bikes than carbon.

OTOH, if you inspect regularly and don't mind the return policy if you do get a bad fork or frame,
there are benefits to be had with carbon..most people cite the ride quality and stiffness,
lightweight. I won't argue they're not nice to ride because I do like them. But for a hammer-head
idiot like me, I'll stick to steel and alu.

Cheers,

Scott..
 
J

Jim Beam

Guest
>>i have a 1" steerer and am "clydesdale". ideally, i want something that's strong enough so the
>>frame fails before the fork when i hit that big pothole...
>
> That's odd. Let's see: frame cost: $1000, more or less. Fork cost: $150. Which would you prefer to
> fail first? I mean, in this scenario, you are going down no matter what breaks.

that's true! i'm just real conservative.

i was on a fast decent this summer on a shady road. hit a big pothole which i didn't see, but
managed to stay on. it was a tremendously violent whack giving me an impressive flat spot on my
front rim and haematomas on both palms from the the shock. but my [steel] frame & fork held.

going carbon, i just worry that a carbon fork in the same situation might shatter. a friend's son
was riding track about 3 or 4 years ago and his fork just splintered for no apparent reason. bloody
nose, chipped teeth, etc. - that's why i'm asking to see what others' experience has been.

jb
 
C

Chalo

Guest
"Mike S." <[email protected]> wrote:

> If you're a Clydesdale and running a 1" steerer, make sure that you get either an AL or steel
> steerer "just in case."

Aluminum steerers are a terrible idea, especially for 1" steerers and _especially_ for heavy riders.
Even the thickest of them are no better than half as stiff as a steel steerer. Surprisingly many of
them are stuffed with a *steel* sleeve for reinforcement. That should tell you something.

To put it in perspective, a normal 1" OD/.875" ID steel steerer is about 24% stiffer than a 1" solid
rod of aluminum of the same length, even though the aluminum rod weighs 47% more.

Furthermore, aluminum alloys strong enough to serve reliably as steer tubes (e.g. 7075-T6,
7050-T7451, 7178-T651, Easton EA70, etc.) have lousy ductility and elongation characteristics.
Meaning they won't bend much before they snap off. So much for "just in case".

Until 1.5" headsets come to road bikes, steel is the material for steer tubes. There just isn't room
for a decent steerer made of anything else.

Chalo Colina
 
S

Scott Harper

Guest
I can not make any comment about long term reliability yet because I have only had it for a few
months, but I got the Kestrel and am happy. Being 6'5", 250 lbs, I share your concerns about
strenth. I decided that I wanted a steel steerer, and one piece legs and crown (figured fewer joints
to fail). The Kestrel fit my critera well, and did not cost an arm and a leg.

I will say that I did not feel a huge difference between the carbon fork and my old steel one. It is
noticably lighter though, and does seem to dampen shock a little bit better.

Hope this helps, Scott

"jim beam" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> i'm thinking of finally making the investment in a carbon fork - i love the ride qualities on the
> bikes i've tested that have them. what experience does the group have with failures and based on
> that, which would be the best to use/avoid?
>
> you bike shop folks - i /really/ want to hear about service failures from you!
>
> i have a 1" steerer and am "clydesdale". ideally, i want something that's strong enough so the
> frame fails before the fork when i hit that big pothole...
>
> jb
 
T

Terry Rudd

Guest
I don't agree. I think most 1" carbon steerers today are just fine so long as you you buying a
reputable manufacturer's fork and ensure it is professionally installed. I have a True Temper Alpha
Q Pro (their larger rider fork) and it is easily one of the most solid and compliant forks I have
ever ridden: steel, aluminum or carbon! I personally worry a great deal more about the bonding
between fork blades and aluminum/steel steerers than I do a complete, well made carbon fork.

Terry

Mike S. wrote:

> "jim beam" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
>
>>i'm thinking of finally making the investment in a carbon fork - i love the ride qualities on the
>>bikes i've tested that have them. what experience does the group have with failures and based on
>>that, which would be the best to use/avoid?
>>
>>you bike shop folks - i /really/ want to hear about service failures from you!
>>
>>i have a 1" steerer and am "clydesdale". ideally, i want something that's strong enough so the
>>frame fails before the fork when i hit that big pothole...
>>
>>jb
>>
>
> If you're a Clydesdale and running a 1" steerer, make sure that you get either an AL or steel
> steerer "just in case."
>
> Reynolds Ouzo Comps are good forks with an AL steerer.
>
> Mike
 
G

Geezer Boy

Guest
On Wed, 24 Sep 2003 23:42:01 GMT, jim beam <[email protected]> wrote:

>>>i have a 1" steerer and am "clydesdale". ideally, i want something that's strong enough so the
>>>frame fails before the fork when i hit that big pothole...
>>
>> That's odd. Let's see: frame cost: $1000, more or less. Fork cost: $150. Which would you prefer
>> to fail first? I mean, in this scenario, you are going down no matter what breaks.
>
>that's true! i'm just real conservative.
>
>i was on a fast decent this summer on a shady road. hit a big pothole which i didn't see, but
>managed to stay on. it was a tremendously violent whack giving me an impressive flat spot on my
>front rim and haematomas on both palms from the the shock. but my [steel] frame & fork held.
>
>going carbon, i just worry that a carbon fork in the same situation might shatter. a friend's son
>was riding track about 3 or 4 years ago and his fork just splintered for no apparent reason. bloody
>nose, chipped teeth, etc. - that's why i'm asking to see what others' experience has been.
>
>jb
......................

It's so easy to put your mind at ease as many do, and just avoid carbon. Metal forks are
time-tested, and can be quite light. If the carbon is for for weight savings, note the difference
between the carbon fork you want and a top-drawer aluminum one. Drop your body weight by that much,
an easy task.. anyone with any body fat can lose a pound a week by lowering what goes into the hole
in their face by 500 calories a day. It's just a change of eating habits. Habits are cobwebs, then
cables -- Spanish proverb.
 
C

Chalo

Guest
Terry Rudd <T[email protected]> wrote:

> I have a True Temper Alpha Q Pro (their larger rider fork) and it is easily one of the most solid
> and compliant forks I have ever ridden

"Most solid and compliant"-- whew, brother, you smell like you've been huffing those perfume cards
from the magazine stand! Do you mean "stiff yet flexible", or is it "rigid but also springy"?
Perhaps "confidence-inspiring yet lively"!

Try these on:
- Reassuringly heavy yet surprisingly light
- Glitteringly shiny but glare-free
- Noxiously stinky yet gently fragrant

How about "oxymoronic, but at the same time mutually exclusive"!

> I personally worry a great deal more about the bonding between fork blades and aluminum/steel
> steerers than I do a complete, well made carbon fork.

If you think that "all carbon" forks have continuous fibers running from the legs, through the
crown, into the steerer, you are mistaken. The manufacturers of these forks use carbon tubing for
the steerers AFAIK. And that means there is only a glue line of epoxy holding one part to the other
regardless of what material the parts are made of. Either you have faith in glue, or you do not.

That is an issue apart from the fact that carbon steerers can break without bending and without
warning, while metal steerers will often show some signs of failure before they give way.

Chalo Colina
 
K

Kem

Guest
> I have a True Temper Alpha Q CX fork I had a major high speed crash with it. The handle bar was
> bent, and turbed 90° on the steerer, the wheel got hit so hard that the skewer could not hold the
> wheel in the fork and the wheel came out of true (it was tightly secured!), the rider (196 lb with
> a 8 lb Camelback) was badly beaten up, but the fork was in perfect shape! I am using it daily.

Erik,

Well, you had better check it VERY carefully.

My friend, too, had an Alpha Q fork, BARELY tapped it crossing a railroad track, and both fork
blades collapsed in a "catastrophic" failure. The only history on the fork other than being
ridden 20,000 miles or so by a 125 lb woman was that she had two crashes on the bike--in both
cases the fork appeared to be "perfect" and she used subsequently "used it daily." Until now,
that is. As mentioned below, this is what Jobst Brandt would definitely describe as a "failure
while riding around."

Kent
 
M

Matt O'Toole

Guest
"KEM" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

> > I have a True Temper Alpha Q CX fork I had a major high speed crash with it. The handle bar was
> > bent, and turbed 90° on the steerer, the wheel got hit so hard that the skewer could not hold
> > the wheel in the fork and the wheel came out of true (it was tightly secured!), the rider (196
> > lb with a 8 lb Camelback) was badly beaten up, but the fork was in perfect shape! I am using it
> > daily.
>
> Erik,
>
> Well, you had better check it VERY carefully.
>
> My friend, too, had an Alpha Q fork, BARELY tapped it crossing a railroad track, and both fork
> blades collapsed in a "catastrophic" failure. The only history on the fork other than being ridden
> 20,000 miles or so by a 125 lb woman was that she had two crashes on the bike--in both cases the
> fork appeared to be "perfect" and she used subsequently "used it daily." Until now, that is. As
> mentioned below, this is what Jobst Brandt would definitely describe as a "failure while riding
> around."

That's pretty scary, and illustrates how there's no telling the condition of a carbon fork, short of
X-raying it or something (which is what they do with race car and aircraft parts). Thus, it's
probably important to know a carbon fork's history. If it's been crashed, retire it.

The same goes for aluminum. I've never really trusted aluminum road forks. In fact, I wonder if the
fork in your story actually broke at the the aluminum steerer.

The big advantage of a steel fork is that it "wears its heart on its sleeve." Any damage, or lack
thereof, is immediately apparent.

Matt O.
 
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