Track forks: carbon or aluminum steerer? Preferences and why...



tonyzackery

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Dec 23, 2006
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Curious about the above as I'm presently using a carbon steerer fork, but I've noticed some of the world's best on the track swear by forks with aluminum steerers. Is there a noticeable difference in stiffness?
 

Jack-o

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Feb 19, 2006
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tonyzackery said:
Curious about the above as I'm presently using a carbon steerer fork, but I've noticed some of the world's best on the track swear by forks with aluminum steerers. Is there a noticeable difference in stiffness?
Aluminium is better for reasons of stiffness, but also because track riders tend to change handlebars/stems a lot for different events. ie, drop bars swapped for TT bars. The constant tightening of headstems on to a carbon steerer is going to cause more stress than they were designed for, and it only takes one heavy-handed lapse of concentration to do stem bolts up too tight.
 

tonyzackery

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Dec 23, 2006
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Jack-o said:
Aluminium is better for reasons of stiffness, but also because track riders tend to change handlebars/stems a lot for different events. ie, drop bars swapped for TT bars. The constant tightening of headstems on to a carbon steerer is going to cause more stress than they were designed for, and it only takes one heavy-handed lapse of concentration to do stem bolts up too tight.
Thanks for the info...
 

BikingBrian

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Sep 25, 2003
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Recently, I've started seeing a lot of track bikes coming with carbon forks and steerers....I know in theory that they should be ok - and I use a full-carbon fork on my road bike with no qualms whatsoever. But it just seems sort of silly on the track. Not sure what the point is - lighter weight?? I would guess weight of a track bike is a moot point. "Vibration damping" :rolleyes: - unless the velodrome surface has lots of cracks and holes??
I use a steel fork/steerer. Peace of mind! And like the poster above said, when you are constantly changing bars and stems between events, I'd rather not have to worry about over-torquing a bolt.
 

Jack-o

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Feb 19, 2006
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BikingBrian said:
Recently, I've started seeing a lot of track bikes coming with carbon forks and steerers....I know in theory that they should be ok - and I use a full-carbon fork on my road bike with no qualms whatsoever. But it just seems sort of silly on the track. Not sure what the point is - lighter weight?? I would guess weight of a track bike is a moot point. "Vibration damping" :rolleyes: - unless the velodrome surface has lots of cracks and holes??
I use a steel fork/steerer. Peace of mind! And like the poster above said, when you are constantly changing bars and stems between events, I'd rather not have to worry about over-torquing a bolt.
Suspension forks would be more appropriate on my nearest track:)