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    I'm throwing together my build list I hope to have ready by the end of March '10 and I need to know the pros and cons of carbon and cromo forks. Yes, I will be riding streets 98% of the time. The fork will fit on a Steel 58cm frame.

    I have heard that carbon isnt great if there is a risk of crashing like during a leg-over-bar skid because it can break somewhat more easily than steel.
    • CommentAuthorthe rabbi
    • CommentTimeSep 11th 2009
    if you're gonna do any sort of tricking/nonsense, it would be best to stick with a steel fork.
    Just go with a steel fork, avoid the crash now, instead of later....
    Rabbi is totally right, carbon forks are not designed for anything other than riding on flat concrete and asphalt.

    There is a lot of disagreement among riders on what a carbon fork will really get you. The idea is that carbon will give you an advantage over steel by dampening vibration from the road. Such vibration isn't noticeable much on short rides, but on a longer ride (think 30+ miles), carbon will leave your arms and shoulders feeling a little less stressed. That's the theory, anyway.
    In practice, the difference is ... well, subjective.

    Steel will absorb big bumps, potholes, crashes, tricks, and pretty much everything which isn't flat ground better than carbon. Don't waste your money.

    If for some reason you decide on carbon, know that you get what you pay for. Cheap carbon will eventually implant itself in your crashed on the road ass.
    enjoy your ride with ............................................steel!
    • CommentAuthorLyKqiD
    • CommentTimeSep 11th 2009
    Unless you are overweight or plan on treating your bike like a bmx; carbon is more then adequate. People act like there is rampant carbon fork failure in the bike world... when other parts/components are known to fail far before the fork.

    However, like I said, carbon wasnt made to ride like you are Matt Hoffman.
    Posted By: LyKqiDHowever, like I said, carbon wasnt made to ride like you are Matt Hoffman.

    That made me LOL
    Yeah, I don't really plan on doing crazy off road shit or crunching down on the fork from a 8 foot drop. I am looking for the most bang out of my buck right now, considering my fam ain't rich and I can pretty much only earn min wages.
    Steel. You have no reason to use carbon if you're on a budget.
    • CommentAuthorwes m.
    • CommentTimeSep 11th 2009 edited
    Steel is cheaper, will last longer, and wont look odd like a carbon fork on a steel framed beater.

    Carbon is great for certain things, none of them being what you are trying to do.
    I personally ride a carbon fork and it's fine. No problem. However, it's not THAT much lighter than a good steel fork. If you are on a budget, a Tange steel track fork is a decent fork for the price.
    • CommentAuthorJev4sher
    • CommentTimeSep 30th 2009
    I just bent up my steel track fork and am looking for a replacement. Does anyone know if would be much a difference in these two steel forks besides price?

    • CommentAuthorgiosSR215
    • CommentTimeSep 30th 2009
    i just started riding carbon when i got the orbea and i must say, i can't really tell a difference besides maybe it being a slight bit more rigid and squirley then the steel. It feels different but not much. Don't go with carbon if you are street riding, I'm doing that on the orbea right now and i want to get a beater frame so I can save the orbea for the track. or joy rides around the city
    • CommentAuthorgiosSR215
    • CommentTimeSep 30th 2009
    Posted By: Jev4sherI just bent up my steel track fork and am looking for a replacement. Does anyone know if would be much a difference in these two steel forks besides price?

    the soma is much better quality then the other fork that you have mentioned there. the soma is made of tange, and as for the one from performance it doesn't even really say what it's made out of, just "cromoly" probably heavier then the soma fork as well. if you aren't on a budget go for the soma fork
    Uhm, the Soma fork is available in several sizes whereas the Performance fork is one size. Soma doesn't have fender eyelets.

    What kind of fork were your riding before? What size/threading/rake? If you don't know any of that, what bike did it come on? It would make sense to find a new fork with similar specs.
    • CommentAuthorJev4sher
    • CommentTimeSep 30th 2009
    The fork that bent was the stock straight bladed fork on my 2007 Schwinn Madison (seen here;

    1-1/8th threadless with track rake (aprox. 38-40). I picked those two steel forks because they had a similar amount of rake. I am also looking at this Carbon one with a 40mm rake.
    Its actually cheaper than the Soma fork and its probably lighter (full carbon) I don't do any tricks other than the occasional drop from a curb.

    You think the Soma is really worth more than twice that of the cheaper steel one?
    I am tempted just to get the carbon one to see if there's much of a difference.
    Get the Soma it will last much longer than the cheaper and carbon one and steel will always take beatings better
    I doubt there is a significant amount of difference between the two steel forks. Tange Infinity is not some super high end crazy stuff, it's just cheap, seamed steel tubing. Neither is butted, they both share the same basic design characteristics, so there isn't some hidden weight bonus to the Soma fork. The Soma could save you a small amount of weight, but probably not more than about 100g. I can't find a weight spec for it, but the Scattante is 1036g with full steerer. A little heavier than a Kilo/Surly fork, but not much.
    Consider that you can afford 2.5 Scattante forks for the price of one Soma. The Soma doesn't have that much going for it in any case.

    As for carbon: you bent your original steel fork. Unless that happened in an accident or something, whatever you did to the steel fork will absolutely break a carbon fork, and more quickly.
    i can't really tell a difference besides maybe it being a slight bit more rigid and squirley then the steel.

    It's probably different geometry. My guess is that it's got a millimeter or three less rake. That has nothing to do with the material it's made of.

    I switched from an aluminum to carbon fork when one drifted my way a few years ago. The different in vibration was immediately noticeable. I don't know how steel would have felt on that bike, and there are plenty of other factors that changed — the curvature and diameter of the tubes was also different, and that would also have an effect.

    In any event, if I was on a restrictive budget and had to choose between steel and carbon, I'd probably go with steel unless I got lucky on Ebay or a friend gave me an offer I couldn't refuse*.

    That is, he was going to kill me and my family unless I used his Look aero for free, I'd take the Look aero.**

    ** I'd take the Look aero without the threat, too. But the threat is sort of "sweetening the deal."
    The thing about carbon as opposed to steel and aluminum is that all carbon is not equal. This is a generalization, of course, but steel and, to a lesser degree, aluminum are fairly dependable regardless of tubeset and manufacturer. Carbon is not nearly as dependable across the payment spectrum. IMHO only go with carbon if you can really afford to go with carbon, know what I mean?

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