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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There seems to be a constant discussion in this forum about which frame material is "better". I read things like "carbon has a dead feeling", steel is the "best, most comfortable ride", etc. I note that most forks today are made from carbon fiber, not steel or titanium. Would a ti or steel fork be more comfortable than carbon. It just seems odd that I hardly hear of steel or ti forks. I have no axe to grind. I still ride an old aluminun Cannondale which is a harsh ride no doubt. Just looking for clarification.
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· eminence grease
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18,559 Posts
There are plenty of steel forks around, mainly on bicycles where a certain look is desired. Plus, steel forks offer a great ride.

CF is cheaper, easier to manufacture, pretty robust, lighter and offers the broadly-accepted illusion of a superior ride. And it is superior to some of the ancient things made out of aluminum and (perhaps) steel. But it's not magic.

The real reasons are that it is cheaper and easier to manufacture.
 

· Banned forever.....or not
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The real reasons are that it is cheaper and easier to manufacture

I would say the real reason is weight. A steel fork with a steel threaded steerer is a real boat anchor. Both steel and CF forks can be made to feel similar. For an extra $100, you can save 1.5 pounds (or more). The cost of changing from a 3.5 pound steel frame to a 2.0 CF frame is huge.
 

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+1 on the marketing aspect. Employing composites is good for bike sales. This is why just about every aluminum framed model these days not only has a CF fork but CF seatstays too. Gives the consumer the impression the bike is more exotic and high-tech. Don't forget the hyped magical ride qualities too! :rolleyes:

Not saying CF is bad, but proper design is still the key to a fantastic bike no matter what materials are used.

Paul
 

· Big is relative
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My steel Pegoretti was designed for a carbon fork and a steel fork was not an option. Since then, Pego has introduced a steel fork worthy of the frame but at a cost of $400 and six month wait. One of the issues I have noticed is the weight for the steerer for a 1 1/8" steel fork. My Soma fork weighs almost as much as the frame. I also have a Merckx MX Leader that I have ridden with the stock steel and a reynolds carbon fork. The ride was very similiar but I preferred the steel overall. The carbon fork did take a pound off the bike weight.
 
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