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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I see a lot of people on this forum are riding steel forks and still have nice setups, so it doesn't seem like cost is the only reason people are riding steel. I've purchases a Karate Monkey fork for a Jabberwocky I'm building up and do have some lightweight ambitions. That being said, I was going to mount a carbon bar and titanium seat post for a good price from a friend, should I go all the way and get the carbon fork too? I know some people say that lightweight is overrated, and some people say might as well start with nice components rather than upgrading later. I don't know what to do... and I obviously can't think for myself. Price is always an issue, but I did just sell some bikes and got some cash right now... So carbon or steel?
 

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max5480 said:
I see a lot of people on this forum are riding steel forks and still have nice setups, so it doesn't seem like cost is the only reason people are riding steel. I've purchases a Karate Monkey fork for a Jabberwocky I'm building up and do have some lightweight ambitions. That being said, I was going to mount a carbon bar and titanium seat post for a good price from a friend, should I go all the way and get the carbon fork too? I know some people say that lightweight is overrated, and some people say might as well start with nice components rather than upgrading later. I don't know what to do... and I obviously can't think for myself. Price is always an issue, but I did just sell some bikes and got some cash right now... So carbon or steel?
carbon is probably going to be quite a bit lighter. I replaced the steel fork that came on my GT peace 9r with a Rock Shox Reba, and I'm pretty sure the reba weighs less :p
 

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If your really weight focused then obviously carbon will be your fork of choice, but if its general performance and strength, I think that either will be fine, thing is to get a nice light steel you may see the price gap between steel and carbon becoming quite small.
 

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Dickhouse
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I am very interested in this thread! I ride a S.I.R.9 with Niner's Carbon fork. I love it, and it is extremely light. BUT, the rest of my setup is bargain basement/parts I had lying around. I ride with four other guys on S.I.R.9's, and they all have the steel fork, setup with the nicest build packages/components you can buy. I have no experience with the steel fork, so would love to hear of other people's comparisons.
 

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Better is better...

Basically, if you read through the other fork thread ^^^^^ (Post #5), you will see that it is not about the material, but how it is made. ie: Good steel is better than bad carbon.

In the 26er days I replaced a Kona P2 fork ($65) with a Vicious fork ($265) Guess which one rode WAY BETTER than the other.

I use a Ritchey Carbon on the CX bike, but never tried Carbon on the MTB.
I'm Currently running a very nice steel fork on my 29er and love it.
 

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I own and ride both a Kona P2 and a WB RockSolid rigid. The WB is almost a whole pound lighter than the Kona. Which translates into a more nimble and agile bike out on the trail. However, the decreased weight is also a double-edged sword because the front end tends to be more active now on downhill sections, which could cause the ride quality to feel more harsh when compared to a steel fork.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, sweet! After reading through that previous thread I've decided to stick with the Karate Monkey fork. It seems like there are mixed opinions about every kind of fork, except the Niner which has great reviews, so I'll just stick with what I got - I was looking at cheap carbon anyway... I still may pop for that carbon bar though.
 

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I can't comment on the steel vs carbon issue as the only carbon fork I rode was on my old road bike. But I will concur that nice steel makes a big diff. I didn't think I'd notice that much of a difference but my first impression of a Salsa CroMoto Grande is that it outshines the Voodoo zombie and the vassago ODIS and my buddy's RS Dart 3. I can't even imagine what one of those "high end" steel forks would be like.
 

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I rode steel On One forks then upgraded to Carbon Exotics cheap but compared to the steels, much more comfortable, okay not much in a forward hitting way but enough to help, but in a landing 6" steps and stuff it really takes the shock out as the flex upward nicely, likely 10mm area, the steels didn't at all from what I could tell.

http://www.carboncycles.cc/?p=197&

cheap as chips well ish, sensible weight and strong enough for my 230lb ass and even ridden a trail centre without them snapping!!

Limit is 215lb though or something.
 

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I've had a carbon Origin8 fork. I went back to my 5yr old Vicious Cycles steel fork. The Origin8 BlackOps fork, I though sucked. Weighed about 750grams which wasn't that light. It was a noodle for the most part.

I'd like to try the Niner carbon fork, but the price is crazy. It's close to 500grams lighter than Vicious steel fork.
 

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The Carbon Exotic feels really stiff to me, thought they where basically the same fork, if anything better than the On One, which only just fits a 29" wheel with some material removed, but that could be down the rubbish axle to fork interface area and lock of any lawyer lugs, really didn't like that.

Fitting On One Mary bars once used to hugely increased the hand comfort I can do 20mile rides without sore hands afterwards, before lighter xc miles beat me up.

Carbon bars are super stiff, there advantage is they don't flex the spring back to fast without damping, its the springing back which of normal bars which hurts I've found.
 

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Get out of town!
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PUSHd

When it came time to service my fork I sent it to Darren and let him work his magic. Rides soooo much better now!
 

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Ridin'Dirty said:
When it came time to service my fork I sent it to Darren and let him work his magic. Rides soooo much better now!
damn that is awesome. i need some PUSH stickers for my steel rigid fork.

i think the decision tree goes something like this:

want a nice riding rigid fork under 100 bucks? go steel.

want to save weight and have a nice ride? go carbon, but avoid the cheaper carbon forks.

want to save weight and you prefer the aesthetics of a Ti fork? go Ti, and figure out how much you're willing to part with....
 

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max5480 said:
I see a lot of people on this forum are riding steel forks and still have nice setups, so it doesn't seem like cost is the only reason people are riding steel. I've purchases a Karate Monkey fork for a Jabberwocky I'm building up and do have some lightweight ambitions. That being said, I was going to mount a carbon bar and titanium seat post for a good price from a friend, should I go all the way and get the carbon fork too? I know some people say that lightweight is overrated, and some people say might as well start with nice components rather than upgrading later. I don't know what to do... and I obviously can't think for myself. Price is always an issue, but I did just sell some bikes and got some cash right now... So carbon or steel?
I built my jabber, with nice but not necessarily lite weight components ... I chose the ODIS, flow rims, 2.2 tires @ 25 psi. I flippin love riding the bike. Geometry and feel are awesome. After a year and a half, nothing has been broken. Chain lubed ... check. Air in Tires ... check. Ride!
 

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trail rat
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After I broke bones in my shoulder, I could not ride my On-One SS with the steel fork due to the roughness. I bought the On-One Carbon fork and was able to ride. I cannot say that the carbon fork is a huge difference, but it did not transmit the roughness of an easy trail and I was able to ride much sooner.
 
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