Would Carbon Forks Help Much ?

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by simonsimon, 25 Jul 2007.

  1. simonsimon

    simonsimon New Member

    Hi all,

    I'm currently riding a Claud Butler Chinook and it suits me fine for the short rides I mainly make. However, on longer rides I'm finding the lack of front suspension (last bike was an mtb) a bit uncomfortable on our less than perfect roads and wondered if carbon forks would help much to even out the bumps. Any thoughts ?

  2. Steve Austin

    Steve Austin The Marmalade Kid

    carbon forks would make a difference, but then so would a carbon bar, thicker grips or a bigger front tyre.
    Even padded gloves can make a difference.

    Not trying to put you off spending money, but it might be worth trying other things before buying a new fork
  3. monnet

    monnet Über Member

    Carbon forks tend to be stiff to very stiff - nature of the material. Some come with elastamer inserts that dampen some of the bumps but I don't think you'd notice having ridden MTB suspension. All that said, I'm assuming the Claud Butler is alu forks and I've never ridden them.
  4. OP

    simonsimon New Member

    Thanks for the pointers guys. I've recently bought some short, rubber covered bar ends which have made some difference as I now have a few different hand positions to use. I think my next move will be to buy some decent gloves with gel pads.

  5. Monty Dog

    Monty Dog New Member

    Alu forks have a tendency to run 'harsh' so carbon forks can help - but nothing like to the degree of a suspension fork. As well as gel bar tape, for the biggest influence on comfort, fit fatter tyres and run lower pressures - you may be able to fit a 25mm tyre and run it at 90-100psi. Equally, a quality tyre with a more supple 'skinwall' will also improve feel - the tyres on your bike are likely to be cheap, no-namers. Carbon forks will help remove 'road buzz' which can lead to numbness in the hands. IME, most carbon bars are very stiff and I wouldn't recommend them - particularly for their cost.
  6. cyclingfury

    cyclingfury Well-Known Member

    Monty Dog is spot on re the tyres. I use 25mm's on my winter bike and run them at about 90psi. They make a big difference to increasinging the comfort of the bike compared to 23mm's.
  7. OP

    simonsimon New Member

    The whole tyres thing makes sense. Something else for me to try, thanks guys.

  8. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    I have never ridden a mountain bike with suspension, but if I did I believe it would feel [to me] like riding on a big wet sponge. Horrible.

    My point, one quickly becomes used to a particular comfort level, I prefer a high level of stiffness and low rolling resistance as this allows me to go faster for less effort while still being perfectly comfortable.
  9. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Auld Reekie
    That would depend on whether the suspension had been correctly set up or not, don't knock it until you have tried it. Then again if you are not going off road, you won't need it, riding an mountain bike in town is a bit like driving a 4x4, style not need.
  10. Sore Thumb

    Sore Thumb Veteran

    I have a Specialized fixed 06 road bike, and anyone who knows this bike it has a straight alloy fork. The fork was heavy and I could feel every bump in the road. So I decided to get a carbon fork. So now the bike weighs less and I don't get numb arms any more. I also have a pair of specialized mitts which have the padding placed over the ulnar nerve which will help to prevent you getting numb/painful hands.
  11. twowheelsgood

    twowheelsgood Senior Member

    Zurich Switzerland
    Not necessarily, you have a steel fork on you Chinook. I have a steel Kaffenback fork on my hybrid and it has a LOT softer ride than the carbon fork I bought to replace it. Both materials can be engineered to be either stiff or compliant. About the only material I wouldn't want for a fork is aluminium alloy.

    I'd go with the tyre advice. Suspension and road bikes 99% of the time are a bad idea. You are looking at an extra kg or so and less predictable handling.
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