Can steel road forks be as smooth to use as carbon ones ?

Raffles
Raffles Posts: 1,137
edited May 2013 in Road general
Was speaking to Shand cycles the other day and I was curious about the fact their steel skinnymalinky frame comes with steel forks. You read so much about carbon forks lessening the shake the bones out of ye element like alloy ones would. Can steel forks give a lovely smooth ride like carbon does ?
2012 Cannondale CAAD 8 105

Comments

  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,230
    Yes of course... it is not much about the material, but the design... forks with a bit of rake are smoother than straight ones... Colnago brought in those stupid straight forks with their "Precisa" model, before all steel fork had a nice curve
    left the forum March 2023
  • vmaxphil
    vmaxphil Posts: 20
    I have got both steel and carbon bikes they ride about the same all said and done even with 35 years between them
    phil
  • Barteos
    Barteos Posts: 657
    Adequately wide tyres run at sensible pressure should provide you with a fast and smooth ride regardless of the fork used.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Steel forks can be harsh too - it depends on whether the fork design and construction is suitable for the weight of the rider. A custom builder can also adjust the frame headtube angle and fork offset to suit the rider. The Skinnymalinky does use a very slender tapered tube for the forks so should be quite compliant.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Velonutter
    Velonutter Posts: 2,437
    I've done a few hundred miles on my Colnago Master now and I can definitely say that over similar roads they are smoother than my Colnago Carbon's, bumps feel like numb, you just glide over them.
  • rrsodl
    rrsodl Posts: 486
    Funny enough, I thought about this a while ago, when I first built my new toy. My dearest bike is built around an old Reynols 351c frame with modern components. It offers a lovely ride, however, I find the full CB fork with a 43mm rake on my new bike it's noticeable smoother. It absorbs vibration better. I will also add that both have identical handlebars, bar tape and shifters.
  • declan1
    declan1 Posts: 2,470
    My Viking has steel forks, but they're rigid and REALLY uncomfortable. My BSA has nice thin, curved steel forks that visibly flex and they're wonderfully smooth!

    Road - Dolan Preffisio
    MTB - On-One Inbred

    I have no idea what's going on here.
  • priory
    priory Posts: 743
    I expect high quality steel forks to be springy in the vertical but stiff laterally. My 30+yo Peugeot soaks up really rough roads with ease and you can see the forks bending and the wheel bouncing. I would not expect carbon to deform and recover like that for 30 years even if it does have as much spring. I did not think my carbon forks on my scr2 were as comfortable, and I did not feel as safe at speed and hard manoeuvering on it, but perhaps that was just me. I recently got a raleigh clubman because it is all steel and the forks are similar to the peugeot in effect.
    Steel frames and forks are very popular among the audax riders ,who are keen on all day comfort.
    I have just been to the shops on a raleigh oakland which has massive steel forks , possibly cast iron, but they are a different thing entirely.
    Raleigh Eclipse, , Dahon Jetstream XP, Raleigh Banana, Dawes super galaxy, Raleigh Clubman

    http://s189.photobucket.com/albums/z122 ... =slideshow
  • Jim C
    Jim C Posts: 333
    Nice slender steel forks are lovely. My Mercian has them. Sometimes sit there watching them, they really do flex and the ride quality is superb.

    My rourke has ITM carbon forks. They're exceptionally comfortable- good for 1240k in less than 3 days with not a bit of pain anywhere. They have Brians name on them too. twice. Superb also.

    My steel pompino forks are 25 quid cheapos. They work fine too. Not lookers tho :-)
    jc
  • robbo2011
    robbo2011 Posts: 1,017
    priory wrote:
    I would not expect carbon to deform and recover like that for 30 years even if it does have as much spring.

    Unlike metal, carbon does not have a fatigue life. So yes it would, if it was designed to do so.
  • Can any one tell me why titanium bikes always seem to have carbon forks. If titanium is such a good material why aren't the forks constructed from it as well.
  • simon_masterson
    simon_masterson Posts: 2,740
    A master framebuilder could probably make you a few dozen forks in myriad types of steel, aluminium and carbon fibre, ranging from boneshaker to armchair. If they were all aesthetically identical, the results of a 'blind' test might surprise you.

    This issue is comically overstated. The very fact that carbon forks are an 'option' encourages insecurity in the consumer, and suddenly everybody has to have them. Road buzz is a reality in cycling. The fashion machine has made sure that (many) road cyclists everywhere feel that they can't have a tyre bigger than a 700x25, often run at unnecessarily high pressure. The easiest way to comfort - where possible - is larger tyres that aren't rock hard, run at lower pressure. The design of the fork - and of course the rest of the configuration of the bike - has at least as much to do with the ride quality as what it is made of.
  • priory
    priory Posts: 743
    priory wrote:I would not expect carbon to deform and recover like that for 30 years even if it does have as much spring.

    then:Unlike metal, carbon does not have a fatigue life. So yes it would, if it was designed to do so.

    that is an interesting comment.Are you saying that carbon frames and forks will not fatigue and crack ? I had the impression that people do not expect them to last as long as steel or titanium. even if the carbon fibre never breaks what about the plastic matrix?
    Raleigh Eclipse, , Dahon Jetstream XP, Raleigh Banana, Dawes super galaxy, Raleigh Clubman

    http://s189.photobucket.com/albums/z122 ... =slideshow