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  1. #1
    I like rigid MTB.
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    What are the differences regarding ride quality in a rigid steel fork & carbon fork ?

    What are the differences regarding ride quality regarding a rigid steel fork & rigid carbon fork ?
    I saw there are a lot of 29ers here pair with a Niner carbon fork. How is it ?

    Thanks.....

  2. #2
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    You'll save some front end weight with the carbon and gain some damping qualities as well.
    I had the Niner fork on my SIR9. It was nice and supple but at the end of the day, it was still a rigid fork.
    Ask this in the SS forum and you'll get some more definitive answers.

  3. #3
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    Yup, rigid is rigid. Any difference will be subtle for the most part.

  4. #4
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    I once rode my SIR9 with an On-One carbon fork and then swapped back to the rigid steel Niner fork the next day. If there was any difference in ride quality, it was very small. I also found that the significant difference in weight made much less difference while riding than I imagined it would. So while I imagine the Niner carbon fork is very nice, I seriously doubt that it will make your bike smooth as butter and able to float up hills with very little effort. It will still beat the crap out of you on the downhills and it will probably be a tiny bit easier to loft your front wheel. You will also be able to lift your wallet a lot easier because it will be way lighter than before.

  5. #5
    Did I catch a niner?
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    Weight is really it, the Niner is one of the nicer forks I have tried but if I got one I would drop about 1.5lbs off my bike with a steel rigid fork.
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  6. #6
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    i can tell you this there is a real difference even between some steel forks. my waltworks fork is hands down a smoother ride than the karate monkey fork it replaced.

    as to steel vs carbon; i think it will be more one fork vs another than the more broad steel vs carbon argument. i am sure there are nice riding and terrible forks made of both materials.

    none of my friends are my size so i can't really compare my fork to anyone elses. but everyone i know with the niner crabon fork seems happy with it. it sure is light compared to a steel fork!

  7. #7
    jl
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    It's not really the ride quality I think about, it is the failure quality--bend vs. snap. Other people will have other opinions, but that's mine...
    Ride On!

  8. #8
    meatier showers
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob1035 View Post
    Yup, rigid is rigid. Any difference will be subtle for the most part.
    ^^this^^

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  9. #9
    psycho cyclo addict
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    Quote Originally Posted by edle View Post
    What are the differences regarding ride quality regarding a rigid steel fork & rigid carbon fork ?
    I saw there are a lot of 29ers here pair with a Niner carbon fork. How is it ?

    Thanks.....
    I purchased a Niner steel fork to put on my SIR 9 from a friend who upgraded to a Niner carbon fork. He and two others who did the same say the steel fork is noodly compared to carbon. I'm perfectly content with rigid steel frame and fork on my SS...

  10. #10
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    When switching to a carbon fork, I personally noticed a reduction in highspeed chatter, but a increase in lowspeed... you'll feel the roots during relaxed riding, but when speed increases in downhills, those same roots become less painfull.

    I use a rigid fork on a steel singlespeed, and somehow I enjoy the "ring" of riding a steel rigid fork.You need to work for it, but the bike just feels indestructable, and that's a nice feeling in the chop...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    i can tell you this there is a real difference even between some steel forks. my waltworks fork is hands down a smoother ride than the karate monkey fork it replaced.

    as to steel vs carbon; i think it will be more one fork vs another than the more broad steel vs carbon argument. i am sure there are nice riding and terrible forks made of both materials.

    none of my friends are my size so i can't really compare my fork to anyone elses. but everyone i know with the niner crabon fork seems happy with it. it sure is light compared to a steel fork!
    I agree, huge difference in ride quality. A rigid fork built to your weight can ride very very nice. Not like a 5 inch travel Fox but certainly nicer than a stock fork. I have a Type II from Steve Potts and it is night and day compared to my buddies Salsa fork. I have never ridden a Niner fork but I can't imagine it rides as nice as my steel fork.

  12. #12
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    I'm surprised I don't see more ti forks, I have one on my Dean and it is spindly but rides nice and could be built heavier for real mtb use. Maybe their too expensive to manufacture to compete in today's market?
    lean forward

  13. #13
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    Rigid is still a rigid. I switch from a Vassago steel pitch fork to a Niner carbon fork and i'm loving it. There is a noticeable difference in ride quality. I like the Niner carbon fork so much that i got 4 of them on my bikes. I like riding rigid but the Niner carbon fork help me LOVE riding rigid.
    12' Sir9 Rigid
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  14. #14
    Kenatay
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    carbon fork vs steel

    I know this is like a major Surly fawpaw and no doubt will ban me for life from being a trueblood Surly owner but I swapped out the stock steel fork with a Niner carbon fork on my Karate Monkey and I can't see going back - love it. Not only does it take away a lot of the harsh front end clatter but the front end of this single speed is so much lighter and easier to lift and throw around on technical stuff - totally different ride. As far as durability of this carbon fork over the steel - so far so good and I have t-boned some good size rocks riding in Texas hill country.

  15. #15
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    This is the same as the Frame material argument that gets re-hashed here every couple of months. A carbon fork will usually be the lightest, followed by titanium and then steel. The ride quality is determined much more by the design, not by the material. Most stock forks are overbuilt because they need to survive under a 300lb rider. That makes them feel stiff and harsh under a 150lb rider.

    The best riding fork will be the one that's designed for your weight, riding style, and terrain, whether it be steel or titanium. I don't think anyone does custom carbon forks. If buying a stock fork, get one from a reputable brand, and decide if you want to spend more for a lighter carbon fork, or less for a heavier steel fork. Oh yeah, and don't forget to look at the geometry as well, A-C length and offset will effect handling and ride a lot.

    Personally, I stay away from carbon forks (actually carbon anything) on mountain bikes. My fears may be unfounded now, but I just don't like the failure mode of carbon, and I fear smashing carbon when I crash in a rock garden. I have a titanium fork on my Black Sheep and love it, but can't say the ride is way better than a steel fork from Walt would be.

  16. #16
    artistic...
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    a differente rake and diff a-c height will be more noticeable than different materials.
    want: Ibis ti handlebar. suntour 31.8 front derr. bottom pull

  17. #17
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    Your front tire selection and psi will have the biggest ride quality impact...
    Former bicycle mechanic for 8 years, current soil scientist.

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  18. #18
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    I've seen alloy 26er rigid forks for cheap on ebay.Anybody had any experiences with aluminum 26 or 29er forks?
    roccowt.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by zarr View Post
    I've seen alloy 26er rigid forks for cheap on ebay.Anybody had any experiences with aluminum 26 or 29er forks?
    They are extremely RIGID and harsh. 0 damping qualities 0 flex. Transmit every pebble on the trail to your hands.

  20. #20
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    I have an exotic brand rigid aluminum fork purchased online for this old bike... ( a cheap experiment ) it actually has some "give" and is not nearly as harsh as expected. I am now running a 2.3 Mutanoraptor front tire at 28 psi for suspension!!What are the differences regarding ride quality in a rigid steel fork & carbon fork ?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1358005785.281260.jpg

  21. #21
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    One hurts my hands and makes me swear out loud when I hit stuff unexpectedly.

    The other hurts my hands and makes me swear out loud when I hit stuff unexpectedly.

    (yes, I ride rigid).
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny View Post
    The ride quality is determined much more by the design, not by the material.
    I hope everybody that reads this thread PLEASE TAKE NOTE. I ride rigid bikes, and this is the #1 determining factor of "plushness". I've had carbon, steel and aluminum rigid forks and the most harsh fork I've had was my steel 29'er Kona P2. My carbon fork was okay, but my Mosso 26" aluminum fork is about the same. I'm not completely impressed by my Salsa CroMo on my On-One Inbred. I think I should've bought the VooDoo Zombie fork instead.

    The most plush rigid fork I have is the OEM on my 1986 Specialized Rockhopper. That thing gives and snaps back like no other steel fork I've ever had... except maybe the Surly 1X1 - which is a GREAT rigid fork.

    Sent from CouchPad via Outer Space
    Last edited by Dion; 01-13-2013 at 08:16 PM.

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