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  1. #1
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    Am I crusin' for a bruisin'?

    I just recently started using a "low end" rigid fork. It's from a cheap Cannondale promotional bike. Since it was made by Cannondale, I wouldnt think that it would be a total piece of crap. Its' made out of aluminum.

    I'm not doing any crazy stuff on it. Just trail riding. But as I am adapting to rigid, I am starting to get more and more agressive.

    Is this thing going to snap and break on me? Or will the aluminum nature of it just cause it to bend first, if and when it fails?

  2. #2
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    Aluminum tends to snap, not bend

    Quote Originally Posted by The Berryman
    Or will the aluminum nature of it just cause it to bend first, if and when it fails?
    I'm not a singlespeeder, nor do I ride rigid, but I lurk here anyhow. I wouldn't rely on anything aluminum to bend first if/when it fails, especially something as important as a fork. Aluminum has a tendency to break when it's fatigued. It's not known for deformation or flex like steel is. The best indication you'll get is some cracks or stress fractures if you inspect very carefully. If you're that worried about it there's some good rigid choices for not that much money (i.e. the surly 1x1 fork, the kona project 2, or the dimensions). All of those are CroMoly and will be less likely to snap. Check out www.webcyclery.com or www.bikeman.com.

  3. #3
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    Bunch of guys

    running headshok aluminum forks all over the place and those seem to not snap. I am not sure what is used for a steerer tube, but the lowers are definately aluminum.

    As far a comfort now, steel would be much better.

  4. #4
    Derailleurs owned: 0
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    What is "a cheap Cannondale promotional bike"?

    C Jones

  5. #5
    all hail der Fuhrer Bush
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    bruisin' is right

    aside from aluminum's tendency to fail catastrophically without warning (at least pull the fork frequently and closely inspect the steerer especially down near the crown race, that's where they usually fail) the ride of an aluminum fork leaves much to be desired. because aluminum gets weaker with every flex cycle, makers of aluminum frames use large diameter tubing that doesn't flex much in order to build bikes that don't break right away. so you've either got a flexy aluminum fork the rides nice and will kill you pretty soon, or you got a big honking stiff aluminum fork that rides like a piece of crap. Since it's from cannondale, it's most likely the latter.
    steel makes for a nice rigid fork and unlike aluminum, steel can flex and flex and flex and not break.

  6. #6
    blame me for missed rides
    Reputation: weather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bulC
    steel can flex and flex and flex and not break.
    only for repeated loads below the endurance limit.

  7. #7
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    Thanks guys.

    You may have saved my ass. I had been riding this bike more and more and have been gradually taking it on gnarlier trails and at greater speeds.

    A Cannondale promotional bike is what you win when you go to some sort of non-bike related event and see a "chance to win free cannondale mountain bike!!!". Then you go look at the bike and see that although it indeed does say Cannondale on the frame, it is still just a cheap peice of **** that also comes printed with some corporate logo on them.

    Being that I live in the home town of Anheuser Busch, this fork is off of one of the many "Bud Light Cannondale Bikes" that have been floating around town. Basically Anheuser Busch gets these things from Cannondale and donates them to auctions and such.

    The fork is not a headshock style fork. It is just a lame assed rigid fork with a curved rake towards the front, and it gets very narrow near the dropouts (my main concern).

    It should be good for road riding, but perhapes I should reconsider my present activities on it.

  8. #8
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    Actually...

    I just did my homework on Cannondales website.

    I just assumed the fork was aluminum. This is the lowest end model that Cannondale has on their website. Even if the bike that the fork originated from is lower end than their lowest end website adverstised bike, I would say it would be the same exact fork.



    According to the website the fork is TIG-welded chromoly.

    So I guess a more approriate question would be, is it safe to ride the above pictured bike on gnarly trails? As long as the fork bends and not snaps, I think it should be ok.

  9. #9
    all hail der Fuhrer Bush
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    of course

    Quote Originally Posted by weather
    only for repeated loads below the endurance limit.
    I figured that goes without saying, as anything can break if you bend it far enough.
    My point was steel has such a limit, while aluminum does not.

  10. #10
    all hail der Fuhrer Bush
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    you sure it's an aluminum fork?

    low end hardtails tend to come with chrome-moly steel forks, which are cheaper than safe aluminum forks. obviously the magnet test will tell the tale and you may well have already used this, but if you haven't and are just assuming it's an aluminum fork because it's an aluminum frame, it's worth double checking.

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