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  1. #1
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    Carbon, Suspension, Or Steel fork

    Hi Y'all,

    Looking for some opinions. After riding single and rigid for years i went to a geared hard tail (with a reba fork) and then to a salsa spearfish. After riding the spearfish for a year I came back to my senses returned to the single speed. I have an el mariachi to build up single speed and Im going back and forth on what to do.

    Leave the steel salsa fork

    Carbon fork (probably whisky)

    Suspension fork (Reba or SID)

    This is going to be my only mountain bike and I plan on all day rides and/or some multi-day bike-packing

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Just Ride
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    I'd say keep the fork rigid whatever you do. Suspension will add bob which will make it tougher on the climbs. As for steel or carbon fork. I'll leave that for someone elses opinion. I have a steel fork and it suits me just fine! I have a phobia about carbon anyway.

    phobia = unjustifiable fear that it'll break.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  3. #3
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    keep a steel rigid fork for smoother trails, shorter rides, and the added challenge. get a suspension fork for gnarly or long rides, or when you want to keep up with a group. carbon is nice if you want to make the bike as light as possible, but if you're going to spend some money on a new fork, invest in a Reba or maybe a Manitou Tower.

  4. #4
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    I have ridden them all and I liked the suspension fork the least, i could not get used to the bob and it was killing me on the climbs. I have mixed feelings on the carbon fork (on-one) since it seems a little flexy but it does soak up the small stuff pretty well and lightens the front end up a good amount over the steel, or at least it seems like it does. If the carbon fork ever craps out on me I am going back to steel. something about it just felt right.
    Surly Karate Monkey, SNGLSPD
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  5. #5
    MMS
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    IMHO...for all day rides, multi-day bike packing...suspension. Less banging on the body.

    I have the same Carbon phobia as Cormac, so I don't touch the stuff.
    I'm having more FUN than anybody!

  6. #6
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    Depending on what you want out of your bike (as others have mentioned), but I prefer rigid over suspension, and steel over carbon.

    Suspension is too unpredictable (at least for me), and I tweaked my lower back couple of times on it. On rigid, at least I know what's coming and what I have to do, so for me, less lower back injury on rigid. The maintenance required for suspension fork didn't help either.

    If the price difference between carbon and steel fork is not much, I wouldn't have much problem with carbon forks. But given that the extra dampening and weight savings are minimal, I just can't justify the price of carbon fork.
    Ghisallo Wheels

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  7. #7
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    Me, I'd use the Salsa fork - the Cromoto Grande is excellent in my opinion and I'd prefer it to carbon.

  8. #8
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    I concur with all the opinions concerning carbon. If you race rigid, then carbon. Otherwise steel is the way to go. I have the old style cromoto on my MUSS, and the newer style on my RMB Hammer and Blizzard. It's a great fork for the price and I've never had any issue.
    I think if you are intending to bike pack then there can be an argument for a sus fork, but get something with lockout for the climbs. However, I don't know if you can put a pack on the front end with a sus fork. I will say I do not have much experience bike packing, but I would think that the lower weight of a rigid fork and the ability to put a pack or rack on it, thus allowing the rider to go sans backpack, would be less tiring over the multi day ride.
    No fuss with the MUSS

  9. #9
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    I went with a Fox Terralogic after one rigid trail ride on my SS. The Fox ended up being lighter than the stock rigid fork, it soaks up bumps great, and I don't notice any bobbing while mashing out of the saddle.

  10. #10
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    Currently I'm running three single speed bikes.

    El Mariachi with Reba
    SIR 9 with Carver carbon fork
    Haro Mary SS with On-One steel fork with on-one midge drop bars

    If I had to choose one fork I'd go with the Reba because I like going on long rides (30-75 miles) and it definately doesn't beat me up as bad. That being said, lately I've been bee lining for the SIR9 with carbon fork which seems to ride noticeably better than the steel fork. I know the on-one fork isn't very expensive, so I wouldn't be surprised if nicer steel forks ride better. Fatter tires and ergon grips have helped me come to love the rigids though, not to mention they climb like a scalded monkey and the front end is noticeably lighter.

    Well, now I'm not sure which I'd choose after talking it through...

  11. #11
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    +1 on the steel Salsa fork. We're just on page one of this thread, and you already see the differing responses. There's a lot of variables, so you really need to figure it out for yourself. How rough are your trails? Do you like to fly through the rough stuff? Or, like me, you may love to climb and climb but take it easy on the descents. You may realize that you can do long rides on that fork, unlike those who feel beat up after a couple hours. I personally, haven't really felt beat up on steel or carbon on 4-5 hour rides and I plan on doing my first 6 hour event on SS rigid. I'm going to guess this is simply because of my somewhat conservative riding style and/or the trail conditions aren't as rough as some of the others who tend to feel beat up. I have a full steel rigid HT SS and a 1x9 geared with 140mm Revelation. Although it can be fun on the squish fork on the descents and small jumps, if I had to choose one, it would have to be the steel rigid SS.

    Oh and as far as carbon, I never feared my White Brothers and Niner carbon. The biggest difference as mentioned is weight, but in my opinion, I think certain steel forks tend to feel smoother (hard to describe) than the carbon forks. The only reason I went with steel on my Vassago Jabber, is simply because I figured the Odis was designed around the Jabber/Bander frames and would simply complete the package and overall steel SS rigid experience.

  12. #12
    openwound
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    +1 on Fox Terralogic. I run one on both of my ss bikes.
    -- let's ride

  13. #13
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    Another +1 for Fox Terralogic

  14. #14
    Fat & Single
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    There probably more broken steel forks out there than carbon. The carbon forks are strong as.... I have a niner and a PRO components on 2 different bikes and they ride completely different, I used the PRO fork on my SS before I got the niner carbon and knew the niner was a bit "rougher" but didn't know how much until I started using the PRO fork again.
    Don't label the ride characteristics of carbon forks all the same, these 2 I have are completely different rides.

    Saying that.... rigid steel rides smoother, cuts out trail chatter and dampens vibration, the only penalty being weight.
    Ti O'Beast
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  15. #15
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    I'm glad that this got posted, though I am not sure what I can say that has not already been said.

    I just went from the stock steel fork on my Monocog 29er to an On-One carbon fork. If you have a nice headset and a steel fork you can really have a stiff front end that controls very well. I always thought that stiffness is key (that's what she said). But, my hands were going numb at the end of long descents, especially the faster/smoother ones due to small chatter. I thought I would try carbon for some dampening. I am an aggressive rider (DH by trade) and I was concerned with strength, so i chose not to go with one of the monocoque designs.

    So, I got my On-One, strapped it up and (since there is still >2' of snow in the woods) took it out on the road to try it out! I hated it. At first. The flex from braking and the weird short-wave vibrations from bunny-hopping felt so counter-intuitive to what I believed my front end was supposed to feel like. But I have come around. I have yet to go on any long trail rides yet but testing it on a few trails it does feel much smoother and I think I am going to be very happy at the end of a long day. I do like how light my front end is and I know that is going to help on more technical climbs. I think for longer rides like you are saying, should you decide rigid is the way to go, you will be happy with a carbon fork. My [receding] carbon phobia still says avoid monocoque designs unless you are a die-hard racer or a weight weenie or sponsored with access to free replacements.

    $0.02

  16. #16
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    Carbon, Suspension, Or Steel fork

    Love the Whisky carbon . But with a light squish fork with lock-out you can get the same stiffness climbing when needed. The downhill butter makes up for the 1.5 lb weight penalty.

    Of course if your trails don't beat the crap out of you, stick with rigid all way.

    I suggest taking a look at the Magura TS8 R squish fork of you go that route.
    Selma Ti.

  17. #17
    Ride,Smile, Pedal Damn it
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    I have a on One carbon on my Kona SS. It vibrates under heavy breaking. Clearance with rotor is way too close with one set and rubs on another. Its a great looking fork, but not very friendly for someone whom swaps parts around from bike to bike. I just picked up a vassago Odis. Not on bike yet, but very interested. I would steer away from the On One.

  18. #18
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    HEH, HEH, STEER good pun.

  19. #19
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    I have what looks like a re branded Whiskey #7 fork that came standard on my Civilian Luditte and Love it.....I weigh 215 lbs. and it is solid. My other 29er has a Reba RLT and I will probably replace it over time with the same fork.

    A riding buddy has a new Specialized Carve singlespeed which also came with the chisel fork which also looks similar to the Whiskey #7......He is at around 240 lbs. and has had no issues.

    I say go for the Whiskey fork, no regrets!!

  20. #20
    San Miguel Beer Drinker
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    keep the cromoto grande or go with terralogic.

  21. #21
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    Thanks for all the feedback. I think I'll probably stick with the Salsa fork, unless a great deal comes up. Plus, it matches...
    Carbon, Suspension, Or Steel fork-8691898233_25ec6881fd_o.jpg

  22. #22
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    That is a lovely looking bike, especially with the colour matched Cromoto fork.
    With a black seatpost it would be even better, but I suppose that's Ti?

    When you get tired of it you can send it over here

  23. #23
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    I personally like a suspension fork but a lot depends on your trails and your riding style. I have a REBA with handlebar mounted lockout. The fork is stiff or soft when I want it to be. Especially in the context of single speed, having remote access to the lockout is nice.
    Mark Farnsworth, Raleigh, NC
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  24. #24
    VENI VEDI BIKI
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    I love riding rigid. I prefer my origin 8 crabon fork over the steel odis. It is lighter and dampens the chatter better. But....riding anything at race speed for prolonged periods is not sustainable for me on a rigid fork.....just beats me up too bad. That said, on a Sun morning solo ride, I will take the rigid fork in a heartbeat.
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  25. #25
    Bro Mountainbiker
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    You need a ti frame to match the seatpost and bars!
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

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