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  1. #1
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    Convince me I don't need a carbon fork

    I spent 2007 riding an all-steel rigid 29er SS, and loved it from the first ride. But then I got a Fox fork, fancy parts, and later moved parts over to a softail 1X9 (which I like and wanna keep). But I've never stopped craving the unique experience of riding a ridid SS and am finally starting to build up a SIR9 frame. My trails are super rocky, so compliance is a primary consideration. From my "used" bin, I have Weirwolf/Exiwolf tires, a carbon Monkeylite DH bar, and ESI grips, but am struggling with what fork to buy. Part of me lusts for Niner's carbon fork (super compliant + super light) but it's $380, on backorder, and looks fugly on my 853 steel frame. In contrast, Niner's steel fork is less compliant and 1+ pounds heavier, but is $200 cheaper, immediately available, and aesthetically matches my frame. I'm not considering any other forks.

    Question: considering I'll be running a comfy carbon bar and fat tires, does this mean its less critical I get a comfy carbon fork? I'm recalling all those road bikes with alum frames spec'd with carbon forks and stays. So I'm thinking/hoping that, since I'll be running a carbon bar, running a carbon fork is less crucial because the vibration-numbing aspect will already be largely covered by the h-bar (and really, how much "give" can a carbon fork have?). I know that quantifying these things is impossible, and I hate posts like this one, but uhh, I gotta ask...

  2. #2
    Training for vacation
    Reputation: gte819s's Avatar
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    Seeing that you spent a season on an all steel rigid then i would say ride what you have instead of acquiring more consumer crap.You are over thinking it.

  3. #3
    surly inbred
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    Compliance? Give? Not a big fan of these terms. $300 on a carbon fork won't gain you any more "give" than dumping a few psi's for free.

    My $.02.

    Rigid is rigid

  4. #4
    CB2
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    I just sold a Niner carbon fork and went back to a steel fork.
    The Niner was more rigid than the steel, which was great on loose fireroad descents, and it had zero brake chatter, but it wasn't more "compliant" or "plush". It was 1 pound lighter.
    My steel fork, a Singular made from Reynold 520, has more flex to it, giving it that "steel is real" zing if you will. In parking lots I notice brake chatter, but not on the trail. Fast, loose descents (where the Niner really shined) it is less stable.
    But you know, I like it fast and loose...


  5. #5
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Quote Originally Posted by TroutBum
    Compliance? Give? Not a big fan of these terms. $300 on a carbon fork won't gain you any more "give" than dumping a few psi's for free.
    Rigid is rigid.

    I think steel forks tend to look better, but I'm not a fan of the Niner fork. It is the inbred result of an unlawful engagement between the Grumman B-2 Spirit and a spork.

  6. #6
    hispanic mechanic
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    There is nothing better to spread fois gras than a Niner carbon fork.
    Stick with the steel, find a happy place with that WWLT at around 20psi, love life.

    Los
    "Shut up body and do what I tell you."
    Jens Voight

    http://teamjva.com/jens-voigt-soundboard/

  7. #7
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    Pugsley fork has uber compliance.

    If I were to go back to strictly rigid, I'd get either the Niner steel or Vicious fork, 25.4 stem and wide Ti bars. And 2.5" tire, tubeless running 20psi.

  8. #8
    Monkey Junkie
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    Just stick with a steel fork. I think carbon bars with ESI grips will be helpful, and you already have them. Low pressure in a fat front tire will be more help than anything else.

    Plus, a carbon fork mixed with super rocky terrain would make me and my wallet nervous. One fall or ding from a rock could lead to you needing another fork.

  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    By unanimous decision: NINER REYNOLDS STEEL FORK.

    Thanks everybody. I don't currently have any fork to put on it, but the Niner steel fork is my next buy.

  11. #11
    Teen Wolf
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    rigid is still rigid, if money is an issue get the steel, if you like the carbon look go for carbon

  12. #12
    hispanic mechanic
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    Quote Originally Posted by p nut
    This video brings up a very valid and important point. If you're going to be hitting your fork with a hammer, go with the carbon Niner.

    Los
    "Shut up body and do what I tell you."
    Jens Voight

    http://teamjva.com/jens-voigt-soundboard/

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr45h
    rigid is still rigid, if money is an issue get the steel, if you like the carbon look go for carbon
    $380 is definitely a bit steep for a rigid fork on a non-raced trail bike. It makes more sense on an all-carbon high-end bike. I'm not exactly thrilled about $180 for a steel fork, either. I'd probably get the Salsa fork for even less, but I like the idea of a color-matching steel frameset.

    It won't be a light frameset or a light build, but I'm planning on running 32X20 which should make it feel snappy enough at slow speeds. Can't wait to get back to my favorite thing in riding: standing climbs on a rigid SS.

  14. #14
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    Here ya go.

    http://www.bustedcarbon.com/

    EDIT: Sorry, conversation already over but site is worth a look anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1
    I spent 2007 riding an all-steel rigid 29er SS, and loved it from the first ride. But then I got a Fox fork, fancy parts, and later moved parts over to a softail 1X9 (which I like and wanna keep). But I've never stopped craving the unique experience of riding a ridid SS and am finally starting to build up a SIR9 frame. My trails are super rocky, so compliance is a primary consideration. From my "used" bin, I have Weirwolf/Exiwolf tires, a carbon Monkeylite DH bar, and ESI grips, but am struggling with what fork to buy. Part of me lusts for Niner's carbon fork (super compliant + super light) but it's $380, on backorder, and looks fugly on my 853 steel frame. In contrast, Niner's steel fork is less compliant and 1+ pounds heavier, but is $200 cheaper, immediately available, and aesthetically matches my frame. I'm not considering any other forks.

    Question: considering I'll be running a comfy carbon bar and fat tires, does this mean its less critical I get a comfy carbon fork? I'm recalling all those road bikes with alum frames spec'd with carbon forks and stays. So I'm thinking/hoping that, since I'll be running a carbon bar, running a carbon fork is less crucial because the vibration-numbing aspect will already be largely covered by the h-bar (and really, how much "give" can a carbon fork have?). I know that quantifying these things is impossible, and I hate posts like this one, but uhh, I gotta ask...

  15. #15
    Hud
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    I have been using a Niner carbon but I'm selling it and going back to a Niner steel. The carbon fork is just too harsh. A mate of mine has found the same thing and is ditching his carbon Niner fork and going back to his Salsa cromoto...
    The twenty-nine inch wheel.

  16. #16
    Bro
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB2
    But you know, I like it fast and loose...
    My mind turned that into something dirty....
    I've made some bad decisions like taking the gears off my bike. So here's the warning: Do not as I say, nor as I do.

  17. #17
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Quote Originally Posted by erik1245
    My mind turned that into something dirty....
    Ah, you also like post pregnancy women.

  18. #18
    CB2
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    The irony of it all

    Quote Originally Posted by CB2
    I just sold a Niner carbon fork and went back to a steel fork.
    The seals blew on my rear brake yesterday, so I'll be racing my back up bike today...with a carbon fork.


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hud
    I have been using a Niner carbon but I'm selling it and going back to a Niner steel. The carbon fork is just too harsh. A mate of mine has found the same thing and is ditching his carbon Niner fork and going back to his Salsa cromoto...
    I thought the carbon would be more compliant than the steel fork. I'd like to try the carbon myself, but not at that price. I'm happy with my Salsa steel fork. But currently, happier on the Reba.

  20. #20
    Bro
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    Ah, you also like post pregnancy women.
    I never said I liked it, only that I thought of it.
    I've made some bad decisions like taking the gears off my bike. So here's the warning: Do not as I say, nor as I do.

  21. #21
    Rockin a Cannon
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    I've got the Origin8 Black Ops carbon fork on my ride, and I love it. It's not too harsh, but still responsive, and I ride hella rocky terrain. I want the Niner but only because I love the look and for the weight, but that ain't worth no $400 to me.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudeus
    I've got the Origin8 Black Ops carbon fork on my ride, and I love it. It's not too harsh, but still responsive, and I ride hella rocky terrain. I want the Niner but only because I love the look and for the weight, but that ain't worth no $400 to me.
    I may be wrong, I frequently am, but I would wager that a large portion of people want the Niner fork for the weight.

    CB2, Can you compare and contrast the carbon fork on your KM to the Niner fork? Because I have an Origin 8 on my SS and the Niner fork, besides being the same make as the frame, would probably take 3/4 of a pound of the total weight of the bike.
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  23. #23
    Hud
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    Quote Originally Posted by p nut
    I thought the carbon would be more compliant than the steel fork. I'd like to try the carbon myself, but not at that price. I'm happy with my Salsa steel fork. But currently, happier on the Reba.
    I thought so too, but I think the 'diamond' shaped leg profile make it stiff in all directions. The steel fork has fore/aft movement (visible to the eye when riding) makes it a whole lot more comfy.
    I should have said I was using the carbon fork on an alloy frame and the steel fork on a steel frame which probably makes a difference too.
    The twenty-nine inch wheel.

  24. #24
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    jumping in here off thread. someone mentioned "chatter". i'm riding a surly fork and avid bb7 mechanical disc brakes. getting some crazy chatter under significant braking load. what's up with this? is it the fork or possible mis-alignment with the disc and pads? i used to get crazy chatter with v-brakes in the back on a previous / similar / steel frame. a salsa brake booster solved all those issues. any tips? thanks!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hud
    I thought so too, but I think the 'diamond' shaped leg profile make it stiff in all directions. The steel fork has fore/aft movement (visible to the eye when riding) makes it a whole lot more comfy.
    I should have said I was using the carbon fork on an alloy frame and the steel fork on a steel frame which probably makes a difference too.
    Yeah, from the reviews I've read, most think the Niner carbon fork is more compliant than Niner's steel fork or most any other steel fork. Selling your carbon fork for a steel fork in hopes of more compliance may be a risky move. I'm curious what the two frames are.

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