Steel vs carbon firestarter fork?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    some know me as mongo
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    New question here. Steel vs carbon firestarter fork?

    Ok all, I'm in the process of trying to figure out which fargo setup I'm going to buy. Really my only question at this point is which fork to make sure I get. I know that either one will actually work fine, but want to know which would be better for my purpose.

    I'm looking to use this fargo mainly for light duty bike packing, but that I mean, I will load it up fairly well with weight but not go off too hardcore into the woods with it. Most of the bike packing will be on rail to trail or tow paths. The other way I will be looking to use the bike is for light mountain biking, pure XC style trails for about 10-20 miles at a time.

    I know the steel fork is probably a bit stronger but will it be too flexy/springy under my 270lbs plus gear weight? My gut has me thinking the carbon fork might be the way to go.

    Price really is not the concern here, nor is the weight.

    your thought?

    Thanks in advance!
    3000 mile goal for 2018
    3402.7 miles ridden in 2017
    3028.4 miles ridden in 2016

  2. #2
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    Fact: Firestarter steel fork uses QR axle, carbon Firestarter is thru axle.

    Fact: Firestarter steel fork can utilize Salsa Downunder rack, carbon Firestarter cannot.

    Fact: Both forks can utilize Salsa Anything Cages.

    Opinion: Salsa carbon Firestarter fork is just about the roughest, unforgiving, bone-jarring ride I've experienced on a bicycle. I marvel at people's fascination with it. But, that is my opinion.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by NDTransplant View Post
    Opinion: Salsa carbon Firestarter fork is just about the roughest, unforgiving, bone-jarring ride I've experienced on a bicycle. I marvel at people's fascination with it. But, that is my opinion.
    Fact: The carbon firestarter can clear 3" tires.
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  4. #4
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    I have had both,I really like the carbon fork better for me. I ride road, gravel and trails on my Fargo. I have had 29x3.0 Knard on there. Also 2.30 big apples for long road/gravel rides. Just put Dura Ace hydro disc brakes on it. Now that is a upgrade!

  5. #5
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    Picked up a 2016 with the steel fork. Nothing wrong with it, but the one upgrade I will do is the carbon fork at some point.

    Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by buell View Post
    Fact: The carbon firestarter can clear 3" tires.
    Good point. And it's STILL rougher than a cob. lol

  7. #7
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    You know I got to thinking my last comment may have appeared inflammatory...

    Actually Salsa's carbon Firestarter is a very light and strong fork. And running 29+ would certainly take the 'edge' off, if there even is an edge. I found it to be stiffer than I like (hahahaha insert cute joke here)

    Mine was on a Salsa Fargo as well; I chose it because I like the thru-axle vs quick release on the steel fork.

  8. #8
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    I just finished debating the same thing & ended up ordering the carbon firestrater 27.5+ model for a few reasons:

    It has eyelets that will fit a front pizza rack/rando rack.
    Steel firestarter forks can be found for $100 used.
    The 29er rims on the steel fork version are not wide enough to run 29+ tires.
    My plan is 27.5" model, 29/29+ spare set of wheels, and maybe eventually a bluto fork.

  9. #9
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    Anyone with experience on the Carbon Firestarter and also on a Niner Carbon fork?

    I have the Niner Carbon on my El Mariachi, had been thinking of the Salsa fork in order to utilize the Anything Cages/Bags. I like the feel of the Niner, is the Salsa similar or harsher in ride quality? 2.2/2.3 tires FWIW

  10. #10
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    I might pull the trigger on a barely used gen 4 and have questions about the two Firestarter forks and OEM Salsa hubs still unanswered by an email message sent to Salsa. My aim is fender and rack compatibility the composite fork does not appear to have.

    1. Do the OEM Salsa hubs convert to QR for the steel Firestarter compatibility?
    2. Are there fender mount options for the composite Firestarter fork I've missed? So far a down tube mount fender is what I'm coming up with as a solution for the composite fork.

    I know a more road oriented bike would solve mounting options but it's hard to not consider the barely used X9 Fargo I can get for less than a Tiagra Vaya.

    Thank you for any insights.
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