Carbon fork durability- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Carbon fork durability

    I'm most likely going to find out the hard way. I ordered a Bontrager Switchblade CF fork for my Rig. I plan on swapping it as needed with the Reba this coming season. But I wondered, how do they fare in crashes? It's not like I endo a lot, but I did have a couple Super Man get-offs last season. The Reba is fine, and so am I.

    Anyone out there have a CF fork and crash test it yet?
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  2. #2
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    Damage done depends on the crash man. Ive been running a pace rc31 for over a year now with no problems. I'm glad to say I have not crashed on it yet, however Ive seen friends take spills on my bike. I always check the fork and its always looked alright. Just keep an eye on it and make sure no cracks are developing. The fork is clear-coated which helps with small scratches, but if you crash hard you might damage the fork and need to replace it.
    Herro prease

  3. #3
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    Carbon can break. But so can everything else!



    blogging @29in.CH

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by collideous
    Now THAT looks like a disappointing day. Ugh. So sorry...

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  5. #5
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    Is that Pace crash damage?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ross W.
    Is that Pace crash damage?
    Wow, I would like to know the same thing. I've never seen a broken Pace on any forum before.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    Now THAT looks like a disappointing day. Ugh. So sorry...

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    I'm more interested in how he's holding the bike up LOL
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  8. #8
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    Is it repairable - ie can you get new legs bonded on?
    "The man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest" Henry David Thoreau (obviously a single speeder)

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  9. #9
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead!

    Please shares some details on how that damage occured.
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  10. #10
    Just hit it with speed
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    That picture pretty much pushed me over to the one side of the fence on carbon forks. Anyone know of a cheap(er), light(er) rigid fork than? Its gotta be 29". I don't fall that often and can't speak of any direct impacts I've had on my forks. But I have been known to go OTB, horizontal on snow/ice, etc. so I gotta have something that won't do that. Not to mention the fact I like having a bike I pretty much just lube the chain on rather than inspect for cracks.

    Sorry to hi-jack.
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  11. #11
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    Pics are from the MTB-News.de forum. First two pics of a fork ridden for 3 years, about 10000km, rider weight 65-70kg. Second picture, rider claims it broke while braking at a speed of 10km/h. How is he holding the bike up? Bike is clamped in a blue workstand.

    - http://www.mtb-news.de/forum/showpos...&postcount=188
    - http://www.mtb-news.de/forum/showpos...&postcount=278
    blogging @29in.CH

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GFisher2001
    That picture pretty much pushed me over to the one side of the fence on carbon forks. Anyone know of a cheap(er), light(er) rigid fork than? Its gotta be 29".

    Sorry to hi-jack.

    Not a problem. I almost bought the all aluminum version of the same fork

    http://bontrager.com/Mountain/Compon...orks/22061.php
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    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  13. #13
    Just hit it with speed
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    I was thinking about that same fork. I'm concerned that it will be a little to harsh with my Alum frame what do you guys think?
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by GFisher2001
    I was thinking about that same fork. I'm concerned that it will be a little to harsh with my Alum frame what do you guys think?
    I went with the carbon version for three reasons

    ... better bump dampening vs the Al version
    ... lighter weight
    ... better than great price

    I've had a carbon Wound-Up on my road bike for ~7 years now. I've been impressed with it compared to Al forks (vitus & Kinesis) I've had on other bikes. The Al forks weren't hash, especially compared to steel.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  15. #15
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    wow

    Quote Originally Posted by collideous
    Pics are from the MTB-News.de forum. First two pics of a fork ridden for 3 years, about 10000km, rider weight 65-70kg. Second picture, rider claims it broke while braking at a speed of 10km/h. How is he holding the bike up? Bike is clamped in a blue workstand.

    - http://www.mtb-news.de/forum/showpos...&postcount=188
    - http://www.mtb-news.de/forum/showpos...&postcount=278
    I am not sure how carbon fails...but one could certainly imagine the stresses during a braking event while bombing down a bumpy hill.

    I wanted one of these forks really bad for the longest time, but never got one because of the manufacture (Pace) stating that clamping the fork in a car rack voids the warranty. I never wanted to take chances to save weight on a fork.
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  16. #16
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    Carbon is a ruged material and would not hesitate to go carbon.

    Unit, you asked how carbon fails. Braking forces would not cause this damage or damage to any carbon fork assuming that the weave and epoxy mix was done right. Most carbon today this is not a consern. Now if you hit a sharp pointy object then this is when carbon fails. A sharp object, or even sharp edge will cause a stress risers and cause it to snap.

  17. #17
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    I've used carbon bars for years, wouldn't think twice about a carbon road fork (or frame), but after breaking 2 carbon mtb frames (Giant MCM's), I decided carbon's not the right material for me to have a mtb frame or fork made of.
    I did just put a Salsa Cro-Moto fork on my Salsa Ala Carte; rides dreamy, and is beautifully made.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by collideous
    Second picture, rider claims it broke while braking at a speed of 10km/h. How is he holding the bike up? Bike is clamped in a blue workstand.
    . . .

    - http://www.mtb-news.de/forum/showpos...&postcount=278
    I wouldn't trust the claims of anyone who clamps their carbon frame by the seat tube.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    I wouldn't trust the claims of anyone who clamps their carbon frame by the seat tube.
    It is amazing the things pick up on when pictures are posted on the internet. Good spy work. I lack a trained eye based on welds but after you mention it I noticed it where the seat tube meats the TT.
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  20. #20
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    as previously stated, any material breaks!
    during a race my friend saw some dude break his custom waltworks fork.. steel.
    pics posted of ti forks broken.
    pics of carbon forks broken, countless carbon road forks broken, but does this stop every manuf from spec'ing carbon forks? noooo

    for the past year i have be riding the sh!t out of my sibex ti fork. ive had countless people snidely remark that it will break, but it hasnt, and i ride it really really hard. i already have a white bros rock solid for my 29er in the making. and you know what? im POSITIVE some of them out there will break! but will mine???? will YOURS? we'll find out...

  21. #21
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    Keep in mind that the original post was for the Bontrager carbon fork which has an aluminun sleeve covered by carbon fiber.
    That would give me a bit more trust in it and should be more durable as well.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by GFisher2001
    I was thinking about that same fork. I'm concerned that it will be a little to harsh with my Alum frame what do you guys think?
    The Race X Lite is carbon, but it has an aluminum core...I'd imagine this would help negate what occured in the pic above...ACC legs (ACC = Aluminum Core Construction).
    unityhandbuilt

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by None
    Keep in mind that the original post was for the Bontrager carbon fork which has an aluminun sleeve covered by carbon fiber.
    That would give me a bit more trust in it and should be more durable as well.

    Yeah! It came today! I was informed about the internal aluminum sleeve today, and yes, I now worry a lot less about dramatic failures.

    My Eggbeater Ti's came too.

    Now I need to log off and put the rig up in the bike stand and do some part swapping!
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  24. #24
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    Carbon Fork Failure

    I've been thinking of getting a carbon fork for my Rig as well. Does the Pace or the Bontrager fork use a carbon steerer tube? I understand the risk of wrecking and the fork hitting a sharp rock. The other risk I worry more about is wrecking and having the stem/handlebars twist (which can happen every so often), scoring the carbon fiber of the steerer tube, and causing a stress riser.

    On the flip side, I have used carbon MTB bars without issue and have carbon forks on my road bike. I have never wrecked this way on my road bike, but handlebars twisting on a MTB seems to happen much more often. Maybe I am just being paranoid, but I would think it could be a real risk. Of the main carbon fiber 29er forks, which ones use carbon fiber steerer tubes? Any thoughts?

  25. #25
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    I don't think Pace forks have a carbon steerer, but I could be wrong.

  26. #26
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    Carbon over Aluminum, hum...
    That's pretty clever use of materials for fork.
    Because the aluminum isn't over-sized it will offer some compliance, while the carbon will gives it some fatigue resistance, the aluminum will give the carbon some impact resistance.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABRider
    I've been thinking of getting a carbon fork for my Rig as well. Does the Pace or the Bontrager fork use a carbon steerer tube? I understand the risk of wrecking and the fork hitting a sharp rock. The other risk I worry more about is wrecking and having the stem/handlebars twist (which can happen every so often), scoring the carbon fiber of the steerer tube, and causing a stress riser.

    On the flip side, I have used carbon MTB bars without issue and have carbon forks on my road bike. I have never wrecked this way on my road bike, but handlebars twisting on a MTB seems to happen much more often. Maybe I am just being paranoid, but I would think it could be a real risk. Of the main carbon fiber 29er forks, which ones use carbon fiber steerer tubes? Any thoughts?
    I believe all of the carbon forks have aluminum steerer tubes. I know my Pace has an aluminum steerer tube, and from what I have seen of the others, they do the same thing.

    Mark

  28. #28
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    For the price ...

    I think I'd just go with a well built Ti fork. For most, SSing is about durabilty and piece of mind against parts failure. To toss my SS in the back of my pickup then worry about the carbon fork getting scratched up would be like worrying about getting mud on my Redwing work boots. Almost defeats the purpose if you ask me. Then again, to each his own.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J
    I think I'd just go with a well built Ti fork. For most, SSing is about durabilty and piece of mind against parts failure. To toss my SS in the back of my pickup then worry about the carbon fork getting scratched up would be like worrying about getting mud on my Redwing work boots. Almost defeats the purpose if you ask me. Then again, to each his own.
    I think we have all seen pictures of broken Ti forks. I went with carbon because if it does fail, I think it would fail more gradually.




  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Englehardt
    I think we have all seen pictures of broken Ti forks. I went with carbon because if it does fail, I think it would fail more gradually.



    Yikes!

  31. #31
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    Yeah...

    I have seen a few myself...

    I am not for or against any material over another (on this topic). I know that ANYTHING can break....I just would hate to have a fork break. I don't care if it is solid steel, It would absolutely suck to have that happen. I can not imagine having a fork break and not crashing hard....really hard.

    On second thought...
    I guess I am more "for" steel...so that statement was a lie I suppose. I don't mean to imply anything about carbon...I just think steel is better for me and my haphazard riding style.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Englehardt
    I think we have all seen pictures of broken Ti forks. I went with carbon because if it does fail, I think it would fail more gradually.
    I don't need to see these Ti forks in broken condition. They look dangerous and prone to failure in brand-spanking new condition. That someone could think they'll hold up with such a tube thickness in the leg to crown junction is beyond belief. Do buyers get a free Titanium nail in the coffin with the purchase of such a fork? My 16 year old Ti McMahon fork has aluminum inserts from the crown down to the canti bosses and it's still pretty darn flexy.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomeGrownSS
    as previously stated, any material breaks!
    during a race my friend saw some dude break his custom waltworks fork.. steel.
    pics posted of ti forks broken.
    pics of carbon forks broken, countless carbon road forks broken, but does this stop every manuf from spec'ing carbon forks? noooo

    for the past year i have be riding the sh!t out of my sibex ti fork. ive had countless people snidely remark that it will break, but it hasnt, and i ride it really really hard. i already have a white bros rock solid for my 29er in the making. and you know what? im POSITIVE some of them out there will break! but will mine???? will YOURS? we'll find out...
    I know two friends who have crashed from broken rigid forks on the MTB, they were two of the worst crashes I've heard of, are you willing to possibly bet your life? Rigid makes no sense to me.
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  34. #34
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    Yeah...

    Quote Originally Posted by Englehardt
    I think we have all seen pictures of broken Ti forks. I went with carbon because if it does fail, I think it would fail more gradually.



    ... and that's why I'm sticking with steel. However, all the ti forks I've seen broken seem to be of the segmented variety for certain manufactorers. I had the same ti fork shown broken in the pic. I rode it for about one week and never felt secure on it with my weight and riding style. Sold and have stuck with steel. Has anyone ever seen higher end ti forks from custom US makers, like Blacksheep, fail?

  35. #35
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    I am 215. I love my front end. I have the carbon switchblade, carbon XXX stem and carbon XXX flat bar. I have done stoppies and bounced on front end, and ridden off of several obstacles 1-2 feet in height. I love, but I know there are limits to cross country parts, ride it appropiatley or buy another bike.
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