rigid fork question: Alu, steel, carbon...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    try driving your car less
    Reputation: jh_on_the_cape's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    rigid fork question: Alu, steel, carbon...

    sorry, this is kinda long. but it's been a long day.
    This is for a cyclocross bike that I ride for commuting primarily. A few cross races and will see some triatholon action this summer, as well. It is a late 90's lugged steel bianchi that i love. I bought it from another guy here locally, for whom it was too small, even after trying a long stem situation. It fits me, but I never changed the stem, so I need some more rise and a bit shorter. And I was going to try out some salsa bell laps while I was at it, and some cross top levers because, because.
    So I go into the bike shop asking about getting some bars and a higher rise stem and the bars. This guy is a purist roadie and thus you MUST have a stem that is parallel to your toptube. If you want some rise, use some spacers on the steertube. But my steertube is cut pretty short.

    So he suggests getting a new carbon cross fork by winwood. then leave the steertube long with some spacers. I would need a new stem anyways, something shorter. but he definitely is high zoot in everything. he rides a merlin cielo, the new ti-lugged carbon tubed wunderbike.

    So the other option, which he sniffled at, was just getting a high rise stem. Something pretty cheap. That is the cheapest option.

    So then the next option involves the fact that the original bianchi steel fork is not on the bike, but i have it. It is a threaded fork, and the guy from whom I bought the bike changed over to a threadless setup and put on a kinesis aluminum fork. So I could put on a threaded headset (existing headset is a cheapo aheadset), and then get a quill stem, which usually have some nice rise to them, and put on the old fork. Which would be kinda cool. I asked if the LBS owner would do that and he was pretty adamant that this would be a step backwards, that the threadless setups are that superior. I have mtn biked long enough to have used threaded setups, and I do remember buggering threads and looseheadsets on my sweet XTR 1 1/4 threaded headset attached to my Halsen PDF inversion fork (OK, enough nostalgia for crappy stuff). are new threadless headsets better? i wouldnt get a king, for sure, but something that is like $40 or so. like a cane creek. is that a permanent solution or a patch? i like how on a threaded setup you can raise or lower the bars a bit with only one bolt.

    So another option is to get a surly crosscheck fork for cheaper than the carbon fork and have the longer steertube. but at that point, i would go for this option: custom steel cross fork from circle A cycles, which is semi-local so I could go pick it up. it's cheaper than the carbon fork, but more than the surly. he actually suggested going the threaded route. i appreciate that honesty.

    carbon fork? old steel fork and threaded setup? new custom steel fork?

    OK... this snow has got to melt soon or i am going to... to... well, i dunno what i am going to do. but it's not going to be pretty. in any case i want my friggen bike to fit. i am always on the hoods and its dumb. maybe i should flip up the drop bars for that sweet ghetto look, with the brake levers pointing up and on the backside of the bars.
    Last edited by jh_on_the_cape; 03-23-2004 at 04:56 PM.
    Only boring people get bored.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Go the custom steel route if you can afford it. If you can't afford it, find a new bike store and slap on a higher rise stem.

  3. #3
    blame me for missed rides
    Reputation: weather's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    just high rise stem. screw that parallel stem sh!t.

  4. #4
    try driving your car less
    Reputation: jh_on_the_cape's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004


    Quote Originally Posted by weather
    just high rise stem. screw that parallel stem sh!t.
    I think I might do that. And then go for the custom fork at the same time as the custom frame, if and when my bianchi ever gives up the ghost (hopefully never!)
    Only boring people get bored.

  5. #5
    all hail der Fuhrer Bush
    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    another option

    steel fork=good, proven for a century-plus
    kinesis fork=harsh ride
    carbon fork=depends who's making it, some okay, some sketchy
    quill stems are increasingly hard to find, especially if you want a special length and rise. I guess Salsa is still making them, I dunno.
    You could get a threaded-to-threadless adaptor quill that lets you mount a threadless stem on a threaded steerer. Then get a threadless 1 1/8" road stem of suitable length, pick one with a lot of negative rise, then run it upside down. Most have decals that read both ways so won't look weird. Nashbar has Ritchey road stems on sale right now. They also carry the quill adaptor.

  6. #6
    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
    Reputation: eSSq's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    threaded headsets

    kinda sucked for MTB use, i always thought, but i've had them last for years and years on my road bike. since you mostly commute on your beloved bianchi, i'd put the original fork back on, pop for a decent threaded headset and find a happy quill stem (i.e. salsa). shelling out huge coin on a fancy-schmancy carpet fiber fork seems like a poor allocation of resources, ditto the custom steel.

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