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Weight difference between steel and carbon forks

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Weight difference between steel and carbon forks

Old 09-24-21, 01:37 PM
  #26  
63rickert
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Those are weights for basic production factory forks. Current carbon forks begin at a bit less than 300. Quality steel forks are 650 or so. Steel obviously varies a lot with length of steerer.

I have held and weighed a 1920s steel fork that weighed 440 grams. That was with a long steerer. A fork that had been raced in pro six day. Used harder than any consumer will ever use a fork. Use case does not include those who think a fork is a dandy crowbar.

For a Trek 7.1 fork weight is meaningless.
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Old 09-24-21, 01:53 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
carbon is lighter than steel
......and a lot more fragile and weaker too.
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Old 09-24-21, 02:25 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
......and a lot more fragile and weaker too.
yeah ... why risk your life with that dangerous and unproven technology which we have been using for the past fifty years with no issues?

Carbon Bicycle Forks: Cautions, Facts and Misconceptions | IsolateCyclist
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Old 09-24-21, 03:32 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Those are weights for basic production factory forks. Current carbon forks begin at a bit less than 300. Quality steel forks are 650 or so.
The OP's fork is a basic factory production model as will be its likely replacement. I didn't post the chart as a comprehensive comparison of all forks.
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Old 09-26-21, 01:36 PM
  #30  
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Thanks to everyone for your comments!

After reading this posts, I'm considering to buy a different fork and instead of replacing mine with another one of TREK but made of carbon, since there was no way to know if it was much lighter or not, and since it was on an FX and I don't think they will focus a lot on lightening it, I think the best thing would be to buy one of proven quality and known weight, like a "Ritchey Comp Carbon/Alloy Cross Fork" (540g with uncut steerer).

With that fork I think I can possibly lighten my bike by (almost) 2 pounds or so, which I think is a remarkable amount.

...BUT... that Ritchey fork "axle-to-crown" is 14mm sorter (391mm, when the trek FX forks are 405mm).

I have read that would cause a slight change in the steering angle, making the bike a bit more unstable (which I do not care too much about, since I do not go through difficult terrain and only use it on asphalt), but at the same time, that's better for when you're climbing hills. Is that so, ...isn't it?
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Old 09-26-21, 05:52 PM
  #31  
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I wouldn't mess with a different-sized fork.
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Old 10-01-21, 10:20 AM
  #32  
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Hi!
Just in case anyone is interested:

I just got the FX Forks weights directly from Trek!!!

The FX 7.1 Steel Fork weight a "massive" 1635grs, and the 100% seize and measures compatible 7.4 FX carbon fork is: 765gr...
I can save 870gr! (1.92 pounds).

I think that those 2 pounds less are enough weight saving to justify investing 200 dollars on it (for me, at least!)

Last edited by JBerto; 10-01-21 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 10-01-21, 10:48 AM
  #33  
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Literally such a useless upgrade ..
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Old 10-01-21, 10:52 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Literally such a useless upgrade ..

Maybe... for you (not for me).
Thanks for your useful contributions to this thread!

Last edited by JBerto; 10-01-21 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 10-01-21, 10:55 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by JBerto View Post
Maybe... for you
Lets recap here.

You are trying to save 1 or 2 lb, on a bike with absolutely bottom of the barrel low end components.

You don't seems to know how long the ATC or offset for your original fork is when sourcing a replacement. Or steerer tube length. Do you?

If you are stuck with this bike and want to make it go faster, you'd be better off upgrading the drivetrain first, then maybe the fork and wheelset if you really want to get this ridiculous.

With a bike like that, you leave it stock and ride it the way it is.
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Old 10-01-21, 11:00 AM
  #36  
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let me just remind everyone that this is the bike op is considering slapping a rigid fork onto. Without even know any details about which length or offset fork he would actually need.

fwiw, I have a 2012 Trek FX 7.3 with slightly better components. Its not a bad bike. All I've changed on it other than maintenance was a crankset with longer crank arms.

Let me make this easier for you. The fork atc is 405mm and the offset is 44mm. I know this because I actually considering changing the fork myself at one point... only because I was thinking to try something with an increased offset for better handling response. It would never occur to me that trying to save weight on a basic commuter bike should ever be considered..

I didn't do it because I like the extra longer steerer tube on the stock fork for mounting the stem higher.
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Old 10-01-21, 11:01 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
......and a lot more fragile and weaker too.
Spewing laughably inaccurate misinformation is basically what the internet is for, but you really do this at a remarkably high level.
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Old 10-01-21, 11:07 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Lets recap here.

You are trying to save 1 or 2 lb, on a bike with absolutely bottom of the barrel low end components.

You don't seems to know how long the ATC or offset for your original fork is when sourcing a replacement. Or steerer tube length. Do you?

If you are stuck with this bike and want to make it go faster, you'd be better off upgrading the drivetrain first, then maybe the fork and wheelset if you really want to get this ridiculous.

With a bike like that, you leave it stock and ride it the way it is.
In the previous post I already said that I've made "tons of upgrades" to my bike:.

I have fully changed drivetrain
I have fully changed wheelset.
I have changed even the seatpost!
...and even the chain and botton bracket has been changed for upgraded and lighter versions!!!, LOL!

I've already save a lot of weight, and the only "heavy" part of the bike right now is that extremely heavy 1635grams steel fork (frame is alloy, and it fit really well to my size and I'm very comfortable with that frame, so no need to change it).

AND yes, I've asked to TREK and the offset, ATC, size... of both forks are identical and (as I already said), 100% compatible...

The only thing that remain "original" is the frame and the fork... thats all.

So, summarizing: My FX 7.1 is very different and "upgraded" bike than original, and both forks are absolutelly compatible, and in that conditions, 900gr (2 pounds) less is a remarkable saving.

Last edited by JBerto; 10-01-21 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 10-01-21, 11:28 AM
  #39  
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Be objective (if possible) and give us some feedback after the switch.


Personally, the ‘better wheels and supple tires’ has always been my favorite upgrade = tubular wheels/tires. Rotating weight is where gains are most notable. How much do your cycling shoes weigh? Stiff soles help too.


Light is nice, but waaay over emphasized for non-competitive cyclists with upright riding positions. Helping the world economy by being a consumer is Good. Thanks.
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Old 10-01-21, 11:45 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Be objective (if possible) and give us some feedback after the switch.

Personally, the ‘better wheels and supple tires’ has always been my favorite upgrade = tubular wheels/tires. Rotating weight is where gains are most notable. How much do your cycling shoes weigh? Stiff soles help too.

Light is nice, but waaay over emphasized for non-competitive cyclists with upright riding positions. Helping the world economy by being a consumer is Good. Thanks.
Yep, I'll give you feedback after using it for a while.

100% agree: Rotating weight saving is a lot more notable... but I already did it, and now the only heavy part of all the bike is that fork with that "massive" weight of 1635grams.
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Old 10-01-21, 11:49 AM
  #41  
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...You can add the TREK FX forks to the list:

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Old 10-01-21, 12:00 PM
  #42  
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As someone who went to great lengths to upgrade an entry level Cannondale road bike, I fully support upgrading anything with whatever you want. Ironically, the only remaining original component, aside from the handlebars, is the steel fork.

A bonus to upgrading whatever you have instead of just buying a different bike is learning and improving your wrenching skills. Careful though, this can lead to wanting a second bike, maybe a third. Or perhaps a dozen.

So far, it seems you've had a good attitude in spite of some other members who have been...less than helpful with their comments. Definitely let us know how the swap goes.
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Old 10-01-21, 12:15 PM
  #43  
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Since this is a thread about weight. Weigh your wheels and tires. I’ll do the same with some 40 yo tubular wheels with 28 mm tires.

edit: ok, on kitchen scale they weigh 2644 gms. Front = 1058; rear = 1586.
Campy hubs (not Record), Campy skewers, Mavic330 rims, Veloflex Vlaanderen 28s. Spokes = 32 & butted. Rear wheel has Sunrace 6 speed freewheel.

Last edited by Wildwood; 10-01-21 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 10-01-21, 02:36 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Pantah View Post
As someone who went to great lengths to upgrade an entry level Cannondale road bike, I fully support upgrading anything with whatever you want. Ironically, the only remaining original component, aside from the handlebars, is the steel fork.
I replaced the broom handle, then I replaced the worn-out bristles .... twice, then four more times ... then I had to replace the handle again a couple times ..... that old broom has been around forever.

Pretty much I'd say the bike's identity goes with the frame. Once you replace the frame .... I mean, if all you kept was the seat-post clamp binder bolt from the C'dale and Everything else came from somewhere else .... would it still be the same Cannondale?

if you used one part of the old C'dale on 17 different bikes, would they All be the same old Cannondale?
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Old 10-01-21, 02:43 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Literally such a useless upgrade ..
Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Lets recap here.
You are trying to save 1 or 2 lb, on a bike with absolutely bottom of the barrel low end components.
You don't seems to know how long the ATC or offset for your original fork is when sourcing a replacement. Or steerer tube length. Do you?
If you are stuck with this bike and want to make it go faster, you'd be better off upgrading the drivetrain first, then maybe the fork and wheelset if you really want to get this ridiculous.
With a bike like that, you leave it stock and ride it the way it is.
Hang on here. There should be an absolute ban on you criticizing anyone over their plans to update/upgrade an entry level bike. You flooded this forum with ignorant claims, posed as facts, about geometry, components, and upgrades to your own entry level bikes. If anything, it is justifiable to upgrade this FX more than it was justified for you to do anything to your bikes. You criticizing someone for geometry is just too rich to handle since I remember that GT you rode.
You claimed you were going to put a $400 crank on a bike that sells for $50 on a good day.
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Old 10-01-21, 03:01 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Since this is a thread about weight. Weigh your wheels and tires. I’ll do the same with some 40 yo tubular wheels with 28 mm tires.

edit: ok, on kitchen scale they weigh 2644 gms. Front = 1058; rear = 1586.
Campy hubs (not Record), Campy skewers, Mavic330 rims, Veloflex Vlaanderen 28s. Spokes = 32 & butted. Rear wheel has Sunrace 6 speed freewheel.
Those certainly weigh less than any set of hybrid wheels and tires and tubes would and would be inappropriate for a hybrid, so it's unclear what the point of the comparison would be.

I once had a set of Hi-E tubular wheels that were insanely light. Ultra-thin-wall aluminum with reinforcements riveted at each spoke hole. Never liked them. Scary light. They made every bike I tried them on seem top-heavy.
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Old 10-01-21, 03:44 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I replaced the broom handle, then I replaced the worn-out bristles .... twice, then four more times ... then I had to replace the handle again a couple times ..... that old broom has been around forever.

Pretty much I'd say the bike's identity goes with the frame. Once you replace the frame .... I mean, if all you kept was the seat-post clamp binder bolt from the C'dale and Everything else came from somewhere else .... would it still be the same Cannondale?

if you used one part of the old C'dale on 17 different bikes, would they All be the same old Cannondale?
These are the dilemmas I face when thinking about my motorcycle. I've put so many miles on it (160,000 miles) and worn out/upgraded so many things that the list of parts NOT replaced is *much* shorter than the list of replaced parts. When my mechanic friends and I are feeling keen on mechanical semantics, we'll discuss how viable it is to still call my motorcycle still a 1990 Kawasaki EX500.

That motorcycle has additional relevance to this discussion. It was not worth much brand new and was Kawasaki's entry level offering (along side the 250), so it was all sorts of budget cheap. I got it for free 10 years ago from a friend. Now, it MIGHT be worth a grand, probably less. I've done such silly things as throw a thousand bucks of suspension upgrades to it. Helped the handling a significant amount, but it's still a thousand dollar motorcycle. And you know what? I love my cheap, spaghetti noodle framed motorcycle. If I had to choose, I'd keep it over my much nicer Ducati that only comes out on the weekends. Something to be said for sentimental attachment and an unrivaled knowledge of the inner workings of a machine to keep it around.
As an amusing bonus, I now get to ride it down the street and show it to said previous owner friend's kids and tell them how it used to be their dad's first motorcycle

As for that old Cannondale of mine, it's long since been eclipsed as both the nicest ride in the fleet and as the regular rider, but I'll be damned if I'm not buried with it!
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Old 10-01-21, 06:01 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Those certainly weigh less than any set of hybrid wheels and tires and tubes would and would be inappropriate for a hybrid, so it's unclear what the point of the comparison would be.

I once had a set of Hi-E tubular wheels that were insanely light. Ultra-thin-wall aluminum with reinforcements riveted at each spoke hole. Never liked them. Scary light. They made every bike I tried them on seem top-heavy.
My wheels are not ‘top of the line’, or extremely light weight and with 32 spokes plus 28mm tires (as like the Owner’s bike). Could easily have been on an Italian city bike of the time. Heavy steel screw-on freewheel, 35 year old wheelset = come on man! Not Hi-E.

the point of comparison for someone who has admittedly upgraded drivetrain and other stuff and wants best performance = thru a fork change? might be better served with another wheel upgrade on a bike that is comfortable and obviously ‘loved’. Especially, if said fork change affects the geometry of the front-end?!?

besides, it is a point of comparison with hard data. Not supposition.

Last edited by Wildwood; 10-01-21 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 10-13-21, 01:47 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by JBerto View Post
:
Well... I've just received the carbon fork for my bike... and it weight a lot less than what TREK said:


Real weight: 616gr carbon/Alloy TREK FX fork 😀

Last edited by JBerto; 10-13-21 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 10-13-21, 03:05 PM
  #50  
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$200 to drop nearly 2lbs sounds pretty reasonable to me.

ignore the haters.
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