Carbon fork construction difference

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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biwa
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:39 pm

by biwa

Is there any difference in reliability and performance between carbon forks with aluminum/stainless crown race and dropout insert (e.g. http://www.columbustubi.com/eng/4_2_5.htm) and full carbon ones with no non-carbon part (e.g. Enve 2.0 and Ritchey WCS)? Or is it just different manufacturing processes due to cost and other factors?

Any experience with the Columbus Futura SL above and the Ritchey WCS would be appreciated too!

by Weenie


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wheelsONfire
Posts: 2961
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:15 am
Location: NorthEU

by wheelsONfire

biwa wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:38 pm
Is there any difference in reliability and performance between carbon forks with aluminum/stainless crown race and dropout insert (e.g. http://www.columbustubi.com/eng/4_2_5.htm) and full carbon ones with no non-carbon part (e.g. Enve 2.0 and Ritchey WCS)? Or is it just different manufacturing processes due to cost and other factors?

Any experience with the Columbus Futura SL above and the Ritchey WCS would be appreciated too!
Just buy a good carbon fork. I have several forks (carbon), no issues at all.
Bikes:

Ax Lightness Vial EVO Race (2018.12.21)
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=156137
Paduano Racing Fidia (kind of shelved)
Open *UP* (2016.04.14)


Ex bike; Vial EVO D

biwa
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:39 pm

by biwa

wheelsONfire wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:32 pm
Just buy a good carbon fork. I have several forks (carbon), no issues at all.
Not questioning carbon forks in general, but am interested in the potential differences between the different constructions/details. Enve 2.0 is a popular choice, and I have two with no problem so far. Wonder if other ones are equally good or better, in this case, Columbus Futura SL and Ritchey WCS.

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pdlpsher1
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Location: CO

by pdlpsher1

Personally I prefer all carbon 'monocoque' forks with no metal parts. Forks with metal parts use glue between the metal and carbon. Typically all carbon forks have the same carbon fibers run continuously down the entire length of the fork, thus increasing the strength. Lastly many monocoque forks like the Ritchey WCS have an integrated carbon crown which saves some weight by not having to use a metal crown. In my case the integrated crown saved me 25g. which is the weight of the Chris King steel crown.

biwa
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:39 pm

by biwa

pdlpsher1 wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:59 am
Personally I prefer all carbon 'monocoque' forks with no metal parts. Forks with metal parts use glue between the metal and carbon. Typically all carbon forks have the same carbon fibers run continuously down the entire length of the fork, thus increasing the strength. Lastly many monocoque forks like the Ritchey WCS have an integrated carbon crown which saves some weight by not having to use a metal crown. In my case the integrated crown saved me 25g. which is the weight of the Chris King steel crown.
So from the official product description of Columbus Futura SL (highlights mine): "The Futura Caliper SL fork is made with high-modulus T700 monocoque carbon fiber. The special CNC machined shim integrated into the base of the steerer tube guarantees an increased functioning with the headset and bearings, reducing vibrations, maintenance and unnecessary stress on the frame"

The Columbus Futura SL also claims monocoque construction but with a metal shim at the bottom of the steerer. As for the justification of that shim, it claims the benefits above in bold. Am not sure if those're just marketing talk or actual benefits by design. Any opinion?

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Valy
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 11:16 pm

by Valy

As the metal shim goes, I think it's a sensible addition in the real world.

A CFRP mating to a bearing just doesn't feel right. Sure the support in terms of stress is there but imagine grit getting between the race and the bearing. I am surprised there aren't more issues with such races.

Buuut I have not direct experience with such design.

Another thing about carbon drop outs. I imagine they are a weight optimisation more than anything. I much prefer the thought of metal drop outs, even over solid CFRP.

TheKaiser
Posts: 643
Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:29 pm

by TheKaiser

Valy wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:46 am
As the metal shim goes, I think it's a sensible addition in the real world.

A CFRP mating to a bearing just doesn't feel right. Sure the support in terms of stress is there but imagine grit getting between the race and the bearing. I am surprised there aren't more issues with such races.

Buuut I have not direct experience with such design.
Well the bearing is almost invariably a sealed cartridge bearing, with inner and outer metal races, so it's not like the CFRP is actually serving as a race with balls rolling upon it. The taper on a fork with an integrated CFRP bearing seat is no different than a carbon frame having an integrated CFRP bearing seat, of which there are many, except that the frame is interfacing with the outer race, and the fork with the inner race of the cartridge. Since there isn't any movement in the junction, if you have some grease or other water repellant goo in there, there shouldn't be much opportunity for grit to work its way in. That assumes that you keep the headset properly tensioned. If the headset is used loose for any significant period of time, all bets are off.

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Valy
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 11:16 pm

by Valy

That's what I mean. Maintenance slips sometimes and I'd take a penalty of a few grams with increased durability every single time.

Fair point about integrated headsets. Though could say there is more area in contact with frame as its the outside diameter of a bearing vs inside diameter of the crown race interface.

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Lewn777
Posts: 833
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 am

by Lewn777

Fully carbon are better because they are of one piece construction, obviously lighter and stronger. However in the real world people are gorillas and can eaily delamiante a carbon fork header hacksawing it short with a blunt hacksaw blade and eyballing it after a few beers. Then there is should you use a long heavy plug or lightweight one? Damn the star fangled nut does a lightweight, affordable and secure job in an alloy tube. So for many a solidly constructed carbon legs alloy header fork might be better for the ham-fisted home mechanic. :lol:

by Weenie


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