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bikermike

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hey guys... I don't know how many of you either built up a bike or have switched out a fork on a current bike but I have an all steel base model specialized sequoia and am thinking of upgrading to a carbon fork at some point in time. Thinking of going with the Enve cx disc fork. Any of you riding that fork? How does it ride? Other option is the 3t luteus ii but kinda leaning towards Enve because 12 mmm thru matches what i currently have. Any other good carbon thru axle high clearance forks I'm missing or thoughts on the 3t?
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Nubster

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Reply with quote  #2 
I've built a number of mountain bikes but never a road bike so I don't really have any suggestions. I used a Whiskey No. 9 on one build and it was very nice. Might take a look at them. They have road/CX forks as well. Or there's the old standby Niner forks. Always a good choice if the measurements fit your application.

My latest fork is a Bontrager Bowie but again...it's a mountain bike fork. Got it because I wanted to switch from the Niner QR I had to something with TA and the deal I got on the Bowie couldn't be passed up. And it's a pretty sweet fork even at full price.
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Smithhammer

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Reply with quote  #3 
What's your motivation (other than supposed weight savings)? Not all carbon forks offer the same thing - some are more compliant, some are very stiff, some offer bottle mounts, some don't, etc. Knowing what you're looking for in a fork, besides material, might narrow the recommended options. 
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bikermike

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Reply with quote  #4 
Weight savings is the main reason. I would definitely lean towards the fork being compliant instead of stiff. 12 mm thru axle would be nice as that is what I currently have and I would have to get a new hub to change although if there are clear cut advantages to some of the forks that have a 15 mm I would not be closed to that option. Obviously disc brake. Clearance for 700x45 tires. Tapered steerer. Rake no less then 45mm and preferable 47-50. Bottle mounts on the fork are not necessary although I would not be against them.
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Smithhammer

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Reply with quote  #5 
Ok, given those parameters, it sounds like the Enve may be your best choice. I've ridden the Niner and the Whisky. The Niner is quite stiff, the Whisky a little less so. But the Whisky only comes with a 15mm TA. 

I've ultimately decided that I like more compliance than carbon offers, and gone back to a steel fork.
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bikermike

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Reply with quote  #6 
That is interesting to hear what you said about steel forks. The guy at my LBS told me that a carbon fork would eat up more road buzz. I really want to cut some weight on this bike but not at the expense of comfort. I thought that a carbon fork would offer the best of both worlds with weight and compliance. 
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Smithhammer

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Reply with quote  #7 
What the heck - let's open this can of worms....[smile]

Like so many of these topics, I think you'll find a spectrum of experiences and opinions on this. And, like so many of these topics, it may also depend on how/where one rides. But for me, I continue to scratch my head at why straight-bladed carbon forks have become so popular for riding gravel (pavement is another story). Other than some weight savings (which really only matters if you're racing, if it even matters at all), I just don't see that much of an advantage. 

Carbon forks can offer some vibration reduction in my experience - some designs more than others. Many others are seriously stiff and, while they may offer some minor vibration reduction, they offer little compliance at all.

To me, a well-made tapered and curved steel fork still offers more effective small-bump compliance than any carbon fork I've tried. But for some reason they're considered out-of-date on today's modern bikes, while straight, stiff carbon is considered the sexy upgrade. And for sure, just about every 'pro' gravel racer you see out there seems to prefer the latter, so I guess there is some performance advantage I seem to be missing. Then again, a lot of racers place ├╝ber-lightness at a premium, and are willing to put up with all manner of masochistic punishment to shave a few seconds off their time, so I'm not sure that's the ideal that the rest of us should be aspiring to. 

Again, as I said above, some of it may depend on where you ride, and what the general road quality is. Maybe the roads are relatively well-maintained smooth gravel/dirt, and some vibration reduction is really all that's needed or desired to take the edge off. In other places, the B-roads can be considerably rougher, and this is where a stiff carbon fork starts to fall short for me. And then there is simply subjective preference. 

I do think it's funny that a fondness for steel forks is considered 'retro-grouchy' these days. For me, I could care less about retro - I'm just evaluating materials and designs based on their relative merits, regardless of what's trendy at the moment.
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Laeljon

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Reply with quote  #8 
Check out Colab forks at cycleMonkey..also Lauf forks at CM
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Scree

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Reply with quote  #9 
Anyone have a titanium fork? Or have any knowledge of such a thing?
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