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  • Carbon fork or new gravel type frameset?
  • djl1
    Member

    Hi,

    Im hoping you can help me out with bike choice.

    Currently have a bird zero tr with 130mm fork but with 2 young kids and a busy job, most of my cycling is commuting 3 miles to work or an hour of cycle paths and fire roads when i get the chance – i think it will be this way for a few years.

    I was thinking about getting an exotic carbon fork to save a bit of weight but was concerned about the light front when climbing which got me thinking would i be better off selling the frame and getting something like a sonder camino frameset and switching my kit onto that with some 2 inch tyres?

    Going round in circles, so would appreciate some views form people who know a lot more about bikes than me.

    Thanks

    Premier Icon Dickyboy
    Subscriber

    I wouldn’t have thought the lighter front end would in itself give you any problems, plus if you do get a chance for some decent riding you could always pop the sus forks back on.

    I run a rigid 29er for short commute and general bridleway/backroad dossing. Perfect. We call it rufty tufty round our way. I’ve also built up about 5 other bikes for mates to do the same thing. Basically take a 29er HT and put an Exotic fork on it, carbon bar, Ergons, faster tyres and so on (‘burts, aspens etc.). Like a gravel bike but much more fun/stable/capable offroad.

    Do it. You’ll love it. Then get right into it and weenie the hell out of it. My bike (Scott Scale) is sub 9kg so lighter than most gravel bikes.

    Premier Icon hardtailonly
    Subscriber

    Yep, whilst I am an absolute gravel/CX bike fan, unless you can afford n+1, I would stick with what you have and get a rigid fork and some lighter-treaded, faster-rolling tyres (or a second set of wheels with faster tyres fitted). Then it’s an easier swap on the occasions you can do some proper MTB-ing.

    kerley
    Member

    I would just put the carbon fork on as buying a gravel frame and putting all the same parts on it (including the flat bars) would seem a pointless exercise – along with the fact the gravel bike is made for drops.

    For a lot of peoples uses a rigid 29er with fast tyres on it is probably better than a gravel bike.

    qwerty
    Member

    Clearly you need a WHOLE new bike & wardrobe, you could even purchase gravel shoes to match the incoming new bike.

    Can’t say I’ve become a wheelie expert while cycling uphill on tarmac, having replaced the alloy ~1.6Kg fork with a carbon ~600g one years ago, while recently using the rear fat wheel and 4″ JJ and the lighter 29er and 38mm Gravdal up front. 😆 😉

    Premier Icon a11y
    Subscriber

    Echo what others are saying: Exotic carbon fork, carbon bars, barends, and fast-rolling tyres on a 29er hardtail works for my commuting using a mix of offroad trails, forest paths, fireroads, surfaced trailcentre (tame), canal path and tarmac. I’ve never got on with drops so this is the next best thing to a ‘gravel’ bike for me.

    Don’t underestimated how awesome barends are.

    I’ve now gone full monocoque Exotic fork with the carbon steerer and its lovely. Currently 700×47 Smart Sams but have 700×50 (~1.9″) Clement Xplors to fit in future. Bargain Ritchey carbon flat bar. 1×10. Full ‘guards.

    djl1
    Member

    Thanks everyone

    Someone mentioned to me that as its a longish bike the front might be twitchy with a carbon fork uphill, looks like i can ignore that and get cracking with ordering a fork and some decent rolling tyres.

    harvey
    Member

    the head angle can affect handling a lot. there is a great wee app on iPhone – measurement app – which has an angle measurement tool. great fun for assessing your head and seat tube angles with a new rigid fork ! i love messing about with interchanging sus and rigid forks

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