Steel 29er forks — 15mm axles and tapered steerers, worth it?

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  • Steel 29er forks — 15mm axles and tapered steerers, worth it?
  • Picto
    Member

    When I ran steel forks with straight steerer and q/r drop outs I don’t ever remember thinking I had too much flex in the front end.

    Having ridden bikes with tapered steerer and 15mm screw in dropouts I am still not convinced they are whole lot stiffer.

    Suspect the wheel build you have will make more difference re lateral flex.

    Tapered steerers can help a lot with reducing fore-aft flex when braking hard. One of the most highly rated rigid forks is the Jones Truss, which is stiffer than pretty much anything.

    I’m looking for a steel 29er fork to switch between 29er and 27+, and there are at least a couple of options with tapered steerer’s and 15mm axles (Soma and Salsa)

    The 15mm axle seems a good idea as more accurate steering makes sense, although I’m not sure it is worth the cost

    Tapered steerers seem potentially daft though — does the flex of a thinner steerer not help with a steel rigid fork?

    Quite hard to find reviews out there for these so anyone had any experience?

    Hmm, yea good point about the Jones fork, although perhaps that is largely due to the massive front tyres people run with those — with a standard 29er wheel I wonder if that stiffness is quite so nice…

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    Thu-axles and taper steerers on steel forks are mostly about compatibility with sus forks so you can swap in/out. Zero other need for a taper steel steerer imo and thru-axles are a questionable need imo, for steering accuracy it’ll make little difference on a rigid fork compared to dropout and blade design so unless you have to have the max stiffness or want wheel compatibility I’m not sure I’d be that fussed. I guess if you really wanted burly blades a taper steerer can add crown size to make the join there.

    with a standard 29er wheel I wonder if that stiffness is quite so nice…

    It really is, but that’s down to stiffness under braking without harshness generally – not an easy thing to do with a std cantilevered fork design.

    slimjim78
    Member

    checking in as have been thinking of dabbling with the Salsa tapered option (although it seems a hefty option)

    I picked up some salsa cromoto’s in the end, tapered and 15mm

    Haven’t ridden them yet, but they look nice and aren’t really that much heavier than the cheap carbon Exotics they replaced

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