You can have your CF, IMO
Posted by: bartc on Dec-17-12 12:02 AM (EST)
I won't ever go for a CF fork, period! You gotta be kidding. You know from what you wrote that its failure is dramatic and highly dangerous. Even the manufacturers warn you to have it inspected any time it takes a bruise, whether or not you can see any evidence of damage.
All its virtues I said the same as you. All Aluminum's vitures and Ti as well, I said the same as you. Steel is still a wonderful alternative when you want a less expensive frame (and especially a fork) that is less prone to failure, can be made stiff or a bit forgiving too. Don't count the duchess out; she's still royalty.
Ti is best of all. What makes it expensive is more than that it's labor intensive. It requires a special atmosphere in order to weld it. So it's a slow going process with a not cheap material using expensive equipment to work it.
CF is a wondrous material with lots of great uses in many fields. Aviation, audio, automobiles, just to name a few of hundreds at least. I'm not knocking CF, just pointing out that it is NOT the be all and end all that many bikers think it is due to clever marketing, which you also seem to recognize.
Roadies especially worship light weight, and may sacrifice safety for that goal; road racers certainly do. What's really ironic was written up in the bike mags 20 years ago: It costs far less and is far more effective to lose weight on your body than on your bike! And the most dramatic difference on a bike is what you carry on your wheel assembly, not on your frame.
I'm not at all sure that, other than for portaging, weight in a kayak is quite as dramatic in effect in the water as poundage on a bicycle wheelset. On that I'm willing to be corrected.