I am everything that is old school about bikes. Steel’s my first choice for frames, and I roll single-gear like I did as a kid, in part because it’s pure and simple and because I’m still very much a kid at heart.

So in the wake of my fork-bender a couple Tuesdays ago (which aged the kid in me substantially and put him in a corner with a dunce cap on) I was faced with a rather surprising limited range of online replacement options of the one-inch threaded steerer tube variety. I found nothing on performancebike .com and the only thing nashbar.com had for me to those specific specs was one made of carbon fiber.

Now, I’ve nothing against the higher-quality materials. If bikes can be made better, stronger, faster than so be it. But with that technology usually comes a pricetag at which I’m inclined to scoff and pfffft. Then there’s the fact that such lighter materials are lost on me because on a bike I’m always a clydesdale, never a thoroughbred. My ass may be one made a bit less flabby from the thousands of miles I’ve slowly and steadily logged this year, but it’s the hind end a great dane not a greyhound.

In short, I was entirely retiscent to purchase the aformentioned forks — and probably would not have had:

  1. I been presented any other options, and
  2. This item had not been priced so palatably at $90

As mentioned in the previous post, mounting them on the bike proved a success Saturday morning, but despite an earnest desire to take Le Noir and her new front end for a bit of a test ride, I never got around to it. So it was only with this morning’s commute did I get my first taste of what these carbon fiber forks might be like.

And I just have one thing to say…

AWESOME!

I’ve long heard of carbon fiber for lightness, responsiveness and strength, and that’s no lie. Less aware was I of its magically delicious shock-absorbing capabilities and wow, ain’t that the truth. On the way to work I found myself riding over rugged stuff I’d typically avoid just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. And I wasn’t. Low-end they may be, but Le Noir’s new fork makes the road regularly traveled that much smoother.

Now if they only made carbon fiber underwear!