Changing your road bike fork can make a big difference to how your bike feels, in terms of handling, weight and comfort. The majority of aftermarket road forks are made from carbon, a material famed for being light and strong. Carbon road bike forks also do a great job of reducing road buzz, which aids comfort on long rides. Adding carbon forks, such as the Ritchey Pro Road, to a road bike is therefore a great way to drop some weight from your bike while improving comfort.
Full carbon road forks have a completely carbon construction, including the steerer tube. These tend to be the lightest, but most expensive road bike forks. Make sure when you’re cutting the steerer tube that you use a proper carbon cutting blade. There are forks out there which have carbon legs, but with an aluminium steerer, giving almost the same performance as a full carbon, with a little added weight and less cost – the M:Part Rigid 700c carbon road fork is constructed in this manner.
If you’re just looking for a cheap replacement fork, then there’s no harmin looking at an aluminium fork - they might not be as light as a carbon fork, but they’ll cost a lot less.
Buying the Right Sized Fork
When buying a new road bike fork check that the steerer tube and brake mounts are compatible with your current set up. Most modern bikes will either need a tapered steerer tube (1.5” at the bottom, 1 1/8” at the top) or a straight 1 1/8” steerer tube. Older bikes may require a 1” steerer, as found on the Raleigh 1” A-Head and Threaded forks.
Most road bikes come with calliper brakes, but disc brakes are becoming more popular too, for which you’ll need a disc compatible fork, such as the Enve 2.0 Road Tapered Disc fork.