Scandinavian_dirt

I am about to by a new bike totally focused on gravel. I have quite a few alternatives, but is now pondering a more basic question - steel or aluminium forks? Is carbon the only serious alternative for a fork if you do not want a to harsh ride on gravel? Are some steel/alu forks better than others for comfort? Steel vs alu - is one possible but not the other? I am quite an experienced road and mtb rider, but am now almost totally committed to gravel.
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Volsung
Any material CAN be built into something good.  However, I don't think a good aluminum fork exists.  If anyone says "aluminum is too harsh.  Steel is too flexy" should be ignored.
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bobknh
Volsung wrote:
Any material CAN be built into something good.  However, I don't think a good aluminum fork exists.  If anyone says "aluminum is too harsh.  Steel is too flexy" should be ignored.

+1 -- there are good forks and bad forks- or at least optimal forks for a specific bike and budget. The bike and intended use determines the optimum fork design and material. The bike manufacturer selects what he thinks are an optimal component mix and design. Select the one that best meet your budget and planned use - regardless of the material used in the fork or for that matter, any of the other components of your bike.
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Mudge
If your fork isn't absorbing bumps and road chatter enough, lower your tire pressure.
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dkoor
Much depends on tires, that's for sure. My ride, CX bike or should I rather say Gravel bike, doesn't really do great job at absorbing bumps and holes etc. However, when I lower tire pressure it becomes much more tolerable. I'm riding Kona Rove from first production year, all steel bike. Many folks have been claiming steel to be "more comfortable" etc. than other materials used in bike industry, but in all honesty, I wouldn't exactly put my bet on that one... on the other hand bike handles nicely and is relatively fast.

I was thinking on upgrading to Ritchey carbon cx fork, but it's not exactly cheap upgrade and I'm not sure I'd be getting much apart from decent weight shaving. So, for now it's on hold.

Personally, if I went for fork upgrade it will certainly be carbon (weight reduction -> speed for about the same comfort level). Higher end alu like that new Fox AX which improves comfort are nice, but...
I'm not a 'purist' by any means but I think that one kinda defeats gravel bike purpose with full blown suspension fork... 29" HT should be doing that job.
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AndyTetmeyer
It has been my experience that steel forks are MUCH more comfortable than carbon forks.  I believe that the rake in the fork is the key - that little bend does a lot.  
Andy Tetmeyer
I work at Hed Wheels
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