I am considering a hybrid commuter bike, in particular I like Specialized Sirrus Elite Disc. This model however does not sport a carbon fiber fork. Only the more expensive model does, which I do not have budget for.

Another candidate would be Trek Crossrip, which does have carbon fork. Should I make getting carbon fork a priority, will it make a real difference on my ~13 km commute? I sometimes do ride over surfaces like this, that's why I'm concerned:

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    When you talk about carbon forks or "not-carbon" forks, you should appreciate that "not-carbon" forks will be made of steel. And in terms of smoothing your ride, steel can be every bit as good as carbon. Where carbon wins - and this is why you see it on higher-end bikes - is in terms of weight. – PeteH Jul 6 '14 at 9:16
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    Ok, so basically you're saying I should not concern myself too much with carbon/non-carbon in a bike, which will primarily be used for commuting? I'm not saying I wouldn't like to take it on the read once in a while, but for the most part 500g here and there won't make too much of a difference. Especially since my requirement is for the bike to have disc brakes... – VoY Jul 6 '14 at 9:29
  • For a fast/lightweight bike, "not-carbon" forks are usually made of aluminium, not steel. Checking the specifications for that Sirrus, the fork is "Cr-Mo steerer, aluminum crown/lowers". – vclaw Jul 6 '14 at 9:38
  • My other non related question would then be, are those 32 mm tires on the CrossRip maybe too much for commuting? I suppose I won't be doing too much riding on any gravel roads, that's what my XC is for. Maybe I could getaway with a purebred road bike with 28 mm tires -- provided I can fit them. – VoY Jul 6 '14 at 9:52
  • @vclaw - I hadn't looked at the bike's spec, but nevertheless the argument remains the same. For what the OP requires I see no point in getting stressed about whether the forks are carbon or not. In terms of offering suspension, other materials will serve as well. – PeteH Jul 6 '14 at 9:56

Not much difference in ride from carbon to Cr-Mo. Over 13km not much of a factor. The carbon is going to be lighter, more expensive, and less durable. Same bike on a budget I would go Cr-Mo. You list two different styles of bikes and a purebred road bike in a comment. Pick the style of bike first. I don't think purebred road bike is the right bike for that picture. I personally think drop bars are more efficient and comfortable for paved commuting. And on a budget used might be more cost effective.

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