I found a frame I'm interested in building up, but it doesn't include a fork. So I've been looking for carbon 700cc forks... with disc tabs. I've found a few, but ran into a new dilemma - curved vs straight?

The frames I'm looking at are cyclocross/touring. I wouldn't think 29ers are into rigid front ends.

Any reason to choose one over the other - brake chatter, bump suppression?

  • 2
    What kind of frame, and what do you plan to use it for? Commented Dec 7, 2011 at 5:34
  • @Mike - Agreed, the question needs more detail. Commented Dec 7, 2011 at 5:37
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    The rake is what's mainly important. Curved vs angled is a decision by the mfgr to achieve the best strength given the materials (plus what they think "looks better"). Though on metal forks likely a curved fork probably has slightly better shock-absorbing potential. Commented Dec 7, 2011 at 12:50
  • @MikeBaranczak: CX/touring, see updates
    – OMG Ponies
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 1:21

3 Answers 3


For a carbon-fiber disc fork the difference is almost certainly purely aesthetic. Both curved and straight forks will be designed around equivalent rake values, so the direct handling and performance will be identical. The only other difference between curved and straight blades - mostly discussed in terms of standard steel forks - is a minimal amount of shock absorption, and much of the distinction there will be excised by the additional reinforcement required to handle the stresses of a disc brake.

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    And in general, a curved fork looks either "old-fashioned" or "classic" depending on your point of view. Commented Dec 7, 2011 at 6:20
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    "Classic" for sure. :) Commented Dec 7, 2011 at 18:27
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    "Old fashioned", for sure. :)
    – zenbike
    Commented Dec 21, 2011 at 10:54

"Curved vs. Straight" is probably the least important factor in choosing a fork. There might be some subtle differences in how they flex or absorb vibrations, but those differences will be completely overshadowed by all the other engineering choices that went into making the fork. So no, there's no reason to even think about this, except as a matter of looks.

(By the way, you're wrong about 29ers. There's plenty of those with rigid forks. Maybe because all the 29er suspension forks are expensive as hell.)


I found that straight forks have a more responsive steering sensation whereas curved forks seem to have a bit more resistance to turning. It probably relates to the point of contact of the tyre on the road being directly in line with the steering tube whereas it is shifted forward when the front forks are curved.

  • You likely misinterpreting the geometry of the forks. Straight forks often have the same (or nearly the same) rake as curved forks. The only difference is that path they take to get there.
    – Paul H
    Commented Aug 2, 2023 at 16:38

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