Written by Wally Wallace Tuesday, 05 July 2011 14:56
After careful product testing and development Carver Bikes has released their new Carbon 29'er fork. Featuring a full carbon / tapered steerer tube, post mount disc tabs and clean, sweeping lines the Carver fork looks the part of a $400 rigid fork. The fork is nude carbon through the legs with a matte black fade at the crown and dropouts. After the clean lines and carbon finish the most prominent quality of the fork is the weight. At 560grams, uncut, the fork comes in lighter than the Niner Carbon Disc 29" as well as the DT Swiss (Pace) 29'er forks. The big question though is how will this flash translate to the trail.
Designed to be laterally stiff with a small amount of vertical compliance, the Carver fork promises to deliver a stable, comfortable ride. In our initial test the fork performance delivers and then some, firmly holding a line on fast single-track while not buckling under hard braking. The comfort in the ride comes for the shape of the arching legs as well as the ample clearance for the largest 29'er tires on the market. We measured the inside clearance of the fork at the tire to be 3.5".
With a full carbon / tapered steerer tube the fork compatibility will initially be limited but shows Carvers commitment to innovation. In the next few years we expect to see most high-end 29'er frames adopt the tapered fork standard. The machining on the Carbon / Aluminum headset race seat is precise and very clean. As is the tapering in the carbon on the steerer tube with the transition from 1.5" to 1-1/8" being very clean and smooth, a testament to the quality of the fork.
At the dropouts the fork features a full carbon, post mount, disc brake mount. To save weight and add durability to the fork, Carver Bikes opted to use two small stainless steel threaded plungers in the mounts to secure the brakes to the fork. By using a plunger system the fork addresses the issue of having an aluminum skeleton in the disc brake mount, thus adding weight, and eliminates the possibility of damaging the threads inside the post mount, thus making the fork unusable. A genius design feature for sure. The stainless plungers are readily available from Carver Bikes and add very little to the weight of the fork.
Overall Bikeman rates the new Carver Bikes 29'er Carbon fork a 4 out of 5 Bikeman's. First impressions are important and we are very impressed with this offering. At this price, $269.95, you will not find a better performing or lighter weight 29'er Carbon Fork. We might like to see a clear coat over the Carver decals but that is being really picky. We are looking forward to putting in some more trail miles on the fork this summer and will provide a comprehensive product test at that time.
To Purchase the new fork or for product specs please visit the Carver Bikes Carbon 29'er Tapered fork page in our shopping cart.
For those folks who still don't have a tapered 1.5" to 1-1/8" frame you should checkout the standard edition Carver 29er Carving Fork. If you have questions on your frames compatibility give us a call: 1-800-BIKEMAN.
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