Written by Ryan Rumsey Friday, 22 December 2006 00:00
Originally I had my Carver set up with the Iglehart Big Job, it is custom and very cool, however very stiff. A little too beefy for 155lb me. My 26" Pace Carbon fork handled well all summer, and I still use it today. Light and trick but extremely pricey.
When I first saw the Black Ops fork pop onto the Bikeman.com site I was excited about yet another new 29er product. When I saw the Black Ops fork weighing in at more than 300 grams less than the Igleheart and around the same weight as the Pace, I needed to try one. Light and (reasonably) cheap don’t usually go well together. So I was a little skeptical… After 3 rides however, I must say that it is a keeper. I am going to leave it on my Carver and will be picking up another one for my soon to be purchased Salsa Mamasita 29er.
Some of the rigid 29-inch forks available at Bikeman.com:
· Origin 8 Black Ops $229.95 and 780 grams uncut (by Big Al’s scale)
· Igleheart Big Job $249.95 and 1102 grams
· Pace XC29 $343.95 and 785 grams uncut
In hand the Black Ops fork is very light, and the nude carbon is very cool looking. The looks of my blacked out Carver with this fork, well the words are in the picture. The real test however would be the ride quality. The ride was extremely different than the newly removed steel fork. The amazing flexibility yet rigidity of the carbon legs make for an almost suspended ride on a rigid fork. Apply the front brake and press the bike forward to see the fork legs sweep backwards. This with the vibration damping of the carbon, truly make the ride smoother. This fork is stiff when out of the saddle or steering through a technical section but still relieves some of the rigidity of an unsuspended bike. The beauty of carbon… Don’t be fooled by the lower price, or where it is produced, 3 rides and so far this fork is tough, light, and it didn’t break the bank or my teeth.
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