Author Topic: Fork Help - Gravel w/ Low rider rack mounts  (Read 621 times)

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Offline condivere

Fork Help - Gravel w/ Low rider rack mounts
« on: November 02, 2022, 07:11:46 pm »
Hi all, long time listener first time caller.

I've searched these and other forums for information about specific forks in turn, but am at a dead end deciding. Below I will list the four forks I have narrowed down to, but I am trying to fufill these desires:

1. Carbon Fork
      -They exist now and are light
2. Lowrider Rack Mounts
      -And an ability to carry at least 15lbs
3. Fender Mount
4. Internal cable routing
      -I do not currently have a dynamo hub but plan to in the future
5. Not overly wide
      -I currently and intend to ride 48mm tires 650b, maybe up to 2.1 some day. I would like room up to 58 or 60mm for fenders. Some of these "adventure forks" are made for monster tires and I think have unecessary clearance for me.

I am currently riding a Lynskey gr300 with their gravel fork, which is made stupidly to fit 2.1 650b tires, but narrows sharply at the top so that there is no room for fenders. It has 45mm rake, 395AC height, and ideally a new fork would have slightly more rake to bring my trail down a bit (I am certainly overthinking it). My current fork was cut too short, so this is an opportunity to fix that, get rack mounts, and get clearance for fenders all at once. I hope that it will last many years and be worth the overthinking now.

I have narrowed it down to these four:
1. Enve Adventure Fork
      -This one checks all of the boxes, and is the only one that explicitly says it can carry 40lbs on a low rider rack! Not cheap, but not twice as much as any of the others either.
     -When not using a rack it says it can tak 3kg per side (using the three bolt mount), this is essentially what all of the other brands say, so I am wondering if the other brands also can safely hold much more weight when using a rack than they (dont) list.
      -https://www.enve.com/product/adventure-fork/
2. Salsa Waxwing
      -they dont list max weight
     -https://www.salsacycles.com/gear/waxwing_deluxe_fork_frameset_color_match
3. Whisky No 9
      -This one says the same thing everyone else says more or less: 4kg per side using all three bolts, I don't know how the ENVE so confidently says 40lbs.
     -https://whiskyparts.co/forks/no-9-mcx-fork#/
4. Rodeo Spork 3.0
      -This one specifically says it will accept the Tubus Tara low rider rack I want, and says it will take 27.5 additional pounds which is great. It also has interior eyelets so that you can attach a rack with extra long bolts which is smart.
     -This one is neck and neck with the ENVE, but the enve has more rake, which could decrease my currently 70+ trail.
      -https://www.rodeo-labs.com/shop/forks/rodeo-labs-spork-3-0/

Runners Up
5. Seido
     -They have a fork but uses the ASTM riding number and lists it at 2, which doesn't make me very confident it will be able to handle weight.
6. State Bicycle Monster Fork
      -This one is much cheaper, doesnt have internal routing, which isn't the end of the world, but it also doesn't confidently list how much weight the fork could carry on the rack.

There are definitely two camps of carbon gravel rack mount forks: ones that are just meant to have water bottles, and then others that are more confident they can actually carry some serious pannier weight. It is hard to differentiate them, especially since I think the large weight camp is a much smaller selection. Only the ENVE and Rodeo Labs say specifically that they can handle the specific tubus rack I'm looking at, but I am not sure that doesn't mean the others would comfortably do the same thing maybe for less money.

I don't intend to take front panniers out on anything more than fire roads, and I have a back rack so I don't need all of my gear on the front fork, but I don't want a fork to fail just because I decided to carry some extra water up there one day.

Three questions: are there any forks I'm missing?

Some of these have a slightly taller AC height, up to 415. Is this going to change my ride a lot? I understand it will increase my trail, which I don't really want, but they also all seem to have larger rake, so in my mind they will essentially cancel out.

Which one do you think looks the coolest (while still being durable and as light as possible!)

I have been riding my whole life, but never with purpose-made touring gear. I am beginning to, so my whole premise may be naive and I am happy to hear entirely different opinions.

Glad to be a part of the community, and my next step is to find some riders here on the forums that are in my neck of the woods!

Offline UncaBuddha

Re: Fork Help - Gravel w/ Low rider rack mounts
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2022, 04:58:20 pm »
Have you looked at the Lynskey Carbon Adventure Fork? I just got a Backroad and it came with this fork.

Offline condivere

Re: Fork Help - Gravel w/ Low rider rack mounts
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2022, 05:10:45 pm »
Yes this I looked at first, unfortunately if it is anything like their other gravel fork without the rack mounts (which I currently have), it gets very narrow at the top of the fork clearance, which means I can't fit fenders. It is a bit of a flaw in the design.

Offline wildtoad

Re: Fork Help - Gravel w/ Low rider rack mounts
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2022, 09:30:21 pm »
Well, sounds like you've done some thorough research and are thoughtful about what you are looking for and would like to accomplish. You may have reached the "analysis paralysis" stage...been there myself too many times :)

My only direct experience w/ carbon "adventure forks" is the excellent Ritchey WCS Adventure Fork, but I don't use it for rack/pannier touring. It's a "cargo cage" fork meant for lighter loads, and it won't run your tires w/ fenders. It's great and I run it on a bike where a lighter weight approach makes sense (not a loaded touring bike).

I do plenty of self-contained "all road" (pavement, gravel, direct, whatever) touring with a Tubus Tara in front/Tubus Cargo in back, misc bikepacking gear thrown in, 650b x 48 tires (the best choice for such touring w/out question), etc.  For that kind of touring, my frame and fork of choice are (and will always be) steel.

In your case, you already have a bike, it's conventional to run carbon forks on Ti frames, and I don't know what your long-term aspirations are re expanding your touring horizons. Enve stuff generally has an excellent reputation, but no personal experience on my end. If you haven't discovered it already, Bikepacking.com is a great resource for the type of component you are researching. I believe they have a nice summary of available "utility" forks w/ mounts, including carbon. Their reviews tend to be quite thorough, and the comments sections for individual articles often have great feedback, first hand experience, and a constructive tone. You might find some helpful info there, and you could always post a follow up question in the relevant thread.

Good luck.