A new player on the block...
From the Bikeman website:
The arrival is near, a full carbon Mountain fork can be yours soon. Winwood is stepping to the plate with a new Carbon Mountain fork called The Purist. The fork is disc or cantilever brake compatible and resembles Winwoods Carbon Muddy Cross Fork at first glance. The fork offers more clearance in the crown to accomodate large diamter tires. We don't have the exact spec on maximum tire size yet.
Light, stiff and comfortable, all of these things describe carbon forks. Designed for the Single-Speeder or the Retro "Purist" that still loves the quick feel of a rigid bike. The geometry is set for a suspension corrected frame and we are still working to get exact axle to crown measurements.
A recent conversation with the folks at Winwood confirmed the Purist will be released in late February - early March. This can often mean we will see the fork sometime in May but Winwood is generally right on top of the ETA's so file your taxes early to get the refund check in time. The Purist will have a suggested MSRP of $350 but Bikeman thinks it will realiticly be priced around the $275 range.
Will the carbon mountain fork provide a noticeable performance gain over the standard issue steel forks currently available? The Euro's still love light stiff mountain bikes and Carbon Rigid forks are not new to their market. Companies like Pace and Ridley offer highend carbon forks for the European market. In the US where it seems that bigger (more travel) is better, taking a step back and mass producing a high end rigid fork may be risk. Winwood seems to feel that the market is viable. With single-speeders, 29er's and the retro market growing they are sure to have some initial sales to get them off the ground. We will see soon. Bikeman will have a full on product test after we have a chance to put it through its paces.
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