Fork advice needed (rigid) Blacksheep ti uni-crown or Niner carbon- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: tryallrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    265

    Fork advice needed (rigid) Blacksheep ti uni-crown or Niner carbon

    Building my 3rd 29er and want to go ridgid but need some advise. Living in new england and using a ridgid fork isnt always the best combo at least for my sloppy riding but i kinda want to give something besides a steel fork a try. Only intrested in the Niner carbon for or the black sheep uni-crown titanium fork. Anone have any experience with either of these? I know its gonna be ridgid either way but is either of these more forgiving? Any input is greatly appreciated

    build so far:
    rocky mountain hammer
    mountain king 2.4
    kings laced to stans
    ect

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    21

    My vote is for TI...

    but keep in mind that you will likely wait a very very very very very very long time when dealing with the folks at Black Sheep. I have had a frame & fork on order with James since October of last year. He had originally indicated that the fork would be ready in 4 - 6 weeks; NOT! He then said (many times) that the frame would be ready for an end of February 2010 delivery; again, NOT! I have, however, received many excuses and bogus delivery dates.

    There's no doubt that Black Sheep designs / builds some great bikes and parts; however, there is no excuse for piss-poor communication with customers! I would have appreciated a realistic lead-time commitment when the order was placed. Again, James is the man when it comes to Ti and the ride quality of his unicrown forks have been compared to the likes of a FOX 80mm travel suspension fork. Just be sure to factor in the long wait when making your decision.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: tryallrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    265
    Funny you say that i have heard that many times here. That really sucks about your frame delay i would be pissed. Im willing to wait a couple maybe 3 months for something custom but that is just excessive.

    Do you have and reccomendations for a ti fork otherwise? I liked the sheep look its pretty simple/clean.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bigdrunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,307
    Bummer to hear! I am waiting for a Ti unicrown right now as well. I am only at a month though.

    To the OP, I posted a thread last month asking the same question and decided to go with the Ti. Both are good choices though.

    Quote Originally Posted by wh1tesurly ss
    but keep in mind that you will likely wait a very very very very very very long time when dealing with the folks at Black Sheep. I have had a frame & fork on order with James since October of last year. He had originally indicated that the fork would be ready in 4 - 6 weeks; NOT! He then said (many times) that the frame would be ready for an end of February 2010 delivery; again, NOT! I have, however, received many excuses and bogus delivery dates.

    There's no doubt that Black Sheep designs / builds some great bikes and parts; however, there is no excuse for piss-poor communication with customers! I would have appreciated a realistic lead-time commitment when the order was placed. Again, James is the man when it comes to Ti and the ride quality of his unicrown forks have been compared to the likes of a FOX 80mm travel suspension fork. Just be sure to factor in the long wait when making your decision.

  5. #5
    Never Satisfied...
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    627
    I know you said you are set on those two forks, but I might be selling my On-One carbon fork if you're interested....

    I did about 20 rides on it and I think I'm going back to a squishy fork due to a bum shoulder....

    470mm....

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Climber999's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    720
    I have 2 Niner carbon forks and one segmented Black Sheep fork.
    The latter blows the Niner away; more precise, better planted and much more forgiving. The best fork I have ever had. FYI, I was promised to have it in 5 weeks and got it after 9.


    That's my take:
    James is incredibly gifted, hard-working and genius in his own way. His standards are very high and he will make sure you get what you want; aesthetically and functionally. He backs up his product in the most incredible way. In my case, I was promised to have the fork re-worked if I was unsatisfied with its performance. Who else would give you such guarantees? Consequently, his services are in high demand and it is hard for him to keep up. His only flaw is delivery times; he cannot honor them.

    Bikes are wonderful toys to enjoy for many years. If you are not in a great rush, place an order and have a rapture with the product two or three months later.

    Hope that helps.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,315
    My recommendation is not one of your choices, but Walt at Waltworks makes a wonderful steel fork. Mine is way more forgiving than my Origin 8 carbon fork, it is light, and delivery is usually a few weeks away. Walts forks are black, but for a little more you can get it powder coated in many different colors. You always know where you stand with your order as Walt posts his queue online and updates it at least once a week.
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  8. #8
    big-thigh tech geek
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    2

    Worth the wait, IMHO.

    Don't know if you've made your decision yet, Tryallrider. I've got two Black Sheep Ti forks: a unicrown on my Bontrager Ti Lite and a road fork on my Moots Compact. As mentioned by others, James is, um, optimistic in his timelines. He's told me 4wks each time. I've called after 4, 6, and perhaps 8wks after ordering. BUT, the forks are gorgeous, AND he happily chatted with me on the phone when ordering; detailed info for the tech geek, in case that's what yer after.

    My Bonty's got a 1" headset. No problem. Bonty's used a 32mm offset crown. No problem. Also, no problem whether I wanted to compensate for a 63mm or 80mm travel original fork. I wanted a cushy ride - not a stiffy; otherwise, why bother with Ti? He offers two tubing wall thicknesses that'll give you either.

    My 1" fork w/32mm offset (disc only) flexes fore and aft like crazy at the wheel! Scary to watch at first! BUT, the flip side is the bump absorption. Wow!!! And the torsional rigidity and steering precision are unreal. The fork, to me, is the ideal compromise between a suspension and rigid fork. Bummer to miss the summer of riding on my full-Ti Bonty, but that's the ONLY regret.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: njbiker66's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    445
    Ti forks are nice, but can be scary to watch when the front wheel moves under heavy braking. I have a Black sheep unicrown its nice, But mentally I feel safer with my Quiring unicrown fork.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fork advice needed (rigid) Blacksheep ti uni-crown or Niner carbon-picture-192.jpg  


  10. #10
    30-ton War Machine
    Reputation: edgerat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    793
    Order a fork directly from James at Black Sheep and tell him how heavy you are and what you are doing with it and he will build it accordingly. A buddy of mine just switched to a Black Sheep from a Hunter custom steel one and he is blown away by the ride of the sheep fork.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: azjonboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    1,682
    . I have had a frame & fork on order with James since October of last year. He had originally indicated that the fork would be ready in 4 - 6 weeks; NOT! He then said (many times) that the frame would be ready for an end of February 2010 delivery; again, NOT! I have, however, received many excuses and bogus delivery dates.

    Is this right? You ordered a frame / fork last October ( I'm guessing 2010 ) and he quoted February 2011 delivery, not Feb 2010, as you stated.

    Oderering from James in October and recieving it in Feb. would be fantastic.
    If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains,
    you're lucky enough.

  12. #12
    Single Speed Junkie
    Reputation: crux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,111
    Quote Originally Posted by azjonboy
    . I have had a frame & fork on order with James since October of last year. He had originally indicated that the fork would be ready in 4 - 6 weeks; NOT! He then said (many times) that the frame would be ready for an end of February 2010 delivery; again, NOT! I have, however, received many excuses and bogus delivery dates.

    Is this right? You ordered a frame / fork last October ( I'm guessing 2010 ) and he quoted February 2011 delivery, not Feb 2010, as you stated.

    Oderering from James in October and recieving it in Feb. would be fantastic.
    I have a Frame / Fork combo on order with James since early 2010. The Forks showed up and the frame was sent back to have the seat tube moved back as the cockpit was short.

    The rework was finally finished just before the holidays and shipped out via UPS who proceeded to loose the frame. Now no frame and I have been incapable of reaching James thus far this year finding out where we are at. Have tried email, shop and cell with out any luck. Thinking I might not have a bike this year and after a recent crash a rigid bike is about my speed right now.

    It is just torture seeing all the components less paid for frame sitting in the shop.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fork advice needed (rigid) Blacksheep ti uni-crown or Niner carbon-2010-11-25-08-13-50.jpg  


  13. #13
    get down!
    Reputation: appleSSeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    2,187
    How much can one builder effect the ride quality of a unicrown fork? I'm just sitting here wondering, besides tubing choice/offset/trail ? Seems there would be little difference in what the Ti-unicrown fork builders could do?
    Rudy Projects look ridiculous

    visit my blog, BEATS, BIKES & LIFE

  14. #14
    Black Sheep rising
    Reputation: utabintarbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    917
    Despite all the horror stories, my experience with James has been quite satisfactory (he was 10 days late on a frame/fork/seatpost, which I could live with). And it was well-worth the wait.

    More to the point, his unicrown fork has been described as nothing short of amazing by the friend I sold it to. So much so, that I am considering ordering another (along with another frame <- my wife).
    Let the market decide!

    N42.58 W83.06

  15. #15
    big-thigh tech geek
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    2

    Other Ti unicrown fork builders???

    appleSSeed - Um, who in the US besides Dean even offers a rigid Ti MTB fork? I wouldn't trust weight claims or the quality of a foreign-spec'd Ti fork (which would likely be Russian or Chinese). And Dean's Ti fork isn't a unicrown. Practically speaking, James's Ti Uni fork isn't special: the steerer and legs are straight-gauge, and the caliper mount is IS. BUT - at least per phone conversation with him - his tubing, lugs, and other goodies are US-spec. And James rides his own stuff. I trust US Ti, and I try my best to support the US economy...at least when we produce something that exemplifies US craftmanship and materials.

    utabintarbo - I'm guessing that you live in Fort Collins and James knows your cousins Vinny and Guido. JK!!! (insert wukka-wukka emoticon here)

  16. #16
    Black Sheep rising
    Reputation: utabintarbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    917
    Quote Originally Posted by daScotBot
    utabintarbo - I'm guessing that you live in Fort Collins and James knows your cousins Vinny and Guido. JK!!! (insert wukka-wukka emoticon here)
    Hehe, no. I set it up early, and sold him on my need to get it before my 50th birthday party.

    My cousins had nothing to do with it, but my wife might have added some motivation.
    Let the market decide!

    N42.58 W83.06

  17. #17
    Slow But Still Pedaling
    Reputation: JimInSF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    484
    Quote Originally Posted by wh1tesurly ss
    but keep in mind that you will likely wait a very very very very very very long time when dealing with the folks at Black Sheep. I have had a frame & fork on order with James since October of last year. He had originally indicated that the fork would be ready in 4 - 6 weeks; NOT! He then said (many times) that the frame would be ready for an end of February 2010 delivery; again, NOT! I have, however, received many excuses and bogus delivery dates.

    There's no doubt that Black Sheep designs / builds some great bikes and parts; however, there is no excuse for piss-poor communication with customers! I would have appreciated a realistic lead-time commitment when the order was placed. Again, James is the man when it comes to Ti and the ride quality of his unicrown forks have been compared to the likes of a FOX 80mm travel suspension fork. Just be sure to factor in the long wait when making your decision.
    Whoa. You're saying the wait time is up to 15 months (October 2009 - Present) and that your frame is now almost a full year past the promised date?

  18. #18
    30-ton War Machine
    Reputation: edgerat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    793
    There are two sides to every story, James says 6-8mos right now. I have always found that custom frame builders are usually artists that can weld well. If you treat them like primadonnas and give them something that they are excited to build then they will be excited to get on the build and see how it turns out. If you don't like waiting and want to look like everyone else then buy a Lynskey or Moots or IF. If you want to ride and own a piece of art that makes your heart flutter every time you see it, you pay, in more ways than one.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Climber999's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    720
    Quote Originally Posted by daScotBot
    appleSSeed - Um, who in the US besides Dean even offers a rigid Ti MTB fork? I wouldn't trust weight claims or the quality of a foreign-spec'd Ti fork (which would likely be Russian or Chinese). And Dean's Ti fork isn't a unicrown. Practically speaking, James's Ti Uni fork isn't special: the steerer and legs are straight-gauge, and the caliper mount is IS. BUT - at least per phone conversation with him - his tubing, lugs, and other goodies are US-spec. And James rides his own stuff. I trust US Ti, and I try my best to support the US economy...at least when we produce something that exemplifies US craftmanship and materials.

    utabintarbo - I'm guessing that you live in Fort Collins and James knows your cousins Vinny and Guido. JK!!! (insert wukka-wukka emoticon here)
    Let me open up the field a bit:

    Steve Potts would do for you a custom uni-crown:
    http://www.stevepottsbicycles.com/type2.php

    So would TiCycles:
    http://www.ticycles.com/TiCycles/components.html#fork
    Last edited by Climber999; 01-15-2011 at 06:45 AM.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bigdrunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,307
    My thoughts, not that you asked.

    1) My heavier gauge tubed BS Unicrown is not overly lite. It was in the 900g range.

    2) If you want weight savings, the Niner carbon fork is the way to go.

    3) Ti fork flex was un-nerving at first. AT FIRST.

    My experience:

    Delivery: My BS Ti unicrown was pretty much on time. Maybe a week, two at most late ( I dont remember and dont care at this point) which in my book is on time. Having spent way too much time reading on MTBR about custom builders as well as waiting/ordering for delivery from custom builders I quit expecting things to arrive on time.

    Unicrown Ride: It flexes as mentioned above. Little scary at first but that is where the negatives end. Everybody has seen broken XACD forks here. The Unicrown is not a XACD fork. Once you gain a bit of trust, you begin to trust James's workmanship (his dad is not a dentist for crying out loud) the flex is money and makes for a stellar and compliant ride. Coupled with 700mm+ handlebars and a 2.4" tire "smooth" is an understatement. No regrets. I would wait 8 months from one of these forks. A cheap steel fork would fit the bill while I wait.

    Niner Carbon - Never ridden on. I am weight weenie and am intrigued but probably will not try one. Or maybe I will.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    868
    i live in Philadelphia area where we have plenty of rocky rides around between Jim thorpe, michaux, and north jersey with ringwood etc. I sold my niner carbon after 4-5 just awful rides. youll find a number of threads with pretty good debates about the niners. IMHO- great if you have hardly a rock in site.....just plain old harsh stiff. put my WB rock solid back on and am happy. actually wanted a Uni just like you and am def still considering to add to my rigid SS.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: OmaHaq's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    643
    I've used two Ti forks in the past 13 years. 26'er Spicer from 1998 - 2007. Blacksheep unicrown I got off Ebay... used it for about 3 months.

    1. My Vicious Cycles steel fork is virtually the same weight as the Blacksheep. It wasn't a big weight difference at all. The Spicer was less than 500grams... it was ridicu-lite.

    2. The Blacksheep flexed much less than the Spicer... the Spicer was down right scary, but I got used to it.

    3. I ended up selling the Blacksheep on Ebay (where I purchased it originally). Spicer ended up cracking during a commute.

    So... If I were you, I'd buy a Salsa Cromoto Grande. More tire clearance than my VC. Much more stable than Ti. The stainless drop-outs and really good paint job will keep the fork nice throughout the winter. And... it's affordable. And... you don't have to deal with Blacksheep.

Members who have read this thread: 1

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.