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  1. #1
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    Swapping Out a Bluto for a Carbon Fork - Worth the Weight Savings?

    I dig my fat bike but it is heavy - like 35 lbs heavy - it's a pig. I did some quick math and I can sell the 120 mm Bluto RL on it and get a Carver Popeye rigid carbon fork and immediately save 2.1 lbs. I had the same Carver fork on a past fat bike I had and really liked it.

    I also figure I'll make $100-$150 profit from selling my barely used Bluto and getting a less expensive carbon fork. I can then take extra cash and put it towards tubeless tires and a carbon bar - saving me almost 3 more lbs. So I'll be down some weight for not a lot of cash but of course they're drawbacks. Biggest being is the Carver fork I want has the same axle to crown as a 100 mm Bluto so my head tube angle would be an even steeper 70.5 degrees.

    Its also worth noting that the primary use of my fat bike is on groomed/packed down snowy trails. I do minimal trail riding on it.

    Curious if anyone has ditched their Bluto to save weight and if it was worth it.
    Vermonter - bikes, beers and skis.

  2. #2
    fat guy on a little bike
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    for me, i swapped back and forth between front suspension and rigid. I was just as fast on rigid, but my aching joints/wrists on the subsequent days pushed me into a squishy fork full time.

    fyi, blutos are not worth as much as they previously were, so you need to take that into account.

  3. #3
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    I took off my Bluto, but kept it around, its getting really dusty.

  4. #4
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    I change my Bluto for winter to a carbon. In matter of fact getting ready to do it as I write this. The carbon really lightens things up nice but when things get moving the suspension fork is missed. I also run carbon bars more for the cold factor as they seem to keep my hands a little warmer than aluminum. I also run a hi flex carbon seat post which I like. Ya, its hard to take the carbon fork off come spring because of the weight and a lower front end which gives me the benefit climbing some of the steep stuff. I am getting up in age so the suspension fork gives me some relief on my aching old joints.
    Last edited by pelts79; 4 Weeks Ago at 09:46 AM.

  5. #5
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    You can get a lighter fork than the Popeye for cheaper and keep the Bluto just in case.
    You change your own flats? Support your LBS and pay them to instead.

  6. #6
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    After installing my Mastodon, I haven't ever had the thought to install my rigid fork again, ever. If you're concerned about weight, you're not enjoying the benefits of fat.

  7. #7
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    The obvious call is go tubeless before anything, that's the cheapest weight saving you'll get, not to mention the other benefits

  8. #8
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    Depends on the terrain where you ride. Rigid is rigid - BTDT for the first couple years. Yes a fattie at low pressure takes a tiny bit of the edge off. But. I'd never go back.

    Brandon

  9. #9
    All fat, all the time.
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    Groomed packed snow, sure, sounds perfect for a carbon fork.

  10. #10
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    I swapped my Bluto for a carbon fork from Tideace and although you loose the suspension advantage the front end is easier to lift and roll over obstacles. I also changed to a carbon bar and thicker grips to reduce the wrist/arm shocks. I was never using my fatbike on extreme routes anyway so the change was livable with. YMMV.


    I also made a list of all my bike's components with their weights and then researched the weight and costs of alternatives to see where else I could save weight for reasonable outlay.
    What a perfect waste of time

  11. #11
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    I've done rigid steel, aluminium and carbon fat forks, Bluto and Wren, and most recently a Lauf. The Lauf is my favorite so far. I would gladly pay for a high-end suspension fork that didn't weigh nearly 6 pounds. Fox 34 without the Mastodon mile-wide crown please.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volsung View Post
    You can get a lighter fork than the Popeye for cheaper and keep the Bluto just in case.
    Can't leave it hanging at that. I'm always curious what's out there.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by deuxdiesel View Post
    I've done rigid steel, aluminium and carbon fat forks, Bluto and Wren, and most recently a Lauf. The Lauf is my favorite so far. I would gladly pay for a high-end suspension fork that didn't weigh nearly 6 pounds. Fox 34 without the Mastodon mile-wide crown please.
    I agree 100%.

    I'm also on a Lauf at the moment.
    Mike
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by drdave81 View Post
    Can't leave it hanging at that. I'm always curious what's out there.
    Yes, please elaborate.

    I'm certainly going tubeless to save weight but am reconsidering swapping out the Bluto the more I mull over it. I'm generally not a weight weenie but if you picked up my fat bike, you'd think it doubled as a boat anchor.

    Curious to see what other 'budget" carbon fat bike forks are out there.
    Vermonter - bikes, beers and skis.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTSession View Post
    Yes, please elaborate.

    I'm certainly going tubeless to save weight but am reconsidering swapping out the Bluto the more I mull over it. I'm generally not a weight weenie but if you picked up my fat bike, you'd think it doubled as a boat anchor.

    Curious to see what other 'budget" carbon fat bike forks are out there.
    The House offers their Alaskan carbon fork for $299 IIRC. That is what I ran for the past couple of seasons. The front axle is primitive but very effective.
    "Wait- I am confused" - SDMTB'er

  16. #16
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    fyi I'm selling a BNIB Lauf on the classifieds. 1100 grams 60mm suspension

  17. #17
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    I might be one of the few who loves, not likes, his Bluto. Initially it was nothing special but after the cold weather seal kit was installed, filled to proper level with oil, and slick honey slathered on the appropriate parts, works great. It ain't the stiffest fork on the market but I wouldn't know the difference there if my life depended on it as I don't ride chunk, and I ain't a trials rider, and I'm not a heavy guy. I ride "wild" trails (not groomed) but smooth(ish) with enough obstacles here and there to appreciate it, if that makes sense. No freaking way I'd get ride of a suspension fork on a fatty for my terrain and would buy and bolt one on if I ever bought a rigid one.

  18. #18
    one chain, two sprockets
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    I ride fat year round, on a carbon fork - rocks, roots, moderate drops, logs, etc. The nice, light, rigid feel and crisp handling is awesome. Forget the weight, I can't ever see dealing with drop/dive of a suspension fork.

  19. #19
    rubber side down
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2LO4U2C View Post
    I took off my Bluto, but kept it around, its getting really dusty.
    Perhaps you should let me remove some dust! PM me if you'd like to sell it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by one piece crank View Post
    I ride fat year round, on a carbon fork - rocks, roots, moderate drops, logs, etc. The nice, light, rigid feel and crisp handling is awesome. Forget the weight, I can't ever see dealing with drop/dive of a suspension fork.
    There is a lot of validity to this and I've always said, a rigid fork always beats a poorly-working/designed suspension fork. The steering precision is far better and that right there gives you some better control, not better control in all situations. Feels more like a race-car where your inputs are direct and cause fast reactions (for quick line-changes). Rigid isn't better for everything obviously, but for some turning situations and pumping situations, better. A suspension fork on a fatbike is dealing with an insane amount of unsprung weight, so even when tuned properly it's going to feel a bit more "dead feeling" and when not tuned properly it's probably not going to offer the suspension control someone may be used to. I think for an all-around summer and winter bike it's a no-brainer, put a suspension fork on there, but make sure the suspension is a quality piece with adequate high/low speed circuits that isn't just going to feel worse the faster you go over rough terrain. Good suspension feels smoother the faster you go over rough terrain. Otherwise, in the winter, you have a lot going for you, your top speed is already more limited, you can run lower pressure than in the summer due to softer surfaces, the snow will also absorb some of the energy as it compacts, even when it's already pretty compacted, it's no magic-carpet ride by any means and can still be quite bumpy, but it's a totally different world than summer riding on the dry stuff IME.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  21. #21
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    Sorry, forgot to look back at this thread

    BD has one for 180, Ebay has em for 100, and I've seen them for sale on my local Minneapolis FB trading page has them for like 75 sometimes.

    I'm with Jayem though. Carbon has it's distinct advantages. I prefer it to the Bluto I had, but that one may have been a prototype. Mastodon or bust.
    You change your own flats? Support your LBS and pay them to instead.

  22. #22
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    I like to take my Bucksaw and rigid Mukluk both to a trail. I'll do a lap on the Bucksaw, then a lap on the Mukluk. I like suspension haha. Heavy & slow - yes. But... unless you are willing to spend big $$$ to make your fatty under say 25 lbs, then it just doesn't seem to matter much (to me anyways).

    I would leave the bluto on. Maybe find somebody with a rigid set up similar to yours, and ride the bikes back to back?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volsung View Post
    Sorry, forgot to look back at this thread

    BD has one for 180, Ebay has em for 100, and I've seen them for sale on my local Minneapolis FB trading page has them for like 75 sometimes.

    I'm with Jayem though. Carbon has it's distinct advantages. I prefer it to the Bluto I had, but that one may have been a prototype. Mastodon or bust.

    i was looking at the BD fork for $180. are there any reviews? I didn't really find any. i have a CroMo fork, so that would help a lot.
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  24. #24
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    Weight on a bike, or lack of weight, makes the most difference on the wheels. If you enjoy the ride and feel of the bluto, focus your attention on your wheels first for now. Go tubless, and look at how heavy your tires are. Stay away from tires that weigh over 1500 grams each. If you can lighten up there it will make the biggest difference in the performance.

  25. #25
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    I'm pretty confident in carbon forks. I had a 135mm QR Carver fork on my moonlander 5 or 6 years ago. I got hit by a car and the thing was fine and carbon is getting better all th as time.

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