What is the "best" rigid fork?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What is the "best" rigid fork?

    Hi all,

    Simple question... what is the best rigid fork going around at the moment?

    I am looking for bomb proof, ~490mm AC height, lightish and good value.

    I have a Maxlight XI QR at the moment but there's very little clearance to the brake rotor and it catches some times which is a little disconcerting. Otherwise it is a pretty decent fork and it seemed to do a lot of the Tour Divide folk just fine.

    Anyway...

    Niner Carbon? Low AC height, not much tyre clearance and seem a touch fragile. Well the internetz has some broken ones so that's a big mental hurdle

    Cheapy far east copies? Not winning me over on the durability front even if it is only mental

    Salsa Firestarter Carbon? Seems to tick all the boxes but isn't cheap

    3T MTN? Pretty cheap in the UK, 500mm AC height but a bit of an unknown quantity

    ENVE? One of the few with reviews and all seem positive but not cheap, AC height is a bit low and it looks odd without the fender which I'd leave off.

    Something steel? Most seem to either be twangy or dead, not light and seems hard to find something high quality. Singular would be the one at the top of my list but low AC and I don't think they sell them anymore.

    Top of the pile for me seems to be the Whisky No.9 bolt thru. Not crazy cheap but ticks all other boxes. The other thing holding me back is no reviews or long term durability feedback. Does anyone use these?

    Thanks in advance, DanW

  2. #2
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    I don't have any experience with the forks you listed. I've used a couple steel forks in the past that worked fine. Currently I'm using an MRP Rock Solid. I have nothing to complain about regarding the MRP. I'd definitely add it to your list to consider.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  3. #3
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    I don't have any experience with the forks you listed. I've used a couple steel forks in the past that worked fine. Currently I'm using an MRP Rock Solid. I have nothing to complain about regarding the MRP. I'd definitely add it to your list to consider.
    I haven't used any of the forks mentioned above, but rode the mrp rock solid for 3 years. Great fork. Best, who knows, but it got the job done. It was bomb proof. I never thought twice about anything I hit.

  4. #4
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    I rode with a Carver XC 490 for a couple of seasons and really liked it. Very bomb proof fork that held up to AM riding with a rigid bike (some of my DH PR's around here were set with that fork).

    I'm currently on a Trek 1120 fork, because it is 510 A-C. So far it's been good, but I've only got a handful of rides on it and can't speak to durability.

    All of them feel like rigid forks so I don't put much stock in 'ride quality'.

  5. #5
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    Cheap, Strong, Light - pick any two as the saying goes.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    I have the Whisky No. 9 carbon MTB fork on my SS. Great fork. Rides nice, good tire clearance. I'm not gentle on it either, 6'3" 205 lbs, avid rider/racer.

    I had a Carver 465 (strait steer, QR) fork on my old SS, that was pretty good too. I think the Carver forks are good as well.

    The Niner fork would be high on my list. If you like steel check out the Vassago Odis fork (if it's still available?)
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  7. #7
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    Iíve done some dumb, dumb shit on my bike with my Whiskey no9 fork mounted, (like Black diamond Sedona trails and South Mountain National trail) and itís held up. Like waist-high drops to flat.
    I even broke a steel frame and the fork lives on.

    Whisky9 gets my vote all day. I stuck an adhesive-backed cable guide to the leg to avoid the internal routing clusterflock.
    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  8. #8
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    I've got an older 490AC White Brothers (MRP) and it's nice. Really good fore/aft movement takes the sting out of dirt road washboard bumps, chundery stuff, etc.. I like it for touring/mixed terrain stuff.

    I've also got a Waltworks fork from when I got a frame built by him. It's solid. Stiffer, I don't think about it when trail riding harder stuff. Walt can build you pretty much anything.
    @adamalphabet

  9. #9
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    to me carbon is a magic material for a rigid fork. just as supple as a good steel fork but so much lighter. i got a whisky fork as well; and can vouch for it's durability under a fat-ass.

  10. #10
    Ride da mOOn Moderator
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    A fork that:

    1. Holds the wheel
    2. Doesn't leak
    3. Doesn't need rebuilding or new suspension parts
    4. Handles good
    5. Looks Sexy!

  11. #11
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    Does the Whisky no. 9 have a Boost option?

  12. #12
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fast4aSlowGuy View Post
    Does the Whisky no. 9 have a Boost option?
    I don't think so. I didn't see one on Jenson.

  13. #13
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    Max-a-mill is right about carbon, it's magic for rigid forks.
    The Whiskey looks like a good fork. I've been using Niner forks on my two rigid bikes, I really like them. Like Impetus with the Whiskey, I've run the Niners really hard and they are holding up really well. When they need to be replaced, I'll likely be going with Niner again. BTW, They can run up to 3.0, the same as the Whiskey.
    Hope that helps

  14. #14
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    Thanks all for the extra thoughts and sorry for the delayed reply.

    MRP Rock Solid is a good one I forgot and lots of brands use this design. I used to have an Exotic of the same design and it worked well enough. Not the nicest ride but does the job.

    I looked in to the Exotics again but their updated design is the same as the Maxlight I have which I get rotor rub on the fork Ditto the updated Carver is the same design.

    I ride rigid SS exclusively so have spent a fair bit of time on different designs and can't agree with those who say all rigid forks are the same "feel"-wise. I didn't mention ride quality in my OP but some are definitely more pleasant than others.

    Thanks for the other suggestions like Vassago/ Walworks. Being in the UK means a lot of the nice forks that appear here on MTBR are very hard to get hold of or at least work out very expensive by the time they land.

    I've checked out Whisky again here in the UK and the bolt thru version is £425 cheapest! They used to be ~£300 which is still a lot of money but not £400+! Really encouraging reviews from the guys who run them though so thank you for that

    Back to the drawing board a little bit I think to try and find something better value than Whisky

  15. #15
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    Had a Niner carbon, nice and light. I now have the Niner steel since getting a new bike with boost. The steel fork feels better to me.

  16. #16
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    I had completely written off the Niner for low AC height and little tyre clearance. The new ones seem to be listed at 490mm AC height and the updates look much needed. Still Whisky money however

  17. #17
    Downcountry AF
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan-W View Post
    I've checked out Whisky again here in the UK and the bolt thru version is £425 cheapest! They used to be ~£300 which is still a lot of money but not £400+! Really encouraging reviews from the guys who run them though so thank you for that
    Well to be fair you asked for the "best" rigid fork, not the cheapest.

    Back to the drawing board a little bit I think to try and find something better value than Whisky
    I didn't want to post this in the "best" fork thread, but if your willing to lower your standards it seems to get good reviews.

    Tandell 29+ Carbon Rigid Fork

    https://forums.mtbr.com/26-27-5-29-p...k-1074310.html
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  18. #18
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    Well to be fair you asked for the "best" rigid fork, not the cheapest.
    I am looking for bomb proof, ~490mm AC height, lightish and good value.
    Best in inverted comments as value is part of that and I didn't have a money no object fork in mind, more the best overall fork taking everything in to account. Really my priority is being fit and forget with large mileage rigid SS.

    I know a lot of it is in the mind but it is hard to not love a(n annecdotal) review like this

    Iíve done some dumb, dumb shit on my bike with my Whiskey no9 forkmounted, (like Black diamond Sedona trails and South Mountain National trail) and itís held up. Like waist-high drops to flat.
    I even broke a steel frame and the fork lives on.
    Tandell seems interesting, thanks.

    The other UK based one which has just come on to my radar is Travers.
    https://www.traversbikes.com/store.h...egory=15761046

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan-W View Post
    Thanks all for the extra thoughts and sorry for the delayed reply.

    MRP Rock Solid is a good one I forgot and lots of brands use this design. I used to have an Exotic of the same design and it worked well enough. Not the nicest ride but does the job.

    I looked in to the Exotics again but their updated design is the same as the Maxlight I have which I get rotor rub on the fork Ditto the updated Carver is the same design.

    ...
    If you're talking the Carver Trail 490, it looks like the same fork as the Maxlight at 720g. If you can go with the Carver XC490, which is 80g heavier, I can recommend it. I have a Carver Popeye for my fatbike (same design) and it is my go-to fork. I like it better than the Bluto.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  20. #20
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    I have a Niner rdo boost on my primary bike and have used an enve on a couple bikes and it's currently on my backup bike.

    No issues with either. Both have good ride quality with just enough give to smooth things out but not cause issues under heavy braking. No problems with stiffness in corners either.

    If I had to choose, I'd simply pick the one with the length that better matched my frame.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Well to be fair you asked for the "best" rigid fork, not the cheapest.



    I didn't want to post this in the "best" fork thread, but if your willing to lower your standards it seems to get good reviews.

    Tandell 29+ Carbon Rigid Fork

    https://forums.mtbr.com/26-27-5-29-p...k-1074310.html
    https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?url...7&share_type=t


    Check this out about Tandell Fork, I am one of those Happy users

    Enviado desde mi MotoG3 mediante Tapatalk

  22. #22
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    if you don't mind 100mm QR the Specialized Chisel fork is wicked light and strong. Been hammering it for a few years and it keeps coming back for more. I know a local shop that has one sitting in a box, at least they did a few weeks back.
    MCH Co-Captain

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    I have the Whisky No. 9 carbon MTB fork on my SS. Great fork. Rides nice, good tire clearance. I'm not gentle on it either, 6'3" 205 lbs, avid rider/racer.

    I had a Carver 465 (strait steer, QR) fork on my old SS, that was pretty good too. I think the Carver forks are good as well.

    The Niner fork would be high on my list. If you like steel check out the Vassago Odis fork (if it's still available?)
    Wait a minute, you were 215 lbs in a post yesterday. What have you been eating/drinking?

    If *OneSpeed* hasn't broken it, that's a huge endorsement.
    By continuing to browse my posts, you agree to send me cookies.

  24. #24
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    Has anyone seen the All-City fork for the Electric Queen? It looks interesting for a 29er but they say it's only good up to 2.25". Just wondering if it could actually hold bigger without rubbing.

  25. #25
    Downcountry AF
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Wait a minute, you were 215 lbs in a post yesterday. What have you been eating/drinking?

    If *OneSpeed* hasn't broken it, that's a huge endorsement.
    205 is birthday suit, 215 is with gear. They're both accurate. (and maybe I'm still carrying a little "holiday weight") Honestly haven't been on a scale in a while.

    I may be hard on BB's, rear hubs, and frames, but I haven't broken a fork, front wheel, or front part of the triangle yet. (I've destroyed a few tires though)
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  26. #26
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    I'm using that Exotic carbon fork with no brake rotor rub...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan-W View Post
    I looked in to the Exotics again but their updated design is the same as the Maxlight I have which I get rotor rub on the fork Ditto the updated Carver is the same design.(
    It's got an axle-to-crown of 490mm, and I'm convinced it's the exact same fork as the Carver Trail 490.

    See the arrowhead in the second pic; the gap between the rotor and the fork is plenty wide. The hub is a Canfield Brothers (convinced it's made by Formula), and the brake caliper is a Shimano XT BR-M785. The rotor is a Magura Storm SL.

    It was $230 shipped free from CarbonCycles, via Amazon.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BPLFUPM...v_ov_lig_dp_it

    (Sorry the bike isn't a single speed :P).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What is the "best" rigid fork?-img_4267.jpg  

    What is the "best" rigid fork?-img_4269.jpg  


  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    I didn't want to post this in the "best" fork thread, but if your willing to lower your standards it seems to get good reviews.

    Tandell 29+ Carbon Rigid Fork

    https://forums.mtbr.com/26-27-5-29-p...k-1074310.html
    I can vouch for the Tandell fork as well. Best? No. But it does the job for a low price. I've done some stupid stuff on it and it hasn't killed me, which is about all you can ask for really.

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