Saturday, August 30, 2014

MRP Fat Fork vs On One Fatty Fork- Part 2

Part 1 can be seen HERE

 NOTE: Large doses of "my opinion" will be handed out in gloppy dollops today. You've been forewarned..... And: Both forks mentioned were purchased with my own money. I am not being bribed, nor paid for this post. 

On One Fatty Fork on The Snow Dog
Okay, so as promised, here are my riding impressions on these fat bike forks suitable for 1 1/8th steer tube fat bikes with 470-ish millimeter axle to crown lengths.

On One Fatty Fork: 

This fork not only transferred over to the Mukluk with ease, it feels much like the Enabler fork it replaced in terms of handling. If you love your Muk's handling, this fork is the one to get.

It feels maybe a bit less harsh than the Enabler. I sometimes think it is smoother, then other times I think it is very similar. I can see the lower third of the fork legs really working over small chatter, so it is doing something. In terms of being "wowed" by carbon fiber? I don't see that here in terms of feel.

Obviously in the weight department this fork has a bigger impact, (no pun intended), on the overall feel of the Snow Dog. At approximately half the weight of an Enabler, the inertia in steering, making quick maneuvers, and in lofting the front end are all different feeling now. I don't know how that will also affect soft conditions handling because we haven't had much opportunity for that this Summer. The jury is still out there.

Tire clearance is obviously copious with 3.8" - 4.0" tires. I have stuck a 4.7" tire in here and if it had significant side knobs, I would be pushing the limits. This is with a Rolling Darryl, by the way, which is not pictured here. 100mm rims and Bud tires? A tight squeeze, most likely.

The MRP Fat Fork on the MukTruk
MRP Fat Fork:

So an aluminum fork? You've all heard the byline on aluminum a million times: Harsh, rigid, stiff, and unforgiving, right? Well, the MRP fork acts like aluminum really is, and that is flexible and not super rigid. It is a surprisingly smooth fork.

The Fat Fork hasn't been ridden with fat tires, just the 29+ wheels I have, so far. At some point I will be getting something built up that supports proper fat bike tires and rims, but till then, keep in mind this impression is with the 29+ set up.

That said, I feel that the higher pressures I have used with the 29+ Knards and the lower volume overall of those tires versus fat bike tires should ride slightly harsher than a full on fat biking set up. I can only guess now- but my opinion is that on a fat bike, this MRP Fat Fork would feel awesome.

The weight isn't terrible, but it doesn't approach the feathery weights that many of the carbon forks are coming out at. Still, it is metal, rides super smoothly, and should be an easy fork to live with in the rough stuff. Tire clearances look on par with Salsa Cycles Bearpaw Aluminum fork, so this should swallow a Bud on a Clownshoe easily. The trail figure that this fork will make your fat bike have will mean slower, more sluggish handling in drier conditions, but slow speed stability should be tops.

Conclusions: If you want to simply make a swap, ditch a lot of weight, don't mind futzing with carbon steer tube plugs, and won't miss triple boss mounts on your fork, get the Fatty fork from One One. It is cheap, but light, and seems durable. Yes....it would seem to break Keith Bontrager's Law. However; if you have an aversion to anything structural on your bike being anything but metal, love stability, and don't mind not being the cool kid at the trail head, get the MRP Fat Fork.

Obviously both of these forks don't support the all out adventure ethos that the Enabler fork espoused, so maybe you'd better hang on to that chunk of steel, just in case. But both of these forks will improve any early model Mukluk and provide you with certain benefits that an Enabler fork doesn't have. I can recommend both for different reasons.

Hope this was useful.

2 comments:

Sam Placette said...

What is Kieth Bontrager's Law? I haven't seen a reference to that before and I couldn't find anything in Google.

Thanks for the write-up.

Guitar Ted said...

@Sam Placette: That would be: "Light, Cheap, Durable. Pick two"