Wednesday, November 16

About that metal fork I rode around on for a bit in order to form some IMHOMO

The Roca Roja titanium Horquilla fork.  What do I think about it?

I've always been enamored with the idea of a rigid ti fork.  I talked about that already.

I jumped at Cosmo's offer to play on one for a bit.  I have and I did.

Things to keep in mind:

The Vertigo Meatplow V.7 was designed around a 470mm A-C/45mm offset (or so) rigid fork.

The Horquilla fork is 500mm A-C/45mm offset (although custom lengths/offsets are possible).

The ENVE fork I currently run is almost a pound lighter, but is also $175+ more expensive.

Both forks have plenty of room for a 3.0 tire and 15mm thru axles.

So, those things considered, how did it ride?

The positives:

When cruising down gravel roads with loads of chatter and braking bumps, the lower section of the legs were really flexing back and forth.  It did a great job soaking it up.  Maybe better than any other rigid fork I've tried.

I'd be guessing that it's the tapered head tube and 15mm thru-axle, but it was much more precise feeling than any steel rigid fork that I've ridden.  That said, all the steel fork's I've tried were 1 1/8" and quick release.

That taper, those big titanium tubes, that brace... I'm pretty sure all that helps keep things going in the forward direction.

I also like that brake mount.  Very clean... postal.

Let's face it, it's ti.  No paint to worry about, and no carbon to scratch.  Even if you did mark it up, it's nothing a little steel wool or Scotchbrite won't fix.

The negatives:

Well, my bike wasn't really designed around legs that long.  The handling felt a little compromised for my tastes, but being that custom lengths can be ordered, I guess that doesn't really need to be a problem.

It is heavier than the ENVE.  I mean, it's ti VS carbon.  I ride a ti frame that's heavier than something similar in carbon, so my priorities aren't always weight.

The Horquilla doesn't have ENVE's adjustable offset VIA reversible axle inserts.

To be perfectly honest, that won't matter to 95% (or more) of the rigid fork riders out there, but it's something I like.  When I swap to a 3.0 tire (although I don't do that very often), I change the offset to 52mm to get back some of the quicker handling lost with the taller tire.

I'll be sending the Horquilla fork back to Cosmo pretty soon.  As far as what I do in the future, I'll probably stick with the ENVE fork.  Partly because of the weight savings and adjustable geometry.  Mostly because I already own it.

That said, I can think of some people/bikes/situations that this jive well with the Horquilla.  I'm always looking at all manner of SS'able short chain stay hardtails.  Most (if not all) of them are being built around 120mm or more front travel.  Myself, I don't like the limited number of rigid fork options for those bikes.  I'm not gonna drop the current trend long/low bottom brackets any closer to the ground and still feel comfortable.  So those riders that own such frames should feel limited no longer.  This is a very good, not-so-expensive option.

BTW: Cosmo said custom lengths and Boost™ is available at no extra cost.

BTW (also): If someone local is interested in this fork, lemme know.  He's willing to let it go for less than retail since I defiled it already.


Anonymous said...

umm, it should cost MORE if YOU defiled it already....;)

Mike said...