Like Boise, Detroit is a bike town that you don’t hear much about, until now… While that’s an iPad add, the story is still great and shareable.
First glimpsed at NAHBS, ENVE’s new Mountain Fork is a rigid, carbon fibre design that shares all the industry leading technology and craftsmanship of the companies road and cyclocross forks with some innovative features thrown in. The tapered steerer (1.5”-1.125”) MTN fork has a carbon fibre mini-fender that has an integrated guide to neatly handle brake hose management without the hassle of internal routing. In wet or muddy conditions, the fender is just big enough to limit the amount that the front tyre casts off into your face. In dry conditions, the fender can be removed and replaced with pieces to fair in the attachment points and hold the hose in place. The other distinct feature is a two-position “chip” axle system. The rounded, rectangular chips fit into an eye at either fork tip. A 15mm thru-axle interface is machined into the chip off-center. With the axle in the rear position, the MTN fork has 44mm of rake (470mm axle to crown); the forward position gives 52mm of rake (472mm a-c). The a-c and variable rake make the MTN adaptable to a wide range of wheel sizes and frame geometries.
Why would you want a $625 rigid fork? Well, there are still riding conditions where a rigid fork will outperform a suspension fork, and even if your fork has a lockout, the MTN fork will steer more precisely while weighing perhaps less than half the weight (711gr with fender).
I kinda wonder if custom builders are going to jump on this item for monster-cross or big-tyre gravel grinders. The fork has 88mm of tyre clearance, much bigger than a typical cyclocross fork. The 470-472mm height is far taller though, so you wouldn’t want to retrofit this fork to a CX frame (395mm a-c seems to be a de facto standard for cyclocross forks). But I could slap this fork on my Giant XTC 27.5 and have an 18-lbs bike with more clearance and rubber than my CX bikes.
Take Solace against a guardrail
Finally, we’re catching up to the idea that many of us might be happier on a bike other than the ones being raced at the Tour of Flanders.
I asked Nic Sims, Scott’s Director of Marketing to tell me more about the bike’s “zones.” He said
The top half of the bike is the comfort Zone you can think of it as the area of the bike that as a rider we have the most contact points that will feel bumps etc so in this area we have worked to develop the most forgiving ride the big noticeable area is the seatstays, very thin which allow some vertical flex. But you need a bike to move forward and this is through pedaling which is the lower region of the bike or Power Zone, you hear talk about lateral stiffness and this is important as this is the side to side load that pedaling causes, so the better the lateral stiffness the more efficient the bike will be. The Solace has blended both worlds to offer a bike that has excellent pedaling efficiency and amazing comfort.
The bike also has Asymmetric rear end – drive side chain stay is up to 2mm taller than non drive side depending on size, the bottom of the Drive side seat stay diameter is up to 3mm bigger than the opposing stay depending on size, this is to take into account the power forces delivered to a bike comes from the right hand side. We also utilize Size specific tubes and layups – Other companies are talking about doing this now but we have had it for over a year. Tube dimensions change for each size, the seat stays on a 58 are 1mm thicker than on a 49, the top tube is 1.5 mm thicker than a 49 and the down tube is 3mm thicker. The head tube gets extra reinforcement on the bigger sizes, the fork comes in two different layups, the down tube gets a stiffer lay up on the bigger sizes and the seat tube get softer lay up on the smaller sizes.
So that means, the Solace is a performance, comfort carbon bike. That’s what the industry is chasing these days, to find the right mix of layup – the new Tarmac is after this goal too. As Patrick said, for the rest of us to ride, all day, if we want.
I rode the Solace too, threw it into corners, and slammed into the biggest hit on the pavement I could find. Over the bumps, the frame “cantilevered,” and for the rest of the ride, performed as good as expected.
Casual cyclists and mtn bikers often rail against the snobbery of uptight roadies…what with their slavish dedication to Euro-cool trends, to say nothing of their condescending enforcement of “group ride rules”. But isn’t that society in general? When many individuals must coexist in limited space, our social etiquette becomes more elaborate, and the magnified consequences of an individual’s undesirable behaviours prompts the group to collectively police itself.
Take aerobars for instance. Sure, Tony Martin and Fabian Cancellara are impossibly cool when using them, but think twice about trying to emulate these heroes while on the group ride. FUNNY….er, I mean bad things can happen.
FWIW: anyone wanna have fun guessing where the incident in the video occurred? I have an educated guess based on 5 clues. My guess after the jump