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Carver O’Beast Carbon Fork Review

Carver O’Beast Carbon Fork

Written and photographed by Porter Million

Specs:

  • Full carbon 3K weave
  • 570 grams uncut
  • 1-1/8″ x 300mm carbon steerer
  • 135mm hub spacing
  • Front disc offset (spacers included upon request)
  • 45mm fork rake
  • 465mm axle-to-crown
  • Post mount disc caliper mount
  • Clearance for 4.7 inch tires

Retail $299 

Purchased at: I won the fork through a contest on FAT-BIKE.COM!

A HUGE thanks to the wonderful crew over at FAT-BIKE.COM!

Review-

Shipping and Customer Service from Bikeman:

Extremely swift shipping. I was notified by fat-bike.com that I was the winner of the fork and that it was shipping that day. I had the fork 3 days later!

I had a couple questions about the install and the small amount of hardware that was include so I wrote an email to Bikeman customer service. I received a detailed response within 24hrs.

First Impression:

The box was rather oversized due to the good quality packing, so the fork was well protected and unharmed when I removed it from the box. The O’Beast fork looks much more impressive in person than it does in the photos. It had a very clean aesthetic and also looked like it could handle a beating. The manufacturing quality seemed very nice. It had a beefy appearance, almost looked over-built. Despite the heaviness of the name, the fork was amazing light. I was previously running a Salsa Enabler on my bike and when weighed , the Enabler came out to about 1180grams. The O’Beast weighed in at a slim 572 grams, uncut. Yep, you read that correctly… the Carver fork is about half the weight of the Enabler!  The fork came with a decent looking ‘Carver’ logo sticker on each side. The stickers could easily be taken off, since there was now clearcoat over them, but I chose to leave them on the fork to represent Carver. The overall finish on the carbon fork was flawless… absolutely beautiful!

The Install:

There was a small hardware kit that came with the fork that included a 5mm machined 6-hole spacer for the rotor and extra long torx head rotor bolts. Using the O’Beast fork did require me to install the 5mm brake adapter that would allow the rotor to be properly spaced from the hub. The headset compression plug was not included in the hardware kit so I purchased a Problem Solvers compression cap from the crew at Random Bikes in Eagan, MN.

The actual installation was very straightforward and easy. I did cut down the carbon steertube slightly so that took a little more time and effort. Total install time was about 15-20min with the shortening of the steertube and cleanup.

The Ride:

The only carbon fork I had ever ridden prior to the O’Beast was on a road bike, so I was a little hesitant to pound on the fork during its inaugural ride. I wasn’t sure if the fork would be to soft or maybe too stiff. After the first ride at the local trail, I found the ride to be much better than with the Enabler. There wasn’t much difference with small bump compliance between the two forks, mainly due to the fact that the large volume tires soak those up. Where I noticed the biggest difference was with the larger, sharper bumps. The carbon O’Beast did a nice job of taking the edge off of those and smoothing them out a bit.

I really enjoyed the feel of the fork while carving the corners. The front end felt light and responsive despite the oversized 45Nrth Husker Du tires. The overall handling of the bike has greatly improved since adding the Carver O’Beast fork!

Durability:

As I mentioned previously, I was a little hesitant to pound on the fork, for fear that I might break it, but that has been far from the case. I have had the fork for a month or so and  I don’t ride the bike any differently than I did when I had the Enabler on there. Weighing in at 220lbs, I don’t really ride ‘light’, so the fork takes a good beating. I have yet to hear any pops, creaks or other uneasy sounds, while ripping some singletrack. So far, so good!

As far as long-term durability goes, I feel it is too soon to tell. I trust that Carver has engineered the fork to last so I am not too worried.  Look for a follow-up review after I put some more miles on the fork.

Conclusion:

I have been really impressed with this fork. It’s has been extremely durable and the ride quality has been excellent.  I would definitely recommend it to other riders looking to lighten up their fatbike front end.

NOTE: Without riding the O’Beast,  I probably would not have purchased this fork.  I was completely content with the Enabler at the time. Had I been given the chance to demo one before I owned one, I would have tried to scrape up the change to buy one. Luckily, I took the time to enter the contest on FAT-BIKE.COM so that I didn’t have to spend a dime! Now that I have had the chance to ride the Carver O’Beast Carbon Fork, I am not sure I will ever want a different rigid fork on the front end of my fatbike!

http://www.carverbikes.com/

http://www.bikeman.com/

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5 Responses to Carver O’Beast Carbon Fork Review

  1. Josh Spice August 27, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

    What’s the rake on a Fatback fork? Trying to decide which one to go with. The Carver is 250 grams lighter (8.8 oz), which is appealing.

  2. Porter August 28, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    Josh- I believe the Fatback Carbon fork also has a 45mm rake. I know a few people running the Fatback, and they have been happy with that fork as well.

  3. Nita November 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    Great review Porter, made the sale for me on my new fatbike !

  4. Troll May 28, 2013 at 12:03 am #

    What front hub is in use here? I am considering this fork for my pugs and would like to build a new wheel using a blue 135mm hub like the one pictured (since mine is built offset for the stock fork of course).

    • Gomez May 29, 2013 at 10:39 am #

      looks like a Salsa OEM hub.

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