Here’s a new fork with a familiar face and a name to remember. The Wren Sports Inverted Suspension fork is decidedly NOT the fork of many names that preceded this version of the fork that we’re currently testing. The Wren Sports Team brings a ton of Industry Experience to their suspension fork. If you’d like to listen to an interview with Kevin Wren, from the Weekly Dose of Fat about Wren Sports click here (starts at 12:00). I mounted the Wren onto a BlackJack Fate Carbon Fatty, as phase 3 of that bike’s review and you can read a bit about that experience here.
Let’s start out with some numbers. The Wren Fork weighs 4 lbs 13 oz. The fork is shipped with 150mm of travel and a 570mm Axle to Crown (A/C). Both the A/C and the amount of travel are adjustable using supplied clips inside the dual air stantion. The rigid carbon fork that was on the BlackJack has an A/C 482mm and weighed a svelte 1 lb 11oz. I started with 30mm of sag and the travel set at 150mm. It felt a little raked out but man, what a blast floating the sandy drops on the Connector Trail I was following Evan whooping and hopping the bike like a kid again! Going up, was where I noticed the extra A/C, so I pulled up the video on how to adjust the amount of travel and the A/C and went to work. I lowered both the travel and the A/C by 30 mm. It was an easy adjustment, though I did have to buy a set of offset needle nose pliers to complete the job. With the clips installed, I aired the fork, back up and all systems were GO! In the end, I kept the travel at 120mm and ended up liking a 550mm A/C, but having the ability to easily adjust the travel and A/C gave me the ability to fine tune the front end for the twisty singletrack that we have in Wisconsin.
That’s the set-up that I would ride the fork for the duration of the test. I did play around with the air pressure and the balance between the top and bottom of the dual air chamber during the first few rides and easily found the sweet spot for my style of riding.
The Wren has a lockout at the top of the right crown and works great for any out of the saddle climbing. My bet/hope is that they’re working on a remote trigger for the lockout feature. The fork is really smooth and small bump compliance was superb.
The knock on other inverted forks has been rigidity. The Wren’s Beefy Stantions and the 15mm Thru-axle, lock that down really well and the fork felt solid and never gave me even a whimper. This fork made a great (fat) mountain bike, even better. I tested the Wren at Levis, Kettle and Camrock and IMHO this fork is the real deal. It never acted peculiar or bottomed out or lost air during the time that I rode it. During the test period, I was impressed and after a few weeks of of testing, I started telling everyone that I know that they should try one.
I’m fond of letting people ride the bikes that I get to test and in the feedback that I heard about the Wren, the word most consitantly used was smooth. I would add solid and high quality. The fork’s easy to work on and the ability to adjust both travel and A/C give the Wren the ability to fit a variety of brands of fat-bikes, terrain and situations.
I know what you’re all thinking……”Is it better than a Bluto?”
I don’t think that I posses sufficient radness or skeelz – or for that matter…suspension challenging terrain in my neck of the woods to provide our readers with our official answer to that question (yet). I’ve ridden both forks, but it’s been a year since, I spent any time riding a Bluto. I think we need more data and that’s why we’ve sent our Wren Fork out to Utah for testing and a real, ‘side-by-side’ analysis on terrain that will present a much more challenging test environment. So you can look forward to a Wren vs. Bluto Fat-Suspension Fork Shootout coming up here, towards the end of the year.
For more information about Wren Sports visit – www.wrensports.com