Fat bikes are still, somewhat of a niche right now. A byproduct of this is a lack of choices for fat bike specific components. Case in point, air suspension forks. It seems like there are a lot of choices (on paper) with Olaf, RST, Bluto & The fork of many names, but there can be no question that Bluto has owned the fat-bike suspension fork market, the past few years. The Bluto, in my opinion, was the single best thing that ever happened to the fat bike world. It made seasonal bikes into year-round bikes overnight. RockShox made sure that customers would experience the same feel with the Bluto that you get with any modern mountain bike suspension fork. For the last couple years, the Bluto has been almost the only option.
And now along comes some worthy competition… “The Fork With Many Names,” introduced in 2014, featured inverted stanchions and a stronger overall build. In 2015 the guys a Wren Sports, specifically Kevin Wren, adopted the fork and completely redesigned the fork’s internals. Beefy 36mm keyed stanchions in an inverted design, put the weight of the fork lower, making it more responsive to the trail and super strong. Fat-bike.com published a ‘First Look’ article on the new Wren Inverted Supension Fork and you can read more about the Wren by clicking here.
So now that we have more options, it naturally invokes the question……which one is better? After much thought and deliberation, the folks at the Fat-Bike.com home office, decided I should try to settle this matter. It’s tough work, riding around and trying to break, two brand new suspension forks….but someone has to do it.
Our analysis consists of a three part test. Ease of setup, maintenance, and real world riding. I’m an average garage mechanic, so for the first two sections my scores represented how much I could get done before sending the forks to the LBS. For real world testing, I rode trails that would put any dual suspension bike to the test. The world famous – rough and techy – Moab singletrack trail system. I pushed both forks, as far as my own riding skills could go… The two forks locked in mortal combat… Again, it was a hard job, but someone had to do it!
The video review expands on all of these points. It shows exactly how these forks handle everything from small bumps to 7 foot drops. So cozy up at work or home and give it a view. Make sure you let us know what you think in the comments!