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Bluto Vs. Wren – Suspension Fork Shootout – by Dustin Carlson

 

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.

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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!

For additional information on the forks tested visit – Bluto – www.sram.com/rockshox, Wren – www.wrensports.com

 

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13 Responses to Bluto Vs. Wren – Suspension Fork Shootout – by Dustin Carlson

  1. thub December 12, 2016 at 11:58 pm #

    Great product review Dustin!

    • DC December 13, 2016 at 11:24 am #

      Thanks!

  2. nitrousjunky December 13, 2016 at 5:59 am #

    Great review! I’m currently between these two and will be riding them like you did for the review. Was leaning toward the Wren after a demo ride on one, but I think you just gave me that needed nudge.

    • nitrousjunky December 13, 2016 at 10:17 am #

      That said, would be neat to see the same comparison, but with a Bluto RCT3 fork with 2-4 bottomless tokens.

      • DC December 13, 2016 at 11:27 am #

        I think the most important question is what you will be riding. You said above that you ride rougher trails so I think the Wren will be a good idea. I would have liked to try out some pucks too though!

  3. Guy Ford December 13, 2016 at 12:21 pm #

    Personally I would’ve like to have seen a comparison that was more apples to apples instead of apples to oranges. The Wren 120 has an axle to crown of 540, whereas the Bluto 100 is 511, that’s a huge difference, not to mention the travel difference. Although a 120mm Bluto probably would have only made the flex worse, still would have been a more direct comparison all around, Bluto 120 has a 531 a2c much closer and equal travel.

    • Kevin Wren December 15, 2016 at 1:15 pm #

      Hey Guy,
      Our fork has an AC of 530 on the model tested. We also offer a 150mm travel version with a 570AC. Both forks have the capability to reduce travel and AC by up to 30mm. You are right about the 120mm Bluto having more flex.
      Thanks!

      • Guy Ford December 28, 2016 at 2:06 am #

        Hey Kevin,

        I’m confused, the video states has was riding a 120mm Wren, which your site states is 540mm AC? The 110 Wren, again based on your site, has a 130mm AC. What gives, is it your site or the rider that is providing incorrect info? Sorry not trying to be a douche, I’m very interested in the Wren, so correct info is important to me. Thanks

  4. thub December 14, 2016 at 7:47 am #

    9:ZERO:7 is starting to offer Wren forks as an option on new bikes. Will be interesting to see how the Wren fares in cold temps. Great to see a worthy fork choice in the market place.

  5. Lars December 17, 2016 at 10:15 pm #

    Lauf?

  6. Dan December 24, 2016 at 3:27 pm #

    Very thorough and well done. I appreciate the sacrifices you made!

  7. Roger December 29, 2016 at 2:48 pm #

    Suspension forks for fatbikes isn’t anything significant. It’s a suspension fork on a bike. Hello, 1989 is on the phone 🙂

  8. rickyd January 18, 2017 at 10:32 am #

    Great, thorough review Dustin. Looks like you tore sh!t up doing the testing! 🙂