Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Carbon Fiber Trigon Fork - 6 Month Review

I am up for a 6 month review on my 26" Carbon Fiber Trigon Fork. Finding very few reviews of this fork on the web, I feel it necessary to share my experience.


I purchased this fork in April and posted about it HERE. I bought this fork more for the rigid set-up than the weight, although it is MUCH lighter than any steel option. Even with the very nice Rock Shox fork that came stock on the Motobecane Fantom Ti, I still have a huge problem with suspension forks - they seem to just bounce around too much for my tastes - lock-out and all. I also hate messing around with adjustments, air, lockouts, etc.

I've always preferred "set-it-and-forget-it", and what better way to do it than with a rigid fork? I was skeptical at first because I am over 200lbs., but after reading others post about their experience with a carbon fork, I thought it'd be fine. I never thought I'd be descending rock gardens with it, so heavy abuse was never my intent.


I've ridden this fork on just about anything a suspension fork would - and I am very, very impressed. Most of my ability to ride a rigid fork, I feel, comes from my BMX background where you have to "trials" ride more than just having the ease of suspension carry you over obstacles. Again, I prefer the former over the latter. However, the true advantage comes when climbing - especially on fire roads.

There are two cons about this fork that I have found:

1) It is not suspension corrected. I had a 100mm suspension for on the Ti bike before, and there is a definite change in steering geometry. For some, like me, this will not be a problem. But for others, it may pose a problem - depending on how you like your bike to handle.

2) It has a carbon steerer tube. For weight weenies, this is great, but it was definitely sketchy using the expanding compressor top cap that it came with. Also, clamping down on it felt very sketchy, as well. So far, no issues with slipping but I do have to point out that it is a sensitive area.

As an aftermarket part, I am very happy with it. Rigid riding is not for everybody, but for those like myself, I think the Trigon Fork does the job well. For $215, it would be hard to find a competitive bargain.

PROS:
  • Extremely light weight (claimed 525 grams/1.16 lbs)
  • Rigid set-up is low/no maintenance
  • Smooth, not as harsh as aluminum.
  • Available with v-brake mounts
  • Great value for the price

CONS:

  • Made in Taiwan (some people take issue with this)
  • Not suspension corrected
  • Carbon Steerer tube is a bit sketchy
  • Possible weight limitations
  • Rigid may not suit you

11 comments:

  1. Nice write up! I am trying to sell some FS stuff so I can buy a Trigon fork and matching carbon fiber frame. I am done with complicated FS bikes. I find that because I am busy, I don't ride because the bike takes to much taking care of. All I want to do is air up the tires and ride.
    What kind of cranks do you have on that bike? What size ring are you running on it? I like the Paul chain guide. But , are you saying that it can't be ajusted without rubbing because of the 9 speed?
    Thanks,
    Shawn

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  2. Hey Shawn, that was exactly my reasoning. Check out the updated mods (purple handlebars) in more recent posts!

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  3. Hi Dion,

    I'm about 175lbs fully suited up. I ride Skegg's a lot using this fork and I fear it falling apart. How's it been for you? I read you take it on rock gardens. Nice write-up BTW.

    Thanks,
    Wilson

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  4. Hey Wilson,

    I'm having no issues with it, but I also don't go hucking it. I take the rock gardens, obviously, much slower than you would with a beefy suspension fork.

    So far, so good, though. I'm about 215lbs., give or take.

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  5. Dion,

    Thanks for the reply.
    I will keep at it and let you know how it turns out :)

    Wilson

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  6. Thanks for the review! I'm currently modding an 07 trek 4300 for touring and looking for a rigid fork. What would you think of this featherweight sharing a 325 lbs load (strictly on the pavement of course:)?

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  7. Hey Chris: people often thing that CF is going to explode the moment you ride off a curb. For commuting purposes? I'm sure it's fine... there are a ton of bikes that come stock with carbon forks!

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  8. I am currently looking into the same fork. I was wondering, since the fork is integrated and my head tube is traditional (as is yours) what kind of headset are you using?

    My concern is actually the width of the bottom cup. Mine is 46mm wide and since the fork's crown is 50mm, this will cause a 2mm "step" in the perimeter where the fork meets the bottom cup.

    It is more of an aesthetics issue and I cannot decide whether it is worth replacing my headset.

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  9. I just bought a pair of these on eBay...looking forward to fitting 'em on. I've got a Giant Terrago and am also sick of suspension - I'll post back when they arrive and let you know how it sits on my bottom cup.

    Thanks for your write up Dion - super helpful and honest :)

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  10. So I fitted it...looks great and does (unfortunately) have a little bit of a step up - not too bothered though to be honest.

    I did a 35 mile ride last night with a friend in a relatively fast time - forks make a huge difference. They weight F* all - 450Grams they came to!

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  11. The expander plug that came with my Trigon fork kept slipping, so I bought a Specialized plug from a local Specialized dealer for $10 and it solved the problem.

    *The road version of the Specialized expander plug fit and the mountain bike version didn't. Weird...

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