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Complete List of Forks with Bottle Cage Mounts (Utility Forks)

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Steel or titanium frames with a carbon fork have become increasingly popular for gravel cyclists and bikepackers, and a steel/steel pair is a tried and true combination. However, until recently, forks with bottle cage mounts were hard to come by. Fortunately, there are now quite a few options, and the list keeps growing. Here’s our complete Gear Index of utility forks fit for bikepacking, both carbon and steel, all with bottle mounts and other useful provisions.

Carrying water bottles and gear on your fork is now standard bikepacking practice, and can be found on touring bikes going well back into the 70s and 80s. However, forks with bottle cage mounts were hardly commonplace until recently. It wasn’t until the fall of 2008, on the inaugural “Fun Guy Green” Salsa Fargo, when forks with bottle cage mounts appeared en masse. It was the first production fork we know of that focused on utility. In the meantime, most of us resorted to pipe clamps, electrical tape, or rivnuts to add bottle cages in this extremely practical location. Then came the Anything Cage, a new way to secure gear in that position without a big rack. This inspired a handful of steel utility forks to come on the market, each with built-in bottle bosses. The Salsa Enabler was one of the first, back in 2009-2010. Even so, it wasn’t until 2016-2017 when mount-laden carbon forks first appeared.

The boom in utility forks over the past few years has made a lot of bikepackers and gravel cyclists happy. Most of us want bottle mounts as well as other features, such as internal dynamo hub wire routing, rack bosses, fender mounts, and the latest thru-axle standards—12 x 100mm for gravel grinders and BOOST 110 for ultra-endurance mountain bikers who want to get their rigs race ready by swapping out the suspension fork.

  • salsa Firestarter 110 Deluxe, Utility Forks with Bottle Cage Mounts
  • Utility Forks with Bottle Cage Mounts
  • Trek 1120 Adventure HCM Carbon Fork, forks with bottle cage mounts

Forks with Bottle Cage Mounts (Three, please!)

Nowadays, there are quite a few steel options—mostly from Surly and Salsa. But we wonder why popular carbon fork manufacturers like ENVE Composites and Whisky Parts don’t put bottle mounts on their carbon gravel forks. Our best guess is that they want to retain a sleek, clean look. The option for water bottles in that position is extremely practical, and a three-boss configuration is even better, providing two vertical bottle position options or the ability to mount Anything-style cargo cages. In our opinion, all forks branded for “adventure” should have three-pack cage mounts on each blade, dynamo wiring, and rack mounts. Fortunately, 2018 saw the rise of the utility fork as several smaller companies, such as Rodeo Labs, Curve, and Bearclaw answered the call and created carbon forks loaded with mounts and utility.

Some Notes on Fork Length (AC Height)

When perusing the specs of each of the forks listed below, the single most important number to consider is the axle-to-crown (AC) height. The AC height has a direct impact on several important factors in a bike’s geometry, namely the head angle, seat tube angle, and bottom bracket height. Thankfully, gravel forks are pretty simple. They generally have an AC height of around 400mm, designed for 700C x 40mm or 650B x 47mm road plus tires. Suspension-corrected forks are a little more complicated; see the large boxout after the list for some important numbers and factors to consider when matching a suspension fork. If you are new to this and looking at replacement forks, check your bike’s stock geometry chart and try to match the AC height and rake (fork offset) as best you can to retain the bike’s intended geometry.

We’ve compiled the following list that includes all the options we could find. While these forks fall into different categories (carbon or steel, and gravel, MTB, or fatbike, as referenced in the highlights), their one uniting factor is that they’re all utility focused forks with bottle mounts. As with other Gear Index lists, the ones we’ve tested are noted with the “T” icon. After the list, scroll down to find out what else you need to know about carbon forks for bikepacking, such as how to best protect it from the rigors of the road.

  • Bearclaw Ramhorn Carbon Fork

    Bearclaw Ramhorn Carbon Fork

    • Type: Carbon Gravel Fork
    • AC Height: 405mm
    • Rake: 47mm
    • Max Tire Size: 29 x 2.6″ / 27.5 x 3.0″
    • Axle: 15 x 100mm

    Weighing in at a claimed 600 grams, the new Bearclaw Ramhorn Gravel+ fork is designed for big-tire 650B bikes, drop-bar 29ers, and “high speed exploration,” according to the Michigan-based company. Adding to that, “it’s built to withstand extreme bikepacking adventures,” which seems appropriate considering it can fit wide trail 29er tires or monster 27.5″ semi-slicks. “We designed it to be 35% stronger than test standards require. Most importantly, it maintains a [standard gravel] 405mm axle-to-crown length while clearing 27.5 x 2.8 and 29 x 2.4 tires. It also has plenty of clearance for low knob 27.5 x 3 and 29 x 2.6 tires.” Check out our full press release here and stay tuned for the review.

    • Bearclaw Carbon Gravel Fork, Ramhorn
    • Bearclaw Carbon Gravel Fork, Ramhorn
    • Bearclaw Carbon Gravel Fork, Ramhorn
    • Weight: 600 grams (21.2 oz)
    • Price: $500
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Curve CC 29er BP15 Fork

    Curve CC 29er BP15 Fork

    • Type: Carbon MTB Fork
    • AC Height: 480mm
    • Rake: 45
    • Max Tire size: 29 x 2.4”
    • Axle: 15 x 100mm

    There are a couple acronyms to break down within the name of this fork. The CC stands for Curve Cycling and the BP stands for Bike Packing. And, as you might have guessed, this fork is designed for a 29er with a 15 x 100mm thru-axle. The CC 29er features a tapered steerer and triple M5 cage mounts that are rated to carry up to 3 kg of cargo per leg. The CC 29er has simple graphics and a matte carbon finish to pair with any mountain bike or monstercross 29er. Both Lucas and Joe have used this fork on trips around Australia and Tasmania with great results.

    • Price: $629AUD
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Fyxation Sparta All Road Fork

    Fyxation Sparta All Road Fork

    • Type: Alloy/Carbon Gravel Fork
    • AC Height: 400mm
    • Rake: 45mm
    • Max Tire Size: 700C x 42 / 650B x 50mm
    • Axle: 12 or 15 x 100mm (or QR)

    The Fyxation Sparta All Road Carbon Fork fits up to 700C x 42mm tires, or 650B x 50mm, and sports a 1 1/8″ aluminum straight steerer tube, a flat disc brake mount, rack and fender mounts, and two pairs of fork eyelets for water bottles or other two-boss cages. The fork includes your choice of a 12mm or 15mm thru-axle skewer. A full carbon FCR version is also available (scroll down for more on that). While we haven’t put a ton of miles on this one, we have used it on some decently rugged gravel. I’d recommend this one for gravel bikepacking and light touring. Read the full press release here, and find some more thoughts and pics in our 700C to 650B Conversion article.

    • Fyxation Sparta All road Fork, gravel, bikepacking, 650B
    • 650B Tire Clearance, 700C to 650B
    • Fyxation Sparta All road Fork, gravel, bikepacking, 650B
    • Weight: 747 grams (26.3 oz)
    • Price: $299
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Niner BOOST RDO Carbon MTB Fork

    Niner BOOST RDO Carbon MTB Fork

    • Type: Carbon MTB Fork
    • AC Height: 490mm
    • Rake: 51mm
    • Max Tire Size: 29 x 3.0”
    • Axle: 15 x 110mm

    The latest Niner RDO Carbon MTB fork was modernized with the addition of a 110 x 15mm bolt-through BOOST Maxle, clearance for 29 × 3.0″ tires, mid-blade bottle mounts, low rack mounts, and Niner’s RDO carbon construction. The latest version also has a tapered steerer, which, by its very nature—a monocoque construction paired with the stout bolt-in Maxle—ties the bike’s steering about as directly to the trail as physically possible. The result of all this new tech is a very solid fork with just enough utilities to make is a really nice bikepacking fork. We put this fork through a thousand miles of really rugged riding in Georgia, Armenia, and beyond.

    Other things to note is that it has very generous tire clearance. Even with 29 x 2.6″ tires, there’s still plenty of room so you don’t have to worry about mud abrading the inside of the fork.

    • Niner BOOST RDO MTB Fork Review
    • Niner BOOST RDO MTB Fork Review
    • Niner BOOST RDO MTB Fork Review, Carbon BOOST fork
    • Weight: 585 grams (20.6 oz)
    • Price: $550
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    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Salsa Cutthroat Carbon Fork

    Salsa Cutthroat Carbon Fork

    • Type: Carbon MTB Fork
    • AC Height: 483mm
    • Rake: 45mm
    • Max Tire Size: 29 x 3.0”
    • Axle: 15 x 100mm

    At $499, the Cutthroat Carbon fork is the least expensive of Salsa’s three MTB options. Of course, it’s branded with the Cutthroat logo, has a larger crown race to line up with the Cutthroat, and finished gloss black instead of matte like the others. However, compared to the 100mm standard Firestarter Carbon fork, the Cutthroat gets dynamo wire routing and a light mount. We put thousands of miles of some pretty rough riding on this fork without any issues. You can read our review of the Cutthroat here.

    • Salsa Cutthroat Carbon Fork with bottle cage mounts
    • Salsa Cutthroat Carbon Fork with bottle cage mounts
    • Weight: 700 grams (24.7 oz)
    • Price: $499
    • Buy local, or at  Tree Fort  Jenson  helpWe highly encourage you to buy from a local shop when possible, but if you're going to buy online, you can use our affiliate links. We'll get a very small kickback that will help support this site.
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Salsa Firestarter 110 Deluxe Fork

    Salsa Firestarter 110 Deluxe Fork

    • Type: Carbon MTB Fork
    • AC height: 483mm
    • Rake: 51mm
    • Max Tire Size: 29 x 3.0"
    • Axle: 15 x 110mm

    The Firestarter 110 Deluxe is Salsa’s high-end, rigid, carbon mountain bikepacking fork. The fork features a 15mm thru-axle design and is the only carbon mountain bike fork listed here with two sets of Three-Pack mounts on each leg—one angled forward and one rearward. This configuration works well for carrying a light King Cage Many Things Cage on one set and a water bottle on the other. Additional upgrades from the original Firestarter fork are the 110 BOOST spacing, mid-blade mounts for low rider racks, internal routing for BOOST dynamo hubs, and fender mounts (compatible with 29 x 2.2” tire). The Deluxe also gets slightly more rake at 51mm, vs. 45mm on the original. We are currently testing this fork, so stay tuned for a review.

    • Weight: 787 grams (27.8 oz)
    • Price: $599
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    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
    ^ Close
  • Salsa Firestarter Carbon Fork

    Salsa Firestarter Carbon Fork

    • Type: Carbon MTB Fork
    • AC Height: 483mm
    • Rake: 45mm
    • Max Tire Size: 29 x 3.0”
    • Axle: 15 x 100mm

    The Firestarter Carbon Fork is Salsa’s OG bikepacking fork that’s been specced on the original 29+ Deadwood and other bikes released since 2015. It features a 15mm thru-axle design with a set of Three-Pack mounts on the forward portion of each leg for use with Salsa Anything Cages or extra water bottle cages. We’ve tested the Firestarter over several thousand miles and stand by it as a great option for bikepacking, no matter the location or terrain. The Firestarter fork is designed to line up with an EC44 lower headset cup. Note that the version shown in these photos is from the original Salsa Deadwood; the retail version is matte black.

    • Salsa Firestarter Carbon, Carbon Fork with bottle cage mounts, Utility Forks
    • Salsa Firestarter Carbon, Carbon Fork with bottle cage mounts
    • Price: $599
    • Buy local, or at  Tree Fort Bikes  Jenson  helpWe highly encourage you to buy from a local shop when possible, but if you're going to buy online, you can use our affiliate links. We'll get a very small kickback that will help support this site.
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Surly Troll Fork

    Surly Troll Fork

    • Type: Steel Non-SUS MTB Fork
    • AC Height: 420mm
    • Rake: 43mm
    • Max Tire Size: 26 x 3.0˝
    • Axle: 100mm QR

    The Troll fork is a 26˝ tire non-suspension-corrected full utility fork. It’s constructed of CroMoly steel and sports removable rim brake pivots as well as a 51mm disc caliper mount. It’s also designed to accept a rack while using a disc brake, via through-blade threaded mounts in two places on each fork blade. It also has fender eyelets and four sets of three-pack cage mounts. The steerer is 310mm long and 1-1/8˝ threadless.

    • Weight: 1.4 kg (3.09 lbs)
    • Price: $125
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
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    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Trek 1120 HCM Carbon Fork

    Trek 1120 HCM Carbon Fork

    • Type: Carbon MTB Fork (alloy steerer)
    • AC Height: 510mm
    • Rake: 51mm
    • Max tire Size: 29 x 3.0"
    • Axle: 15 x 110mm

    The suspension corrected fork used on the Trek 1120 is called the Trek 1120 Adventure HCM Carbon Fork. It’s made up of a carbon fork and crown with a bonded alloy steerer tube. The fork features 110mm BOOST spacing, triple accessory bosses on either blade, and rack mounts just above the dropout.
 A lot of people have been asking about this fork, specifically whether it will be available to purchase on its own. Right now, the Trek Carbon Adventure Fork is one of only two carbon forks being made with triple bottle mounts and 110mm BOOST spacing. Apparently, the fork is available through Trek dealers as a crash replacement, but it’s not going to be marketed, meaning that it’s not likely to be easy to track one down. The suggested retail prices are $399.99 for the fork and $131.99 for the rack. Part numbers are 561208 for the fork and 560997 for the front rack.

    • Trek 1120 review, Carbon Adventure Fork
    • Trek 1120 review, Carbon Adventure Fork
    • Trek 1120 Adventure HCM Carbon Fork, forks with bottle cage mounts
    • Price: $400
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  • Bombtrack EXT Carbon Gravel Fork

    Bombtrack EXT Carbon Gravel Fork

    • Type: Carbon Gravel Fork
    • AC Height: 395mm
    • Rake: 50mm
    • Max Tire Size: 700c x 45mm / 27.5 x 2.1"
    • Axle: 12 x 100mm

    Following the successful launch of the Hook EXT, Bombtrack released the EXT fork as an aftermarket product. The Bombtrack EXT fork features a full carbon construction, triple cage mounts on each fork blade and fender mounts, flat disc brake mounts, an M5 threaded eyelet for a fender, and a 300mm tapered steerer.

    • Bombtrack EXT Carbon Gravel Fork
    • Bombtrack EXT Carbon Gravel Fork
    • Bombtrack EXT Carbon Gravel Fork
    • Weight: 530 grams (18.7 oz)
    • Price: €329
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Crust Segmented Fork

    Crust Segmented Fork

    • Type: Steel Non-SUS MTB Fork
    • AC Height: 408mm
    • Rake: 45mm
    • Max Tire Size: 27.5 x 2.8” / 29″ x 2.2″
    • Axle: 15 x 100mm

    The Crust Segmented fork is a 1 1/8th fork with a 408mm axle to crown, designed to work on most non-suspension-corrected steel frames. The fork features barrel mounts and fork leg bosses for racks, fenders, and a three-pack cage mount on each leg. It fits up to 26″ x 3″, 27.5 x 2.8”, or 29 x 2.2″ tires and features a 15 x 100mm thru-axle. The Segmented fork is available in “dark sparkle” color. According to Crust, “Is it black, is it purple? I don’t know, depends on the sun and your mood.”

    • Price: $195
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Curve GXR SEEK Carbon Fork

    Curve GXR SEEK Carbon Fork

    • Type: Carbon Gravel Fork
    • AC Height: 400mm
    • Rake: 51mm
    • Max Tire Size: 650B x 2.1”
    • Axle: 12 x 100mm

    The GXR Carbon Fork was designed specifically for Curve’s GXR (Gravel Cross Race) bike, but it also pairs well with other bike frames in this genre. The design is optimised around 700C x 35-40mm or 27.5 x 2.0-2.1” tires, which have similar effective rolling diameters. The fork comes in two variations. The Seek version shown here has a triple-mount for Anything-style cages on either fork leg. Each is rated to 6 kg total (3kg each side). This allows a light rack, water bottles or micro panniers, and fenders.

    • Weight: 535 grams (18.9 oz)
    • Price: $599AUD
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Endpoint Hunter Gatherer Fork

    Endpoint Hunter Gatherer Fork

    • Type: Steel Gravel Fork
    • AC Height: ~390-395mm
    • Rake: 70mm
    • Max Tire Size: 27.5 x 2.4” / 700C x 42mm
    • Axle: 15 x 100mm

    Designed around the Hunter Gatherer bike, the fork of the same name has a low trail geometry, clearance for a wide range of tires, and mounts for touring racks, baskets or low rider racks, fenders, and two bottle cages. The Hunter Gatherer is designed by Ride Endpoint and hand-built by FBM Machine Shop in Ithaca, NY.

    • Price: $325
    • Place of Manufacture: NY, USA
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Fatback Carbon Fork

    Fatback Carbon Fork

    • Type: Carbon Fatbike fork
    • AC Height: 470mm
    • Rake: 46mm
    • Max Tire Size: 26 x 5.0"
    • Axle: 15 x 150mm

    The Fatback Carbon Fork was designed for the new Corvus to be a combination of “light enough to race, but strong enough to carry that extra load.” It comes in either black or white.

    • Weight: 680 grams (24 oz)
    • Price: $499
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Fern X Allygn Carbon Gravel Fork

    Fern X Allygn Carbon Gravel Fork

    • Type: Carbon Gravel Fork
    • AC Height: 395mm
    • Rake: 50mm
    • Max Tire Size: 700C x 50mm / 27.5 x 2.0"
    • Axle: 15 x 100mm

    The Allygn brand is a framebuilder owned company run by the Berlin Framebuilders Collective. The Fern X Allygn Carbon Gravel Fork features a pair of bottle cage eyelets on each blade. One doubles as a lowrider mount which also serves as a porteur rack mount. The fork claims a 370mm maximum tire radius with a 55mm maximum tire width. We aren’t exactly sure how this translates to a “comfortable” maximum tire size, but our guess is that it can safely run a 700C x 50mm or a 27.5 x 2.0″ tire. The Allygn fork also has an M6 light mount in the front fork crown, an additional M6 eyelet on the back of the fork crown for a fender mount, and a 300mm tapered steerer.

    • Weight: 560 grams (19.8 oz)
    • Price: €380
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Fyxation Sparta FCR full Carbon Fork

    Fyxation Sparta FCR full Carbon Fork

    • Type: Carbon Gravel Fork
    • AC Height: 400mm
    • Rake: 45mm
    • Max Tire Size: 700C x 42mm tire or 650B x 50mm
    • Axle: 12 x 100mm

    The Fyxation Sparta FCR is a full carbon, thru-axle, all-road fork with a 1 1/8″ – 1 1/2″ tapered carbon steerer. The fork features flat mount disc brake tabs, rack and fender mounts, and triple cage bosses for multiple bottle placement options or use with a Salsa Anything Cage, King Cage Many Things Cage, or Oveja Negra Bootlegger bags. In addition, the Sparta FCR features internal Dynamo routing and a new thru-axle design with a removable lever on the axle to give riders the ability to nix the lever, meaning less weight and a cleaner look. Or, you can keep it on for access to a 5mm hex wrench at the end of the lever. The Sparta FCR fits up to a 700C x 42mm tire (700C x 40mm with fender) or 650B x 50mm Road Plus. It retails for $420. Read the full press release here.

    • Fyxation sparta FCR, Carbon all-road fork
    • Fyxation sparta FCR, Carbon all-road fork
    • Fyxation sparta FCR, Carbon all-road fork
    • Weight: 500 grams (17.6 oz)
    • Price: $420
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Jones Unicrown fork

    Jones Unicrown fork

    • Type: Steel Non-SUS MTB Fork
    • AC Height: 435mm
    • Rake: 55mm
    • Max Tire Size: 29 x 3.25" or 27.5 x 3.8"
    • Axle: 15 x 150mm

    The Jones Unicrown fork is designed to work with the Jones Plus SWB and Jones 29er frames. It is not suspension-corrected, and so it is limited in use. The Unicrown fork features front lowrider rack mounts, three-pack bosses on each leg for an Anything-style cage, or a normal two-bolt bottle cage with a traditional low-rider rack. It also has full fender mounts (two bosses on each dropout for a fender or rack) and clearance for 29 x 2.3-3.25″ or 27.5 x 3.8″ tires.

    • Weight: 1.45 kg (3.19 lbs)
    • Price: $350
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Landyachtz Adventure Fork

    Landyachtz Adventure Fork

    • Type: Steel Gravel Fork
    • AC Height: 385mm
    • Rake: 47mm
    • Max Tire Size: 700C x 45mm
    • Axle: 100mm QR or 15mm Thru

    The 4130 Chromoly Adventure fork was designed for Landyachtz’ Eff Off gravel bike and features a tapered 1 1/8″ – 1.5″ steerer, a set of three-pack bottle mounts on each leg, fender mounts, post mount for 160mm discs, and a choice of QR or thru-axle dropouts.

    • Price: $124
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Niner RDO Carbon Gravel Fork

    Niner RDO Carbon Gravel Fork

    • Type: Carbon Gravel Fork
    • AC Height: 400mm
    • Rake: 45mm
    • Max Tire Size: 650b x ? / 700C x 45mm
    • Axle: 15 x 100mm

    Similar to the MTB RDO we reviewed, the Gravel RDO fork is a full carbon fork with a 1 1/8″ – 1 1/2″ tapered steerer tube, featuring a pair of bottle mounts on each blade. In addition, the Gravel RDO features mid-blade rack mounts and fender mounts, two pairs of bottle bosses, and is backed by Niner’s C5 Carbon warranty. The Gravel RDO is available in Flat Mount (Stealth Black) for $550 or Post Mount (Industry Grey) for $399. Both fit rotors up to 160mm.

    • Price: $399
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    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Nordest Sardinha 110 fork

    Nordest Sardinha 110 fork

    • Type: Steel MTB Fork
    • AC Height: 483mm
    • Rake: 51mm
    • Max Tire Size: 29 x 3.0"
    • Axle: 15 × 110mm

    The Nordest Sardinha 110 fork is made of 4130 chromoly and designed to replace a 100mm suspension fork. The fork features 260mm, 1-1/8 steerer, BOOST hub spacing, and a paint scheme to match Nordest’s bikepacking-specific bike of the same name. A 15 × 110 thru-axle is included with the fork.

    • Weight: 1.18 kg (2.6 lbs)
    • Price: €103
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Rodeo Labs Spork 2.0

    Rodeo Labs Spork 2.0

    • Type: Carbon Gravel Fork
    • AC Height: 396mm
    • Rake: 45mm
    • Max Tire size: 650b x 2.2″ / 700C x 50mm
    • Axle: 12 x 100mm or 15 x 100mm

    The Rodeo Spork 2.0 is the next evolution in the Rodeo Spork lineage, and on paper has the most clearance of any carbon gravel fork listed here. Spork 2.0 expands Spork’s capabilities with increased tire clearance, rack and fender mounting options, and 12 x 100mm or 15 x 100mm axle options via swappable axle end caps. Depending on the tire brand/casing, the Spork 2.0 can clear tires up to 650B x 2.2″ and 700C x 50mm. We hope to review this one soon, so stay tuned.

    • Rodeo Labs Spork 2.0 Fork with bottle cage mounts
    • Rodeo Labs Spork 2.0 Fork with bottle cage mounts
    • Rodeo Labs Spork 2.0 Fork with bottle cage mounts
    • Weight: 620 grams (21.9 oz)
    • Price: $485
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Salsa Bearpaw 150

    Salsa Bearpaw 150

    • Type: Aluminum Fatbike Fork
    • AC Height: 483mm
    • Rake: 51mm
    • Max tire Size: 26 x 5.0″
    • Axle: 15 x 150mm

    The Bearpaw fork is a 150mm thru-axle, aluminum fat bike fork designed for stiffness and steering precision. The fork features three-pack mounts on each leg and can accomodate 5″ tires mounted to 100mm-wide rims. The Bearpaw has a 39.7mm crown race and a 260mm steerer. It’s compatible with all 26 x 4.0–5.0″ and 29+ tires.

    • Weight: 730 grams (25.7 oz)
    • Price: $360
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Salsa Enabler fork

    Salsa Enabler fork

    • Type: Steel MTB/Fatbike Fork
    • AC Height: 468mm
    • Rake: 45mm
    • Max Tire size: 26 x 3.8 / 29 x 2.5+*
    • Axle: 135mm QR

    The Enabler is designed around a 29er wheel and uses a 135mm-spaced dropout so you can put a singlespeed rear wheel as the front wheel for added security in the backcountry. It has back-of-the-leg three-pack bosses, double eyelets at dropout for racks and fenders, fender bosses at the crown, and low-rider mid-blades bosses. The fork features forward-facing stainless steel fork dropouts, and a 1 1/8″ threadless steerer (350mm). It’s unclear whether the Enabler will be available, but you can still find it on eBay and elsewhere. *Note: we weren’t able to find out the maximum 29er tire size; if anyone knows, please let us know in the comments.

    • Weight: 1.18 kg (2.59 lbs)
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Salsa Firestarter Steel Fork

    Salsa Firestarter Steel Fork

    • Type: Steel MTB Fork
    • AC Height: 483mm
    • Rake: 45mm
    • Max Tire Size: 27.5 x 3.0” / 29 x 3.0”
    • Axle: 100mm QR

    As specced on the Fargo, the Firestarter fork has three-pack mounts for Anything Cage compatibility, rack and fender mounts, and mid-blade eyelets for low-rider racks. The fork also features forward-facing stainless steel dropouts. The Firestarter has a 30.0mm Crown Race and a 300mm steerer tube length.

    • Weight: 1.19 kg (2.62 lbs)
    • Price: $139
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Buy local, or at  Tree Fort Bikes  helpWe highly encourage you to buy from a local shop when possible, but if you're going to buy online, you can use our affiliate links. We'll get a very small kickback that will help support this site.
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Salsa Kingpin Deluxe Fork

    Salsa Kingpin Deluxe Fork

    • Type: Carbon Fatbike Fork
    • AC Height: 483mm
    • Rake: 51mm
    • Max Tire Size: 26 x 5”
    • Axle: 15 x 150mm

    Salsa’s Kingpin Deluxe fork was designed for fat bike expeditions. Featuring dual Three-Pack mounts on each leg (one angled forward and one rearward), and mid-blade mounts to fit low rider racks for panniers. It’s clearly meant to be fully loaded. Other features include a tapered 1-1/8” to 1-½” steerer tube, 203mm maximum rotor size, and internal routing for a 150mm dynamo hub.

    • Price: $499
    • Buy local, or at  Tree Fort Bikes  helpWe highly encourage you to buy from a local shop when possible, but if you're going to buy online, you can use our affiliate links. We'll get a very small kickback that will help support this site.
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Sonder Frontier fork

    Sonder Frontier fork

    • Type: Aluminum Alloy MTB Fork
    • AC Height: 480mm
    • Rake: 51mm
    • Max Tire Size: 29 x 2.5" / 27.5 x 3.0"
    • Axle: 110mm QR

    Built around BOOST 110mm spacing with quick-release dropouts, the Frontier rigid alloy fork offers clearance for big 29er tires or 27.5+. It features three bosses on either blade and lower rack mounts at an affordable price point.

    • Weight: 1.09 kg (2.39 lbs)
    • Price: $87
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Surly Bridge Club Fork

    Surly Bridge Club Fork

    • Type: Steel MTB Fork
    • AC Height: 420mm
    • Rake: 43mm
    • Max Tire Size: 27.5 x 2.8”
    • Axle: 135 QR

    The Bridge Club fork is designed around 27.5” wheels with tire clearance up to 2.8″, but is also capable of running 700c wheel setups with max tire clearance of 47c. It has 51mm I.S. disc caliper mounts and brake line guides, upper and lower barrel bosses, one three-pack cage mount on each leg, mid-blade eyelets, and rack mounts on the fork ends.

    • Weight: 1.19 kg (2.62 lbs)
    • Price: $175
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Buy local, or at  Tree Fort Bikes  helpWe highly encourage you to buy from a local shop when possible, but if you're going to buy online, you can use our affiliate links. We'll get a very small kickback that will help support this site.
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Surly ECR Forks (29+/27.5+)

    Surly ECR Forks (29+/27.5+)

    • Type: Steel MTB Fork
    • AC height: 468mm/447mm
    • Rake: 47mm/43mm
    • Max Tire Size: 29 x 3.0”/27.5 x 3.0”
    • Axle: 100mm QR

    Both ECR forks are designed to replace 80mm-travel suspension forks. They feature 51mm I.S. disc caliper mounts, brake line guides, rack and fender mounts, two sets of three-pack cage mounts (one on each leg), and a 1-1/8” steerer. Specs are shown for both, separated by a slash (29+ first, then 27.5+).

    • Weight: 1.4 kg (3.09 lbs)
    • Price: $125
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Buy local, or at  Tree Fort Bikes  Jenson  helpWe highly encourage you to buy from a local shop when possible, but if you're going to buy online, you can use our affiliate links. We'll get a very small kickback that will help support this site.
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Surly Ice Cream Truck Forks (150/135)

    Surly Ice Cream Truck Forks (150/135)

    • Type: Steel Fatbike Fork
    • AC Height: 483mm
    • Rake: 47mm
    • Max Tire Size: 26 x 5.0”
    • Axle: 15 x 150/135 QR

    The 4130 CroMoly steel Ice Cream Truck forks feature butted and tapered blades and are available with 15 x 150mm thru-axles or QR dropouts spaced at 135mm. Both have barrel bosses at the dropouts and crown, mid-blade thru-blade eyelets, and triple bottle bosses on each fork leg. The 51mm I.S. mounts use rear disc spacing.

    • Weight: 1.4 kg (3.09 lbs)
    • Price: $175
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Buy local, or at  Tree Fort Bikes  helpWe highly encourage you to buy from a local shop when possible, but if you're going to buy online, you can use our affiliate links. We'll get a very small kickback that will help support this site.
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Surly Krampus 110/Karate Monkey Fork

    Surly Krampus 110/Karate Monkey Fork

    • Type: Steel BOOST MTB Fork
    • Ac Height: 483mm
    • Rake: 47mm
    • Max Tire Size: 29 x 3.0”
    • Axle: 15 x 110mm

    The Krampus 110 fork, aka Karate Monkey fork, has 15 x 110mm BOOST thru-axle dropouts and clearance for up to a 29 x 3.0″ tire. To accommodate such big tires, it’s got a longer axle-to-crown measurement than the Ogre or original Karate Monkey forks, making it a good rigid fork option for lots of 29ers out there. The Karate Monkey has a standard 1-1/8˝ threadless steerer, line guides for a disc brake, mid-blade thru-blade eyelets, and three-pack bosses on both fork legs.

    • Weight: 1.18 kg (2.6 lbs)
    • Price: $175
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Buy local, or at  Tree Fort Bikes  Jenson  helpWe highly encourage you to buy from a local shop when possible, but if you're going to buy online, you can use our affiliate links. We'll get a very small kickback that will help support this site.
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Surly Moonlander Forks (Offset and Non)

    Surly Moonlander Forks (Offset and Non)

    • Type: Steel Fatbike Fork
    • AC Height: 443mm
    • Rake: 47mm
    • Max Tire size: 26 x 5.0"
    • Axle: 135mm QR

    There are two versions of the Moonlander fork, an on-center non-offset one, meaning it requires a centered, undished wheel with a 135mm hub, and an offset version that requires a wheel built offset to match the Moonlander frame. Both use 135mm spacing (mountain rear), this is a useful feature, especially in remote places and extreme temperatures or conditions. Should your freehub seize due to cold, invasive grit, or other reasons, you can swap wheels and keep moving.

    The disc brake caliper mount is 51mm I.S. and it works with a standard front caliper adapter. This fork features threaded fender mounts at the dropouts, barrel mounts near the crown, and dropouts for mounting racks or accessories, brake housing guides, and three-pack cage mounts on each leg. It has a 260mm 1-1/8˝ straight steerer.

    • Price: $125
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Buy local, or at  Tree Fort Bikes  helpWe highly encourage you to buy from a local shop when possible, but if you're going to buy online, you can use our affiliate links. We'll get a very small kickback that will help support this site.
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Surly Ogre Fork

    Surly Ogre Fork

    • Type: Steel Non-SUS MTB Fork
    • AC Height: 447mm
    • Rake: 43mm
    • Max Tire size: 29 x 2.5" or 27.5 x 3.0"
    • Axle: 100 QR

    The latest Ogre fork is non-suspension corrected and will run 29″ as well as 27.5″ tire options. Made of 4130 CroMoly, it’s got 51mm IS disc mounts, brake-line guides, two sets of three-pack bottle mounts, low-blade threaded barrel bosses, and mid-blade eyelets for a rack. This fork is designed to run disc brakes, fenders, and a rack simultaneously. The steerer tube is 285mm with a 1-1/8˝ threadless steerer.

    • Weight: 1.4 kg (3.09 lbs)
    • Price: $125
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Buy local, or at  Tree Fort Bikes  helpWe highly encourage you to buy from a local shop when possible, but if you're going to buy online, you can use our affiliate links. We'll get a very small kickback that will help support this site.
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Surly Wednesday Fork

    Surly Wednesday Fork

    • Type: Steel Fatbike Fork
    • AC Height: 468mm
    • Rake: 47mm
    • Max Tire size: 26 x 5.25”
    • Axle: 15 x 150mm

    The 4130 CroMoly steel Wednesday fork has butted and tapered blades with thru-axle dropouts spaced at 150mm and a 260mm long 1-1/8˝ straight steerer. It features barrel bosses at the dropouts and crown, mid-blade thru-blade eyelets, and three-pack cage bosses on both fork legs. Of all Surly’s forks, this is the one with the widest tire clearance.

    • Weight: 1.26 kg (2.78 lbs)
    • Price: $185
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Buy local, or at  Tree Fort Bikes  helpWe highly encourage you to buy from a local shop when possible, but if you're going to buy online, you can use our affiliate links. We'll get a very small kickback that will help support this site.
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Travers XC Prong Boost Fork

    Travers XC Prong Boost Fork

    • Type: Carbon Boost MTB fork
    • AC Height: 485mm
    • Rake: 47mm
    • Max Tire Size: 29 x 3.25" (92mm gap)
    • Axle: 15 x 110mm

    The Travers XC Prong Boost fork was designed specifically for Bikepacking and features a set of three-pack bottle cage mounts on each leg. The mounts are anodized black for a seamless look and are molded directly into the fork leg. The fork is available in both Matte or Gloss finish with a 300mm tapered steerer and a two-year warranty.

    • Weight: 610 grams (21.5 oz)
    • Price: £339
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Velo Orange Piolet Fork

    Velo Orange Piolet Fork

    • Type: Steel Non-SUS MTB Fork
    • AC Height: 26": 400mm, 29er: 430mm
    • Rake: 26": 57mm, 29er: 62mm
    • Max Tire size: 26": 2.4", 29er: 650b x 3.0" / 29 x 2.4"
    • Axle: 9mm x 100mm QR

    Velo Orange offers its Piolet fork as an aftermarket product for folks looking to dial in their touring or off-road rigs. There are two versions, one made for 29er and 27.5″ wheels and tires, and a 26″ version. Both have a triple butted chromoly construction with three-pack bosses on each fork blade, braze-ons for fenders and racks, and a crown light mount. The fork comes in Piolet Blue only with a 350mm 1-1/8″ steerer.

    • Price: $180
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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Matching a Suspension Fork with a Rigid Fork

When converting a suspension bike to rigid, you’re ideally looking for an axle-to-crown that mimics the AC height of the suspension fork—with the suspension sagged—and maintains the handling of the bike as it was originally conceived. For example, the AC height of the Niner Carbon RDO is 490mm. When matching it to my Salsa Timberjack Ti (designed around a 100-120mm fork) I learned that a 100mm travel 29er fork typically has about a 510-520mm AC, give or take a few millimeters, so with 20% sag (20mm), a 490mm rigid fork would be a close match.

What about 27.5+, a breed of bike cherished by many bikepackers? Most trail bikes in this category are specced with a 120mm travel fork that often have a consistent AC height. The 27.5 Fox 34, for example, has an AC height of 525mm with a rake of 51mm. At a 20% sag, this would make the intended AC height right about 500mm. Theoretically, when swapped with a fork such as the Niner RDO, it would drop the front end by about a centimeter and steepen the bike a hair. It would also drop the BB height ever so slightly when compared to the bike’s claimed geometry. But, given the fact that there is no additional travel on a rigid bike, this should be just fine in most situations. In the case of the Timberjack Ti, a bike made to work with either 27.5+ or 29er hoops and generally specced with a 120mm fork, the 10mm difference was not at all an issue. The slight shift in geometry steepened the seat tube a touch while keeping the front end slack enough to stay trail savvy. And bigger 29 x 2.6” tires kept the bottom bracket plenty high. For reference, the carbon mountain bike fork above with the longest AC height is the Trek 1120, at 510mm.

For reference, here are the AC heights for several common forks. Note that these measurements are often consistent across multiple models of the same manufacturer, but check to be sure.

ROCKSHOX PIKE

120mm (27.5): 512mm AC
100mm (29+): 523mm AC
110mm (29+): 533mm AC

MANITOU MACHETE

120mm (27.5): 516mm AC
100mm (29): 510mm AC
120mm (29): 530mm AC

FOX 34

100mm (29): 517mm AC
120mm (29): 527mm AC
100mm (27.5+): 515mm AC
120mm (27.5+): 525mm AC

Carbon Forks for Bikepacking

There are plenty of steel forks with bottle cage mounts available, but now that there is a growing number of carbon options, the ability to save weight has led many bikepackers to choose a carbon fork over a steel one. Carbon also possesses similar vibration-absorbing characteristics to steel, although there are arguments on both sides. These attributes are especially important to the ultra-endurance and gravel racing crowd. And, having spent a fair amount of time on rigid bikes with carbon forks, we certainly see the draw.

How About Carbon for The Big Trip?

Some folks might argue whether or not carbon forks are suitable (and safe) for big international expeditions. The answer is yes, and maybe not. We can vouch for the Niner Carbon RDO and the Salsa Firestarter Carbon forks. We’ve put thousands of miles of international bikepacking on both of them, without fail. But, use your own discretion based on your weight, how much gear you plan on carrying, and whether you plan on tossing your bike on metal roof racks to bounce around for hours on end. That’s a job for steel.

Protecting Your Carbon Fork

While carbon layup processes have advanced over the years, and manufacturers have put a lot of R&D and testing into of the forks listed here, carbon isn’t invincible. Some folks are hesitant to fully embrace the material for bigger trips, and for good reason; it is structurally strong, but as many will attest, it abrades very easily. I’m personally comfortable enough to take any of the forks listed here almost anywhere (within their own limits, of course). However, consider that on bigger trips, it’s not all that uncommon to toss your bike on a roof rack in the event of an emergency. After we had nine flat tires and exhausted our repair options in the Moroccan Sahara, we had to catch a ride over one of the bumpiest tracks I’ve ever experienced. My steel fork ended up with. couple dents and some major abrasion, to the point where paint was worn down well past the raw steel. It was fine, but I’m not sure how a carbon alternative would have held up in this situation.

Be aware that bags and straps can destroy carbon over time, too. The strap that loops around the top tube or crown race is the most notorious for causing damage. I’ve seen those wear a gouge into carbon a couple millimeters deep. This is fully avoidable with the proper protection – Shelter tape is a good option. Also, mud such as bentonite clay sticks to tires like concrete and picks up abrasive gravel along the way. It builds up and can even stop you in your tracks. If unchecked it can get thick enough to chew through the inside of a carbon fork. Make sure to allow plenty of tire clearance; don’t push it by maxing out the tire size. If you plan on venturing into places where you’re likely to encounter these conditions, choose a fork that has more tire clearance than you need.

As with all of our other Gear Index lists, there may have been one or two options we missed, so we welcome additional recommendations in the comments below. Also, if you missed it, be sure to check out our first Gear Index featuring 40+ 650B “Gravel Plus” bikes, and stay tuned for more.