Everything is upside down for Intend as it has released its first 'regular' fork after building its reputation on inverted designs. We've seen this fork teased over the past few weeks on custom European builds
and we can now announce full details of the 140-180mm travel Ebonite Blackline fork.
The first question out of anyone's mouth will surely be, 'why has Intend gone regular?' Well, as Cornelius Kapfinger, the engineer behind Intend, puts it in the press release, "An upside-down fork is not for everyone. The performance may be fantastic, but the design might not tick everyone's boxes." Or, put a bit more saltily, "The characteristic steering qualities [of an inverted fork] may save lots of strength and the braking stiffness may be on the highest level, but it is hard to beat a myth like lateral stiffness without a huge marketing budget or large OE-sales."
140 – 180mm (internally adjustable via c-clips)Axle
110x15 Max disc diameter
Lowspeed Compression, Lowspeed reboundSpring adjustments
Air pressure, automatic pressure adjustment between positive and negative air sping. Progression adjustable via volume spacer with 3 different setupsWeight
€1,659 More info intend-bc.com
Put simply, a regular fork is what most riders are used to and if you can't beat them, join them. Instead of moping about some riders not liking his designs, Cornelius set out to design a regular fork with all the performance characteristics of his inverted designs.
The result is the Blackline Ebonite fork. The key details here are 140-180mmm travel, which is internally adjustable via c-clips, 35mm stanchions and 29" wheels only. Cornelius says it's best to think of this fork as straddling the gap between the Fox 36 & 38 or the RockShox Lyrik & Zeb. He recommends it for everything from trail to freeride with or without electrical assistance.
The air spring technology is the same as on the Intend models Flash and Edge with the positive and negative chamber filled simultaneously via a mutual valve. A volume spacer can be used to adjust the fork's progression by placing it in 3 different positions and changing the size of the positive chamber. As with all Intend forks, the Ebonite doesn’t use the usual x-ring as a seal but a pneumatic seal instead. Cornelius claims this unique feature reduces the friction within the air spring significantly and gives Intend forks a coil-like feel.
The damping can be tuned via external low-speed compression and low-speed rebound adjusters and Cornelius has worked with the Ibis Fidlock Racing Team on the basic setup of the fork that should allow almost any rider to find their perfect tune.
Cornelius was aiming for maximum compatibility when it came to seals and lubrication so Fox Gold Oil is used for the lubrication of the casting, Motorex 2,5W for the damper and, last but not least, the dust seals are D35 SKF Seals just like the ones that are used in all RockShox forks all over the planet.
The fork is only available in black and only for 29" wheels at the moment. Cornelius says you can still run it for a 27.5" bike but you should reduce the travel by 10mm from what you were running to keep the ride height within 10mm. The fork weighs 2,280 grams, which is 120 grams lighter than the Flash but the regular design does increase the unsprung mass. The fork is also €2-300 cheaper than Intend's inverted forks at €1,659.
More info, here