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We have been using our staff Omniums for adventure riding for a few years now, and although it is lots of fun clanging and banging around with a rigid fork and a 55mm wide tyre, we wanted to see if a suspension fork would fit.
We wrote this blog post about the process: The Adventure Cargopacker
The good news is that it works really nicely! But we did have to do some trial and error development in order to make sure that the handling was optimised. This involved making a custom steerer plate extension that has bespoke geometry to allow the use of the existing steerer rod.
If you purchase this item online, rather than getting it installed at our workshop we will assume that you have acknowledged, understood and accepted all of the following points:
- A much smoother ride. Loads more comfortable and safer when mounting or dismounting the pavement or other non-smooth obstacles.
- Clearance for much wider tyres! Up to 2.5" is fine.
- The king of versatile cargo bikes is now even more fun!
Disadvantages (mostly matters of opinion):
- The bike is slightly jacked up (70mm on a Mini-Max, and about 60mm on a Cargo).
- The fork requires maintenance as all suspension forks do. Things like regular lubrication and cleaning. And replacement bushings, foam rings, and seals if play develops between the lowers and stanchions. (We have not yet found a supplier for these spares, but are working on it. It shouldn't be too difficult as 32mm is a very common size.)
- The effective steerer angle is altered ever so slightly, so slow speed tracking is not as smooth, but barely noticeable for most.
- The limits of steering are slightly reduced when turning left. Turning right is the same.
- To install your front mudguard you will need to modify the stays by bending them and cutting them down.
- Added weight. We will get the scales out and verify what the difference is soon.
- Not compatible with 160mm rotors. The fork has a 180mm Post mount fitting, instead of the stock 160mm IS mount. So 180mm is the smallest rotor you can use. 200mm fits fine. We haven't tried 220mm, but that's probably ok also.
- There is no longer a clever way to do internal routing for a front dynamo hub. The cable will have to be routed outside the fork leg with tape or cable ties etc.
- Bolany 20" Air Fork with 15x100 Thru Axle with a custom cut steerer for either Cargo or Mini-max, with 1/8" thread added by us in the workshop so you can use the existing locking headset upper cap.
- 32mm stanchion clamp with M8 thread.
- Custom Steerer Extension plate and fixing hardware.
- Kickstand spacer.
More guidance and support will be provided to anyone who buys this item.
Installation is fairly straight forward, but if you are in any doubt of your ability to remove and replace a fork please ask your local bike shop to do the work for you.