Turn it up to Nine(r).

Through the wonders of the interwebs, I had someone offer force me to take a Niner carbon fork.  1-1/8″ steerer, full carbon.  The color is Niner’s metallic orange tang.

I had no idea what to do with it.  Mount it as wall art?  Make a Halloween decoupage?  Giant tuning fork?  Sharpen the ends and use it to flip brontosauraus steaks?

After much consideration I decided to put it on the El Mar.

Installation was a snap.  The stock Salsa steel fork is also 1-1/8″, straight steerer.  The bottom cup from the headset slid easily off the stock fork and onto the Niner.  To cut off the extra steerer, I used a dremel tool with an abrasive cutting wheel–my preferred method.  The Niner fork uses a post mount instead of an IS mount…I prefer the post mount, personally.  It takes up to a 185mm rotor, which meant it worked perfectly with the stock 180mm rotor and Avid Elixir 5s on the El Mariachi.

Stock, steel fork weighs 1064 grams.

Note that on this bike, there are no Anything Cage mounts or bottle cage mounts.

Niner fork weighs 542 grams, uncut.

After cutting the steerer, about 1.2 pounds of weight reduction, at the front end.

The color match is not perfect.  The El Mar’s paint is much prettier–more metallic, more sheen, deeper color.

Installed, when you look at it, the Tang of the Niner fork is pretty close to the color of Salsa’s labelling.  It doesn’t look out of place, and I prefer it to the black carbon forks, on this bike.

Nothin’ like some garage glamour shots.

How’s the ride?  I have minimal time on it thus far.  The length and steering geometry are basically unchanged–no surprises there.  The bump compliance of the Niner fork is appreciably improved over the steel of the stock fork.  That surprised me…I was expecting the carbon fork to be stiffer and less compliant.  I’ll give more details when I get more time in on it.

Thank you to–you know who you are.


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