Alex’s Blog: The long and the short of rigid forks on a 29er.

We know that the subject of the famous Yo Eddy rigid fork is one close to many FAT fans hearts, it is an iconic piece of original design that we’ve written about in previous blog posts. When we embarked on this relaunch journey at the end of 2014, we honestly had no idea after all these years if there would be demand for a rigid fork, so initially it was not part of the program. But we heard you loud and clear that you wanted it, so it was added for both 27.5″ and 29″ wheel sizes.

While designing a rigid fork to work on a 27.5″ frame (that is also suspension ready) is relatively straightforward, doing this for a 29er is not so easy. One of the first design challenges Chris had to address with the KickStarter 29ers was how to make the rigid fork work with the larger wheel size. We tested a variety of scenarios here and it quickly became clear that building a 29er rigid fork that was fully suspension ready for a 120mm fork would require much larger diameter fork legs, making the whole thing way too heavy.

So in order to make the fork work, a small re-design was made just to the 29er frames who had also selected a rigid fork. By lowering the front end slightly we were able to reduce the length of the fork (and use the same tubing profile as the 27.5″) and maintain the same head angle and handling. While the frame for these rigid 29ers was designed primarily around the rigid fork, it can still accept a shorter travel (80mm) suspension fork.

Where does all of this leave us when it comes to future production of Yo Eddy and other models you may ask? Well for now we’ve taken the decision that the rigid fork will not be available on the next batch of Yo Eddy 29ers. There are a number of reasons for this, including the design challenge we’ve already described. But it’s also worth remembering what the Yo Eddy always stood for, it was (and still is) our flagship product that provided the best handling riding experience. We want to keep the original soul of the Yo Eddy but update it where it makes sense with modern tubing profiles, disc brakes, dropper post etc.. front suspension is a really important part of this to get the handling and ride we want, and the frame needs to be designed with this in mind.

We’re certainly not saying goodbye to the rigid fork, it will be back on future batches of the 27.5″ Yo Eddy and maybe some other models down the line that are designed specifically around a rigid fork. It’s one of many new ideas we’re looking at, so the good news for FAT fans is that there’s plenty of cool stuff in the mix, and as soon as we can share them with you we will! As ever it’s always great to hear your feedback, comments, suggestions so keep em coming.