Enabler Fork - Jack-of-All-Trades, Master of Many

Back in October, when we introduced the first prototype of the Enabler it caught some folk’s attention. That’s a good thing right? Well, except when you’ve got folks fired up for the product but you won’t deliver it for a few months. Sorry about that. It did take us a bit longer than planned to come to market.

Well, we’ve had the Enabler Fork in stock now for a while (as many of you have noticed) and it seemed time to share a bit more about the fork and just what it allows you to do.

It is a slightly complicated, freak of a fork in many ways. People often get hung up on the massive tire clearance and immediately think ‘snow bike’. There are a couple things to keep in mind in that regard however. Remember, the Enabler is a 29’er fork. Throwing it on your existing snow bike might throw it out of balance a bit. Check the Enabler product page for all the critical measurements and compare to whichever fork you are currently using.

It does ENABLE you to create what we’ve been calling ‘snow bike lite’: a 29’er with a bit fat Surly Endomorph or Larry tire up front. Lots of floatation for snow or sand, and if you run a wide rim (like a Salsa Gordo 29’er Disc) on the back end with a 2.5” 29’er tire, it just may turn unrideable terrain into rideable terrain, without buying a new bike.

Here are a couple shots from this past winter of Jason on board his prototype El Mariachi set up as a ‘snow bike lite’.

But don't let yourself get pigeon-holed into just the Enabler-snowbike lite-phat tires mindset. Remember, the Enabler is at heart just a kick-butt 29'er fork. Clearance for Endomorphs or Larrys means that there is gobs of room for any 29’er tire. That in turn ENABLES you to run your choice of 29’er rubber up front for ‘regular’ off-road riding.

Remember that bit about it being a ‘freak fork’?

Well, the Enabler uses a rear wheel. If you’ve got a spare 29’er rear wheel it will drop right in and become your front wheel. It uses a front brake adapter however so you don’t need to worry about coming up with a second rear brake adapter. Your front brake will swap straight over. Essentially the Enabler is a sweet riding fork for those rigid riding situations that has a ton of clearance and other features. The fact that it uses a rear wheel is just another benefit.

Why have a rear wheel up front? Well, for longer adventures it does give you a backup should your freehub go bad. If singlespeeding, it also gives you the potential to set up your front wheel with a different sized cog thereby giving you a second gearing option.

But wait, there’s more!

This fork ENABLES you to run water bottles on your fork legs. While some might scoff at this, I’ve come to love having water bottles to access there. It allows me to carry enough water on my bike that I rarely ever need to have a hydration pack on my back. Plus, we’ve placed the water bottle braze-ons to offer two positions: high or low, depending on your preference, or as mandated by your ohter equipment choices.

The fork also ENABLES you to run racks and fenders. We’ve got braze-ons for racks and fenders on the stainless steel, forward facing fork dropouts. Plus, we’ve included mid-blade lowrider mounts. The Enabler will work perfectly with our upcoming Minimalist rack and Down Under lowriders.

You just may want to ENABLE your 29’er to become a rack-toting, bikepacking or off-road touring machine.

As you can see, the bottom line is that the Enabler allows you to do a heck of a lot with your 29’er. In fact there are so many options that we all have different favorite things to say about it.

Jason - My favorite thing about the Enabler is how it makes my current El Mariachi, or most 29ers, even more versatile. With the Enabler I now have a “Snow-Bike Lite” and it opened up new trails, lakes and places to ride. I also like carrying stuff on my fork, something I can’t do with current rigid 29er forks.

Pete - My favorite part of the fork is that I got to design the I.S. mount to be front specific, but offset to work with the rotor location of a rear hub. This allows the user that is adding the Enabler fork to their existing frame/bike to simply swap over their existing set of brakes. For someone doing a new build, it gives them the convenience to purchase a standard front/rear brake set instead of having to locate two individual rears or an extra rear adaptor for the front brake. In short, you get to use a standard front disc brake on the front fork…no gimmicks, just common sense & logical. It also means no funky stuff for the wheel either. No special proprietary hubs, no funky offset, any plain old 135mm rear wheel will work in this fork. (Disc-ready of course if you intend to run a front brake!)

Tim - It’s the first fork to allow 29ers to take lowrider racks.

Joe - Carries stuff, clears mud, floats on snow, and it is intelligently designed.

Sean - I think the enabler is great because it just adds versatility to your bike. It lets any normal 29er (preferably a steel El Mariachi) become something new and totally different. It adds a whole new way to ride and enjoy the trail just by changing out the fork!

Mark - You can give your bike that ‘monster truck’ look you’ve always wanted.

Kid – For me, it takes the rigid fork and elevates it into a Swiss Army Knife of sorts, but having the water bottle access is my favorite thing. My snow bike and Fargo turned me on to that in a big way; I don’t know why I’d ever do without it on a rigid fork.

This post filed under topics: Bikepacking Kid New Product

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Mike Riemer

Mike Riemer

I love being outside. I prefer to ride on dirt. Or snow. If I was born a hundred years earlier I might have been a polar explorer. There's a great natural world out there to see, smell, taste, listen to, and experience. Life slows down out there and the distractions we've created will disappear if you let them. Give me a backpack and let me go.


Ben | May 19th, 2010

I want a blue one, (to go with my black one!)

Nice job on these.  I look forward to riding mine.

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jerome | May 20th, 2010

I want one with 100mm wide dropouts.

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Chris | June 9th, 2010

Hey, I am confused by Tim’s comment, “It?s the first fork to allow 29ers to take lowrider racks.” I have a the Tubus Tara lowrider rack on my Fargo (with the Fargo fork).


Gnat | June 10th, 2010

Chris thanks for the comment.  You both are right.  The Fargo is a 29er fork and has lo rider’s.  However, the Fargo fork is uniquely designed for the Fargo and does not work well with suspension corrected 29’er geometry that the Enabler is designed around. 

The Enabler can transform most suspension corrected 29ers into a snow bike lite or a rigid adventure tour bike. 

Hope that explanation helps and thanks again for asking.

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Spencer | July 12th, 2010

Will the large marge offset rim work with this fork?


Gnat | July 12th, 2010

Spencer, not sure completely what you are asking.  The fork is designed around a 135mm rear hub and a standard evenly dished wheel. 

If you are referencing the Surly fork that REQUIRES a rear hub and is offset by roughly 17mm, then no it will not work without redishing and possibly rebuilding the wheel.  It does not require the offset wheel/rim like a stock Surly Pugsly fork.

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Spencer | July 12th, 2010

I was wondering if it was designed around the offset rim or not. Thanks for the answer. I have a pugsley and was wondering if this fork would let me move that wheel to my raleigh XXIX. I think I will just build a wheel just for the XXIX. Thanks!

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Edward | March 14th, 2011

I’ve seen some prototype cages for the enabler designed to carry larger gear like a tent, here: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?p=6627878#post6627878

Any plans to bring these out soon?

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | March 14th, 2011

Edward, the cages you are talking about are called the Anything Cage. See it on our site here: http://salsacycles.com/components/anything_cage/

They are available in Black or Silver…but currently are out of stock. Estimated arrival of the next batch is early May 2011.

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BIGFOOT | April 4th, 2011

when running endomorph or larry tyres do you need to have a 26inch rim as i thought these snow/sand tyres were only done in 26inch ? ?

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Edward | April 14th, 2011

Thanks Kid,
I just got a pair of the anything cages - can’t wait to try them bikepacking! I read you were their inspiration. :) One thing, the straps are too short for the 4L dry bags I’m using (sea to summit), which seem to fit the cage and clear the downtube well… You guys want to add two or three inches to the straps. Also they are fraying at the end after I tried fitting them around the bigger bag, making it difficult to thread them. I would coat the ends… Awesome cages!

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | April 15th, 2011

Edward, lots of folks should get the credit for the Anything Cages…I certainly shouldn’t be singled out. But thanks! RE: strap length - we will keep it mind. RE: fraying strap ends - I suggest taking a lighter and moving the strap end through or just above the flame. It’ll melt all the fraying together and will make it very hard for it to start re-fraying. I do it to all my webbing straps before I ever start using them and especially if I ever cut a strap to length. Hope that helps.

Vito | September 20th, 2011

Can I run the offset front wheel of my Pugs with this fork? Or do I have to switch to a non-offset setup?

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | September 20th, 2011

Vito - You need a non-offset front wheel but with 135mm spacing. Salsa has one that will on our website this week if I can keep up with my workload called the Enabler hub or you can use a 135mm spaced rear hub.

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John | January 5th, 2012

Will the Surly 135mm disc front hub work with the Enabler?  I’ve read that the disc rotor location differs between front and rear hubs and the Enabler seems to be designed exclusively around rear hubs.

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Chad | November 2nd, 2012

Just purchased one of these for my 80mm travel 29’er that I commute to work on 2-3 days a week. Hoping the “fat bike lite” setup can keep me commuting through the winter.  I’m so glad I found this fork on your site. 

Any experience with running this setup “lite” on the beach?

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