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.
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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.