Last year we test rode a pre-production Motion Ride E18 linkage fork, this week we have a retail version to unbox and slap on the front of a bike.
Unboxing video: Motion Ride E18 Linkage Fork
It’s no secret that the suspension fork landscape is changing. Where telescopic once reigned supreme, a new challenger has arrived, one with anti-dive properties and funky looks. Welcome to the age of the linkage fork.
Yup, mega cheesy I know, but there is a resurgence in interest in linkage forks going on, and while they do look wacky, they are gaining interest from riders not concerned with traditional looks.
In reality, linkage forks have been around almost as long as the first mountain bikes. Brands including AMP Research, Girvin, and even USE all dipped a toe in the market, but all gave up once telescopic forks took off. Whyte had one too not that long ago, but in recent history, linkage forks have been few and far between.
The past 12 months though has seen fresh enthusiasm with the idea and brands including Trust Performance, Adroit and Structure Cycleworks have all released linkage forks, but today it’s the chance for the French Motion Ride E18 to take center stage.
In the summer of 2018, I had the chance to ride a pre-production Motion Ride E18 on our local trails around the office. You can read my first ride review here, and watch my interview with Matthieu Alfano, the designer of the E18 and founder of Motion Ride.
Motion Ride E18 linkage fork what’s changed?
For those of you up to speed with that original Motion Ride linkage fork, here are a few notes about the final version of the fork and how it differs slightly from the one we saw last year.
Many of the changes are very slight, so, for example, the Motion Ride’s Wave carbon blade sprint is now a slightly thicker 7mm and it has a better finish and rounded edges.
On the other side, the Curve damper now has 4 small tabs machined into it for drip when adjusting instead of the sandpaper-like material found on the original linkage fork. The adjustments are the same though and twisting the damper body effects both rebound and compression. It’s a simple idea, and if it proves to work would make tuning and adjusting suspension a simple exercise even for a novice.
The chassis is made from a mix of carbon tubes and CNC machined alloy links, and there are decal colour options so you can match your fork to your bike.
But there is one major change, one you’ll only notice if you look very closely. Where the pre-production fork used maintenance-free bushings, these final production Motion Ride E18 Linkage Forks use bearings. It’s an interesting move and one that will have many riders scratching their heads – after all the bushings were used to ensure long, maintenance free, frictionless running. Bearings are surely going to be even smoother, but will they prove to be as maintenance free? Only time and UK muck will tell.
Motion Ride anti-dive linkage forks will go on sale in the UK through Upgrade Cycles. If you have any questions about this innovative fork, then please let us know in the comments section below, and remember to keep an eye out for our full review coming soon.