404 forks – How they work
Chromoly steel forks are great- the ride quality is amazing and they can be laterally stiff, very strong so you can load them up with cargo. However they aren’t particularly light when compared to good quality carbon fork which can make them less desirable in some applications. So if you’re pushing for that super lightweight steel frame gravel bike build and willing to ditch some of the utility then maybe a carbon fork is worth considering.
Acknowledging that riders might want the carbon option our frames have tapered carbon fork ready geometry and a head tube with a 44mm lower aperture. Our forks use a slightly longer axle to crown measurement than regular straight steerer 1 1/8″ forks so when paired with a ZS44/30 lower cup they occupy the same space as a ~395mm A/C tapered carbon fork + a 44mm external cup. This means Fearless owners can fit most standard carbon gravel bike forks to their frames without altering the steering geo or raising/lowering the height of the bottom bracket. The extra length of the 404’s blades also improve clearance at the crown allowing for larger front tyres and makes the fork feel a little more supple.
It’s a small detail that sometimes gets overlooked but giving the ability to switch between cargo capable steel and lightweight carbon increases compatibility and usage potential of our framesets.