Museeuw MF9 fork £480
The fork is often overlooked when building up a bike from bits, with much of the attention lavished on the properties and design features of the rest of the bike. This is fair enough; the life of a fork is humble one, after all. But can a fork make a real difference?
I fitted a Museeuw MF9 fork to a the current long-term test bike, based around Sunday Bicycles’ new Monday’s Child race frame, to find out. The use of flax fibres in bike frames and forks has only come about recently, when Belgium composites company API was experimenting with mixing flax and carbon fibres. This caught the attention of legendary hard-man Johan Museeuw, who was impressed enough to put his name to a range of frames built by Roberto Billato.
RCUK had a first ride of a complete Museeuw MF1 road bike last year, and Richard was pretty enthusiastic, saying: “…the ride sensation [was] sublime.” The MF9’s fork blades and steerer tube are made with 50% flax fibres plus a mix of High Modulus and Intermediate Modulus carbon fibre. Looked at from head-on, the forks are incredibly curvy, flaring out to the lawyer’s lip-less dropouts about halfway down. Side-on, a smart paint finish and classy decals complete the package.
Ride-wise, the fork was a good match with the titanium frame it slotted into. While the rear wheel tended to skip and scuttle as the tyre made contact with road bumps, the fork smoothed everything out noticeably right from the first ride. There’s no lack of stiffness either, and this is the benefit of the added flax – extra comfort without sacrificing stiffness. This was noticeable on fast bumpy corners, where the fork was supple but also tracked well, remaining composed at all times.