By Adam Lipinski
Steerer: True Temper Chromoly
Axle to Crown Length: 460mm
Disc Mount: Paragon International Standard
Country of Origin: U.S.A.
After many years of mountain biking, it’s a beautiful feeling to regress back to the basics. A dual-rigid singlespeed has been my current main ride. The addition of the Igleheart Traditional New England Segmented Fork to my custom 26″ rear/29″ front chromoly hardtail has really brought the bike to a new level. My version of this fork is built for either an 80mm-suspension-corrected 29er or a 100mm-suspension-corrected 26er. It ended up being short enough to alter the geometries of a couple other 29er bikes owned by staff, but this particular fork fit my bike perfectly, making it the light, nimble and forgiving mount I always thought it should be.
Christopher Igleheart has been involved with bicycle production since the early ’80s. His knowledge of steel fabrication is clearly evident in his work. His forks are covered by a one-year warranty on the craftsmanship and he has never had to fill a claim on a fork used for its intended application. Christopher can make a fork for any of your bicycle needs, all adhering to his strict three-stage alignment process with 0.25mm tolerances. All forks come standard with a semi-gloss finish called Black Raven and very subtle decals, unless you pay $30 for a custom color. My tester has only a Paragon disc brake mount and a single Alien Ear cable/housing guide. The simplistic design and graphics are downright sexy, but the fork is also very functional.
After much measuring, I finally began installing the fork on my bike. One of the first things I noticed is the lack of safety tabs. The dropouts are forward-facing, however, so disc brake forces push the axle into the fork. There was no slippage during my test and I always felt confident my wheel would stay in place. The steerer tube was the hardest steel I have ever cut with a hacksaw. I like the reassurance of quality material.
In the first few moments of riding the fork, I was even more pleased with the peace of mind the high-grade material gave me. The desirable fore-and-aft flex was a bit unsettling if I glanced down while riding, but there was no side-to-side flex as it tracked true and absorbed a large amount of trail inconsistencies. The specially made True Temper OX Gold heat-treated blades of this fork were hard at work smoothing out the ride underneath me. The accuracy and precise feel of the trail this fork translates is mind-blowing. You are required to pick and choose the best lines at all times on a rigid fork—the Igleheart is all business in that department. It’s a true point-and-shoot fork.
The $350 price tag may seem shocking for a rigid fork, but this is the real deal. If you find yourself riding the same local trails often and need a change of pace, this fork could easily be your answer. An old trail revisited on a dual-rigid mountain bike can take you way back, back to the days of exploring new trails on your first mountain bike as a child (or adult). I’m going to continue playing with the Traditional New England Segmented Fork as long as possible.