Fyxation Sparta QR: At The Finish- by Guitar Ted
There are bikes out there with straight, 1 1/8th steer tube forks that could use a carbon fork to lighten things up, smooth out the ride, (potentially), and maybe offer the user something they didn’t already have in their stock fork. This is the purpose of the Fyxation Sparta QR fork. You can see what I have written so far on this fork by going back to the “Checkpoint” post here. Now I am prepared to give my final verdict on whether or not this fork meets expectations.
I think it might prove to be enlightening to remember that most bikes that are candidates for this fork are running a steel, unicrown fork. While this type of fork is strong, and many times rides smoothly, there is no doubt that almost all of them weigh far more than the 720 grams that this fork weighs. In fact, most steel unicrown forks are going to be in the 1200-1400 gram range for a bike like this Tamland seen here. So, in terms of weight savings, the Fyxation fork fulfills the promise.
As I say, most steel forks ride pretty nicely. The steel fork originally spec’ed on the Tamland test mule seen here is such an example. It rides very smoothly. So, if the Sparta QR was a harsher riding fork, it would be seen as a step backward. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case. As stated in the “Checkpoint” post, this fork does ride differently than a steel fork, but I would not say it rides harsher than the steel fork the bike came with. Okay, so we can tic off that box…….
The stock Tamland fork was just that- a fork. There were no braze ons for bottles, but it did have fender mounts. The Sparta QR also has fender mounts, and accessory mounts. So I was able to increase the bottle carrying capacity of the Tamland by two water bottles. (Add in the B-Rad mount and I added a third bottle) So, that made the bike far more versatile for me, as now longer adventures were possible without worrying about carrying water. Obviously, the fenders are an added bonus as well.
Tic that box. Okay, so that covers it. The fork is a winner, right? Well, not so fast there. Yes, it is mostly a great addition to a bike with an 1 1/8th inch steer tube. However; in the case of the bottle mounts, you need to be wary of what bottle cages you choose. I found out that due to the orientation of the cages, forces that can jolt the fork, slowing it down momentarily, can eject a bottle from a cage like the traditional/wire type cages I used. A cage that fully encloses the bottle, like a Velocity Bottle Trap, would probably do a better job than the cages I chose to use.
At The Finish: The Sparta QR fork offers riders with straight steer tube forks made in steel with disc brakes to swap to a more fully featured, lighter, high performance fork made from carbon fiber and with an aluminum steer tube. The Sparta QR features side mounts for water bottle cages or small racks, fender mounts, and generous tire clearance.
In my opinion, this is a great way to make a good bike better. Obviously there are limitations to where this fork will work. Axle to crown length being critical here. That said, if this fork would fit your bike, I see no reason not to strongly consider using it to make your bike lighter, retain good ride quality, and to add versatility. This is a well made fork with great ride quality and at 300 bucks, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to add a little carbon fiber goodness to your gravel going steed.
NOTE: Fyxation sent over the Sparta QR for test and review at Riding Gravel at no charge. We are not being paid, nor bribed for this review and we strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.