Cane Creek Introduces Groundbreaking Invert Gravel Suspension Forks

Cane Creek proudly unveils its latest innovation: the groundbreaking Invert gravel suspension fork, boldly dubbed as the “world’s first gravel fork.” While this claim may raise eyebrows in a market saturated with gravel suspension forks, Cane Creek’s confidence stems from a critical assessment of existing options. Many available forks, according to Cane Creek, suffer from being either too rigid or overly complex with unnecessary adjustments for gravel riding. Enter the Invert, positioned as the optimal solution—a true ‘Goldilocks’ among its counterparts.

Two Models, Two Paths: Meet the Invert SL and Invert CS

Cane Creek offers the Invert in two distinct variations: the Invert SL and the Invert CS. The Invert SL represents a sleek and lightweight option, boasting 30mm of travel and a claimed weight of 990g. Priced at £1,099.99 / $1,099.99, this model caters to riders seeking a minimalist approach to gravel suspension. On the other hand, the Invert CS elevates the experience with 40mm of travel and introduces a ‘firm mode’ activated by a single-click, crown-mounted Climb Switch. Weighing in at 1,113g, this model is priced slightly higher at £1,199.99 / $1,199.99. While European and Australian pricing awaits confirmation, anticipation for these game-changing forks runs high.

Redefining Gravel Bike Suspension

Cane Creek prompts riders to reassess the role of suspension in gravel biking. The brand contends that current options fall short, either lacking in performance or presenting divisive aesthetics and limited adjustability. Instead of simply downsizing mountain bike forks, Cane Creek advocates for a fresh approach.

The fork was designed to complement many of the current crop of gravel bikes.
The fork was designed to complement many of the current crop of gravel bikes. – Cane Creek

The Invert Advantage

According to Cane Creek, the Invert excels at dampening vibrations, providing riders with the confidence and control to navigate rough terrain smoothly. This enhanced comfort is a natural consequence of effective suspension, asserts the brand. Moreover, the Invert is positioned as a means to elevate the gravel biking experience without compromising its essence.

Appealing to a Broader Audience

Cane Creek emphasizes the Invert’s suitability for riders seeking to push the boundaries of gravel biking. By catering to those who may not typically opt for suspension setups, the brand aims to broaden the appeal of the Invert. This inclusivity extends to riders looking to tackle more challenging trails with added confidence.

Setting a New Standard

While Cane Creek offers alternative compliance solutions like the eeSilk stems and seatposts, it distinguishes the Invert as a superior option for enhancing bike control. Notably, the brand advises against pairing the Invert fork with the eeSilk stem, highlighting the unique benefits of the Invert’s design.

Innovation in Development

Unlike merely downsizing existing mountain bike forks, the Invert represents a ground-up development effort by Cane Creek. Notably, it marks the brand’s debut in carbon fiber product manufacturing, signaling a commitment to innovation and excellence.

Craftsmanship and Integration

Cane Creek’s commitment to quality is evident in the meticulous craftsmanship of the Invert forks. Designed, prototyped, and rigorously tested at the brand’s facility in Fletcher, North Carolina, the production process involves sourcing components from Taiwan and assembling them in-house. A key consideration in the design process was ensuring seamless integration with gravel bikes, avoiding any disruption to the bike’s aesthetic appeal.

Targeting a Specific Audience

santa cruz invert suspension fork
Cane Creek is targeting those who would typically ride rigid forks on gravel bikes. – Cane Creek

Cane Creek’s focus on riders accustomed to rigid forks on gravel bikes underscores the Invert’s niche appeal. By addressing the needs of this demographic, the brand seeks to carve a distinct identity for the Invert in the gravel biking market.

The brand also avoids incorporating excessive adjustability into the Invert, asserting that it possesses “everything you need and nothing you don’t”. Once installed, Cane Creek simplifies the setup process, stating that riders simply need to pressurize the fork to 95 percent of their rider weight. Compression or rebound tuning is not required, and the climb switch on the Invert CS operates in a binary manner – it’s either on or off.

Why the inverted design?: Enhancing Performance

Despite Cane Creek’s criticism of other gravel suspension forks’ aesthetics, the Invert distinguishes itself with its inverted design, positioning the stanchions at the fork’s base. This unconventional approach draws inspiration from motorbikes, a passion shared by many Cane Creek staff members. Inverted forks, commonly seen on motorcycles, offer increased chassis rigidity, notably improving handling, especially during cornering maneuvers.

Why inverted design
The Invert is quite unlike any other gravel fork on the market. – Cane Creek

Enhanced Sensitivity and Performance

Inverted forks boast heightened sensitivity compared to conventional counterparts. Suspension oil accumulates at the bottom of the fork leg, ensuring continuous lubrication of critical components like stanchions, seals, and bushes. This results in smoother performance, further accentuated by the favorable ratio of sprung to unsprung mass. Additionally, the inverted design contributes to the lightest possible chassis, minimizing unsprung weight and enhancing overall performance.

Optimized Functionality

The absence of an arch in the inverted design allows for greater tire clearance, enabling riders to tackle varied terrain with ease. While inverted forks may encounter challenges with torsional stiffness from a cycling perspective, Cane Creek asserts that the Invert overcomes this limitation with its shorter travel, mitigating flex in the front end.

Extensive Testing and Validation

Cane Creek underscores its commitment to quality by subjecting the Invert to rigorous testing. This comprehensive testing regimen ensures that the fork meets the brand’s exacting standards for performance, reliability, and durability. With each aspect meticulously evaluated, riders can trust in the Invert’s capability to deliver an exceptional riding experience.

Cane Creek Invert tech specifications

cancreek invert suspension tech and specs
Carbon is used to get the weight down. – Cane Creek
Fork ChassisCarbon fiber crown and steerer bonded to aluminum upper tubes
Steerer Dimensions1 ⅛ to 1.5 inches, compatible with many gravel bikes
Integrated ComponentsIncludes integrated crown race, Ancora expander plug, and ZN40 lower headset bearing
Headset StandardsAcknowledges wider variety on gravel bikes but currently not planning additional steerer options
OffsetBoth models feature a 45mm offset, chosen for compatibility and to maintain original geometry
Effects on Bike GeometryTransitioning from a rigid fork will raise the front end by 20mm and slacken the head tube by a degree
Maximum System Weight250 lb / 113.4 kg
Brake RoutingExternal routing with hose guide to prevent flapping
Travel and Weight SpecificationsInvert SL: 30mm travel, 990g weight, 425mm axle-to-crown measurement
Invert CS: 40mm travel, 1,113g weight, 435mm axle-to-crown measurement
Travel AdjustmentTravel cannot be retroactively changed due to different length air springs
Axle and Caliper CompatibilityDesigned for 12x100mm thru-axle and flat-mount calipers
Disc Brake Rotor CompatibilityMinimum rotor size: 160mm; 180mm rotor can be used with adaptor (part number: BBG0800)
Tire ClearanceCompatible with 700c x 50mm tires (measured width with 6mm of clearance on each side)
WarrantyComes with a two-year warranty

What about servicing? [Servicing Made Simple]

Cane Creek recognizes that many riders feel daunted by suspension servicing, prompting the brand to prioritize ease of maintenance.

servicing can creek suspension
The 12-notch fitting is a neat touch. – Cane Creek

Recommendations for Maintenance

To simplify the process, the brand advises a 50-hour ‘splash oil service,’ akin to a lower-leg service, followed by a rebuild every 100 hours of use.

Innovative Seal Design

A notable feature is the seal heads, which utilize an open-ended 12-notch bottom bracket tool fitting, found on select bottom brackets including Race Face Cinch, SRAM DUB BSA, and Cane Creek’s own offerings.

User-Friendly Procedure

Upon unscrewing the seal heads, the servicing procedure involves draining the oil and thoroughly cleaning all components. Each leg requires 5ml of 15wt oil before re-tightening the seal heads, ensuring straightforward maintenance for riders.

Similar Posts