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Crust Clydesdale Fork review

A handy way to transform any bike into a mini cargo

Panos is a family man and a fervent cyclist. At some point during his parenting life he started looking for ways to transport a kid and grocery shopping all at the same time. After months of research he decided to order a Crust Clydesdale cargo fork from the US and install it on his commuter bike. Now it’s been almost 2 years of daily use which makes Panos the perfect guy to ask for a review.

What’s the concept behind Clydesdale fork ?

The idea of this fork is to create room for a low front platform by reducing the size of the front wheel to 20 inches. The clearance between the rack and the handlebar is much bigger so you can transport considerably more volume than with a standard front rack and basket combo or a handlebar basket. More importantly, a lower load means a lower center of gravity which is always more stable and easier to handle.

What type of bike would you recommend for this fork ?

I’m using a non-suspension corrected 26 inches mountain bike from the 90’s with an axle to crown measurement of around 400mm and a 72° head tube angle. These old MTBs are strong enough to carry weight without suffering too much flex. The fork has been designed for this kind of bike geometry.

Was it difficult to install ?

Not at all! It is as simple as mounting a standard fork. The steerer tube comes long enough to give you plenty of options as to how high or low you want to place your handlebars. Then the Clydesdale itself has mounts for V- brakes and disc brakes. I went for the V-brakes option as I had an old Shimano lying around. From there, I ordered the 20 inch wheel online and I was ready to go in less than a couple of hours once I started working on it.

How much load can you carry on it ?

When I go shopping I usually carry between 10 and 15 kilos in the basket, plus my son at the back (he is currently about 15 kilos heavy). If I load more than that I start feeling some flex in the frame.

The plastic crate I installed is perfect for grocery bags, or loose groceries (I forget to bring bags with me when I'm out shopping way too often) but it is also very handy for carrying backpacks or any smallish objects. The basket is 30cm by 40 cm , that works well for me but I could fit a bigger basket if I needed to.

What about the handling ?

It’s important to notice that the weight moves with the turning of the fork, as opposed to a cargo bike where the platform is fixed to the frame and the fork moves separately. In any case, as the center of gravity stays low, the handling isn’t affected that much.

From Europe, how expensive does it get to order one of these ?

When I bought it in 2019 the Cycledale cost 245$ and I had to pay around 75$ for the postage plus about 100 euros on import taxes. All in all, at about 370 Euros, it was not cheap but still considerably cheaper than buying a new or even second hand cargo bike. Since then the price of this fork has increased by about 100$. It really is a shame that there is no European manufacturer working on such a production. The solutions the Clydesdale fork offers by making virtually any old MTB to a mini-cargo bike would be appreciated by a lot of cyclists who do not want to commit to buying something as expensive as a cargo bike. Having said this, I have seen a few makeshift Cycledale forks here in Brussels from people who constructed them following YouTube videos.

What would be the advantage of this fork over a bike like the Omnium Mini (that has a low rack built-in ?

The price of course along with the fact that you switch the fork to other bikes you might own. I was thinking for example to mount it on my touring bike for an upcoming trip in France. This way I won’t have to carry a back rack with bags on each side. I always have the feeling this type of old school touring bags make the bike feel wobbly if they are too heavy.

Who would you recommend this fork to ?

If you are considering buying a cargo bike then this could be a shortcut to having one. It will be cheaper and easier to move to other bikes too. So it’s a solution for cyclists who carry very frequently loads that do not easily fit in handlebar or front rack baskets.

댓글 1개

2022년 12월 10일

hey there, just seen this in a store in brussels but it seems so expensive!

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