Their tops are made out of rubber, their bottoms are made out of spring
They’re bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun,
But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers is:
I’m the only one!
I finally broke down and bought a Bluto and tested it in the woods and was surprised to find the Tigger song was stuck in my head. For a guy that normally rocks out to heavy industrial like Prong and Rammstein that was quite a surprise.
Fat-Bikes are great but the biggest problem that I see with them is that without a suspension to dampen the landings, jumping a fat-bike becomes pretty sketchy. The fat-tires do not have any sort of rebound absorption so when you come down you immediately bounce back up again. At high speeds on a single-track trail this can be downright dangerous.
The Bluto changes all that. As far as I know the Bluto was the first fat-bike designed front fork although there are several much cheaper options available now. Although having one means extra weight & cost that you probably don’t need on the snow and hardpack, if you ride single-track it can really absorb a lot of the jarring impacts on the trail. It also lets you hit jumps without having to worry too much about bouncing out of control when you land.
The downsides are weight, cost and a through-axle setup. Blutos run over $500 online and only work with a tapered head-tube. The weight is a claimed 1,796g (3.96lb) which is slightly heavier than my CRMO forks which are around 1650g uncut. The Through-axle means no front hub motors (so no AWD setups) which is fine because AWD in deep powder is kind of lame anyway (check out my AWD build to see why here). Although I’m not crazy about through hole axles but it seems to be the way of the future. Even after 50 years of trying the bike industry can’t seem to educate non-bike people on how to install quick release axles correctly.
The Bluto smoothed the trail out like you would expect a high-quality shock to do. Riding with 8psi of pressure in the front made the track silky smooth even with roots and rocks in the way. I own nothing but RockShox shocks and although they can be a little annoying to maintain, I have no real complaints about any of them. I expect the Bluto to last me for a very long time and to provide a lot of personal enjoyment. Will I ride the Bluto in the winter? Probably not, as the risk of damaging the seals is too great. However, it should be fine for the other 9 months of the year.
The Bluto fork wobbled and flexed quite a bit more than my CRMO fork does which is to be expected. Running ghetto tubeless and low tire pressures with this front fork is an amazing combination as it reminds me of riding a downhill bike with a full 8″ of travel. The fork absorbs most of the bounce from the low-pressure fat tire and makes jumping and landing far more predictable and safe. This fork had me riding much faster in the woods over roots and rocks than I would have dared to without a front suspension. This is not necessarily a good thing when you’re already pushing the boundaries of sane trail riding speeds. I found the Bluto fork inspired a lot of confidence and in general greatly improved the dirt single-track trail riding experience.
This fork was tested on a Bullseye Monster Pro and a Biktrix 100mm 750W BBS02 with both a VeeRubber Vee 8 tire and a ghetto tubeless VeeRubber Bulldozer 4.7″ tire. No animals were harmed in the testing of this product. Instructions for mounting a Bluto tapered fork on a non-tapered headtube are located here.
The Bluto fork pushes fat-bikes safely into the expert-level trail zone and it kicked the difficulty of most trails down a notch.
Update : A lot of users have complained about serious issues with using this fork in the extreme cold. The air ends up getting pushed into the bottom chamber and trapped making the fork essentially useless. Electric-fatbike.com does not recommend using this fork in below freezing temperatures. You have been warned.