Co-Motion’s Tandem Elite Carbon Fork

Back when I first launched my blog on January 1st of this year I included an initial entry entitled, “Et tu, Alpha Q?” that noted the popular line of carbon forks had become a victim of True Temper’s bankruptcy and business restructuring.

For consumers like myself, it created a little bit of anxiety since there was always a possibility that we might need a replacement in the future and where could we turn to find an suitable substitute? The easy answer was to pick up a spare while they were still available which, as it turns out, was easier said than done. That’s because the exit of True Temper’s Alpha Q line of forks also created anxiety in the OEM tandem market since builders like Co-Motion, Calfee and many others who dabble in performance and racing tandems had adopted the Alpha Q X2 forks as their standard offering. More specifically, because the Alpha Q X2 were unique enough to require builders to redesigned their tandems around the somewhat “shorter than your average tandem fork”, and because the X2’s had a reputation for being a great handling and perhaps the lightest performance fork, these builders quickly bought up most of the existing supplies of Alpha Q X2 forks.

At the same time Co-Motion and other OEMs were stocking up on the remaining Alpha Q X2s,  Co-Motion embarked on a development effort to launch their own house-branded successor to the Alpha Q. While they remained tight-lipped about their selection process, we did learn through various sources they were evaluating several third-party fork manufacturers using the same standards and methods employed by True Temper’s Alpha Q brand.  Even though Co-Motion down selected to their final vendor in time to support their anticipated need date for production replacements to be on-hand by July, their stock of Alpha Q X2 forks got an unexpected bump-up when True Temper found some additional Alpha Q X2’s in their warehouse as they closed-down Alpha Q operations. This windfall of Alpha Q X2 forks allowed Co-Motion to make a clean transition to their 2011 model introduction with their new Tandem Elite Carbon fork.

Since we haven’t had a chance to test ride or even put our hands on one of the new Co-Motion forks, we asked our friend Dwan Shepard of Co-Motion to share his perspective on the new tandem Elite carbon fork:

We’re really pleased with it- it rides beautifully with improved lateral rigidity over the Alpha Q .  It retails for $475 and weighs in at 385 grams, uncut with a 300mm steerer. Yes, I know that’s 10 grams heavier than the Alpha Q, but it was more important for us to focus on performance and safety than weight alone. I think a lot of people will be pleased to see that uses a compression plug rather than a glue-in sleeve, which was an irritating feature of the Alpha Q. The weight of the compression plug vs. the glue-in sleeve + star-nut assembly is dead even.

Although not mentioned by Dwan in this quote, in addition to addressing lessons learned from the Alpha Q X2 by adopting a more robust design with more lateral stiffness and the compression plug, Co-Motion also made sure the fork will accommodate a 28mm tire.

While the easiest way to get an Elite fork is to buy a new Co-Motion Race model tandem, it is also now available as an aftermarket item from authorized dealers or directly from Co-Motion. As mentioned by Dwan, the retail price is $475 which is also on par with the Alpha Q benchmark.


About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
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One Response to Co-Motion’s Tandem Elite Carbon Fork

  1. Ridley Rider says:

    It would be very nice if someone would do a stiffness test of forks. The recent wave of carbon cyclocross forks with tapered head tubes is very tempting to buy. For some reason however, no manufacturer nor retailer nor press has any idea how stiff they really are, what the weight rating is, nor how big of a disc brake can be used. Why is there no technical information available on such a critical component???

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