Sure, there are a handful of disc brake specific cyclocross forks popping up on the aftermarket now, but none seems to have elicited the response that 3T’s new Luteus has.
We just got one in for testing and, honestly, it’s a darn nice looking fork out of the box. We’ve heard from some Euros that it’s hands down the best one available, but we’ll put it through our own cruddy, grimy, muddy hell to see for ourselves starting in October. For now, check out the photos, actual weight and some other heretofore unknown details about the Luteus right after the break…
The basics: The Luteus is a full carbon fiber, disc brake only fork set up for a 160mm rotor with post mounts. The dropouts have a small metal insert where the hub and skewer hit it, and they face dramatically forward to keep the wheel securely in place despite rotational counter forces from the rotors. The controversial outside-the-leg cable gutter has been cleaned up from prototypes we’ve seen, further smoothed over by the glossy black paint. We do wish there was a black/gray or matte black color option, but for now the red stripes/white logos are the only offering.
Steerer tube comes in tapered or tapered. Hope you want tapered. The crown is wide with a big opening, measuring about 26.5mm where the tire will sit. Axle-to-crown is 395mm (claimed) and rake is 47mm (claimed).
We’ve heard a few industry folk saying 140/140 will be a good road standard, but personally, a 160mm rotor on the front is where I’ll be sitting. The Luteus’ post mounts are sized up for just that.
While the legs are plenty wide, the frontal profile is quite thin. Slice and dice, baby.
Upon opening the box, which wasn’t proper retail packaging, we found…the fork. Normally, carbon fiber steerers require some sort of special expansion wedge or other manner of pulling the top cap down to tighten the steering assembly on the bike. Ours had nothing of the sort, so a quick email to 3T had this little kit shipped post haste.
The forks will ship with a metal insert with a preinstalled star nut, carbon fiber top cap, bolt, alcohol wipe, sand paper and epoxy mix. Customers are encouraged to determine the proper length of the steerer tube for their bike, cut it (or have it cut by a shop with a proper carbon cutting blade preferably), then bond the metal insert into the tube. Shown on the left, the top of the tube is flared to stop it from sliding beyond the top of the cut steerer tube. 3T says you can use a standard expansion wedge (NOT a star nut) without this insert and it’ll work just fine. The benefit of putting this in is increased tube strength when clamping down your stem.
The fork with uncut steerer comes in at 442g.
Excluding a gram or two for the epoxy, the necessary parts to attach the fork to your bike add just 35g. Theoretically, you could trim down the length of the metal tube, but it would lessen the overall bonding surface area and reduce the amount of steerer tube that’s further protected from overtightening your stem. Just sayin’.
Claimed weight for the fork is 470g, so this comes in about right if you add in the installation hardware.
Now we’re just waiting on our Moots Psychlo X frame to come in so we have something to put this on…