Intend Samurai CC is the World’s Lightest 120mm Fork – Eurobike 2022

The RockShox SID Ultimate no longer holds the accolade for the World’s Lightest 120mm Fork; that now goes to Cornelius Kapfinger’s Intend Samurai CC, weighing a claimed 1,385g – that’s around 150g lighter than the aforementioned. Of course, it wouldn’t really be an Intend fork if it didn’t rock an inverted design more commonly seen on motorbikes. The lack of an arch bridging the what-would-be lowers helps keep the weight down, but Cornelius has some other tricks up his sleeve here, too. 

intend samurai cc fork upper tube

The Intend Samurai CC is one of two new 120mm forks with 35mm stanchions from Intend. While the CC, which stands for Cross Country, runs a carbon steerer tube, carbon cable guides, and gets some unseen internal drilling of the parts to reduce weight further, the heavier Samurai XC runs a regular aluminum steerer, and aluminum cable guides, and forgoes the additional internal machining. Nevertheless, it still comes in lighter the SID Ultimate at a claimed 1,495g.

intend samurai cc prototype on dangerholm's scott rc hypersonic build

The Intend Samurai CC is so light that Dangerholm sourced the prototype for his latest build; the 9.19 kg Scott RC Hyperspark.

Intend Samurai 120mm Forks

intend samurai cc 120mm fork 35mm stanchion inverted design 44mm offset 531mm a2c

How has Intend made the Samurai CC and XC forks so light? Largely because the fork has very minimalistic dropouts that have almost zero offset, thus less material. So, how can Cornelius reduce the weight at the dropouts without a consequential reduction in overall fork stiffness? A side-on view of the fork gives some indication. 

intend samurai zsro offset dropouts

Looking only at the dropouts, it would seem the fork has next-to-zero offset, but this is not the case. The profile of the fork reveals an angled bridge design that puts the fork at a slacker head angle than the headtube itself. It is this angle here that introduces the 44mm offset, and allows Intend to cut down the size and weight of the dropouts, saving around 50g.

intend samurai cc and xc fork 44mm offset

A secondary benefit of the design is that, due to the zero offset dropouts, friction on the bushings is reduced.

Importantly, the Intend Samurai doesn’t change the bike’s actual head angle. The front wheel axle should still be around the same distance out front of the head tube. The only consideration there is the axle-to-crown height; here it is 531mm, the exact same as the RockShox SID. 

intend samurai cc angled crown machining

Machining of the Samurai’s angled crown also helps to keep weight down

intend samurai cc will have carbon cable guides

… as will carbon cable guides (aluminum here, but the production fork will get carbon ones).

intend samurai cc fork with rockshox charger race day damper

The Samurai forks run a flat mount for the brake caliper, designed to work directly with a 180mm rotor. The tight spacing means the lower caliper bolt cannot be tightened in the traditional way. You’ll see the bolt head has a hole running through it – that’s to allow use of a 2.5mm Allen key for tightening the bolt from the side.

intend samurai fork flat mount 180mm

Intend’s Samurai CC and XC 120mm travel fork are designed to run the RockShox Race Day damper, the one that comes stock inside the SID Ultimate fork. Those retail at $269 USD, so you’ll need to remember to add that that to the price of the fork when making your purchasing decisions, which brings me to…

Pricing & Availability

The Intend Samurai CC and XC forks retail at 1,949 € and 1,649 €, respectively. There is a gravel version, too! Though, it wasn’t in attendance of the show. That one is the Intend Samurai GR with up to 50mm travel; claimed weight for that one is 1,440g. The GR version for Gravel retails at 1,649 €. All will be available to order this coming Fall. Customers will need to provide Cornelius with the RockShox Charger Race Day damper for installation. 

intend-bc.com

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17 Comments
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TimE
TimE
2 months ago

Eeerrrhmmm so how stiff is the chassis since all this weight is paired away.

Neo
Neo
2 months ago
Reply to  TimE

given the known quality of Intend, i don’t think that will be an issue. His DH forks don’t need a steerer at all

Tim
Tim
2 months ago
Reply to  Neo

Extremely high tolerances will never make up for the lack of a key structural member, i.e. a fork brace.

Phil
Phil
2 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Do you need a fork brace on upside-down forks? I know on motorcycles you don’t, but their stanchions are typically much thicker, so I honestly don’t know on bikes.

Tim
Tim
2 months ago
Reply to  Phil

Well, you can get away without one, but torsional rigidity ends up compromised. See my post below listing different MTB upside down forks and the results they got.

Tim
Tim
2 months ago
Reply to  TimE

I don’t think the weight paring is what should make us worry about tbe stiffness, it’s the lack of a brace. Given that this is a boutique fork ridden by people willing to suffer some inconvenience, I think they should use like a 30mm axle and corresponding hub to stiffen it up.

Mr Pink
Mr Pink
2 months ago
Reply to  Tim

That’s wheee you’re showing your lack of knowledge of the fork. It’s one of the stiffest out there. No new standard needed.

Tim
Tim
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr Pink

I find that hard to believe. Even the many USD forks that have used special construction techniques have had problems with torsional rigidity. Examples:
-Maverick DUC 32- baseball bat sized uppers, dual crowns, 26mm thru axle- company went out of business
-Rock Shox RS1- whole stanchion/ crown assembly was a single piece of carbon; they used an (unfortunately fake) 27mm thru axle- product was unsuccessful and at last check sold for 1/3 price on eBay
-DVO- collets between crown and stanchions, plus lower leg guards that doubled as a not-quite-fork brace- this single crown fork, correct me if I am wrong, never made it to market
-X-Fusion Revel X- interlocking channels like in a dropper post- this feature wasn’t included on production models, and it looks like they are selling only 27.5 wheel models, possibly indicating it’s old stock and new forks aren’t being made
All of these forks were reviewed as having issues with torsional rigidity, even with these special features intended to increase stiffness. You’re asking me to believe that the Intend, which uses totally ordinary construction, is not only adequately stiff, but actually stiffer than conventional forks, which all have bridges. Sorry, but the burden of proof is on you. I’m open to being proven wrong, but so far I am not convinced.
PS- The only USD fork that hasn’t been accused of torsional flimsiness is the old Lefty, which went all out with dual crowns, square legs on needle bearings, and a one-piece leg-dropout. It enjoyed a roughly 20-year run.

JJ Ho
JJ Ho
2 months ago
Reply to  Tim

The Lefty Ocho is single crown though

Tim
Tim
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr Pink

Put more simply, the Intend is missing an important structural element, a brace connecting the two legs, and doesn’t replace it with anything.

TimE
TimE
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr Pink

Is there som data somewhere to substantiate this?

Owen
Owen
2 months ago

If CC is cross country, what is XC then?

Dockboy
Dockboy
2 months ago
Reply to  Owen

Crisscross Country

Hexsense
Hexsense
2 months ago

Wait.
On a normal fork, no matter if it’s at the full extension or at the full compression. You have 44mm fork offset regardless.

On this fork, it’d be 44mm offset at full extension. Then the offset reduced the more it compress, right?

Xc_racer
Xc_racer
2 months ago
Reply to  Hexsense

Yes.
But it’s a bit more nuanced than that.
Fork offset exists so that the front wheel has an appropriate amount of trail.

“Trail is what makes the bike’s front wheel self-straighten when it is moving forward. Think of the wheels of a shopping cart. They want to straighten when you push the cart forward. This same phenomenon occurs on your bike. It helps you stay upright when riding on two wheels.

Increasing trail improves straight-line stability. The front wheel feels harder to turn but also harder to knock off line.

Decreasing trail improves agility. The front wheel feels easier to turn and it can make a bike feel more nimble.”

As a normal fork compresses, the offset stays the same, but because the compression of the fork makes the head tube angle steeper, the trail will decrease, making the bike slightly less stable (under compression).

So with this fork, as the fork compresses, the offset will get lower, which decreases the trail, AND the compression of the fork changes the head tube angle, which also decreases the trail, making the bike slightly less stable (under compression).

The flip side, as mentioned in the article, friction in the bushings will be reduced.

Quotes from, and a lot more information on fork offset / trail here:
https://www.theproscloset.com/blogs/news/why-mountain-bike-use-reduced-offset-forks

Andis
Andis
1 month ago

SID Select weighs 1465g cutted to 180mm steerer an SID Ultimate weighs 1326g uncutted steerer.

Porkay
Porkay
15 days ago

I dont understand why they didnt use same hub and flanges as was on RS-1. Rockshox sure spent lots of money on R&D on that fork! And it makes damn sense – you want hub connection which will keep both lower legs “synced”