Harder, better, faster, stronger: Motion France's carbon leaf spring fork

Trail Series fork seeks crowdfunding on Kickstarter

While suspension design has come a long way in the past decade, the same basic tried, tested and true telescopic concept has largely dominated the scene. There have been a few outliers, but for the most part they’ve not been up to scratch with the more traditional designs, however Motion France believes it has created the next big thing in mountain bike suspension

The carbon blades are interchangeable and allow the fork to be tuned to the rider and their riding style
The carbon blades are interchangeable and allow the fork to be tuned to the rider and their riding style

Instead of using a traditional air spring design, Motion's fork relies on a linkage and composite leaf spring to absorb impacts, and the brand says its fork has been designed to solve the problems associated with standard suspension forks — namely brake dive, lack of sensitivity, stiffness, and reliability.

There’s also a hydraulic cartridge installed at the top of the steerer, which allows the fork to be locked out with the push of a button

With a tapered steerer tube, Motion says the fork will be available for 26in, 27.5in and 29in wheels and allows clearance for up to 3-inch rubber. It also says it will fit any conventional bike with a tapered head tube.

Using tool free, interchangeable composite blades Motion claims its fork allows for a massive range of travel from 110mm to 170mm depending on wheel size. The blades also come in different thicknesses in each length, so the shock can be properly tuned to a rider's weight. Motion France also says the blades have a progressive spring curve and are sensitive even to "tiny shocks"’

The shock is claimed to weigh 1,820g and is compatible with 180-200mm rotors.

 As you can see here, instead of flexing the carbon blades further the Motion fork actually straightens them as it moves through the travel
As you can see here, instead of flexing the carbon blades further the Motion fork actually straightens them as it moves through the travel

Interestingly, instead of the curved blades flexing, as you would expect, it appears that as the fork is compressed the blades are actually straightened. Also, with no oil, lubrication or seals the design won't be affected by breakaway stiction. The French outfit claims the Trail Series fork is not susceptible to braking compression and keeps 100 percent of the travel available for when you need it.

There’s also a hydraulic cartridge installed at the top of the steerer, which allows the fork to be locked out with the push of a button, and a dial that allows for on-the-fly rebound adjustments.

Free of maintenance?

Motion France says its fork is completely maintenance free
Motion France says its fork is completely maintenance free

A well-maintained shock can make a world of difference, and Motion claims its Trail Series forks are completely maintenance free. It says the Trail Series fork requires no lubrication oil, bar the damping control cartridge, which is "fully protected inside the steering mechanism."

Instead of bearings at the pivots, the Trail Series sees "high-performance composite bushes’ and Motion is offering a lifetime guarantee on the entire fork, including the carbon blades.

While they make some lofty claims, to their credit Motion France has chosen partners that allow them to manufacture the forks locally.

Currently seeking crowdfunding on Kickstarter, it appears the Trail Series forks will retail for €2,475, though there’s still early-bird rewards available. For more information check out Motion France's campaign page.

Colin Levitch

Staff Writer, Australia
Originally from Denver, Colorado, Colin now resides in Sydney, Australia. Holding a media degree, Colin is focused on the adventure sport media world. Coming from a ski background, his former European pro father convinced him to try collegiate crit racing. Although his bright socks say full roadie, he enjoys the occasional mountain bike ride, too.
  • Discipline: Road, mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Tarmac mountain climbs into snow-covered hills
  • Current Bikes: BMC TeamMachine SLR01, Trek Top Fuel 9
  • Dream Bike: Mosaic Cycles RT-1
  • Beer of Choice: New Belgium La Folie
  • Location: Sydney, Australia

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