Think outside of any boxes - The Ebonite-Bandit
The Ebonite-Bandit is the next chapter of Intend's Blackline Rightsideup forks. Increasing the stiffness of the complete fork/frame/handlebar system, especially hard and heavy riders benefit from this architecture.
The Bandit construction improves not only the discbrake side with more strength and stiffness, but also gives more space for any improvements of the air spring system. Larger negativ chamber? No problem, Lager positive chamber? yes, second positive chamber? yes.
Yes, the second positive chamber in the Ebonite fork is pressurized with higher pressure then the first air chamber. The lower initial pressure improves the small bump sensitivity, while it ramps up faster until it reaches the pressure of the second chamber, then they act like one big chamber with less progression.
And the big benefit of the Ebonite-bandit is, that you can set the limit of movement of the seperating piston and tune the progression in the last 20mm of the stroke to your personal needs. Sounds good ? Yes - is good!
Why not upsidedown?
To be honest, in my eyes the upsidedown-principle has advantages over the rightsideup. But it also have disadvantages, like every construction.
So the whole Blackline is made to meet the wishes of the costumer. You are scared of torsional stiffness or no guarded lowers ? The Blackline forks will meet your demand, as it is a construction which you know from other brands. No thoughts about torsional stiffness and no thoughts about damaged lowers.
What is special about the Ebonite fork?
There is one thing I learned during making suspension forks. The weak point is the joint of the crown and steerertube. It is flexible, can creak and cause problems wherever you look. The steerer tube of the Ebonite is the same as the heavy Intend Flash fork, made with doubled wall thickness, so 6mm insteaf of 3mm of a normal forks steerer. And the upper 1 1/8″ side has 3mm instead of 2mm wall tickness. This is made to increase stiffness everywhere it is necessary.
The damping of the Ebonite (and also all other Intend forks) is done with a shimstack based architecture. There is a compression piston and a rebound piston which provides the highspeed circuits, and there are lowspeed ports with external adjusters to get the setup done from outside.
There is a long rubber bladder on the inside of the stanchion. This makes it easy to assemble and disassemble the unit for service or tuning.
The air spring of the Intend forks are made with a special mechanism to fill both chambers, negative and positive in the same time. There are 2 valves, which gets connected when you mount a shock pump and gets seperated when you disconnect the shock pump.
There is a special pneumatic air lip-seal to provide a friction-reduced air system. There is no second positive chamber. With the large negative chamber, the Intend forks have a super supple beginning stroke without a hanging curve in the middle. With this construction it is not necessary to go the way with third chambers. It is easier to set up, it has lower friction (just imagine a normal quadring instead of my pneumatic air seal, and then imagine you have TWO of this quadrings inside, this is the opposite of what you want…) and is easy to manage with volume spacers to avoid bottom out.
And you can change the travel by simply adding or removing 10mm spacers.
Upper stanchions with Royal Flush Coating
The upper legs of the Ebonite are double butted. This means they have bigger wall thickness at the area of high stress (on the crown side), and lower wall thickness at the area of lower stress to reduce weight.
What is the Royal Flush Coating?
It is a special treatment of the surfaces of the stanchions. It should not be too flattened, but not to rough, just a perfect balance.
And the difference is:
- Riding Style: Enduro / Freeride
- Travel Range: 140mm - 180mm (10mm increments)
- Wheel Size: 29” only
- Offset: 44mm
- Brake mount: PM7"
- Drop outs: 110x15 boost
- Axle: Bolt on thru axle
- Axle material: Light alloy
- Steerer: tapered 1.5" - 1 1/8"
- Stem clamp diameter: 28.6mm
- Crown race seat diameter: 39.97mm
- Max headtube length: 145mm (meassured incl headset)
- Crown Material: High strength Alloy
- Stanchion material: High strength Alloy with Royal Flush coating
- Stanchion diameter: 35mm
- Seals: SKF D35 green dust wiper (without collar)
- Spring Type: Air spring
- Damping: Closed cartridge
- Adjustments: Rebound / Compression / Air spring / Progression
- Weight: 2450g
- Colour: Black anodized
- Other: Main and current sag indicators