We touched briefly on Enve’s new GRD fork in a recent article, but here’s a closer first look. Enve already offers road disc and cyclocross disc forks, but the US company is set to add a gravel-specific fork to its 2016 range.
While you might assume it’s just a rebadged cyclocross fork, it has in fact been tailored for the growing number of gravel bikes, which split the difference between an out-and-out cyclocross race bike and an endurance disc road bike. Like those bikes with their subtle geometry differences, the new GRD fork splits the difference between a cyclocross and road specific fork.
The GRD has an axle-to-crown measurement of 382mm and a 45mm rake, which is more than its cyclocross fork, but less than its road fork. To put that in context, Enve’s cyclocross fork has a 395mm axle-to-crown and 47mm rake, the road fork is 367mm and 43mm, so you can see where the differences are with this new fork. Even with those measurements, tyre clearance should be generous for anything you might want to run on a gravel or adventure bike - a 38mm tyre should be no problem at all.
The fork is made from carbon fibre (naturally, for a carbon fibre specialist) and features 12mm thru-axle, a narrower diameter axle than the 15mm that is more common at the moment (borrowed straight from mountain bikes) but which is being talked about as the new standard for road bikes. Its main attraction is going to be reduced weight, but how much we don’t know at this stage. A lot of bike brands seem to be adopting it, so time will tell if 12mm really does emerge as the default choice.
Rather than the more popular flat mount disc caliper mount, Enve has used post mount. It accepts 140mm rotors without any adapters and 160mm with an adapter. Routing for the front brake cable or hose is external.
Perhaps the neatest feature of this new fork is the new carbon fibre mudguard that has been designed to specifically fit this fork. The fork dropouts have channels into which the mudguard slots into while the top of the mudguard presses into circle slots on the inside of the fork blade. That whole mudguard can be removed in seconds with no tools needed.
On the bike, the mudguard feels very sturdy. It certainly doesn’t feel like it’s going to drop off when you hit a pothole. A proper test is going to be needed - we haven’t ridden it yet. On its own, the mudguard feels strong and durable, and it’s incredibly light. It’s the first time I’ve ever got excited over a mudguard.
No price or availability date has yet been confirmed for the new GRD, and there’s nothing on Enve’s website yet.
What does GRD stand for? Our guess is Gravel Road Disc. What do you think?
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.