The Carbon Suspension Fork Mount from Tailfin helps answer a genuine problem for mountain bike riders who need to carry more kit for bikepacking or longer rides. The beautifully made carbon fibre part works really well to justify the high price.
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For riders who want to go bikepacking on their mountain bike, the options to fit bags and carry everything you need can be limited to a frame or handlebar bag. If you run a dropper seatpost, most seat bag options are impossible. UK-based brand, Tailfin, have created this mount, which can fit almost any suspension fork to give you the ability to carry more.
Many gravel bikes or rigid fork mountain bikes will come with 3-bolt-anything mounts to attach cargo racks. These benefit from keeping your carrying kit's centre of gravity lower and, compared to either a saddle or bar bag, should reduce movement.
The carbon suspension fork mounts come as a pair, enough for one side of the fork and enable cargo cages, including the versions Tailfin manufactures or any other cage.
Fitting was quite simple, with the mount coming with different length bolts to fit almost any suspension fork on the market. The packaging includes a strip of paper that doubles as a clever way to measure the circumference of the fork leg and choose the suitable length bolt. The torque specifications are all printed on the mount itself, and the recommended limits are quite low, so I would strongly recommend using a torque wrench to fit. Tailfin has said that the mount's strength is not the issue, but higher clamping tensions can affect the fork performance by constricting the outer slightly.
Each set of mounts can accommodate two cages, with the ability to pick exactly the style you prefer – either cargo cages or, if mounted closer together, standard bottle cages. Once a cage or cages are fitted, it feels incredibly secure, with no movement at all, even when riding off-road on rough sections. It is possible to remove cages quickly and easily, and with such a low-profile, lightweight mount, they are barely noticeable.
Recommended weight carrying capacities are 5kg for gravel riding or 3kg for trail riding, which is perhaps a more likely scenario given they are designed for mountain bikes. These would be ideal for carrying several full fluid canisters, a dry bag with clothing or a lightweight sleeping bag. When packing for bikepacking adventures, you would be surprised how much stuff it takes to reach 3kg, so this is not a limiter.
To test the rack, I used a full 1-litre metal flask and a dry bag that kept below the 3kg recommended maximum. The racks were used for normal mountain biking, including some technical singletrack, and no movement was seen in the mounts.
The carbon mounts cost £50, which might seem a lot for some small carbon mounts. Tailfin does make a cheaper stainless version which is a bit heavier – 128g versus 82g total for two mounts, but otherwise, they are identical. There are other ways of mounting cages to a suspension fork, but many are limited to specific fork sizes or rely upon straps with lower load capacities, such as the Topeak Versacage and King Cage Universal Support Cage which uses a basic screw hose clip design.
The Tailfin Suspension Fork Mount continues with the excellent design and production that the brand has become known for. The mount is sleek, well designed and well packaged, giving the answer to a genuine problem that riders, including myself, have had. It works perfectly and is a great addition to anyone with a mountain bike looking to have the ability to carry more.