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There are a couple of suspension fork manufacturers that have adopted a fork design where the lowers have a reversed arch. I can't see that they claim any particular performance advantages for it, although there are some people on mountain biking forums saying they have improved torsional stiffness. Why would that be the case?

Also, how do they compare in muddy conditions, more/less resistance to clogging?

reverse arch forks

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2 Answers 2

I have a Manitou Black with reverse arch (an old model) and it seems to me that the posts get dirtier than if it was a front arch model. Specifically, the grime that comes "in the air" hits the posts directly (without the arch acting as a sort of protection), and the mud that comes with the tire ends up getting everything dirty anyway, sooner or later. Also, since the O-ring around the posts is tilted backwards due to steering angle, mud actually tends to form a deposit behind the post.

Incidentally, I have rim brakes attached to the brake posts, and due to the arch being behind, I am forced to use a brake booster, otherwise the blades of the fork flex A LOT while braking, with poor performance.

In the end, I agree with the ones that think it's more marketing than engineering. Besides, if you Google "dual arch suspension fork" there are already some models around, and I have seen at least one "middle arch" fork, though I can't remember the brand.

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Can find references to anything, however I recall reading its pretty much a marketing gimmick. The engineer in me thinks I am sure you could probably do a middle or 2 arches shock if you wanted...

As far as resistance to clogging in mud, I expect the only dimension that counts is the tire to arch and tire to post distances. Bigger is better.

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