Intend Bicycle Components has announced the release of the Intend Samurai; four new lightweight mountain bike forks with intended usage covering XC, Downcountry, Trail and Gravel. In true Intend fashion, the Samurai is of course an Upside-Down fork. Thanks to its brace-less design, carbon steerer and pared-back dropouts, the Samurai CC lays claim as the World’s Lightest 120mm travel fork weighing a claimed 1,405g.
We were first introduced to the Intend Samurai at Eurobike by the designer himself, Cornelius Kapfinger. Incidentally, an earlier polished prototype lurked nearby, helping Dangerholm keep the weight of his Scott Spark RC Hypersonic below 9.2 kg. Here, we have updates on the now-available Samurai, including news of a 130mm TR version with a damper cartridge of Intend’s own design.
The Intend Samurai CC Upside Down fork is alleged to be the World’s Lightest 120mm Travel MTB Fork
Indeed, both the Samurai CC and Samurai XC forks are said to be lighter than the RockShox SID Ultimate, at a claimed 1,405g and 1,515g, respectively. Both deliver 120mm travel through 35mm stanchions.
While the lighter Samurai CC gets a carbon steerer tube, carbon cable guides and modified stanchions, the heavier Samurai XC uses aluminum for those parts, and forgoes the additional internal machining seen on the CC.
Intend Samurai ForkCCXCTRGRMaximum Travel120mm120mm130mm50mmIntentionXCDowncountry/XCTrail/Downcountry/XCGravelClaimed Weight (grams)1,4051,5151,5551,450ATC at Maximum Travel531mm531mm1,555461mmDamper CartridgeRockShox Race DayRockShox Race DayIntendRockShox Race DayBrake MountPM180/FM180PM180/FM180PM180/FM180PM180/FM180Price1,949 €1,649 €1,799 €1,649 €
Key to minimizing weight is the use of (close-to) zero offset dropouts, allowing for a minimalist design that uses less material. At first glance, you may have a hard time believing the Samurai has a 44mm offset at sag, but a closer look at the angled crown reveals exactly how that offset is introduced. The fork legs sit at an angle that is slightly slacker than that of the steerer tube.
The Intend Samurai XC Fork is a little heavier due to its use of an aluminum steerer
On a regular fork where offset is introduced at the dropouts, offset remains consistent no matter where in the travel the fork is operating. However, in the Samurai design, the fork offset actually decreases as it is pushed into compression, but not by much. While the offset is 44mm at sag, it is 45.5mm at top-out and 41mm at bottom-out. Cornelius says, “extended and compressed, there are only a few less millimeters of deviation from this 44mm, which does not have any impact on riding experience, as we found out during testing. We didn’t do further back to back tests with traditional forks. The slight angle of the Samurai should and will not alter your riding experience compared to fixed offset forks, it just reduces weight”.
On the damper side, the Intend Samurai CC and XC forks are designed to work with the RockShox Race Day Damper cartridge that must be purchased separately. That is not the case for the Intend TR fork, however; this one utilizes a damper cartridge of Intend’s own design, allowing it to run a maximum of 130mm travel.
It is essentially a trimmed-down version of the cartridge used in Intend’s longer-travel USD forks such as the Hero. It is 30g heavier than the RockShox Race Day Damper, but it means the fork can be used for more Downcountry or Trail applications thanks to its extra travel.
The final model is the Samurai GR. It is a 50mm travel USD fork intended for gravel riders looking for a plusher ride quality and reduced hand and arm fatigue. It too is designed to work with the RockShox Race Day Damper.
When we were first shown the Intend Samurai fork, it had a dedicated Flat Mount for the brake caliper, meant for a 180mm rotor. Thanks to prospective customer feedback, Intend has added a Post Mount 180 adapter for this unique dropout so that riders can run the brake caliper of their choice.
Pricing & Availability
The Intend Samurai XC, TR and GR models are available direct from Intend Bicycle Components now, retailing at €1,649 and, €1,799 and €1,649, respectively. The €1,949 CC model will launch in Q1 of 2023.
The RockShox Race Day Damper is not included in the sale of the CC, XC and GR models, and must be purchased separately from a dealer of the customer’s choosing. For EU customers, the damper can, however, be delivered to Intend and installed by the team prior to shipment of the fork. This service is not available outside of the EU, and those customers will need to arrange installation of the Race Day Damper elsewhere.