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This is the problem. Andrew is absolutely right in his comment; every single crown will creak eventually if ridden hard on current bikes. But it shouldn’t be happening from 20hrs of riding FFS. As the guys at EXT commented in the article a few days ago, the forces from the wheel peak around the headtube/crown junction. Add in the mass amounts of abuse we’re putting our bikes through and it’s a matter of when not if.
That said, I’m at 10 months on the Öhlins m.2. It’s lived on the front of my G1 for all testing, which is the slackest ‘trail’ bike on the market at 62 degrees. Outside of being my only bike (unless testing something else for a bit), it’s been spending more time in the bike park lately and spent a bunch of time there late last season and it still doesn’t creak. More on that in the final review but I haven’t been so lucky with others.
I’m not sure about the reliance on dual crown now either. The EXT folks made a comment when I was chatting with them that suggested it may not be as we assume. I hope to dig into that some more soon.
Long story short, it’s time some brands put more material in the crown area and stop focusing on the scale so much. Not only will it make a fork last longer, it will help improve the fork performance if this part of the chassis is stronger/stiffer.
Edit: I have to add that I feel terrible hearing you’re having to pay for the “warranty” replacements beyond the first one. I realize this isn’t unusual but I can’t stand by that. If it’s a faulty product, and it goes again, why should the consumer have to pay for the manufacturers mistake!? Brands need to stand by their product and I don’t believe this is doing that.
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