The Shadow Conspiracy Captive Fork Review
I recently decided it was time to upgrade my old forks. I've been breaking a few parts lately and I was starting to feel a bit uneasy about my 3 year old, chopstick thin, original Macneil Blazer forks. After a bit of research I settled on the new Shadow Captive forks. I'm running the Shadow Vultus bars so I liked the idea of a Shadow Conspiracy front end and I wash super intrigued by some of the Captive forks features…
The Shadow Captive forks are a really interesting design. Certainly the concept of a closed dropout is nowhere near a new idea but the insert that lets you change your fork offset is a completely new design that offers real advantages. The Shadow Conspiracy Captive forks offer the option of either a 26mm offset for a quick and responsive front end or 32mm for a more relaxed and stable front end. I set the forks up at 26mm to begin with and immediately fell in love with the way they felt.
I've had the forks on for about a month now and have switched up the offset a few times to experiment. Although 6mm doesn't sound like much in fork-land its a massive difference and the change is hugely noticeable. If you're a trails rider or just like to pedal fast at things the 32mm offset will suit you down to a tee. For now I'm leaving mine at 26mm as it suits my riding a bit better, spinning feels easier, manuals seem to pull up easier and they just feel better for more technical riding in general. It's great to have the option to change it up in the future though.
Let's not forget the most important part of the fork, the look. I got mine in bad-ass chrome, (chrome plating will cost you a bit extra but you can't put a price on $wag) and the closed dropouts look super tech and compliment my Profile hub perfectly. I'm also a fan of attention to detail and shadow pulls through by cutting out the "brake hole" in the forks as the shape of a coffin. So rad.
Lastly the weight, which seems to be becoming less and less of a selling point these days as people begin to opt for strength and reliability once more. The TSC Captive Forks weigh in at around 870g (30.6 oz) which is only marginally heavier than their Vultus forks and only around 25g heavier than some of the lighter forks like Fit Shivs. Light enough to keep the weight weenies happy while keeping tough enough to take a beating. The closed dropout design is great for pegs too with one solid one-piece dropout being obviously harder to bend than tradition dropouts.
All in all The Shadow Conspiracy Vultus forks are an amazing fork and would literally suit anybody thanks to their ingenious adjustable offset design. That is if you're not running front brakes or a male front axle of course.
Pick them up from your local bike shop or your favourite Aussie mail-order.