Well, I’ve been on this fork for about 6 weeks now, and have loved every second I’ve spent on it.
Initially, it took me a few rides to get the settings exactly where I wanted them, but since then, it has treated me right.
The test sled is Kermit. Kermit started life as a rigid singlespeed, but has since evolved to suit my ever changing needs. Currently, it is a front sprung, 2×9 trail set up, with the newest component being the Fluid 110. It has really made a positive impact on the bike’s overall handling.
Here are my findings
White has always been known for their beautiful machine work. All of White’s fork lowers consist of aluminum legs pressed into a CNC machined arch. The sliders are pressed into a CNC’d crown. The result is a stiff platform on which to build the forks around. There is also a 20mm thru-axle option for this fork.
The axle to crown measurement is 510mm, and weight is 3.97lbs.
The Fluid 110 is an air sprung fork. The left leg contains the spring, the right contains the damper. Spring preload is set via the schrader valve on the left leg.
Adjustments are compression, via the schrader valve on the top of the right leg, and rebound, found at the bottom of the right leg.
An oil bath at the bottom of each leg keeps everything well lubed.
Nice and easy.
One of the misleading things about the fork, is that it feels really stiff when you just push down on it. Compared to something like the Reba, it isn’t buttery smooth. This is not something that you notice on the trail however. In fact, on the trail, I notice nothing. This is fantastic. I can get quite picky, especially if a component on the bike is not living up to my expectations. I always found the Reba to be a bit too plush, and sometimes my hands would take a beating.
Most forks have a shim stack, which controls the flow of oil through the damper circuit. Most of the time, these stacks are fixed to either the damper rod. Not so with this fork. The White’s shim stack is coil sprung. The coil itself gives a degree of compression damping, but it can let a lot of oil trough the system when it’s needed to. Confused? Think about a car’s shocks. They are designed to handle everything from cracks to small potholes without changing the steering and handling characteristics.
The Set Up:
Once the main air chamber is set, you adjust the compression. Adding air to the damper will increase the overall spring rate. When I received the fork, I was given the recommendation that the damper should be around 10% of the spring rate, but I would need to fiddle with it to get it to feel the way I wanted to. I have my spring set at 70 psi, and my compression at 20 psi.
While it isn’t even close to 10% of the spring, for my riding style, this works beautifully.
The Fluid does not have a lockout, and my riding style very “out of the saddle”. I tend to stand fairly often, and drive the bike over rough terrain. A heavier compression adjustment helps keep the fork from bobbing all over the place from my body’s input. I keep the air spring lighter, as our terrain features lots of repetitive bumps, roots, rocks that would bounce a heavier sprung fork out of it’s intended line. It’s a delicate balance.
Steering precision is on par with it’s big brother, the Fluid 135. Relatively speaking, I’d say it’s as stiff. It goes where pointed with no drama. There have been more than a few times where I have gotten myself hung up in some pretty precarious situations, where any move other than the right one would have meant an express ticket to the ground or worse. A yank on the bars put everything right, whereas when in similar situations riding the Reba, my fingers were always mentally crossed.
It’s been a confidence inspiring experience. This fork gets 2 very big thumbs up from me.