Regular readers of this column might have gleaned that I’ve been kicking around the BMX world for a minute, and although I’ve seen a lot of crazy changes, both good & bad, go down in the world of BMX technology, I don’t cling to the past when it comes to what gets bolted onto my bike. Sure, there are a few details that I cling to that are becoming more & more difficult to find in the marketplace (chrome rims, chainstay brakes/welded mounts, metal pedals), but for the most part, I believe that bikes evolve for a reason, and if you think the pros of today are weak because they’re not pulling lines on 40lb tanks with 7″ bars, you’re probably one of those guys that spends more time shittalking kids at your local spot & wistfully talking about 2002 than actually attempting to ride. Fearing change is silly, brands don’t release untested garbage and just because you don’t understand the hows and whys of a new product doesn’t make it bad. With all of that said, investment cast components have been slowly infiltrating the BMX world over the past decade, but it was only recently that I picked up my first pair of investment cast forks, and even after riding them for a few months now I’m still only figuring out the benefits, so let’s run down what makes the new Kink CST forks so damn tough, shall we?
Kink’s new CST forks are packed with features that you might not pick up at first, but before bolting these things onto you front end, take a minute to look these up & down and you’ll notice a few differences compared to traditional forks. Yes, it’s got a few features that have become standards in the BMX world, like heat-treated, tapered 4130 chromoly legs and a one-piece, CNC’d steer tube, but the dropouts should immediately catch your eye. Never fear the lack of welds; the 6mm thick drops on the CST’s are investment cast, which is a process that reduces the material needed while also making it stronger, as the metal takes shape while slowly cooling, drastically reducing the amount of extreme heat applied to the junction which allows for a much stronger dropout. Think about that the next time you see a fork with a snapped-off dropout, as that type of damage usually goes down at the weld, logic than can also be applied to frames & bars as well. The investment cast drops on the CST not only allow for a cleaner look, but they also allow for a flush surface on the inside of the dropout, allowing for better hub guard clearance. Since I can’t stop babbling about these drops, lets also mention that they feature a 28mm offset, which is middle of the road these days with so many forks featuring either 25mm or 32mm offsets, and they also feature a recessed area which allowing peg clearance for the biggest of pegs, including El Guapos. Finally, the CST is literally topped off by a 7075AL top cap that’s not only broached for a standard 6mm allen key, but it features the far less strippable 3/8″ ratchet drive interface, which you can crank on to your hearts content.
The new Kink CST forks are available now from Kink themselves and wherever else Kink products are sold. The 34oz CST’s are available for only $129.99 in either black or chrome (add $10 for chrome), and can only be found with 3/8″ slots because what maniac actually needs 14mm drops these days? For more on the entire Kink product line, take a sec to check out KinkBMX.com, and be sure to follow the team on Instagram @kinkbmx now.