Outsider Bikes BoXXer Offset Crown Kit

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Boxxer Offset Crown Kit - gold inserts
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Offset Crowns in an Adjustable Package

Rating:
The Good:

-Boxxer set is lighter than stock crowns -Beautifully machined -No creaks -Adjustable fork offset options as well as 3 different stem positions -High quality finish -Improved handling

The Bad:

-Requires understanding of what offset does, and the awareness to see how they change handling characteristics -Expensive -Takes some time to get set up dialed in

Overall Review:

Outsider Bikes Offset Crowns offer a clean solution to making handling adjustments past what can normally be achieved with a stock fork. This is something manufacturers are experimenting with already, such as Transition. The crowns are made for both the Boxxer (up to 2018 model, the 2019 is incompatible) as well as the Fox 40. Since I have a Boxxer chassis, thats what I'll cover from here on out.

Out of the box these things look clean. You can immediately tell Outside Bikes had high manufacturing standards. The kit includes:

  • Both crowns
  • Steer tube
  • Pair of orange inserts (-10mm/+8mm)
  • Pair of gold inserts (-8mm/+6mm)
  • Pair of green inserts (-6mm/+4mm)
  • Pair of black inserts (-2mm/+0mm)

The crowns have 5 separate pieces that must be put together. You pick what offset cups you want, and then

Overall Review:

Outsider Bikes Offset Crowns offer a clean solution to making handling adjustments past what can normally be achieved with a stock fork. This is something manufacturers are experimenting with already, such as Transition. The crowns are made for both the Boxxer (up to 2018 model, the 2019 is incompatible) as well as the Fox 40. Since I have a Boxxer chassis, thats what I'll cover from here on out.

Out of the box these things look clean. You can immediately tell Outside Bikes had high manufacturing standards. The kit includes:

  • Both crowns
  • Steer tube
  • Pair of orange inserts (-10mm/+8mm)
  • Pair of gold inserts (-8mm/+6mm)
  • Pair of green inserts (-6mm/+4mm)
  • Pair of black inserts (-2mm/+0mm)

The crowns have 5 separate pieces that must be put together. You pick what offset cups you want, and then assemble them. I recommend using a torque wrench for obvious reasons.

Set Up:

Set up was quick. I started with the -10 cups. The separate steer tube initially made me uncomfortable, as its easy to forget these are usually pressed in. After assembling, I quickly left that fear behind. The cups and steer tube fit snugly together even without tightening the bolts. I used a very small amount of grease on all contact points. With so many extra loose parts (three- two cups and the steer tube) I was worried there would be creaking. There wasn't, but I'll address that later on. I found it relatively simple to switch the cups out on the trail while testing as well, though I do recommend following Outsider Bike's instructions for this.

With 3 options for stem placement, (0, +8, -8) I opted for the +8. More on this later.

Riding Impressions:

To get the best sense of how the offset crowns changed the ride, I spent a day doing shuttles on my local dh trail. Very fast, lots of roots, some tight corners and big wide ones, so the trail is great for DH bike set up. I brought all 3 cup options to test. I only experimented with negative offset.

Starting with the -10 and a neutral stem position (0), my bike immediately felt taller and shorter. The negative offset actually raises your bar height up a bit, so be prepared to adjust for this. The turning also felt slow. First run I was understeering around corners, and the set up just felt off. I did another run, which felt a bit better as I adjusted my body positioning, but still felt slightly sluggish through corners, and my reach was too short.

The set up did not feel like an improvement, so I put the -8 cups in. I moved the stem to the +8 position, to get my reach and effective stem length back to where the stock setup was. Once I did this, and slammed the bars, the bike felt normal again. My 3rd run immediately felt better. I was still slightly understeering, but by run 4 I barely noticed it.

What I did notice was a significant improvement in cornering. You could write a physics paper on this so interpret my experience as you will. I felt much less "side pulling" while corning over flat ground and roots. That is, the bars were less likely to jerk when hitting something at a weird angle. With less jarring side to side force coming through my bars, I had less hand pump. I felt like the wheels were more in-line, and the sensation of dragging your front wheel in tight corners was diminished. I also felt like I was rewarded more for better corning posture. That sensation of jack knifing in switchbacks was reduced, and the bike held a smooth, arcing line with less effort and minor corrections. All good.

Okay, so I was sold on the setup. My fork performed better, cornering felt more natural, there was less hand pump, and damn those aftermarket crowns look pretty. After race season ended here in the NW, I spent 20 days in the Whistler Bike Park, which only confirmed what I experienced. The massive holes in some of the berms at Whistler are notorious. The reduction of jarring force that can slow you down and pull you off line in those big holes was surprising. The overall feel of my bike was much more predictable and intuitive. Whips felt easier, and I felt like moving around on the bike was more rewarding. Not really an objective description, but you get the idea.

Durability:

I rode and raced the crowns for 3 weeks after my initial setup. I then spent the month of September in the Whistler Bike Park and surrounding area. I figured if any creaking, durability, or ride quality issues arose, it would happen there. Not including the month before, I did about 20 full days on the crowns in the bike park. In those 20 days I had 0 issues. No creaks, no loose bolts, no damage to the crowns themselves. The creaking is what I was concerned about, and I have yet to encounter the issue. In total I've had about 45 days of riding the crowns and they still look good as new.

Overall impression:

If you are a setup nerd, these should be high on your list. I do recommend you have a modern bike (ie long reach/wheelbase), as these will shorten the wheel base depending on what cups you run. To say I'm surprised the big boys haven't made these a thing yet would be an understatement. My guess it has to do with old geometry, and manufacturers accounting for bad numbers too much.

I ride a 2017 Kona Operator 27.5 size large, and I'm 5'10 with short legs. I also have an Avalanche cartridge in my Boxxer chassis, and Avalanche shock in the back, which may factor into your decision regarding my experience.

Overall impression:

Great design, great construction, and an improvement in your bikes handling are all selling points of these crowns. Skilled riders will notice the difference, especially in tight corners and on rough tracks. Make sure you are okay with reducing your wheel base though, as this might make the wrong bike feel wonky. I would recommend these to anyone looking to get a bit "more good" out of their current set up. The only downside is the price.

Specifications

Product Outsider Bikes BoXXer Offset Crown Kit
Riding Type Downhill, Freeride / Bike Park
Wheel Size
Travel
Spring Type
Damping
External Adjustments
Crown Offset crown kit for dual crowned BoXXer forks

The kit includes:

  • Both crowns
  • Steer tube
  • Pair of orange inserts (-10mm/+8mm)
  • Pair of gold inserts (-8mm/+6mm)
  • Pair of green inserts (-6mm/+4mm)
  • Pair of black inserts (-2mm/+0mm)
  • Front Axle
    Brake Mounts
    Steer Tube Diameter
    Steer Tube Construction
    Stanchion Diameter
    Colors
    Weight
    Miscellaneous The stem positions are located at +8mm, 0mm, and -8mm. Use the corresponding inserts so the stem tracks your offset to maintain the same stem reach, or you can position the stem wherever you prefer.
    Price $295
    More Info

    ​Adjustable offset crown kit for RockShox BoXXer forks through 2018. The weight, strength, and stiffness are on par with the stock crown assembly.

    For more info, visit outsiderbikes.com.

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