OK, so you've got the single-speed, skinny-tired messenger-style bike for bombing around town while also looking hip ... that's a good start, but what piece of functional bling can you add to further identify it as the urban assault vehicle that it is? Well, the folks at SR Suntour would probably tell you to swap your old school rigid fork for their Swing Shock suspension fork for commuter bikes. Depending on whether you're more of a gadget-lover or a purist, you'll either think it's clever, or an abomination.

Much like the oddball AMP suspension fork for mountain bikes, the Swing Shock uses a cantilevered design instead of the telescoping stanchion/lowers setup we're used to seeing. This allows it to stay relatively svelte-looking – a big consideration for its intended buyers – and also keeps it at the same height as a rigid fork, so it won't change the geometry of bikes that receive it as an aftermarket part.

Clearly designed for rough roads as opposed to roots and rocks, the coil-sprung fork provides 30 millimeters of travel, with adjustable preload. The lower sections of the legs are magnesium, joined to an alloy upper, crown, and steerer tube, with everything adding up to a not-unreasonable 1410 grams (3.11 lbs) – although a beefier version with a steel steerer tube weighs in at 1570 (3.46 lbs).

It's compatible with 700C wheels, and comes with lowers that can accommodate V-brakes or discs.

Although first unveiled at the 2009 Eurobike trade show, then becoming available last October, the fork recently gained additional attention when it was featured on the JIT concept bike. The JIT was the result of a collaboration between Suntour and three other companies, and is intended to represent the state of the art in fixed gear messenger bikes.

The SR Suntour Swing Shock is available through bicycle retailers, and sells for about US$180.

Source: Bicycle Design