Mountain Bike Forks
MTB Forks is the part of your Mountain Bike that holds your front wheel.
In General, a forks is made of 2 blades joined at the top by a Crown. A steerer tube makes the link between the fork and the handlebars, via a stem. This steerer tube interfaces with your frame via a headset (standard, semi-integrated, integrated) fitted in the headtube.
At the bottom of your forks, an axle, a skewer or a maxle hold the wheel to the forks.
Today, on most Mountain Bike, the fork contains shock absorbers for a better comfort and control of the bike. Suspension forks can vary massively when it comes to weight, stiffness, travel and shock damping ability. So when buying a MTB fork, it is important to know what to look for. Below, you will find the different aspects to take in consideration.
What to look for when buying a MTB fork
The discipline called 'Mountain Biking' is in reallity a very diverse sport. It means several forks are designed for every type of bike.
If you are riding XC bike, you will need to choose a 80mm to 120mm suspension fork.
For an all mountain or enduro bike, the travel is generally comprised between 140mm and 170mm.
Freeride and DH bikes go from 180mm to 200mm suspension fork.
Weight and Stiffness
You will need to think about how much stiffness you need before your buy. A stiffer fork is in general heavier. If you buy a stiff fork but you don't need it, you will be carrying extra weight for nothing.
Light forks will suit XC riders but are more fragile. Stiff forks will suit Enduro and gravity riders.
The stiffness of a fork is difficult to know so the best advice is to check manufacturer's recommendations.
If you can't find these recommendations, the diameter of the legs can give you a rough idea:
30-32mm diameter will suits XC riders.
34mm diameter is recommended for All mountain riding and 35mm+ for gravity riding.
The more travel you have and the more difficult it is to control. It means damping control is a very important factor.
Most forks offer an adjustable rebound damping. What does it mean? The rebound damping allow the fork to return smoothly to it is height rather than bouncing back hard.
More expensive forks also have compression damping to absorb impacts more efficiently.
The steerer tube diameter may vary from one fork to another. Be carefull, not all diameter will fit your frame's head tube.
Today, tapered steerer tube is the new standard: the tube measure 1.5"" at the crown (bottom of the tube) and 1.1/8"" at the top.
You can also find straight steerer: the tube measure 1.1/8"" or 1.5"" on some forks.
Different axle standards are available on the market:
-9mm QR skewer (Quick Release)
-15mm Thru-Axle or Maxle.
-20mm ThruAxle or Maxle.
Mountain Bike Forks at Alltricks.com
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