How to adjust the front fork on a bike

Settings

The possible settings for the damping device are determined depending on the type of material used. Some models have a locking function, which is important when climbing mountains and when driving on long sections.

It is not recommended to forget to turn it back on, otherwise, when descending on bumps, a strong blow to the upper limbs is possible.

Most bicycle shock absorbers feature a preload function. Fork adjustment is located on the outside.

Correct setting of parameters is a guarantee of comfort during the trip and a good degree of shock absorption. Springs are available in several colors, depending on the degree of rigidity.

The rebound speed adjustment function is present in the expensive forks. In the process of passing the jump track, it is recommended to use a medium or slow type of rebound. In normal driving, the best option is a fast rate, allowing the wheel to handle the unevenness of the road.

adjust, front, fork, bike

What is Preload on a bike fork?

On the Internet and among my friends, the question constantly pops up: “What is this preload adjustment on my fork?” There are many questions, no less answers, but, unfortunately, there are much fewer correct answers. The most common incorrect answer is that preload (sometimes also written as reload) adjusts the spring rate. This is true and not, this setting will undoubtedly affect the spring rate, but at rest.

Preload literally translates as “preload”. In order to understand why this is and how it works, you need to remember that the suspension fork has three states:. no load, which means that the bike just stands on the wheels on the ground. with a static load, which means that the bike is sitting a person without touching the ground with their feet, but also does not create dynamic loads,

Preload on Suntour XCM fork

How To Set Your Suspension Up In 10 Minutes | MTB Suspension Set Up Basics

What is its purpose?

Before talking about what a bicycle fork adjustment is, you need, as mentioned above, to figure out why it is needed at all. It serves as a shock absorber, softening the landing of the wheels and making your iron horse more stable. Its correct setting is a prerequisite for preparing for trips in mountainous terrain, and indeed on any uneven surface.

It consists primarily of springs, which turn the fork into a reliable shock absorber that can effectively cope with vibrations, bending and unbending when necessary. Good springs can not only provide ride comfort, but also maintain speed regardless of the level of the surface. Of course, the tuning process plays an important role here, but before talking about it, you should pay attention to the fact that forks are different.

What are?

Despite the fact that such forks are usually used on sports bikes, they differ in a wide variety of options, from simple to more advanced. In order to present this variety more clearly, we give a list of options below:

  • Spring loaded;
  • Spring loaded with elastomer core;
  • Air (air is used as a spring);
  • Air with oil capsule;
  • Oil-spring.

The more complex the device, the more efficiently the shock absorber works, the quality and complexity of the device, of course, affects its cost. The usual spring mechanism is very cheap, but it is not very reliable, and it is almost impossible to properly adjust it. This option is only suitable for those who will fit any springs as a shock absorber.

READ  Chain flies on a speed bike cause

With the help of an elastomer rod, it is possible to somewhat strengthen the structure of the shock absorber, which will now consist of more than just one spring. However, the stability and durability of such a fork is limited by the conditions of use, so those who choose mountain biking as a hobby should buy a more expensive device.

The arrangement of the air plugs will be somewhat more interesting. Of course, they will cost much more. However, their reliability makes them suitable for riding on almost any surface. In addition, their customization opens up many opportunities for cyclists. The role of the spring is played by air, which will not rust, unlike metal.

Air forks have their drawbacks, which can be compensated by the oil-air design. This option is devoid of the disadvantages of the previous one, but it is not inferior to it in terms of the number of advantages. It is considered one of the best because it really cushions the athlete’s rebound in almost any conditions. Oil-air plugs are resistant to high pressure and temperature extremes, if correctly set, they can not be changed for a very long time.

The best option is considered to be oil-spring forks. They provide all the advantages provided by the options listed above, while practically freeing all of their disadvantages. At the same time, they are much more expensive than any others. There will be no need to change them with correct configuration and use. They are unpretentious and adapted to any conditions. Among other things, they also do not require much maintenance.

Adjusting the bike fork

If you are the owner of a bike that has an air, oil-air or oil-spring suspension fork, sooner or later you will decide to start tuning the parameters of its operation according to your taste and riding style.

As a rule, many bikers are terrified of experimenting with suspension fork settings on their own, fearing that they will not be able to return all the wheels and valves to their original position. And this is not surprising, because almost all modern suspension systems provide an abundance of various twists, which can bring a novice cyclist literally to hysteria.

Recommended reading: Bicycle fork repair

In principle, nothing bad will happen if, by changing different settings, you record the number of clicks or crank turns. Then it will not be difficult for you to return all settings to their original position. It is also important to re-run each setting you change to determine how the bike travel has changed.

In this article, we are going to cover three main settings for suspension forks:

  • preload (sag, preload);
  • rebound speed;
  • compression speed (compression).

Suntour XCT Fork Adjustment

Bicycle fork: remove, disassemble, assemble, install

It would seem, why do bicycles and cyclists need a suspension fork? But for both, it is extremely useful: a well-matched and adjusted fork can significantly reduce the load on the palms and hands while riding, improve the handling of the bike, and in addition, increases the service life of the frame and steering bearings by reducing the vibration effect. With proper care, the life of the plug can be extended several times. This will certainly be pleasant to the zealous owner of a two-wheeled friend, given the high cost.

  • cleaning and lubricating the feet on the oil seals. every 100-150 km of the distance traveled;
  • inspection for cracks in the “pants” of the plug, lubrication of oil seals with disassembly. every 500-1000 km;
  • for oil forks. oil changes annually or after 4000-5000 km of travel.

Among the tools necessary for working with a bicycle fork are a screwdriver, pliers, a wrench, a small adjustable gas wrench; taking into account the specifics of working with oil, it is advised to stock up on rags or rags, in addition, work can be performed with gloves to protect hands from damage and pollution.

READ  How to put a tire on a bike correctly

How to replace a fork on a bicycle?

It is not recommended for an untrained and inexperienced user to carry out: if it is possible to cope with simple care, then it is better to leave such a procedure to a qualified specialist. As a last resort, carry out the replacement under the supervision of the master, following his recommendations.

How and how can you lubricate a bicycle suspension fork

I use Litol-24 grease to lubricate all the components of the bicycle front fork, including both the shock absorber and the head tube bearings. It is believed that it negatively affects aluminum parts when moisture gets in. But using it for five seasons, no negative consequences were noticed. The advantages of this grease include good temperature resistance. It does not thicken both in severe frost up to 50 C, and in extreme heat (up to 150 C).

Many people advise pouring liquid machine oils, sewing machine oil, and others into their forks. Personally, in my experience, a deterioration in the operation of the fork shock absorber was noticed (jerks were observed during compression and rebound of the spring). And if liquid oils worked better, manufacturers would have filled them in initially, which they do not.

We figured out how to lubricate a bicycle fork. Next, let’s see how to do this. We apply grease to the spring with excess (we ram the lubricant between the spring rings), the excess will come out through the hole under the stem and, if there is an excess in the pants, it will be squeezed out through the stuffing box seals (but you shouldn’t overdo it either). We also apply grease to the grooves of the cuffs and add forks to the pants. We lubricate all rubbing parts with a thin layer.

Suspension fork settings. What they mean

Before installing the plug into the glass, do not forget to lubricate the bearings, rings and cups.

This completes the lubrication process and you can go back to assembling and installing the bicycle fork.

Removing the fork from a bike?

To remove the fork from the bike for subsequent maintenance or complete replacement, it is necessary to turn the bike upside down, release the brake (if it is a rim brake) and remove the front wheel. At the second stage, the steering wheel with the stem is removed, then the steering tube.

After that, we remove the plug, it is extremely important not to lose the balls from the bearings. Then the support conical ring is removed from the fork stem (usually using a sharp measure, gently squeezing it from all sides)

Then we have a plug ready for service.

Individual users are advised to sort out even new, just purchased forks, explaining this by the need for individual debugging of the element.

How to disassemble a bicycle fork (using the example of a spring-electric fork) read below:

This completes the fork disassembly process and begins the process of caring for the parts received: a thorough inspection of the elements for damage, cracks and other things is necessary, thoroughly rinse with kerosene and lubricate the elements that need it

It is important to lubricate the springs with heavy grease for best fork performance.

How often do you need to inspect

When properly selected, set up and cared for, a bicycle fork significantly reduces the strain on your hands and arms while riding. In addition, if it is in good technical condition, it increases controllability and increases the life of the bearings (after all, in this case, they suffer from vibrations much less). And the bike frame will last much longer.

READ  Put Planetary Hub On Bike

It is important to remember that without leaving the fork will quickly become unusable, and the price for a new one is quite high

Mandatory inspection of a bicycle fork includes the following:

  • Every 100-150 km. inspection, lubrication of the fork legs on the oil seals.
  • After 500-1000 km, you need to disassemble and lubricate the oil seals. It is mandatory to inspect the “pants” of the fork for cracks and damage.
  • If your type of plug is oil, then every year you need an oil change (or after overcoming 4-5 thousand kilometers).

But before you parse the plug, you need to decide what type it is.

Removing the fork from a bike?

To remove the fork from the bike for subsequent maintenance or complete replacement, it is necessary to turn the bike upside down, release the brake (if it is a rim brake) and remove the front wheel. At the second stage, the steering wheel with the stem is removed, then the steering tube.

After that, we remove the plug, it is extremely important not to lose the balls from the bearings. Then the support conical ring is removed from the fork stem (usually using a sharp measure, gently squeezing it from all sides)

Then we have a plug ready for service.

Individual users are advised to sort out even new, just purchased forks, explaining this by the need for individual debugging of the element.

How to disassemble a bicycle fork (using the example of a spring-electric fork) read below:

it is necessary to unscrew the lower mounting bolts using hexagons;

Preload spring force adjusting bolt.

unscrew the bolt that regulates the force of the Preload spring (pay attention to the stroke of the adjustment bolt. this is how the bolt compresses and expands the spring);

get the elastomer, which limits the travel of the spring (in some cases, cutting the elastomer to the desired size is allowed);

it is necessary to unscrew the bolts and carefully remove the “pants”, watching out for the mud, oil and water flowing from there;

oil seals (anthers) are removed from the “pants” with a screwdriver, and the bosses are easy to get out by turning them around their axis.

This completes the fork disassembly process and begins the process of caring for the parts received: a thorough inspection of the elements for damage, cracks and other things is necessary, thoroughly rinse with kerosene and lubricate the elements that need it

It is important to lubricate the springs with heavy grease for best fork performance.

How to remove the plug

Let’s take a look at the step-by-step process of disassembling a bicycle fork:

First you need to unscrew all the parts that are attached to the plug. These elements can be brake calipers or disc brake lines.

V-brakes are also removable. The bolts that fix the stem on the handlebar tube are unscrewed, after which it is necessary to unscrew the bicycle fork anchor bolt. Then you need to carefully remove the steering wheel. You should be extremely careful not to damage the hose lines. The next step is to remove the spacer rings and the guide sleeve

In order to perform this procedure, carefully pry the sleeve in the area of ​​the cut using a flat screwdriver. Next, the upper rolling ring and the upper bearing are detached. The steering tube can now be removed. Then you need to get the bearing, rolling ring, and also detach the front wheel of the bicycle. To do this, unscrew the fixing bolts. The result is an unscrewed bicycle fork.