How to find out which fork is on a bike

How to choose a mountain bike fork

When riding a mountain bike, the choice of a bicycle system should be approached with special responsibility, since the safety and comfort of the cyclist depends on its characteristics and parameters. It makes the ride smoother, provides easy control.

In the ranking of the best mountain bike forks, the first place is taken by the oil-spring system. It is versatile and will fit any bike. The best shock-absorbing properties allow it to be used in premium vehicles. Steel spring, oil damper guarantee a smooth ride.

The second place is taken by the oil-air system. It has a wider range of adjustments and a higher lifting capacity. With more pressure, dynamics increases and sensitivity to temperature changes decreases. The lower the pressure, the greater the safety margin and resource. But the latter option requires re-adjustment in case of temperature drops.

Which bicycle fork is better can only be determined by testing both mechanisms in action.

How to choose a bicycle fork

Depending on the nature, riding style, choose front forks with appropriate shock absorbers.

Consider the common types of systems by type of shock absorbers, which bike fork is better, their disadvantages and advantages:

The basic option for any inexpensive bike model, as well as for children’s transport. It is highly discouraged to install cheap copies. Spring-loaded. do not extinguish heavy loads, all significant vibrations are transferred to the wrists. It is easy to pierce them for people weighing more than 70 kg, just dropping onto the curb. Frequent breakdowns. leaking oil seals, backlash in the legs. A budget option for recreational riding. One of the most successful models is the RST from Santour, for example,

Elastomer (damper) design provides better shock absorption and is suitable for city and touring bikes. These elements are made in the form of a rubber rod (or air valves). The cost of such a fork justifies itself. The impossibility of working at negative temperatures, due to changes in the basic properties of the damper, justifies itself by eliminating oil leakage. Due to friction against the elastomer, the spring does not have time to expand. Add-ons are not provided.

The air fork is powered by compressed air instead of a spring. High pressure air accumulates in a special chamber. They dampen large and small vibrations, shocks. An air fork for a bicycle belongs to special equipment, but it has one significant drawback. a short operational life, since the system requires regular pumping of air. Aggressive riding wears out the structure even faster. Nevertheless, many cyclists prefer this model.

This model has a higher price, which depends on the type of oil used and the characteristics of the cartridge. An air / oil fork will last long if you regularly monitor the pressure in the cartridge, which is responsible for damping shocks. Its advantage is its ability to work properly at low temperatures.

This system costs more than 300 and is installed on professional bikes. The joint work of the damper (oil cartridge) and the spring withstands significant loads. In such assemblies, the quality of the parts is excellent. Operation at low temperatures requires more frequent oil changes. The disadvantages include a small range of adjustments. The best bike fork for every hobbyist and professional has its own. The types of bike shock absorbers are selected individually, based on the experience of the cyclist, climatic conditions, the frequency of vehicle operation, personal preferences and financial capabilities. The assortment can be found here

Bicycle suspension fork, design

The body of a complex bike part consists of the following elements:

  • “Pants”. two glasses, into which the legs are inserted;
  • “Stem”. an axis, attached to the frame;
  • “Crown”. connects the stock and two legs;
  • “Legs”. tubular parts, connected to the axle of the wheel, or pushed into the “pants”.

For better performance, the pants are oiled during assembly so the legs slide easily along the rails. Irregularities are smoothed out between the pants and the crown. Rebound is the “softness” of the movement, at what speed the fork will react by squeezing, which means it dampens the impact. The rebound speed can be adjusted. Damping parts: steel spring, air.

The average fork travel is up to 203 mm. travel is needed for uneven surfaces, less travel for smooth surfaces.

Standards (in inches) are assigned to the diameter of pipes of different systems:

  • 1. on old samples;
  • 1 and 1/8 are popular standard;
  • 1 and ¼;
  • 1 and ½.

In addition, the devices differ in wheel diameter, for each size a certain option is suitable.

By the type of fastening, mechanisms are distinguished: threaded and unthreaded. Today, the second method on bearings is more common.

  • Short-stroke (up to 40 mm);
  • Medium (up to 100 mm);
  • Long stroke (up to 300 mm).

What are the bike forks

By design features, there are: rigid and shock-absorbing forks.

The first category applies when driving on smooth surfaces at maximum speed conditions, such as cycling. Rigid bike forks should not be used for off-road, difficult trails. They are responsible for balancing the position of the frame when entering sharp turns, dampen minor irregularities. The main reason for the wear of such a structure is the high load.

The main purpose of the second category is to extinguish all irregularities at the time of movement. The damping fork is used off-road and is capable of withstanding severe shocks and vibration from the surface. Its advantages include the ability to adapt to any conditions of movement, providing a comfortable ride. The disadvantages are limited in speed and instability in tight corners, due to the large stroke of the shock absorber. Currently, rigid structures are very rare, due to the versatility of the shock-absorbing mechanism.

Bicycle forks, purpose

This is the part that holds the front wheel, connects it to the steering wheel and allows for pivoting movements. In addition to visually drawing attention to transport, it serves as a depreciation. Why is it needed?

  • Comfortable riding. No shaking or shock to the steering system. a guarantee of a comfortable ride.
  • Maintaining health. Vibration and stress on the wrists, as well as blows to the hands, negatively affect the joints.
  • Convenient management. Suspension fork reduces stress and wheel slip.
  • Saving strength and energy. The shock absorber takes all the vibrations on the road, making it easier for the cyclist.

Important parameters of the bicycle mechanism:

  • Depreciation properties;
  • Adjustment;
  • Matching your device with your preferred riding style.

How to choose a fork for the frame

The bicycle industry is developing, new models of bikes and spare parts for them appear. When choosing a bicycle forks, you should start with familiarizing yourself with popular manufacturers.

How to choose a fork for a bike

In any bike, the fork is one of the most important parts that performs several important functions. It connects the front wheel to the steering wheel and is responsible for comfortable overcoming of various irregularities and obstacles encountered on the way.

Before buying a bicycle or replacing a fork, it is imperative to know what varieties exist, what are their differences, advantages and disadvantages, and most importantly, how to make the right choice. We will answer all these questions in this article.

The cycling industry and technology is evolving at an ever-increasing pace every year, resulting in many varieties of basic bike building blocks. Of course, the engine of progress has also affected bicycle forks, so today they are produced in a huge variety.

First of all, forks are divided into rigid and shock-absorbing. Below we will take a closer look at each of these types.

This type is distinguished by a rather simple design, in which there are no moving elements. shock absorbers, which is why they are called rigid.

Since there is no shock absorber, the comfort of driving on uneven roads is significantly reduced, and off-road it is almost impossible to drive. Also, the speed of passing uneven sections of the path is significantly reduced. These are their main disadvantages.

Although, some rigid structures made of carbon or chrome-molybdenum steel are good at dampening microvibrations, so we can say that to some extent they also serve as a shock absorber. Aluminum does not have such an ability, therefore, modifications from aluminum are considered the toughest. Ordinary steel dampens micro-vibrations a little, but it is too heavy, so the steel version is not recommended for purchase in many cases, with the exception of a budget bike for street or park.

The benefits of hard modifications include:

  • high structural strength;
  • light weight;
  • durability;
  • do not take energy from pedaling to swing the shock absorber;
  • no need to perform maintenance;
  • frost resistance.

Due to the advantages listed above, the hard variants are great for fast or recreational riding on flat roads and performing stunts, they fit all BMX bikes for street and park, as well as in all road bikes and some urban, hybrid and touring modifications.

For hard modifications, the material of manufacture is a very important point. Carbon is considered the lightest and most durable material, so it is ideal for a road bike, but also the most expensive. Therefore, for amateurs, an aluminum, or better chromium-molybdenum, option is quite suitable. Aluminum is perfect for any city, hybrid or touring bike.

For BMH bikes, strength is in the first place in terms of the importance of characteristics, so for them heat-treated steel alloyed with chromium-molybdenum is considered the best material.

If you drive on bumpy roads quite often, and even more so off-road, then a rigid fork is not for you, better pay attention to the shock-absorbing modifications, there is much more choice here. From such a variety, a beginner cyclist may even get confused and make the wrong choice. Below we will arrange everything on the shelves, so that it would be easier for you to make the right choice.

All models with shock absorbers fall into this huge category. Many bikes are equipped with such forks, so their range is very large. All these modifications differ significantly in the quality of shock absorption, reliability, durability and, of course, price.

How to determine which model to buy and how much to expect? It depends on the terrain you will be driving and your riding style. This issue will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 4, and now we will list the pros and cons of shock absorbers.

Advantages when driving on bad roads and off-road:

  • reduction of shock and vibration load on the hands and spine of the cyclist;
  • improved comfort;
  • neutralization of the “inhibitory effect”;
  • maintaining speed;
  • improved handling;
  • reduction of shock and vibration load on the front part is great;
  • increase in the service life of important components of the bike.

It should be borne in mind that the advantages listed above work to one degree or another only on normal forks, costing from 6000 rubles. over, the higher the price, the better the depreciation quality and service life. Agree that you can overpay for this.

  • energy losses from pedaling to shock absorber swing;
  • heavy weight;
  • high cost.
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Manufacturers are constantly striving to improve their products and minimize existing shortcomings. New modifications are becoming ever lighter and can be adjusted by the cyclist. Many modifications have an option to disable depreciation, which is useful on flat roads, and the most expensive mechanisms are completely devoid of swinging.

Device and main elements

Most suspension forks are designed like a retractable telescope, consisting of two large-diameter tubes in which the smaller-diameter tubes move. The two large pipes are called pants and contain a spring, a damper and inner pipes called legs. To strengthen the structure, the legs are connected from above with a jumper. gorilla. To prevent dirt, dust and water from getting inside the pants, cuffs are placed at the junction of the pipes, in not expensive cases, these are ordinary rubber anthers.

Depending on the class and cost, the shock absorber can be a steel spring of various qualities, an oil or air cartridge.

The damper reduces spring vibrations by slowing down the expansion of the spring after rapid compression. It can be elastomeric, oil or air. Good models allow the rider to adjust the damper to their liking.

Classification according to the quality of depreciation.

The most inexpensive spring shock absorber simulators, costing a couple of tens of dollars. Fits into Auchan bikes and other cheap bikes. They are categorically not worth buying, because having installed such consumer goods on your bike, there will be no limit to your disappointment. The biggest shocks can and will be extinguished, but smaller shocks and vibration will be completely transmitted to the rider’s hands and bike components.

In addition, such mechanisms quickly fail, the new fork, at least some obstacles work out, eventually stops working altogether, the spring becomes either too stiff or too soft. Breakdown often occurs when overcoming the curb, while a resounding knock is heard.

In general, there are no advantages, only disadvantages. buildup, weight gain, short service life and creaking. If there is no money for a better model, we recommend that you dig in, or at least temporarily put a hard fork.

Slightly more expensive (2-4 thousand rubles) spring-elastomeric models from unknown manufacturers or brands of the lowest category can also be attributed to this class. Here, in addition to the spring, there are damping elements. rubber elastomers located on the inner side of the spring, preventing it from quickly unclenching. There are usually no adjustments. The cushioning quality is better, but only in new condition and in warm weather. The elastomer wears out quickly, the spring loses its damping properties and we get the result described above.

4.2. Beginner amateur class.

Among all the ugliness of spring-edastomeric forks, you can find pretty good and inexpensive mechanisms, from brands of the middle category, for example, RST or Suntour, which can already be attributed to the initial amateur level. Their cost is from 5.5 thousand rubles.

They feature a more powerful spring with normal travel and a higher quality polymer elastomer. Not a bad budget option for a walking city bike that will delight you with good compression for several seasons. Able to support a cyclist weighing up to 100 kg. For mountain bike and cross-country or off-road riding, we do not recommend.

After a few seasons, play in the legs and leakage of the oil seals appear, and elastomers also wear out. But, quality repairs can be carried out and the plug will be rehabilitated.

The disadvantages include a relatively large weight, but for a walking bike, this is not a problem. Also, do not forget that the elastomer dulls at subzero temperatures and the mechanism practically does not work.

There are few adjustments, usually preload (Preload), selected depending on the weight of the cyclist, as well as disabling shock absorption (LockOut).

4.3. Average amateur class.

Spring-oil shock absorbers from well-known brands, with a price tag of 7.5 thousand rubles. Great for tourists and other amateurs who drive on light off-road, mountain and forest paths, as well as bad roads in a non-aggressive style. It can be recommended for an inexpensive upgrade of an amateur MTB large (replacing the old spring-elastomer model with a spring oil one). Special, reinforced turtle modifications suitable for jumping in the dirt style.

The shock absorber is the same steel spring, but of a higher quality. The damper is an oil cartridge, it does its job much better than any elastomer.

The shock absorption quality and reliability of these forks is significantly better than the previous class. They serve for many seasons, the main thing is to periodically carry out maintenance: change the working fluid (oil) in the damper and lubricate the rubbing parts.

Adjustments typically include travel adjustment and hydraulic travel lock.

4.4. High amateur, semi-professional class

Air amateur modifications from well-known manufacturers, costing from 20 thousand rubles. Ideal for amateurs who like to drive off-road and rough terrain at high speed. Lightweight and superb cushioning, great for training and amateur XC competition.

An air cartridge is used as a shock absorber, which is inflated by a special pump. Air also acts as a damper. Excellent, lightweight forks, however, with frequent extreme use, the density of the cuffs may decrease, as a result, it will begin to poison the air. In this case, they need to be urgently changed, otherwise you can kill much more expensive elements inside the mechanism.

There are few settings, you can adjust the preload (preload) in a wide range and Rebound, there is also usually a LockOut.

4.5. Professional class.

Very expensive top-end air, oil-air and oil-spring models with many fine adjustments from leading manufacturers. Designed specifically for competitions in extreme disciplines, therefore they are distinguished by the highest quality of shock absorption and reliability.

Air versions are very light in weight, and oil-spring and especially oil-spring ones. maximum reliability and durability.

In oil-air modifications, air serves as a shock absorber, and shock is extinguished by an oil cartridge.

Classification according to stroke length.

Depending on the stroke length, the forks are divided into:

  • short-stroke (20-40 mm), used for city and walking bicycles;
  • with an average travel (50-75 mm), used for touring, hybrid and city bikes;
  • with an average travel (80-120 mm), suitable for mountain bikes and cross-country races;
  • long-travel (140. 300 mm), used for two-suspension extreme bikes, which are ridden in disciplines such as trial, freeride and downhill.

Standards and other parameters.

Depending on the stem diameter, the following standards exist:

  • one inch. the old standard, today it is used in city bikes and MTB bikes of the very entry level;
  • 1 1/8 “(28.6 mm). the most common standard today, used in MTB, hybrids, touring and city bikes;
  • taper 1 1/8 “. 1.5”. fits in high-end bikes.

Since there are different types of steering columns, the method of attaching the fork to the column is different.

  • An aheadset mount is considered to be more reliable, today it is the most common option. The steering gear is fixed with a special anchor, which reliably presses the stem with 2 large screws and guarantees no loosening.
  • Threaded (headset) fastening provides for pressing the bearing with nuts. First, a cone-shaped nut is screwed in, then a washer with a mustache is laid down and a lock nut is screwed on top. Such a mount looses over time and a backlash appears.

Also, forks differ in compatibility with the diameter of the wheels and the type of brakes installed on the bike. rim or disc.

Mods that can be customized to the rider’s preference are much more appreciated by experienced riders than modifications with a minimum of standard adjustments or no adjustments at all. Basic settings are enough for beginners.

  • preload. spring stiffness adjustment;
  • changing the compression speed;
  • change the speed of the rebound and the time to return to the starting position;
  • blocker (LockOut) allows you to turn off the damping on flat sections of the path, which increases the speed of movement;
  • stroke length adjustment (Extension Control). not everyone needs it, so you shouldn’t overpay for it to someone who doesn’t know why it might come in handy.

Today there are a lot of manufacturers, and more and more new ones are constantly appearing, mainly Chinese, but you are interested in companies that produce a quality product, so below we will tell you about such brands.

If you are looking for an amateur fork with the best price / quality ratio, we advise you to take a closer look at the products of the world famous Taiwanese company RST (Rapid Suspension Technology). Throughout its long history, RST has managed to gain popularity among amateur cyclists. RST plugs are of high quality and fairly low cost. They do not have too many settings, but the most necessary ones are available. The assortment is very wide, the whole range of amateur and semi-professional models is on sale, from spring-elastomer models to air.

If you are looking for a top-end professional option, then we recommend the Fox, Marzocchi and Manitou brands. These companies produce very comfortable high quality movements, with many settings and a long service life. Of course, the cost of these mechanisms is very high.

After you have decided on the class, move and brand, it’s time to choose a model. There are many decent options on sale, below are some of them for an example. When choosing, do not forget to check compatibility with the wheel diameter, type and size of the steering column, as well as the type of brakes.

For walking around the city, we recommend a high-quality spring-elastomeric modification of the entry level RST NOVA Т 700Сх28.6. worth 6100 rubles. The stroke is 60 mm. Compatible with 700C wheels, as well as disc or rim brakes. 1 and 1/8 in. (28.6 mm) stem diameters, threadless mount.

If you have a threaded inch column, then a similar model RST NOVA Т 700Сх1 “is suitable for the city.”.

Elastomer for mountain bike. RST Capa 26 T, with a stroke of 80 mm costs 6,000 rubles. Modifications of the RST Capa 24 T for a teenage bike on 24-inch wheels have a smaller stroke of 50 mm, it costs 5600 rubles.

Among the inexpensive forks of the average amateur level for a mountain bike, we recommend the RST Blaze ML spring-oil model, worth 7800 rubles. Compatible with 27.5 “wheels and disc brakes. 100mm shock travel and 1 1/8” stem diameter. For 29ers with 29-inch wheels, the RST Blaze 29 ML is suitable. The dampers of these forks are adjusted to suit the rider’s style and weight. Preload adjustment and hydraulic travel lock provided.

Want a better middle class? Choose RST OMEGA TNL for 10700 rubles. For 110 and 100 mm hubs and disc brakes, the RST ALPHA TNL with travel adjustment and blocking is suitable, costing 12,500 rubles. 100mm shock travel and 1 1/8 “stem diameter. These forks are fine-tuned to suit rider style and weight.

For amateurs who like to drive off-road and cross-country, as well as for amateur cross-country competitions, we recommend the high-end model RST F1RST 29-15 TRL 29 “x28.6-1.5”, with a travel of 100 mm. Price RUB 26,000 Designed for use with 29 “wheels, disc brakes and 1 1/8” threadless cone. 1.5 “.

A model for cross-country professionals. FOX 32 Float 29 “SC FIT4 Factory, with a price tag of 66,000 rubles.

Bicycle Forks Review |

A bicycle fork is a device that allows you to attach a wheel to the bike frame and turn it as needed. The bike fork determines the riding style of the rider in many ways. Let’s take a closer look at the types of surebets.

Here’s what you can learn from this article on bicycle forks:

  • What is a bicycle fork?
  • Types of bicycle forks
  • The main nodes of the fork
  • Types of suspension forks
  • Plug standards
  • Classification by layout
  • Types of adjustments
  • Manufacturers

For forks with a shock absorber or “soft forks”, the shock absorber can be spring, oil, or air. Also, these three components (from two to three) can be combined in one fork. This greatly affects the quality of the fork and its cost. The suspension fork first of all reduces the shock and vibration load on the front of the bike: on the steering column, frame, handlebar. And also on your hands. In addition, it reduces the “braking effect” of road irregularities, gently adjusting to them. At the same time, confident handling of the bike is maintained. A good suspension fork also saves you money by extending the life of a number of components by compensating for shocks.

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This is a simple fixed-travel fork.

Despite the simplicity of the idea of ​​this unit, the “hard” fork has its advantages, for example:

  • Its weight is usually less than the weight of the depreciation. By replacing the fork from the shock absorber to the “rigid” one, you can gain in weight from 1 to 1.5 kg.
  • Better acceleration, especially when accelerating from the saddle. Those who tried to ride like this know what it is about.
  • If you ride in winter, you don’t have to worry about the hard fork’s performance.

If we compare the suspension forks with “rigid”, then the former have a lot of weight. This contributes to the loss of speed, when the suspension fork is swinging, part of the force is spent on damping. However, progress does not stand still, and forks are becoming more and more lightweight. They have long had settings that allow you to adjust the stiffness (shock absorption) or just block the stroke.

Suspension fork assemblies

  • The spring is an element that works in compression. Suppresses the main load, can be steel, pneumatic or titanium.
  • Damper. an element that dampens (dampens) vibrations. The principle of its operation is in fast compression and slow return to the initial state. Can be air, oil or elastomeric.
  • Damper adjustment

Types of suspension forks

It all starts with quite good forks like RST Suntour. this is a low class, suitable for beginners. This fork can be seen on a walking bike. Their move corresponds to what is written on the fork. Such a bicycle fork is reliable, will withstand a rider weighing up to 100 kg, and will last more than one season. Over the years, of course, there will be breakdowns, but as practice has shown, they are insignificant. Repair will cost quite inexpensively. These forks are quite heavy. That is why this fork is suitable for cycling and not suitable for extreme riding.

Elastomer spring forks

The design is simple! This is a spring fork with built-in elastomers. shock absorbing devices. The elastomer itself is a rod made of polymer material, or a rod with special air valves, which acts as a damper. This plug is reliable and fairly inexpensive. The disadvantage of this fork is that the elastomers freeze at low temperatures. Riding in the cold with such a fork is undesirable, it can break. These forks work like this: the spring contains an elastomer. a small rubber, aluminum or composite tube that prevents the spring from expanding too quickly on return. It turns out that everything works due to friction. This is not the most reliable job and it is not durable. Most of these plugs are not adjustable. Alternatively, only the preload (Preload) or the locking of the fork (LockOut) are regulated.

In such forks, instead of a spring, air, which acts as a shock-absorbing element. The air plug is already closer to the professional level of the equipment. Light weight, but I must say that during extreme riding it can leak air due to a decrease in the density of the cuffs. These forks are great for XC. Air forks have the ability to adjust. Preload, in a very wide range. Adjustable by Rebound (adjusting the speed of the rebound of the suspension fork), can be LockOut. Many people think that an air fork is the best option possible. In many ways, they are right. Tip: if you often ride a bike with such a fork, the oil seals will soon become unusable and the main thing is to change them quickly! Postponed maintenance will give you a real opportunity to “screw up” the plug, along with more expensive parts.

Air serves as a spring in this fork, and an oil cartridge dampens shocks. Air / oil forks last long. proven! Their downside is that you need to constantly monitor the pressure in the cartridge. And the plus is less sensitivity to temperature extremes. Repair and maintenance is the same as for air plugs. The main thing is not to start, monitor and change consumables as they wear out.

The damper in such forks is a cartridge filled with oil. The steel spring remains the same as in the previous versions. These forks are much better quality but also more expensive. The oil-spring fork is built for real loads. They are reliable, work for a long time and are easy to set up. The disadvantages are weight and high price. But, as you know: “the miser pays twice,” so do not deny yourself good things!

Most suspension forks are built on the “spyglass” principle (a smaller diameter tube inside a larger diameter tube). Pipes with a large diameter. “pants”, they contain a shock absorber. And also on the “pants” there are internal pipes. “legs”. Cuffs are installed at their junction. to prevent dust and dirt from entering the inside of the fork. Inexpensive forks can have rubber boots over their “legs”. The “legs” of the fork are usually connected with a “gorilla” to reinforce the structure.

The diameter of the fork tube is measured in inches already familiar to everyone (1 inch is equal to. 2.54 cm).

Forks, both damping and rigid, have four basic standards:

  • 1 “old standard as used to be on Soviet bicycles
  • 1 “and 1/8” inches. (inch and one eighth). the most common
  • 1 “and 1/4” (inch and one fourth)
  • 1 “and 1/2 [1]” (inch and one half)

Most modern suspension forks have an inch and eighth (1 and 1/8) head tube. Manufacturers of bicycles, bicycle frames and steering columns support this generally accepted standard. An important parameter is the length of the fastening pipe itself. usually about 10 inches.

Also, forks vary in wheel size, as you’ve probably figured out by now. Accordingly, there are forks for children’s bicycles for wheels 10 “, 12”, 16 “, 18”, 20 “, teenage or extreme 24” and adults 26 “, 27.5”, 28 “and 29”

Different forks have different feather spacing. There are brake mounts for vibration racks and disc brakes (they are divided into two standards IS and PM). This is important, as it may turn out that you buy a fork, and it will be possible to install a brake of the same type on it.

According to the type of attachment, the forks are divided into:

  • Threaded (headset)
  • Aheadset (both amortized and rigid).

Most modern plugs are threaded. The difference between these types of forks comes from the types of steering columns and the mounting of the forks in them. In threaded columns, the bearing is pressed by nuts. One cone nut followed by a whisker washer and locknut.

In a threadless column, the bearing holds the stem. There is no thread on the fork tube, but the stem is fixed with a so-called anchor (the rod that expands and holds the stem, the anchor is inserted into the fork tube). There are fewer and fewer threaded plugs, so it is advisable to switch to a threadless plug. It really is better than threaded. In threaded forks, the stem is mounted in the tube using an expanding mount.

According to the travel classes, the forks are divided into:

  • Short stroke. stroke 25. 40 mm. Shock absorption for motocross, hybrid, touring and city bikes.
  • Medium. stroke 50. 75 mm or stroke 75. 100 mm. Suspension forks for hiking, active riding and Cross-Country racing.
  • Long stroke with a stroke from 120 to 300 mm and more. Usually these are suspension forks for specialized downhill bikes.

By arrangement, forks are classified into:

  • The usual ones are forks with a telescope-like structure. Long-stroke forks are usually made in the form of “double-crown” (two links connecting the “legs” of the fork).
  • Inverted. also a “telescope” structure, but the “pistons” of the forks are at the bottom. This reduces “unsprung mass” for better traction. These are heavier and more expensive. It is believed that such forks work out every little thing better.
  • Specific. forks for bicycles with a multi-piston and multi-link system, as well as forks with one “leg”.

Preload. Adjusts the spring rate in the suspension fork. If the fork is not expensive, the Preload adjustment has little effect on the actual spring rate. It is regulated by an external regulator, or by replacing the springs (springs can be changed in terms of stiffness, and are indicated by different marking colors).

Fork Rebound Speed ​​Adjustment. Return Speed.

Compression. Adjusts the compression speed of the suspension fork (inverse of Rebound). Both settings will be useful to you. They are adjusted using the adjuster that is at the top of the fork or at the bottom of the “leg” of the fork. This setting serves in order to pass the area with unevenness even faster. Or, if there is a mega drop ahead of you, then the rebound needs to be adjusted so that it becomes slower, and the fork does not jerk into the air when taking off from the drop.

LockOut. Locks the travel of the suspension fork. The LockOut adjustment makes the fork “stiff”. This feature is indispensable when you pedal while riding your bike up a hill. To prevent the fork from “dangling” and you do not have to spend additional efforts to stabilize it, use LockOut.

Extension Control (adjustment of the length of the fork). the essence lies in blocking the travel of the fork, which is very necessary at the time of overcoming steep climbs, as well as when power pedaling. When driving on asphalt, the ability to lock the fork in a compressed state is very useful.

There are several well-known suspension fork manufacturers that cyclists trust for good reason:

  • Rock shox
  • FOX
  • Marzocchi
  • Manitou
  • RST
  • SR SunTour
  • DT
  • Magura

How to determine which forks on GitHub are ahead?

Part designation

Bicycles have two sets of gears. First set. the handle or lever to which the pedal is attached. The second set is on the rear wheel, right in the center of the wheel, on the same side as the crank. Rear gears are also called cassette gears. The chain wraps around the gears or sprockets on these sets and controls pedaling difficulty and cadence. The chain moves between gears when you change the position of the indicator on the derailleur, which moves the front and rear derailleurs.

Single speed bicycles

If you only see one forward gear and one reverse gear, you have a single speed bike. They don’t need steering wheel switches because the chains have nowhere to go.

Count and multiply

Count the number of crank gears. You will see one, two or three gears. Then count the gears on the rear wheel. This can range from one to ten. Multiply the forward gear by the reverse gear to get the number of speeds. For example, if you have two forward gears and five reverse gears, you have a 10-speed bike. If you have one forward and three reverse gears, you have a three-speed bike. If you have three forward and nine reverse gears, you have a 27-speed bike.

Bicycle chain wear

After the brake pads, the chain is the most worn out part of the bike, as it is part of the drive. With long-term use, the chain stretches due to the appearance of play between the holes in the plates and the pins where they are pressed. Bicycle chain wear occurs for several reasons:

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Chain misalignment with different gear options. 2. Loads arising in the links during the transition of the chain from one star to another when switching. 3. Since the chain works in an open state, dust, dirt and other objects falling into the links, due to friction, increase the wear of the chain.

On bicycles, roller single-row chains with a link length of 1/2 inch. 12.7 mm are used. Ideally, a new chain should be 12.7 times the number of links in the chain. How to find out the state of wear of the chain in order to control the situation and change the chain in time, extending the life of the cassette?

How to determine wear on a bicycle chain

Take a section of the chain with the number of links in it. 20. Multiplying the number of links by the length of the standard link of 12.7 mm, we get the size of the section of the new chain of 20 links, equal to 254 mm. We take a ruler and measure.

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The photographs show that the distance between the extreme centers of the 20 links is approximately 254 mm.

In this photo, the distance of the 20 links is just over 255mm. The difference between the first and second case is 1.1 mm or 0.45%.

What you need to know about the bike chain

Most chain models are made of steel. Mountain bike chains are made from a combination of different materials that are added to steel, such as nickel-plated steel or Teflon-coated nickel-plated steel. There are also different brands of steel, depending on which chain is designed for.

Nickel-plated steel chain is less susceptible to corrosion, PTFE chain (Teflon or fluoroplastic) also has a lower resistance to friction between the chain links.

Personally, I bought two Sram-branded chains for my bike, five chains from Shimano, and the latest acquisition currently in testing is a KMC X9 SL chain. The similarity of these three options is only that they look the same and have the same purpose. Differences in everything. from the material from which the links are made, from the quality of the processing of the links and the method of pressing the connecting pins to weight, corrosion resistance to rain, snow, dirt.

Therefore, it is better to adhere to the rule that in the cassette-chain link, both components are of the same brand, since the manufacturer, developing a cassette or chain, “sharpens” in the best possible way only with his bicycle components. The manufacturer does not guarantee the quality of work with third-party brands in the cassette-chain link.

Are there any markings and markings on the packaging of the chain? What do they mean?

The packaging (if any) usually shows the position of the model in the range of chains produced by the manufacturer. (Deore, SLX, XT, XTR for Shimano, numbers for the TM SRAM chain line. pg-950, pg-970, pg 990, for KMC for example X9SL, X9S)

Also, if the chain is intended for a multi-speed transmission, the manufacturer also indicates this (most often the designations “9sp”. for 9-speed transmissions, 10sp. for 10-speed transmissions, etc.) Each manufacturer has its own designations.

Are mountain bike chains different from road bike chains??

In general, they do not differ in anything. But there are special bicycle chains produced only for one of the disciplines, MTB (Mountain bike, in the translation from English. mountain bike) or highway, the differences in them are in the angle of the bevel of individual chain links (for example, from the presented Shimano XTR lines. the mountain bike line equipment and Shimano Dura-Ace. line of road equipment).

What does the chain length affect? How and how to properly shorten or lengthen the chain to the desired size? How long should the chain be??

The correct chain length affects weight and shifting quality. If the chain is too long and the chainstays are too short, at some chain positions on the sprockets, the chain will not be properly tensioned by the rear derailleur and will sag. If the chain is too short, it will not “throw” on larger stars, which can cause the chain to jam on the stars at the time of switching.

How to know if the fork is aligned on your motorcycle.

The chain is shortened or lengthened with a special tool. a bicycle squeeze, another name is chain squeezing.

To determine the required chain length, you need to do the following:

In the case of a single-speed transmission, the chain can be tensioned by displacing the rear bush so that the chain is as tight as possible, but at the same time it easily turns on the stars.

How to behave if the chain breaks during riding and there are no repair materials at hand?

No way. If the chain breaks away from home and there is no special tool with you, then the rest of the way will have to be covered on foot or on a bike in “scooter mode”. Checked repeatedly.

How many kilometers is the chain usually designed for? In your opinion, does the declared number of kilometers correspond to reality?

As a rule, the higher the level of the chain in the manufacturer’s line, the more wear-resistant it is and the greater the distance it can drive. On average, for the chain, wear occurs when it reaches 1000-1500 km with moderate riding with medium loads on the transmission and careful shifting. There are exceptions to these rules, both up and down.

The manufacturer usually determines how many kilometers the bicycle chain is designed for. In my experience, there was a situation that a cheap chain traveled 4300 km, and a more expensive pre-top level less than 1000 km. And all this in conditions of skiing all year round in any weather.

Why does the chain wear out? How and when to clean it correctly? How to process? Can I use motorcycle lubricants and oils?

The main cause of wear is dirt, riding with a very dirty, unlubricated and uncleaned chain.

The second reason is rolling in dust, rain, snow, mud (in ascending order of wear).

The chain can be cleaned using special tools (chain cleaner) or by hand. The main rule for cleaning the chain is that the chain must be clean and dry, lubricant is applied only to such a chain. Do not apply new grease on top of a dirty, uncleaned chain, this can further damage the chain. New grease is applied after the old one has been washed.

For a very dirty chain, I use the following method:

Do not use special agents for cleaning and polishing metal when cleaning the chain. you can damage the coating of the chain.

Lubricants for motorcycle chains can be used. even cheaper than specialized lubricants for bicycle chains. There are different lubricants for different weather. chain lubricant for dry weather and for wet.

The chain must be cleaned when there is visible adhering “mass” of dirt, which interferes with the normal cranking of the transmission. When riding only in dry weather at moderate loads, the chain needs lubrication every 250-300 km. In this case, it is enough not to carry out a complex procedure with cleaning in gasoline overnight, but simply wipe the chain dry from dust with a rag, then apply lubricant.

Lubrication should only be applied to the chain joints. no lubrication is needed on the chain segments, it only collects all the dust and dirt from the roads.

Can chain segments from different manufacturers be combined in one chain? (that is, to assemble a single chain from the leftovers?)

Can. If the chains do not differ from each other in characteristics and wear.

For this there is a special tool for determining the “stretch” of the chain.

If the chain is properly maintained, cleaned and lubricated in a timely manner, then the wear of the chain will consist only in stretching in length. On average, this happens after 1000-1500 km, provided that the chain is of good quality. But even without a tool, you can understand that your chain is worn out. For example, with strong intensive acceleration, the chain will fly off the stars, scroll, especially if the rear stars are new. The same thing happens with “not new” well-worn components. Please note that you cannot put a worn-out chain on new rear sprockets, as the sprockets will wear out very quickly in this case.

Road bike chain length

For road bikes, there are usually 3 ways to determine chain length. This is a method in which the chain is placed on a large chainring and a small rear.

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How long should the bike chain be?

I think many who change chains on their own bike ask themselves the question: “What should be the correct chain length?”, Since new chains come with a margin in length. And, of course, the simplest thing we can do is count the number of links on the old chain and leave the same number on the new one.

But what if you are not only installing a new chain, but also changing the cassette or installing a system with a different number of stars? The chain length will change, and the old chain is no longer a helper. Then you should use these 3 methods to calculate the length of the bicycle chain, and no calculator is required for this:

Old and new types of bicycle chain

There have been many revolutions in bicycle design in the past fifteen years. Some of them have become noticeable and striking, for example, the emergence of a new type of bicycle. mountain, disc wheels and new designs of handlebars. Other innovations were not as noticeable, but no less significant, such as the emergence of clip-on pedals, bicycle computers and index gear shifting.

The same little-noticed revolution has taken place in bicycle chain designs. Many people don’t pay too much attention to bike chains. From the outside, they all look the same. What’s interesting to look at is the switches, and there is a lot to discuss. The most interesting thing is that the circuit is the element under which all switches are designed.

In old-style bicycle chains, there are ten parts for two half-links. The standard chain used on a multi-speed bike has 114 links and 570 parts. more than the rest of the bike. The chain has 114 inner plates, 114 outer plates, 114 rollers, 114 cups (bushings) and 114 rivet shafts.

Read more Old and new types of bicycle chain

Bicycle chain slip

Sometimes bicycle pedals will slip, especially when a lot of force is applied to them. This phenomenon is even more common when the cyclist stands on the pedals. To avoid chain slipping, the rider has to downshift and stay in the saddle instead of standing in higher gears.

Very often the switch is blamed for slipping and jumping the chain, as well as spontaneous gear shifting, but the phenomena that were listed above are very rarely caused by its improper operation.

Chain overshoot causes one of two unrelated phenomena. direct overshoot and spontaneous gear changes. The main thing is to solve the problem, it is necessary to determine what exactly comes from the two cases.

Read more Bicycle Chain Slip