How to increase fork travel on a bike

Adjusting fork softness on a bike

Preloading the suspension fork travel. preload. allows you to set the spring rate. When optimized, the damping system dampens vibrations where necessary and maintains firmness on level ground.

The adjustment consists in changing the distance between the upper “unloaded” and the lower point of maximum pressure.

In the first case, the fork travel is close to the maximum possible. On the road, this will result in constant up-and-down vibrations of the springs under the pressure of the cyclist. Interestingly, obstacles in the form of bumps and potholes such a fork will work out badly.

The second option is a high stiffness of the fork, the stroke length is less than 50% of the original. For the smooth passage of large obstacles, this value is not enough.

In the third situation, the shock absorber is fully tuned, allowing you to effectively repel impacts without compromising the dynamics of the bike. On average, the correct setting is 70% to 90% of fork travel of unloaded distance.

The preload method depends on the type of shock absorber:

  • On spring models, the amount of compression is manually changed using a special regulator. When replacing the spring, a harder shock absorber is selected to increase the load, and vice versa.
  • For spring-air forks, the stiffness setting is carried out through the pressure in the chamber.
  • On pneumatic shock absorbers, the fork travel is adjusted by changing the pressure in the positive sector.

You can measure the load in a stationary position, while sitting on a bicycle or while moving. For accurate results, correction is recommended in small approaches.

Competent option for adjusting the bike fork

The right setting will give you the opportunity to experience all the delights of cycling. The wrong setting will lead to the feeling of medieval torture in case of leaving the city, where you only have to dream of returning home. Let’s analyze all the existing settings of the element.

  • Adjustment actions related to the weight of the cyclist. Spring forks are manufactured by the manufacturer with an average weight of 85 kilograms. If the cyclist exceeds this limit, then it is worth adjusting the preload. This will change the stiffness of the spring. But the more correct way out would be to replace the plug with an air version. Such a fork can always be pumped up to the level specified in the instructions for the bike in relation to the rider’s weight.
  • Fork pressure. Again, referring to the table, you need to determine the optimal level of pressure in the air fork, so as not to break through the shock absorber. The difference between an empty and loaded bike should be 20%. No more, no less. It is not necessary to build up more than the permissible pressure. This will lead to breakage and uncomfortable driving.
  • The presence of a negative spring. Why is a negative spring needed? Its main task is to smoothly counteract the compressive force. It helps the fork respond to minor bumps. Available as a metal spring or as a separate air chamber.
  • Difference between Dual and Solo Air. Solo Air uses a fork with the same pressure in both chambers. This is the most common and convenient option. With regard to Dual Air, there is the possibility of adjusting the negative springs. This product is intended for athletes in cycling.
  • Rebound Fork. There is an oil damper inside the product, which is designed to delay the instantaneous rebound of the shock absorber. It can be reconfigured to suit your parameters. If you twist the rebound to the maximum, then the steering wheel will hurt your hands when hitting a bump. It is better to test this segment on a flat area and set the desired position.
  • Blocking. You can block the fork yourself with a special lever. This position will give an incredibly stiff fork for those who like this kind of riding. New developments are completed with remote adjustment of this function located on the steering wheel.

Compression rate (compression)

increase, fork, travel, bike

This setting allows you to determine the speed at which the fork will contract to handle bumps in the road. Usually in forks with adjustable compression speed, you can adjust either Low Speed ​​Compression or High Speed ​​Compression.

By adjusting low-speed compression, you can adjust the behavior of the fork when handling small road irregularities, remove unwanted fork swing when pedaling and jerks when braking and high-speed cornering.

High speed compression adjustments are generally relevant for forks used in extreme riding conditions. It allows the fork to be tuned to handle medium to large bumps at high speeds, and to prevent the fork from punching through serious impacts such as landing after a jump.

Preload (sag, preload)

This setting is responsible for the stiffness of the spring. It is also called negative spring travel. The sag value affects the shock absorber’s ability to track and handle any bumps in the road while driving. To determine the sag, you need to set the full travel of the fork (applies to forks with variable travel), the maximum speed of its compression and disable the lock.

Fox MTB Fork travel increase 130mm to 150mm. How to increase mtb fork travel

To measure this parameter, you will need a plastic or rubber ring, or a plastic tie, which must be attached to the fork leg. If you sit on the bike and ride quietly for a few meters, the weight of your body will compress the fork by a certain amount. Then stop and slide the buckle down the leg of the fork towards the oil seal, and stand up gently. The fork will return to its original position, and the tie will be at a certain distance from the oil seal. this is the magnitude of the sag.

Since this parameter directly depends on the weight of the cyclist, its adjustment is made individually for each. Also, the sag value is influenced by the riding style:

  • for freeriding, the sag can be 30-40% of the full travel of the fork;
  • for downhill. 20-30% of the fork travel;
  • for cross-country. 5-15 percent.

Whereas in spring forks the seg can be adjusted by external adjustment or by replacing the spring itself (if external adjustment is not enough), in spring-air and air forks, the preload can be adjusted by changing the pressure in the positive air chamber.

READ  Choose A Bike For A Teenager 12 Years Old

Adjusting the shock absorber rebound speed

Rebound is the rate at which the fork returns to its original position under load. The response speed of the rebound mechanism must be such that the shock absorber does not fire immediately and can absorb the impact from the next obstacle.

How to determine the effectiveness of a bicycle fork’s rebound? When driving over bumps, bumps are damped before they hit the steering wheel. the rebound is well tuned. The shock absorber does not work on small obstacles. minor adjustments are needed. And, finally, a neglected case, when the release is very late.

  • Find a road or path with unevenness.
  • Set the regulator to the fastest bounce.
  • Accelerate, feel like check how hard it hits the steering wheel.
  • Tighten the adjuster until the beating stops.

It is important to tune the Rebound so that the bumps do not hit the wheel while maintaining a smooth ride. If the rebound is set to the correct value but the shock is unpredictable, you may need to readjust the fork travel and compression.

It is recommended to adjust the front fork not immediately, but in the “Preload. Compression. Rebound” sequence. Individual selection of each parameter will improve the performance of the shock absorber and give you a comfortable ride.

Take the survey

Preload is an important tuning element on a bicycle fork. However, it does not work in all details, in many models the preload is nothing more than an inscription. When choosing a fork, you need to consider not only the type of shock absorber, but also the riding style and the rider’s weight. Product manuals always have a table indicating the recommended rider weight. However, the data they contain is often unreliable.

  • Minimum. In this case, the travel of the fork is too soft, as a result of which the cyclist experiences discomfort when riding due to the sharp oscillations of the springs during the torsion of the pedals. Particularly difficult when overcoming road sections such as bumps and potholes.
  • High. The bicycle fork is characterized by increased rigidity, while the travel distance is no more than 50% of the original. Large obstacles with such a load are easily overcome, but small irregularities are processed much worse, as a result of which the cyclist experiences severe discomfort.
  • Faithful. This is the only correct option where the rear shock is fully tuned. In this case, the mechanism effectively fulfills the blows, providing the vehicle with excellent dynamics. Ideally, 75 to 90% of fork travel of unloaded distance remains after riding the bike.

The choice of the type of travel adjustment primarily depends on the type of shock absorber:

  • Spring loaded. Measurements are carried out manually using a special regulator. When replacing the spring, select models with the inverse load value.
  • Air. Fork travel is regulated by changing the pressure in the positive chamber.
  • Spring-air. Hardness adjustable via chamber pressure.

You can check the degree of stiffness of the shock absorber both in a static state of the bike, and while sitting on a vehicle or pedaling.

Craftsmen are often asked how to adjust a shock absorber. The front shock absorber is a mechanism for softening travel on uneven roads and handling shock from jumping. You can adjust it to your weight by setting the sag to 15–20% of the suspension travel. Sag is the difference in suspension travel between a bike with a seated person and an empty bike, that is, it shows the degree of fork sinking.

The sag and pressure can be determined by setting full travel and maximum compression speed, and also making sure that blocking is disabled. Then it remains to follow a few simple steps:

  • A ring or tie made of plastic or rubber is attached to the fork leg.
  • The rider sits on a bicycle and rides a few meters on it. In this case, the fork is compressed by a certain amount.
  • After stopping, the tie slides down from the oil seal, the cyclist carefully gets up from the seat.
  • The fork returns to its original position, the tie is at a certain distance from the gland. It is this distance that is considered the sag indicator.

Adjusting the fork too soft on bicycles can negatively affect vehicle dynamics.

minimum load, soft fork, 2. high rigidity, 3. correct setting

Adjusting the shock absorber rebound speed

The rebound (rebound) speed of the shock absorber is an important parameter characterizing the rotation speed of the fork. On-the-fly rebound adjustment is done as follows:

  • Find an uneven path.
  • Set the regulator to the maximum bounce.
  • They accelerate and evaluate the degree of rebound to the steering wheel while driving. You need to rely on your own feelings.
  • Tighten the regulator, choosing plus or minus, until the beating stops.

The rebound speed of the shock absorber is adjusted individually, taking into account the selected riding style:

  • When driving quietly on asphalt, the rebound can be completely twisted so that unnecessary vibrations are not created.
  • When riding on a dirt road and rough terrain, the rebound speed must be unscrewed. This will allow the fork to quickly work out irregularities on the way.

If the shock absorber does not work as expected, then you can entrust the adjustment to specialists who will do everything as efficiently and quickly as possible. Do not repair yourself if you do not have at least minimal knowledge. After all, only a comfortable ride with a properly tuned shock absorber can bring pleasure.

Spring fork.

This is the easiest and cheapest option. There is only a spring in the moving part of the structure. No dampeners or settings. Suitable only for leisurely skiing around the city or along groomed forest paths with small pebbles. With active riding, the cyclist will get tired when pedaling and feel on his hands all the stones that the wheel will run into. For competitions or extreme disciplines, such a fork is absolutely not suitable.

What are bike forks? ?

Air-oil.

In the “people” it is called simply “airy”. Air in a special compartment serves as a spring. The oil cartridge is responsible for the rebound. The amount of air pressure regulates the hardness. The pressure is generated by a special pump and allows very precise tuning of the fork to the rider’s weight. The performance of such a plug does not disappear at low temperatures.

READ  What kind of fluid to fill in the bike brakes

Spring Elastomer Fork.

Medium option. Ideal for the average cyclist who plans to ride comfortably on light off-road terrain. In non-aggressive riding, such a fork works out the unevenness of the road, without transmitting blows to the rider’s hands and the bike frame. A special element. elastomer (rubber insert) inhibits the swinging of the fork. When hitting an obstacle, the spring is quickly compressed, and the return stroke is slow and smooth. At low temperatures, such a plug does not work correctly. Also not suitable for participation in cycling competitions and extreme disciplines.

The plug consists of:

Depending on the design, there are the following types of suspension forks:

  • spring;
  • spring-elastomeric;
  • spring oil;
  • air-oil;

Let’s consider each variant of surebets separately:

Spring oil.

Not a bad implementation of a suspension fork. The vibrations of the spring are stopped by a special system. an oil cartridge. With such a fork, a beginner cyclist can already try himself on the “fortress” in competitions.

We invite you to visit MTV bicycle forks and get to know them better.

Any cyclist is always interested in the question of how a bicycle fork mounted on his bike works. There are two main types:

The first. a rigid fork. is a rigid structure that smooths out minor irregularities in the road surface. During active riding, it does not take away the pedaling energy from the rider and helps to develop the maximum speed in road cycling. It is also installed on city ​​bikes. In practical use, maintenance-free.

The second, the suspension fork, is very popular in mountain bikes due to the need to extinguish the unevenness of the road surface, with active riding in various sports disciplines, without transferring to the steering wheel. Wheel in such a fork smoothly bends around all the irregularities of the surface and stones, having constant contact with the road.

Front suspension compression types

Compression allows you to vary the compression speed of the fork, providing smooth travel and smooth damping. There are three compression options on the professional-grade front fork:

  • low speed,
  • high speed,
  • blocking.

The first type of compression stabilizes the bike on bumps. Softness, precision in passing obstacles, comfort. all this is low speed compression. In fact, its setting is preload, which has already been mentioned above.

High speed compression is responsible for reducing shock loads on the wheel, frame and rider. Slows down the shock on landing, so the bike doesn’t bounce.

The fork lock function allows it to be set to 100% stiffness. By setting the suspension to a fixed position, the cyclist rolls the bike out onto flat roads. For driving on rough roads, it is better not to block the fork.

On some air models (for example, Dual Air), the pressure in both the positive and negative chambers can be adjusted separately. Excessive compression on the negative side will make the fork overly soft and the bike itself will start to sway on the move.

INCREASE BIKE FORK TRAVEL?! (DH’s Bike Mods Ep.01)

Adjusting fork softness on a bike

Preloading the suspension fork travel. preload. allows you to set the spring rate. When optimized, the damping system dampens vibrations where necessary and maintains firmness on level ground.

The adjustment consists in changing the distance between the upper “unloaded” and the lower point of maximum pressure.

In the first case, the fork travel is close to the maximum possible. On the road, this will result in constant up-and-down vibrations of the springs under the pressure of the cyclist. Interestingly, obstacles in the form of bumps and potholes such a fork will work out badly.

The second option is a high stiffness of the fork, the stroke length is less than 50% of the original. For the smooth passage of large obstacles, this value is not enough.

In the third situation, the shock absorber is fully tuned, allowing you to effectively repel impacts without compromising the dynamics of the bike. On average, the correct setting is 70% to 90% of fork travel of unloaded distance.

The preload method depends on the type of shock absorber:

  • On spring models, the amount of compression is manually changed using a special regulator. When replacing the spring, a harder shock absorber is selected to increase the load, and vice versa.
  • For spring-air forks, the stiffness setting is carried out through the pressure in the chamber.
  • On pneumatic shock absorbers, the fork travel is adjusted by changing the pressure in the positive sector.

You can measure the load in a stationary position, while sitting on a bicycle or while moving. For accurate results, correction is recommended in small approaches.

Correct bike fork alignment

Front suspension. a damping device to smooth out vibrations on uneven roads and rough terrain. The node is located in the part of the same name. the plug. Shock absorber functions. to damp all vibrations, improve ride comfort, reduce the load on the frame and wheel rims.

The front suspension is an adjustable piece. The efficiency of real movement will depend on the degree of its adjustment. For example, insufficient shock absorber travel will not allow leveling out large vibrations when hitting obstacles, and shock loads on the frame will increase.

A suspension that is too soft will degrade the dynamic performance of the bike. In general, full compliance of all parameters with the stated requirements is required. In this article, we will look at how to soften the fork on a bicycle, adjust the compression and adjust the travel speed.

Adjusting the shock absorber rebound speed

Rebound is the rate at which the fork returns to its original position under load. The response speed of the rebound mechanism must be such that the shock absorber does not fire immediately and can absorb the impact from the next obstacle.

How to determine the effectiveness of a bicycle fork’s rebound? When driving over bumps, bumps are damped before they hit the steering wheel. the rebound is well tuned. The shock absorber does not work on small obstacles. minor adjustments are needed. And, finally, a neglected case, when the release is very late.

  • Find a road or path with unevenness.
  • Set the regulator to the fastest bounce.
  • Accelerate, feel like check how hard it hits the steering wheel.
  • Tighten the adjuster until the beating stops.
READ  How to properly adjust the bike for yourself

It is important to tune the Rebound so that the bumps do not hit the wheel while maintaining a smooth ride. If the rebound is set to the correct value but the shock is unpredictable, you may need to readjust the fork travel and compression.

It is recommended to adjust the front fork not immediately, but in the “Preload. Compression. Rebound” sequence. Individual selection of each parameter will improve the performance of the shock absorber and give you a comfortable ride.

We clean

All anthers, casings and pipe surfaces that work while driving must be clean, therefore we constantly check and put them in order. Dirt on the insulation gradually leads to damage, and through them the contamination of the internal mechanism already begins with subsequent breakdown.

When cleaning, it is important to note the following: if oil is used in the fork mechanism, it should never be exposed to the outside. If oil leaks are visible, the front fork needs to be repaired urgently. Further operation, most likely, will lead to breakage and complete replacement.

Spring loaded

Basic level of suspension forks. They are installed on cheap bike models and sold at retail on a leftover basis. They are usually used as spare parts for repairs. Due to their design, they do not play the role of a damper, passing small irregularities in full.

At the heart of such a fork is an ordinary spring, closed in a connecting rod under a rubber or other protection. Usually it is collected quite roughly and during operation deteriorates from falling dirt. Maintenance options are limited. usually only replacing the spring itself. There are no settings either, only blocking.

Recommended for entry-level or in situations where other options are not available for financial or other reasons.

Spring-elastomeric

The mechanics do not differ from the previous ones, but instead of a spring, a polymer rod is used, which acts as a damper. Unfortunately, it all depends on the properties of the material, but usually they are far from perfect. The damping function is only slightly replaced by the damping function, keeping the overall low fork comfort.

Spring-loaded and elastomeric front forks are not recommended for use in winter as the degradation is too severe at low temperatures.

Varieties of front forks for a bicycle and their adjustment

The function of the front fork of the bicycle is de facto one, it is the absorption of road irregularities from small defects of the asphalt to the sides and steps when jumping. Of course, this does not apply to fixed forks, familiar to us from childhood on Soviet bicycles and current road models, but they do not require special attention to themselves.

The fork is the second most important part after the frame in terms of price, value, and weight. The quality of the fork determines how comfortable riding will be. Not only amortization properties are important, but also flexibility of settings, correspondence of the type and class to the riding style. For example, a stiff spring forks are great for city riding, but short trips into the woods can be fatal for both mechanics and cyclists.

Oil-air

In oil / air forks, the shock absorber and damper functions are split between the air chamber and the oil cartridge. If the behavior of the air “spring” is clear and similar to the air fork, then a lot depends on the oil block. The main choice is based on the structure of the cartridge and the brand of oil.

This type of construction is great for cross-country and constant skiing, but fails under heavy loads on the slopes. In addition, the service life is expectedly lower than that of spring mechanisms.

Extension control. stroke length

Extended blocking option. several positions are added that fix the departure along a certain length. For example, at 100 mm with a maximum travel of 150 mm for straight sections instead of jumping. The risks of using such switches are similar to blocking. The switch can be broken under active load. In any case, the setting is in little demand, so it is found only on single models.

Air

The purely air-cushioned design is very beneficial both in terms of cost and maintenance. The compressed air pumped into the sealed chamber by the pump works both as a shock absorber and as a very good damper. Riding is very comfortable, comparable to many more expensive designs, but in the case of buying a mountain bike, you should choose a more durable mechanism.

Minus air. preparation and service life. Adjustment is made only by pressure in the chamber, since it is quite narrow, it has to be pumped up very often, and the overall service life of such a mechanism, especially with aggressive riding, is short.

Basic details

Conventionally, the front fork can be divided into four component blocks:

  • shock absorber. the part that takes on the main load to absorb the irregularities and the cycle of the bike, in some models it is a spring, in the other. a sealed chamber;
  • damper. shock absorption of small irregularities that must be worked out quickly;
  • body. that which carries the main load: the head tube, inner tubes (connecting rods), the crown connecting the steering and inner tubes, legs (the lower shock-absorbing block, which includes the connecting rods), gorilla (the bridge connecting the legs);
  • accessories. switches and settings on the crown, legs, a set of fasteners for the wheel axle and brakes, anthers and cuffs to protect the mechanisms.

Bicycle front fork part names

This structure changes slightly in non-standard fork layouts. For example, inverted front forks have downward-facing cranks, and this structure dampens more minor bumps, but increases weight and maintenance time. the mechanism gets dirty more quickly.