Things to Consider Before You Buy a Mountain Bike Fork
Almost a year has passed since I bought my mountain bike, its decent enough for Cross-country Mountain biking but not on top of the line. That time, I did not want to spend too much, but I didn’t want my MTB to be poor in quality.
After so many rides with my bike, I decided to upgrade my mountain bike, since I know that buying a better one would be much expensive and besides this is really in my plan the moment I bought my MTB which I said has a nice frame.
I wanted an improved performance and comfort. After some research online on how I can improve my mountain bike, I decided to upgrade its suspension fork. Through my research, I see that there are so many MTB manufacturers that sell different types, styles and sizes. I thought it would not be easy and I was right, so I seek help. I don’t want to buy a not compatible fork for my bike and waste my money; mountain bike suspension forks are not cheap.
I asked other riders who I know has better knowledge with mountain bikes and those who have already changed their Mt bike’s fork. I also talk to a few bike shop owners and employees. I read mountain biking magazines and continue to research online. After that, I created a list of things to consider when buying a mountain bike suspension fork. Here it is, hopes it will help you find the perfect fork for your mountain bike.
1. Check the size of your mountain bike’s head tube: The head tube is your bike frame’s outer tube inside is where the fork’s steer tube pivots. Your options are limited because of this. Head tube sizes can be 1 inch (25.4 mm), 1 1/8 inch (28.6 mm), or 1 1/4 inch (31.8 mm).
2. Determine the Mountain bike fork’s geometry: When we say mountain bike suspension fork geometry, it is the lengths and angles that define a suspension fork; in short, it is the collection of the fork’s key measurement.
This is very essential; you don’t want to waste your money and time with a fork that does not fit with your bike’s frame. Even if it fits the head tube, there is a maximum and minimum front suspension length that your bike can accommodate. So, be sure to check your bike frame’s whole geometry too.
3. Think of your Mountain bike riding style: You need a specific fork for downhill, cross country or dirt jump. Be certain to choose a fork that fits your riding style. This can prevent you from purchasing more mountain bike fork than you need.
4. Buy an adjustable fork: Choose a mountain bike suspension fork that has its travel (it’s the level of motion in a shock) and rebound (it is the rate at which the shock bounces back right after it has been lowered) adjustable, it should also have a lockout (enables you to switch your fork’s shock off; very useful specially when riding on the road or climbing on a flat ground) too.
You can adjust this through the panel or knob on one of the fork’s leg or through its pop-lock adjuster attached on the handlebar. This feature of a fork can improve your performance on all kinds of riding terrains.
5. Figure out if you have to buy new mountain bike parts to attach the new MTB fork: You might need to spare a couple of bucks for a new headset or stem or even brakes.
6. How much would be the installation charge for a new fork? If you are going to install it yourself, you will need to buy a tool since more likely you will have to cut the fork tube and press on the bearing. So, Yes! Add this to your expenses.
7. Do you like to get a brand new or used one? If you have money, buy a brand new MTB fork. And if you don’t have enough for a new one, find a used fork just right for your bike that is in good shape, some mountain bikers buy high-quality mountain bikes, but then upgrade them immediately and don’t ever make use of the original components. You can find a lot of this on the web.
That should narrow down your options of mountain bike forks. See you on the trail!!! Good luck!