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About Forks

If you already own a bike, one of the best upgrades you can give your bike is adding a custom aftermarket bicycle fork. It can unlock the incredible performance potential of a regular-budget bike. 

There are around half a dozen different bikes. From mountain bikes that are designed for high-impact sports city bikes that provide comfortable and fast short rides to BMXs and cruiser bikes, there are half a dozen different types of bikes. One major difference between them is how they handle the ground and the ability to absorb impacts. A fork is much more than something that connects the wheel to the rest of the bike. This descriptive article will tell you things you need to know about bicycle forks. A better understanding of bicycle forks will help you make the right choices when shopping for them.

Different types of bicycle forks 

The first step to getting a custom bicycle fork is finding out the right type of fork for your bike. Unlike what some people think, not all bicycle forks are the same. There are more variations among bicycle forks than the differences that exist within bikes. That means there is quite a lot for you to explore. However, if you know the most common type of forks, it will be much easier to select the right fork for your bike. Towards the end, you will find some tips that will help you choose the best ones out of the wide varieties you find in the market. Here are the four most common types of forks that you can buy for your bike. 

Bike suspension forks 

Suspension bicycle forks are a great way to improve your bike’s performance. It can absorb impacts to a large extent and reduces the effect of the impact on the rider’s body. Therefore, not only can it improve the traction, but it also helps the ergonomics of a bike. But you cannot pick a suspension fork randomly for your bike. The size and type of the fork should suit the size of the wheels. There are, in fact, two different types of suspension forks: air and coil. While coil suspensions are more rigid and can carry more weight, air suspensions provide a smoother ride.  

Road forks 

The first priority for road bikes is steering control and ride comfort. Road forks are designed specifically to optimise both of these. Moreover, road forks tend to be a bit lighter than the average suspension fork. Some of these can even weigh a few hundred grams less than suspension forks of a similar size. You can further reduce the bike’s overall weight by fitting an aftermarket carbon fibre fork. Carbon fibre forks are much lighter than stainless steel forks. That too, without compromising on the strength. You can find them in a variety of options.

BMX forks  

BMX bikes are not made to be ridden like normal bikes. In fact, nobody hardly ever uses them to traverse long distances. Such bikes are almost exclusively for sports purposes. And for that reason, BMX forks have to undergo higher levels of stress on a regular basis. The nature of stress that they experience is also different. But if you are using a bike that comes with a BMX fork, is it worth spending extra for a custom aftermarket fork? Well, that depends on what type of fork your bike has. If your bike is using heavy tensile steel forks, then replacing it with a lighter fork can give you noticeable handling and performance improvements.  

Cyclocross forks 

Cyclocross bikes are what cycling enthusiasts use for long and challenging cross-country trips. Such bikes do not have to endure stress like that of a mountain bike or a BMX bike. But in this case, the fork should be able to provide enough comfort so that the rider does not get fatigued from riding. That is why cyclocross forks are really good at providing an unmatched level of comfort but without much displacement of the forks. But one should be careful to avoid harsh roads and potholes to keep the fork in perfect condition.

Tips on how to buy Forks

Finding a bicycle fork can be more challenging than you might think. This is especially true if you are new to it or are trying to build a custom bike from scratch. Given that using the wrong type of fork can be disastrous, you should put thoughts and efforts into selecting the right one. But how do you make sure that you are selecting the right type of fork? Well, that is easy if you know what criteria to consider while you are shopping for them. Here are some tips that you can follow when you are shopping.

  • Type of the fork – There are half a dozen different types of forks out there. You should always use a fork that fits the type of your bike and also the way you are going to use it. For example, a city bike does not experience heavy impacts like a mountain bike. Therefore, the fork of a city bike should be able to smoothen out small vibrations on the road and also should provide better steering control.
  • Size – This is probably the most obvious factor when it comes to bicycle forks. The size of the fork should be suitable for the size of the wheels and also the overall build of the bicycle. A fork of the wrong size can not only mess up with the performance, but it can also make the cycle look odd.
  • Material – It is common for the same types of forks to come in different materials. You will find city bike forks in stainless steel, aluminium, and carbon fibre. The load capacity and strength of the bicycle fork vary with the material. Not surprisingly, the cost of the fork also varies with the material.
  • Damper – One thing people regularly overlook in a bicycle fork is the damper. In reality, a damper in a fork plays a major part in the way the rider experiences an impact. It is the damper that controls the release of impact energy in the fork. The damper should be tuned in such a way that the rider feels the minimum amount of impact but without causing the bike to vibrate up and down.

Besides a good bicycle fork, there are a few other essential bike parts you will need, including brakes, seat posts, stems, stair axles, mudguards, and handlebars. But you can find all of them easily using our product search engine. That way, you can also compare the prices and features of different products and choose the best one among them. Find the best brands here like MTB, Lixada, Banggood, DFS, and Rockshox. Also, don’t forget to check out other great products in the bikes category on

Question & Answer

Are all bicycle forks the same size?

No, quite the opposite. The size of the forks can vary widely depending on the type of the fork and also the size of the wheel. But in most cases, they tend to follow a common standard. Usually, the smallest size for forks used to be 1 inch with threads. However, this size is not common in newer models of bicycle forks. These days you will find the sizes of forks starting from 1 1/8th inch. There are also larger ones that measure around one and a half inches in diameter. These forks come in both threadless and tapered models.

Are full carbon road forks better than aluminium road forks?

Basically, “full carbon road forks” means the whole fork uses carbon construction. Generally, this also includes the construction of steerer tubes. It is not surprising that such forks are much lighter than any other type of fork. This also translates into a good improvement in riding comfort and handling. However, there are aluminium bicycle forks that are many times cheaper than full carbon forks that provide a decent level of comfort and performance. So, unless you are a professional who is trying to get every bit of performance improvement you can, it is not worth investing in an expensive carbon road fork.

What is a damper in a fork?

A bicycle fork consists of two active components. The first and most important one is the component that absorbs the shock from an impact. This is the part that saves the rider from sudden jerks. A fork smooths out an impact using compressed air or a spring mechanism. However, after absorbing the shock, now the spring or the compressed air has to release it. Otherwise, the fork will bounce back in the other direction causing nasty vibrations. The damper inside a fork does the job of releasing the energy of an impact while minimising the vibrations.

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