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How to choose your fork?


The fork is one of the essential elements on a bicycle, both in terms of performance and comfort. Its purpose is to absorb shocks taken on the front of the bike. Many types of forks exist, depending on the use of the bicycle.

How it works ?

The operation of a mountain bike fork is quite simple, two divers sink when there is compression in the sleeves, protected by seals. At the time of relaxation, the divers make the opposite path by withdrawing from the sleeves.

Forks come in various forms: rigid, single arm, single, double Tee. Their operating modes are different. The entry-level models are generally spring-loaded, while the mid- and high-end models use technologies that use air and oil (to increase lightness).

Pivot, axle and bracket support

Another important variable is the size of the fork pivot diameter: 1″1/8 (28.6 mm) or 1″1/2 (38.1 mm).

The diameter of the axle for the wheel is to be checked if you want to keep your wheel. This axis can be 9mm, 15mm or 20mm.

Finally, for the braking system, its compatibility must also be checked. There are now 3 assembly standards: International Standard (IS), Post-Mount (PM) and rim brakes (V-brake) The market has now almost fully adopted the IS and PM standards. However, some entry-level models still offer the possibility of installing V-Brake brakes.

Forks adapted to practice

The key to success in choosing its mountain bike fork lies in defining its future use. Depending on the practice we are going to do (downhill, freeride, enduro, cross-country), the size of the travel is not the same. The travel is the distance that can be damped by the fork. This distance is therefore more or less important depending on the models. We explain to you how to choose your MTB fork according to your practice.

Downhill fork

Fourche descente

For intensive use such as downhill or freeride, a large travel (>150mm) is necessary to ensure the pilot an ideal comfort on downhill and on rough terrain.

Enduro fork / All-Mountain

Fourche Enduro/All-Mountain

For enduro or all-mountain use, a smaller travel (120 to 160mm) will be more suitable, guaranteeing optimal comfort for the pilot, without degrading his performance.

Cross-Country fork

Fourche Cross-Country

For cross-Country or marathon use, a reduced travel (80 to 110mm) will be preferable on low hilly terrain. The driver's performance will be maintained, the fork being lighter than a fork with more travel.

Settings

The fork adjustments increase tenfold with the move upmarket. An entry-level fork will only offer to modify the spring stiffness in relation to the pilot's weight, while higher models will offer, for example, the adjustment of rebound, compression or travel.

Compression

The air forks will allow very precise adjustments. With the help of a high-pressure pump, the damping can be adjusted according to the pilot's weight and wishes.

Blocking

Some models also lock the fork to prevent it from working unnecessarily uphill and degrading the performance of its user. The locking is done either directly on the handlebars or at the top of a plunger.

Rebound

Some forks also offer to adjust the trigger and rebound. During an impact, divers will sink and release themselves more or less quickly from the sleeves.


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