Bike forks explained
The bike fork is a part of the bicycle that facilitates the steering of the bicycle by creating the tie between the handlebar and the front wheel.
Significant parts and dimensions of a bike fork are:
- Steerer tube – the straight part that connects to the handlebar. Steerer tube length can vary greatly, either only to fit the headset bearing, when the threaded headset is in question, or to help reach the desired height of the handlebar when we use unthreaded steel steerer tube. Speaking about the diameter, it mustn't be larger than that of a frame. We should note that standardization is still not set with the production of high-end tapered steerer tubes. And so each manufacturer has their standard, which makes the replacement of these parts a bit complicated since they can only be ordered or bought from the manufacturer
- Crown – where fork legs split in two and the steerer connects to fork legs
- Fork legs - the length of the fork is measured from the bottom of the lower bearing race to the center of the front wheel axle and varies from 363.5 mm to 374.7 mm. Width or spacing is the measure taken between the inside edges of the two fork ends, most often adult sized forks measure 100 mm and for downhill mountain bikes this measure is 110 mm.
- Dropout or fork end – point at which the wheel is attached, and/or the disc brake
- Offset or rake– is a measure of how curved and protruded is the dropout in correlation to the fork. Offset is used and capable to reduce the trail, and makes the bike feel easy to turn. Also, generally speaking, a slacker head angle requires a fork with more offset, and the smaller wheel means less offset while the opposite is the case with large wheels.
Bike forks are made of carbon fiber, steel, aluminum, or titanium or they can be made of a combination of two different types of materials. Carbon is used usually for road bike forks since they are light and they can absorb road vibrations.
Bike forks usually have attachment points, holes, or protruding tabs for brakes, racks, and fenders on them.
They can be utilized with suspension.
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