The front fork of a mountain bike is an important part of the mountain bike. A question often asked by friends who are ready to start a mountain bike is: Do front forks matter? In fact, the pros and cons of the front fork of the mountain bike will directly affect the off-road performance and riding comfort of the mountain bike. So depending on your riding environment, you should choose a different mountain bike fork. Today, I will take you to understand the types and characteristics of mountain bike front forks.
Suspension front fork composition:
Let’s first popularize the appearance of the shock-absorbing front fork and the names of the various parts. The common shock-absorbing front forks are composed of the upper tube (steerer tube), fork shoulder, shoulder cover, stroke tube (inner tube), and fork barrel (outer tube). ), fork feet, brake seat, and other parts.
Suspension front fork classification:
The suspension front fork, as the name suggests, the suspension is a must-have function for its existence. Under the gravity and resistance of the ride, the suspension fork is compressed to the extreme and then rebounds. Repeating this action continuously can greatly reduce unnecessary bumps during riding, provide a more comfortable riding experience, and prevent injuries and rollovers. Now, let’s take a look at the types of suspension media of the suspension front fork, which can be classified: as superior rubber front fork, spring front fork, oil spring front fork, oil and gas front fork, and dual gas front fork.
Ultra glue front fork: The shock absorber that was often used on mountain bikes earlier, but is now rare. Ultra glue is made of polyurethane material, which is light in weight and simple in structure and requires relatively low maintenance. However, due to the continuous increase in fork travel in recent years, Ultra glue had to be withdrawn from the market due to its shortcomings. Because this material needs to be stacked very high to achieve long-travel suspension effects, it can’t compare to springs and air forks.
Spring front fork: The spring is used as the shock absorption medium. Its structure is simple, generally, there is a spring on one side of the front fork or springs on both sides, generally the former is mostly. The cost of this kind of fork is low and the price is not expensive. This kind of fork generally has a soft and hard adjustment function by compressing the spring to obtain different soft and hard, and at the same time, a certain amount of travel is lost. A nominal 80mm fork will lose around 20mm of travel at its hardest setting.
Oil spring front fork: This word should be understood separately: oil damping + spring. This type of fork is based on the spring front fork and adds oil damping on the other side of the spring. Oil damping is the use of oil to adjust how fast the spring rebounds. This type of fork generally has rebound adjustment, locking function, and some stroke adjustment functions based on adjusting soft and hard. Prices for this product vary widely. Under normal circumstances, this fork has no weight advantage, but the lockout function can show a great advantage on flat roads and climbing.
Oil and gas front fork: This is similar to the oil spring fork above, but uses air pressure instead of the spring as the shocked medium. Adjust the softness and hardness by pumping. Generally, for riders of different weights, there will be different air pressure values. This type of front fork can be lighter in weight because it uses air instead of spring, generally below 1.8kg, but the price is higher. This type of front fork also has the function of rebounding and locking.
Double air front fork: The negative air chamber is used to replace the negative pressure spring, and the soft and hard (rebound speed) of the front fork can be adjusted by adjusting the air pressure of the negative air chamber and the positive air chamber. This is a high-end product. The effect of adjusting the softness and hardness of the front fork with dual air chambers will be better. The weight is lighter, the weight is about 1.6KG, but the price is relatively higher.