You might already know how vital the forks are to get more control and stability in a bike. Now there are many types of bike forks on the market right now. So, it seems to be a hassle to go through all classes and browse your bike category to find the perfect one. Or sometimes, it could be expensive to upgrade all your bikes and out of your budget range.
To avoid the hassle, you might want to find the perfect fork, which you also want to be universal so that you can swap and don’t need to upgrade frequently.
Now, you might question whether all bike forks are universal or not. No, not all bike forks are universal. You can’t just swap one bike’s fork for another. There are some things you need to understand when it comes to bike forks. The bikes are in different models, and the steerer tubes’ measurements and types are also. And, of course, wheel size, brake, and width length will also be different.
That is just the tip of the iceberg. After a while, I will discuss all the possible important things about bike forks here and answer your questions—tag along with us to learn more.
Bike Fork’s Components, And How Do We Know What Size Forks To Choose For Our Cycle?
Here is the central part where we will learn about what you should know when you want to select & purchase the perfect fork for your bike. As we briefly discussed, you need five things to get your head around the bike fork. Those are-
- The Wheel Size of your bike.
Forks are always wheel size specific.
Just take a look at your tire sidewall, then you will notice the wheel size there. And, there are 18, 20, 24, 26, 28, 29 inches, and more sizes of wheels. Now, it is important to know the wheel size, otherwise, you won’t be able to connect the front wheel to your bike.
This is the upper part of the fork. Usually, there are two types.
In a straight steerer, the smaller and upper size is the same. But on the other hand, in the tapered steerer, the size increases from low to high.
Knowing the steerer’s size is crucial because you can’t connect the front side of the wheel with your fork if the diameter of these two is not the same.
Now, there are two types of dropouts as well.
- Closed: You will find a quick-release skewer in the open dropouts.
- Open: On the other hand, closed dropouts are likely to take bolt through axel.
Moreover, Open dropouts are usually 100 millimeters wide.
But Closed dropouts are in two sizes- a) 100 millimeters and, b) 110 millimeters.
Crown and Brake
Crowns are unique to each bike as well as brakes.
To install or upgrade your bike and get a new one, you need to remove the crown and get the right measurement. On the contrary, the type of brake you have on your bike will determine what kind of fork you can install.
- So, to sum up, you need to know the perfect measurement of every component which goes with the fork. Only after that, you will have an overall idea about what types of fork you want to install, and your options, and do it easily at home to save some bucks.
Are All Bike Forks The Same Size?
No, not all bike forks are the same size. Bike fork size varies on bike model or types.
A range of forks size in the market is based on a few variables. But first, as you already know, a fork has five main components.
And based on these five components, we can find different types of forks variation for various models and sizes. Also, there are traditional suspension forks and bizarre forks.
Still now, 80 to 90 percent of the forks are traditional. Usually, traditional forks have all the five components mentioned in the previous section. But one of the main differences is in the stanchion diameter.
All the bikes in the market have some common stanchion diameter. All of them are used based on different purposes. There is an overview below.
|● Hundred millimeters of travel (Step Cast/Non-step Cast)
● Lightest weight fork.
|● Trail bike or down-country bike.
● 120 millimeters
|● 140-160 millimeter travel
● Enduro fork
|● 180 millimeter
● Race Inspired travel
● Super enduro fork
|● 203-millimeter travel
● Full blown dual-crown
● Downhill fork
👉 These are not just all. Besides these, there are other types as well.
Besides that factor, you can also differentiate the fork size in ‘connection points’. Now, traditional forks have only three connection points.
- One is in between the right and the left leg.
- Another one is in the arc.
- And the last one is the crown. Which is on the upper side of the fork.
👉 But in the bizarre upside-down design, you will see that the suspension is in the lower section with no crown or arc. This makes the fork size different.
Besides these, we need to learn more about other factors as well. Let’s get into it.
Are All Bike Forks Universal Or Do All Forks Fit All Bikes?
No, it doesn’t. As we know, all the bikes have different types of steerer, wheel size, brakes, and other components. Based on these components, forks come in different types for different bikes. That means all bike’s forks aren’t universal as well as they rarely fit the same forks to all sizes of bicycles. Nonetheless, you can use a variable number of forks for many kinds of bikes where the mandatory criteria are matched.
As different bikes are used for various purposes, we might need to upgrade or swap the components from time to time. Now, as we know, bikes have different frames and will not go with every fork.
For every unique frame, it has to have a unique fork size. Based on that, you can put different sizes of forks in different frames. Okay, Let’s make it very clear and understandable by answering your overwhelming queries across the web and in practical life.
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👉 Can You Put A 27.5 Fork On A 26 Inch Frame?
Yes, you can put a 27.5 fork on a 26-inch frame. But there is some difference you might notice from regular.
- As we are putting a 27.5 fork, then, of course, the length would be taller.
- The angle of the head will go down.
- On the other hand, the bottom bracket length will go up.
- If you have the y-brakes, it might not line up. So, getting the v-brake would probably be a good idea.
Keep these in mind and, work on making a compatible. Then you are good to go!
👉 Can You Put A 29er Fork On A 26 Bike?
Technically, you can. But there is no point in adding a 29er fork on a 29-inch bike. The only noticeable thing, it will do is add some weight and increase heights.
- Rim brakes won’t line up in this setup. So, be careful about that.
- Steering will be more sensitive than before as 29er will have more rakes.
- As sensitivity increases, you will have some problems controlling the bike.
- Make sure to take a look at axel to crown length.
Experts’ suggestion would be not to go with this setup.
- But if you have disk brakes and the length is comparatively low, then you would be fine. Other than that, don’t take that risk.
👉 Can You Use 27.5 Fork On 29er Frame?
Yes, you can. But doing that will impact the length, durability, and handling.
- You will notice the lower front end.
- Controlling the bike would be difficult as compatibility might be a little compromised.
- Don’t get the longer forks. This might hamper the durability of the frame of the bike. Try to get a rigid fork.
- Also, your bike will be less heavy, eliminating almost 1 kg weight.
Experts don’t recommend doing that because installing a 27.5 fork will hamper challenging handling the rough, or even slightly unpaved terrain.
👉 Can You Put 27.5 Tires On A 29er Fork?
It depends! But it’s not an optimal setup. Even if you do, you can’t handle the bike as the height and the offset will not align.
Other than that,
- Steering and direction will be poor.
- It will lower the bike, of course.
- Seat tube will be steepened.
That means, it is not compatible with most cases, but a few depend on the components and the setup.
The Bottom Lines About The Universality Of Bike Forks
To summarize the article, all bike forks are not universal. That’s why when we need to upgrade or swap the forks, we must measure a few components, such as wheel size, steerer, crown, brakes, and dropouts.
And, in that way, any cyclist or biker will know which forks are compatible with his/her cycle or bike. But the good news is- after knowing things accurately and practicing a little bit, any biker can assemble all the parts by themselves at home (DIY Job).