Forks

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How to choose BMX forks: The fork connects the front wheel to the rest of the bike. It makes up a significant part of a bike’s non-rotational weight. Forks are constantly abused, and in turn are designed to withstand huge amounts of stress.

There are three parts to a fork. Where the wheel is bolted on are the dropouts - different forks use different styles of dropouts depending on the intended use and technology. Above the dropouts are the legs, which are the most prominent part of the fork as they run alongside the wheel up from the dropout and into the frame. Finally there is the steerer tube, hidden from view by the frame and stem when mounted on a bike. Upgrading the fork on a stock bike is an excellent place to save a great deal of weight and improve overall ride quality. A new fork also greatly enhances the appearance of any ride.

Things To Look For

A new fork can really alter the feel of a BMX. There are a few factors to look for when comparing forks that will indicate how the new part will affect the ride of a bike. First is the weight of the fork. Many stock bikes come with heavy duty chromoly forks - switching to a lightweight design will make the bike easier to manipulate and improve a rider’s ability to get it off the ground. Second is the dropout offset. Offset refers to how far ahead of the center of the fork legs the front axle bolts onto the fork. For example, a fork with zero offset would have the dropouts directly in the middle of the bottom of the legs. The bigger the offset, the longer the total wheelbase of a BMX becomes and vice-versa. A big offset creates a more stable bike, ideal for riding jumps and big ramps. Short offsets give a bike a more responsive or “nervous” feel, great for technical street riding and nose manuals. Third is the height of the fork. Most forks have similar heights (around 314-315 millimeters), so it is only when combined with the steerer tube length that it’s handling characteristics can be determined. When comparing two forks of the same height, the fork with a longer steerer tube will have a shorter height below the frame, which will drop the front end of the BMX and change the ride by putting more of the rider’s weight over the front wheel. The opposite is true for a fork with a shorter steerer tube and identical height. Finally, if you run a front brake, be sure to choose a fork with brake bosses!

Types

Most manufacturers classify their forks according to their intended use: dirt, race, park or street. Needless to say, it is important to know what type of fork best suits your riding style in order to make the best choice. If you ride rails and intend to run pegs, be sure to choose a fork that accepts pegs. Some dirt specific forks are not designed to accommodate pegs in order to save weight. There are also forks that are not compatible with a detangler system. Most forks come with an integrated bearing race, which allows for easy installation of the new fork.

Sizes of BMX Forks

Forks are fairly standard when it comes to sizing. Almost all BMX forks use a 1 and 1/8” steerer tube, which is the standard size for BMX frames. Dropouts, however, come in two different sizes: 3/8” and 14mm. It is important to choose the dropout size that corresponds with the axle size of your front hub.

Materials

Aftermarket dirt, street and park BMX forks, much like most BMX components, are made from chromoly. Race forks are available in aluminum and carbon fiber in order to reduce weight.

How Much To Spend

Street and dirt forks range in price from $50 to $200, while carbon fiber race forks can reach $300. Forks in the $50-$100 price range offer weight savings compared to many stock forks, and they incorporate technologies such as tapered and butted legs, CNC machined steerer tubes and dropouts designed for pegs. These forks use 4130 chromoly and are extremely strong, but do not incorporate some of the technology used in the more expensive range, which makes them a bit heavier. Moving past the $100 threshold, forks begin to drop considerably in weight, offer a wider variety of styles, designs and colors, and many come with extended warranties. Generally, forks last a long time so it may be worth it to invest in something that really boosts the performance of your bike.

Product Reviews

Before buying, be sure to do your research and read product reviews. Reviews are a great way to find out specifics about a particular model, user impressions, and things to watch out for. After you’ve purchased a product and had enough time to thoroughly test it, we encourage you to leave a review for other people to see when they are researching bikes and parts on the web.

We hope you’ve found this information to be helpful. If you have a question that isn’t answered in this guide, our BMX forums are a great place to get advice from knowledgeable riders. Your local bike shop is also a great resource.

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