Nowadays, most cycle frames consist of a tapered head. Suppose you want to upgrade your beloved cycle’s frame.
The process of upgrading from a straight fork to a tapered head can be confusing. Naturally, you will feel helpless.
How to connect 1 ⅛ fork to tapered frame then?
To connect 1 ⅛ fork to a tapered frame you’ll need a tool called a crown race. Basically, it is an adapter to connect the fork with the headset of the frame. If you have a straight fork, you can easily connect it with the help of the crown race. The adapter adjusts the bottom part of the fork with the bottom of the headset.
Now the adapter won’t connect the fork on its own! You must know the process vividly.
The article I have here has the process explained.
So, let’s dive in!
Connecting The Fork with The Headset
By now you know that you need a crown race to connect the 1 ⅛ fork with the frame.
However, that’s not just it.
Here’s the fact. There are a few steps that you have to complete. Before connecting the non-tapered fork to the tapered frame obviously.
Now, you might be confused between tapered and non-tapered bike frames.
Non-tapered frames have a straight steerer tube (the thing that connects the bike frame to the forks). It comes in sizes either 1-1/8 inches or 1.5 inches. On the other hand, tapered frames give much more rigidity for a minimal weight increase. Tapered frames start at 1.5 at the bottom and 1-1/8 at the top.
For a more detailed overview of this check out this video-
Now, without further ado, let’s see what are the steps to upgrade your fork to tapered frames. However, don’t be intimidated just yet as it is not as complicated as upgrading a specialized Crossrail fork.
Step 1: Gathering Resources
You will need specific tools and kits to work with if you want to add 1 ⅛ fork with the tapered frame MTB you have.
If you have them then great! You can directly proceed to the next step. If you don’t then don’t no need to feel helpless though!
Here are a few things that you will need to collect first:
- A tape
- A 1 ⅛ crown race adapter.
- A bottom bracket
These are the three basic things that you will need. In fact, you will need the help of these three pieces of equipment if you are up for connecting the fork with the headset.
One thing to note about the crown race adapter is that not all are suitable for connecting the fork to the tapered frame. I’ve tried a lot of them and noticed that some crown race just does the job better than the others. The ones I’ve tried and loved are given below:
Hopefully, if you get these crown races, you can follow the procedure smoothly.
Step 2: Dismantling the Cycle
To start the adjusting process, first, get your cycle first. Then dismantle it.
Firstly detach the wheels. Detach the body frame. Then remove the seat and paddle out of the frame. You can use the bottom bracket to dismantle.
Then remove the headset. Also, remove the current fork that is connected to the headset. And here will end the dismantling process of the cycle.
Step 3: Installing the Adapter
To initiate this step, you will need a crown race. Truth to be told, it’s the main character of our installation story! After all, it is the straight fork to tapered frame adapter.
Get the race crown. Now connect it with the frame tube of your cycle. This is basically a checkup process to see whether the adapter is fit for the frame or not.
If it fits, then great! Grab the straight non-tapered fork that you have. Install the adapter into the fork. Well, just slide the crown race drive through the fork. That’s it!
Step 4: Hammering It Down
Now, just inserting the crown race is not enough. You have to fit in the adapter with the straight fork of yours!
So, grab any regular basis hammer. And take a hollow pipe. Put it through the fork till it touches the crown race.
Then, hammer the hollow rod. This way, the tapered fork adapter gets fitted with the fork.
Once the crown race sets perfectly with the fork, you will hear a specific sound. This means, the work is done and you can stop hammering.
Step 5: Assembling the Headset with the Fork
Thus the moment of truth has arrived. Yes, it’s time to connect our fork with the infamous tapered frame headset of the frame.
Once fitting the crown race is done, grab the fork. Then pass it through the tube shaft of the frame.
Afterward, grab the steering headset. Set it at the upper end of the frame tube. Then attach it by using a rubber cap.
And thus end the installation process!
Step 6: Reassembling the Cycle!
All right! Now it is not over just by installing the fork at the tapered head tube only. You have to assemble the other parts of the cycle as well.
Else, how are you going to ride the cycle?
First, assemble the brakes. Then assemble the other parts of the cycle such as the paddle, wheels, etc. This is kind of the reversal of the dismantling process.
Finally, when the assembly is done, use duct tape to wrap the necessary joints of the cycle.
A Few Precautions
Now, you know how to adjust the straight fork with a tapered headset of the tapered bike frame. However, that’s not it.
You must maintain the process as precisely as possible. Otherwise, there is a high probability of facing problems regarding the cycle.
And for that, you must maintain some precautions. Therefore, here are a few facts you must keep in mind:
Tip 1: Select the Perfect Size
Crown race adapters come in many different sizes. Either a dual crown or triple crown fork, the crown race adapter will not be the same.
Choose the perfect adapter to fit your 1 ⅛ fork with the tapered mountain bike frame.
If you use an adapter of different sizes, the fork may not fit properly. So, choose the adapter of the required size.
Tip 2: Align the Adapter
Once you set the adapter, make sure you align it first. While inserting the crown race, there’s a chance that it may not align with the end of the fork.
And if it’s not aligned then the headset will not connect properly. Even there is a chance of the headset getting damaged!
So, be careful while setting the crown race at the 1 ⅛ steel fork you have.
Tip 3: Use Lubricating Agents
While working with the entire assembly process, use lubricants. You can use oil, grease, etc.
The grease reduces friction. As a result, it’s important to use it. But not all grease or lubricants are appropriate for this. Some lubricants make the parts too slippery whereas some don’t lubricate them enough.
After much research, I’ve found a few that gives the bicycle parts the right amount of slip. Here’s a list of such lubricants:
While connecting the headset with the fork, there’s a chance of the fork getting stuck. Consequently, it can become difficult to remove stuck parts.
So, there is a high probability of the cycle components getting damaged. Therefore try to use grease.
All right, rider! Keep these precautions in mind. And you can easily upgrade your bike, without a scratch!
What is The Benefit of Using Tapered Fork?
The main benefit of using a tapered fork is the stiffness of the fork increases when it is tapered. The tapered fork is usually cone-shaped. Because of such a shape, the fork can resist the bending force applied to the fork. This makes the fork tougher. And you can use your cycle on rough surfaces without losing control.
Does Tapered Fork have Different Sizes?
No, tapered forks don’t have different sizes. Most of the tapered forks are designed based on the same dimension. The top diameter of the fork is 1 ⅛ inch. And the lower diameter is maintained at 1.5 inches. This universal diameter is used so that it can be used with any headset.
Can I Remove The Crown Race without The Puller?
Yes, you can remove the crown race. To remove the crown race, dismantle the fork. Then remove the crown race by tapping. You can use a screwdriver for that. You can also use a hammer. Keep tapping until the crown race gets out. However, tap lightly to remove the crown race. Else it might break.
Congratulations! You now know how to connect 1 ⅛ fork to a tapered frame. And here ends our journey.
If you still have any confusion, you can go to any cycle specialist. They can definitely help you. Also, don’t forget to lube up your parts for an easier upgrading process.
That’s all for now. Until next time!