Customization of regular or MTB bikes has been a regular practice among bikers. Even some of the modifications can increase your riding experience significantly.
However, you might not know all about the fork and suspension. Using different forks with your 26 bikes can go in both directions.
So, is it doable to use 29 fork on 26 frame?
Practically speaking, yes, you can use your 29 forks on your 26 bike frame and wheels. If you use the fork with proper measurement and height, then it’ll hold up fine. However, there are many things should have to be careful about. For example, fork height, bike geometry, stress, and shock absorbance.
I know you’re eager to use 29 forks on your bike. If you really want to use it, then follow me to understand the risks and benefits!
Should You Use 29er Fork on 26 Frame?
Obviously, it’s practically possible to use a 29er fork with a 26 frame. But is it the appropriate thing to do? In this segment, I’ll try to explore that angle.
Most of the bikes can take large or small forks with their frames. So, it is quite okay to use different types of forks with your bike. Some of the riders even used 26-inch forks with a 24 frame! See for yourself-
But without an expert opinion, it’s tough to say whether changing the fork will provide any benefits.
Many bike shops state that it’s not an issue to use 29er with a 26 frame. Here’s a chart that shows which 29er forks are the best for your 26-inch frame-
|Image||Product Name||Compatibility with 26 Frame||Availability|
|RST Omega TNL||Compatible with 100mm travel||Get it From Here|
|ZTZ Bike Suspension Fork 26"||Compatible with AM Double shoulder Suspension, A-pillar PM disc brake||Get it From Here|
|Marzocchi Bomber Z2 E-Optimized Suspension Fork||Comapitle with 26-inch frame with 140mm travel||Get it From Here|
However, there will be some changes that you have to make to the bike. For example, adjusting the seat height, stem, and some other components. I’ll explain those in the latter part.
However, some bikers suggest that it’s not an ideal decision to make. You won’t be able to get any significant outcome from your bike. Even your bike geometry and weight can get disrupted significantly!
It’s obviously possible to face those complications. Even your straight rigid fork on a tapered frame can have technical issues.
Now, this might seem to you very confusing but there’s an easy solution. If you’re hellbent on using 29 fork on 26 frame, you can go for it. I’ll take you through the whole process and the potential difficulties you might face.
So, let’s see what you need to do!
Using 29 Fork with 26er Frame
When it comes to the discussion of making this custom build, two things are very important. First, measuring the ATC which gives you the data to install your fork properly. Then comes adjusting or cutting the stem to make the bike height accurate.
Now, let’s see how to do these two things right.
Measuring the Axle to Crown
Without axle to crown length measurement, it’s not even possible to install your fork. So, before you use 29 rigid fork on 26 frame, you need to measure the ATC.
To measure the fork length, remove your front wheel. Then, put your quick release in the fork. After that, press on the lowers for a full extension. Be careful about the last step as the measurement depends heavily on it.
Start from the crown which lies behind the arch on your bike lowers. Then finish at the center of your axle. After doing this process successfully, you should get a proper ATC reading.
Match it with your fork to find out whether the 29er will fit properly. Also, this is a great opportunity to know about your thru-axle too! Here’s a good resource for that-
Now, If your axle to crown measurement does not match, you know what to do. Look for other options and other alternatives to explore.
However, if it does, quickly move to the next section!
Cutting the Stem
So your beloved bike met the first requirement easily. That’s pretty cool and now it’s just a matter of time before you can enjoy your sweet ride. Before you jump on the seat, your seat will require a final tweaking.
Even though the bike may look okay to you, it’s actually not. Because the height and weight have increased. So, the bike will sit a bit higher on the front side. To make the bike aligned with the fork, the stem has to be cut.
Now, how much stem should you let go of? Well, that depends on your preference actually. Still, a good rule of thumb is to cut the stem to the length of the bike crown. And then put a star nut on top to bolt it all up.
So, let’s move on to the discussion of what can be the complications regarding this build.
Things to Be Careful About
Well, if you really plan on using this custom build, you have to be careful. Because there are multiple issues you might have to deal with. Because your bike may resist the 29er fork to get an enjoyable riding experience.
Let’s start with the stress factor first.
It’s a very common theme when you customize your bike like that. You can also see the stress level caching while using steel fork on aluminum frame. So, if you feel like your bike is facing more stress, it’s best to undo it.
Now, you might not want to put too much stress on your bike frame. If that’s the case, you’ll be better of with 26er forks.
From my experience and research, I’ve looked at many 26-inch forks. And here are some of the best ones-
- RockShox Recon Silver TK is probably the best in this price range with solid performance.
- BOLANY Snow Bike Front Fork does offer great workmanship considering its affordable price.
- The cheapest one I could find is the BUCKLOS 26 Travel 120mm MTB. It’s built like a tank with aluminum and magnesium alloy and great dampers.
Coming back to the point now. Along with the stress issue, the bike geometry problem can follow as well. Let’s have a look.
Well, bike geometry is another important factor to consider. When you use a larger fork on your bike, the weight and geometry will definitely change. That’s why everything from your paddling to balance will need some adjustments.
If you’re not careful about that, it’s very easy to run into road accidents. So, try to practice a bit before going straight to the road.
If the bike sits way higher than usual, it can severely affect your riding experience. Not only can it change the steering offset but also the bike stability.
Even your regular cross-country terrains can feel burdensome. So, you really need to think it through before you actually act on it.
Can I Put a Bigger Fork on My Bike?
A regular bike can take up to a 20mm large fork without any complications. Usually, the bikes can take that much. However, you can go beyond that limit at your own cost. Because the manufacturers produce the bikes with certain measurements. Going past the range can be harmful to your bike.
How Do You Know if a Fork Will Fit Your Bike?
To know the fitting of the fork with your frame, you have to measure the axle diameter. First, take out your installed front wheel and measure your bike’s axle diameter. Then, look for the compatibility that your bike supports with a fork. If it’s in the range, then you’re good to use that.
How Do I Find the Height & Width of My Fork?
You can measure the length of your fork with the steerer tube and wheel axle. Start measuring from the steerer tube all the way to the front wheel axle. For your fork width, you need to consider the two forks and their gap. Just measure the inside edges of your fork ends to your front wheel axle.
That concludes your query about using 29 fork on 26 frame. You can go for the conversion if you really want to but be extremely careful.
Otherwise, your bike may not hold together. So, do what you want to after considering everything!
Best of Luck!