Sometimes due to subtle issues your bike may not run smoothly. One of these subtle issues can be using a fork that is too big for your bicycle.
It’s because a fork that is too big for your bike’s wheel size can affect the bike’s handling.
So, what to do if my fork is too big?
If your bicycle fork is too big, then you need to cut the ends of your fork. Start by taking off the fork from your bicycle. Then using a hacksaw, cut your forks up to your desired length. Once that is done simply reassemble your bicycle with the fork. You can also take help from a mechanic if you want.
This is just an overview of your concern. But read along as we got all the details you need.
So, get started now!
Why Is My Fork Too Big on The Cycle?
Bicycle forks are an important component of your bicycle. Without it, your bicycle cannot even run. So we should always take a closer look at this component.
The fork of your cycle being big is not that uncommon nowadays. However, it is also not something that is very usual.
So, you do not have any space to be tense about or overlook it. Now, here are the common reasons for the fork being too big.
Reason 1: A Mistake in The Measurements
This is the main and the most common reason for this issue. Because anyone may make a mistake while installing a fork on the cycle frame.
However, it is not that usual when an expert takes this. But an amateur may often make this mistake.
This mostly happens when you replace or go for a different fork on the frame. Like, going for a steel fork on an aluminium frame, which is a bit different.
So, error or miscalculation in the measurements is the main reason for this issue.
Reason 2: To Protect The Tyre of The Bicycle
You know it is common to go on long rides by cycle. And this is when your front wheel may get worn out. This happens mainly because of the friction.
So, the manufacturers try to install a relatively bigger fork for this.
But how is a big fork beneficial?
Well, it can keep the crown well off the tire. Moreover, less trail is produced by a longer fork, resulting in a lighter but twitchier steering feel. And as a result, both the crown and tire stay better in condition while riding.
So, this is how a bit bigger fork could be helpful for the cycle.
Remember that you may have either a dual or triple crown fork. So depending on this the size of the fork varies.
And these are the 2 main reasons for a big fork! Although there could be more reasons, those are not that significant. Like, it can help to act as shock absorption.
Basically, a bigger or longer fork would help to increase the suspension level. So, the riding would be even more comfortable. Thus, you get perks with having a bigger fork!
What Are The Consequences of Having A Bigger Fork?
Having a bigger fork is not always necessarily bad. That means up to an extent, the cycle might not have any significant change.
However, having a way bigger fork would be problematic for your cycle. So, what happens if my fork is too big? Here’s what happens!
Consequence 1: A Slack Head Tube
For a fork that is too big may let your cycle be a bit slack. This is because a bigger fork would keep the head tube loose.
As a result, the head becomes slack. Following this, you may lose a bit of balance while riding for a long time.
This can especially be risky if you are riding hill tracts. Going up to any slope or coming down it would make it risky as well.
Remember one thing in case you are riding hill tracts. An adjustable or a bit tighter fork would be ideal for this.
If you think your cycle headset is loose, you can just tighten the headset yourself.
Consequence 2: Snapped Chain
A big fork may leave a snapped chain at times. Yes, you read that right! Although this might sound unusual this actually happens.
However, this is not very common or a usual thing. This may happen all of a sudden. But if you experience these types of issues, it would really be problematic.
Because a rider does not usually carry a spare chain while riding. You either need to drag your cycle or call someone for help.
However, if you want to replace your cycle chain, oil it. Because oiling the cycle chain is very important. Here are some oils that will work in this case:
So, these are the main two consequences you may come through. However, these are only the bad consequences that we got here.
How Do I Cut off The Big Fork to Fix The Size?
Sometimes bigger forks can cause more harm than good. Forks that are bigger than your bicycle can cause stability issues. So, in this type of situation, it’s important for you to cut the fork.
Cutting a big fork is something very simple. To do it, you just need to follow the basic steps. Take a look here.
Step 1: Take off The Fork
First, you need to take off the fork. To do it, just disassemble the bearings on top to get it off. Then take off the nuts from it using a wrench.
Make sure you go slow when you take off the fork. Because going rough with it may leave spots or scratches on the frame. Once you do it, rub the fork with a clean cloth.
Then keep them in a place for a few minutes. Let air pass through them for a while. This helps to get the fork free of dust particles.
Step 2: Cut The Fork
Now comes the main part. You need to mark the spot where you want to cut the fork. You may use a marker or something to mark it down.
But it is better if you can use something that has a permanent marker. Because when you would begin cutting the fork, the mark might go away with rubbing. So, try to use a permanent marker that can be permanent and easy to understand.
Now, you need to mark two places. One mark will be the ideal length you want your fork to be and another will be 3mm below the first mark. This would ensure that you’re cutting in the right place.
Once you have marked it properly, you need to take a hacksaw. The main instrument for cutting a fork is the hacksaw. So, it’s important to use a good quality hacksaw so that no accidents take place.
Here are some hacksaws that are sharp and suitable for cutting the material of the fork:
Now that you have your instrument it’s time to cut your fork!
For cutting the fork firmly grip the fork and with a steady hand slowly start to cut the fork according to your markings.
If you find your hands being shaky then invest in a bench vice. This tool steadies the fork for you so that you cut it without any hassle.
Once you cut it down to your desired size, you can assemble it again.
Step 3: Assemble The Fork Again
Now, put back on the fork, and fix the top bearing again. Do not forget to check if the fork is okay after reassembling it. See, if it is loose or overtight.
But there would be no chances for it, hopefully. Finally, you are done cutting the big fork of your bicycle!
However, when you are cutting the fork, remember one thing. Make sure you do not cut too much of it.
Because if you cut down way more than it needed, there would be issues. That is, the fork might be too short then. And you may need to use an extender in that case.
So, be careful when you mark the spot and start cutting for your desired length.
Hope this helps!
Can a big fork be compatible with my cycle?
Yes, a big fork would be compatible with your cycle. But getting a way bigger fork might not be feasible in the long run. Because a way bigger fork might make your ride a bit slacker. And you would need more energy to ride your cycle. This would be almost impossible on a journey.
Can I cut or reduce the fork of my cycle?
Yes, you can cut or reduce the fork of your cycle. You can actually do it anytime you want. And doing this is not that hard either. However, you would need a cutter to do it. But if you think this would be a mess up for you, no worries. Because you may take it to a mechanic.
Can I use a steel fork on an aluminium frame?
Yes, you can use a steel fork on an aluminium frame. In fact, you would get a number of advantages if you do it. The very thing is that it is way more reasonable installing a steel fork. And it can increase the life span of the cycle frame significantly.
The Final Words
Now you know what to do if my fork is too big! We hope you could catch all the info properly regarding your concern.
But we want to share a tip before signing off. Never try to add or eliminate a mechanical part of your cycle without proper knowledge. Because this can be problematic for your ride.
All the best!