Using different materials like steel & aluminum on one bike can be discouraged by many. However, it is quite possible for steel forks and aluminum frames to go hand-in-hand.
But this is really not something that you preferred and are sure about.
So, can you install a steel fork on aluminum frame?
Yes, you can definitely install a steel fork on the aluminum frame yourself. For DIY, you’ll need some additional tools. However, the frame can get very heavy compared to Aluminum fork build. Some steel forks can be tough to DIY. In such cases, you can consult a mechanic for assistance.
Think you have gathered enough information already? I’m sure you will get to know more if you stick along.
Now, let’s get started right away!
Pros and Cons of Using Steel Fork on Aluminum Frame
It might be a bit uncommon to see a steel fork on an aluminum frame. However, today you may see it often. Because there are reasons for this.
So, why is there a steel fork on the aluminum frame?
Adding steel forks instantly makes your MTB bike more balanced. In addition to that, steel forks can retain that elegant look better than Aluminum forks. However, there’s a certain disadvantage of using steel forks too.
Now, you might not be acquainted with steel fork on an aluminum frame. But you would go crazy after you get to know these pros. So, let’s get on with these advantages-
Pros: Adding More Balance to The Cycle
We know how important and crucial the balancing of a cycle is. And the weight of the cycle parts plays a big role in it.
An aluminum frame is basically light to consider. It is not that heavy in general. But a steel object could be around 3 times heavier than an aluminum object.
So, adding a steel fork to an aluminum frame gives the cycle more weight. This helps the rider to be safer as they get more balance.
Even many veteran riders thoroughly enjoy this type of steel fork!
A cycle may often meet accidents due to less weight as the wheel gets distracted. This is when the balance is needed.
So, adding more weight lets the cycle be steady while riding or chaining directions. That is why adding a steel fork to an aluminum frame becomes helpful.
Remember this is like adding a tapered frame straight fork to gain more balance.
Pros: Protection of the Texture
We know that aluminum objects are not easy to break. But these objects can easily get scratched or bent.
If they can be covered properly, these come out to be a great shield. Because you can expect this to protect the other parts and be life-long.
In order to take this advantage, a steel fork can be quite useful. Because adding a steel fork to an aluminum frame would protect it from major hits.
So that the aluminum frame can be really long-lasting with its look. Along with that, remember one thing about the aluminum frame.
These frames can be bent very easily if hit at a significant momentum. So, the steel fork on it would just protect the aluminum frame.
Now, I also suffered from finding the right steel forks. Because they are not that readily available. But I’ve found some of the best offerings by searching through multiple forums. Here they are-
Hope these suggestions make your biking experience more fun!
While this type of fork has its advantages, there’s a big disadvantage. Let’s discuss that a bit-
Cons: Increased Weight
Everyone likes a lightweight build for their bikes. I mean, who does like to ride on a heavy bike, right? However, if you’re choosing steel forks over aluminum ones, then you have to comprise that part.
Steel forks have more density than aluminum forks. So, that dense property makes the whole bike heavier than usual. While that heft can definitely make the build more balanced, not everyone is a fan of it.
So, you have to be careful about the weight if you’re going for steel forks.
Can You Add a Steel Fork to the Aluminum Frame Myself?
Yes, you can definitely consider adding a steel fork to the aluminum frame yourself. Doing this is really easy today. But making sure that the fork is not too big is important.
Source: Ti Cycles
And remember one thing. That is, installing a steel fork on the aluminum frame can actually save your bucks.
Because this would be cheaper than adding a carbon fork or the other ones. And you also get to enjoy the benefits of steel properties.
However, if you want then you may also hire someone to install the steel fork. But that would include a little budget though.
And if you are confident enough, just start doing it yourself. So, if you are ready to do so, move on to the next part. Because we got there the steps on how to do it!
How Do I Install Steel Fork on an Aluminum Frame?
Installing a steel fork is not as hard as you think. You can do it easily if you know the proper steps. So, how to install a steel fork on an aluminum frame?
First, you need some essential tools to install your fork. I generally use these tools when installing the fork-
- Using Amazon basics Allen wrench for those hexagonal bolts can be quite affordable.
- You’ll obviously need a Flathead screwdriver like Craftsmans to tighten the joints.
- I’ve personally used this Bike Bicycle Fork Star nut tool for adjusting new and old star nuts.
Let’s move onto the process.
Step 1: Get Your Preferred Size
The first thing you do is get the right size of the fork. If you have any preferences then go that way.
Source: Tom’s Bike Trip
To get the right bike fork, you may need to consider a few things. But this is not that tough either to get the right size of a fork.
Once you are done arranging the right-sized fork, you can start the installation. But do not start the installation without the fork that it requires.
Because the entire installation might go in vain if the size is not right.
Step 2: Put on the Small Parts
Now, you need to start the installation. To begin, put the crown race on the fork. Ensure the bottom of the fork is clean.
Then put on the top bearing, wedge, and the top cap.
Step 3: Check the Movement
Now, see if the movement of the fork is flexible. Like, see if it moves freely without any resistance. But make sure the fork is not loose.
See, if it has any gap in between any parts. Everything would be alright if you just follow the first two steps properly.
Step 4: Put on the Top Bearing
Finally, you just need to put on the top bearing. And then you would need to tighten it to get it ready for a run.
Once you tighten it, see if you find it loose. If not then go for a quick ride to test your cycle. And finally, you are done installing a steel fork on the aluminum frame!
Remember one thing while installing a steel fork on the frame. If you think you need a shorter fork, you may cut it down yourself. Or else, you can also take help.
But do not forget one thing if you really want to cut it down. That is, make sure you mark the spot and cut at your desired length.
Because if you cut more than it needs to, it would become shorter. And in that case, you would need to get an extender for it.
So, be careful if you really want to modify the length of your fork. Good luck!
Is a Steel Fork More Robust than Any Other One?
Well, you can not actually directly say one is stronger than the other one. Because each metal has its own property. Steel fork does not generally break so quickly but bends easily. However, other forks would leave a few scratches and bend after a few hits. A steel fork on an aluminum frame could be ideal.
Can a Steel Fork be Replaced Multiple Times?
Yes, you can replace the steel fork of your cycle anytime. But it is better not to do it very often. For any little modifications, consider modifying it without changing it. You may also cut it short or increase the length if needed. For any confusion, take professional help.
Can the Steel Fork on the Aluminum Frame Make the Cycle Heavier?
Well, the steel fork on the aluminum frame can actually make your cycle heavier. Steel is generally heavier than aluminum. And these materials are also a bit stronger than aluminum. That is why the weight of the cycle would surely increase a bit, if not significantly.
Now you know why you should use steel fork on aluminum frame! We believe you got your concern clear now with all the info provided here.
Well, remember one thing. Do not try to change the fork on your cycle without talking to a mechanic. Because replacing or changing a fork might not always be convenient for you.
All the best with your cycle!