Straight Fork on Tapered Frame: How to Make It Work!

Breaking the tapered frame of your bike can leave you stranded with an unusable bike. But if you have a straight fork you can make it work with your tapered frame.

So, how can you install a straight fork on tapered frame?

You will need a top cup and a bottom cup first. Using a ZS49/28.6 as a top cup and EC49/40 as a bottom cup can help. Pull out the tapered frame first and then, install the bottom cup on the straight frame. Then put the fork in the frame and install the top cup. And you’ll be good to go.

That was just the shortest of answers we can provide you. For a detailed approach, you can take a peek at our comprehensive guide below!

Have a look:

Does a Straight Fork on Tapered Frame Work?

Experimenting with your favorite bike is really fun, right? If you already have a straight steerer fork, you can make it work with a tapered frame. Then again you can also do the vice versa.

By definition, a straight steerer fork is not a tapered fork. A non-tapered fork will fit a 1-1/8″ top and bottom head tube. Whereas a tapered fork will fit a 1.5″ taper, i.e. 1-1/8″ top and 1.5″ bottom. 

Straight Fork on Tapered Frame: How to Make It Work!


Based on the material and any weight-bearing requirements, a specialized shop drawing may be required. Because the column is straight and non-tapered, it may be cut to any length. And utilized for any height construction. 

Regardless of how long the column is, the cap and base will fit.

A tapered head tube is a tube with a cone-shaped bottom end. For tapered head-tubes, you need forks with a 1-1/8′′ wide top and 1.5′′ wide bottom.

On the other hand, straight steerer fork can fit into a 1.5 tapered frame using simple adapters. And a 1.5 tapered fork can fit into a 1.5 non-tapered head tube frame. But it can’t fit into a 1 1/8″ straight steerer frame.

So, now let’s see how can we make your straight fork work in your tapered frame. This can also help you distinguish between dual crown and triple crown fork.

Easiest Way to Adjust a Straight Fork in Tapered Frame

You’ll need some headset dimensions to set your 1 1/8′′ straight fork in your tapered frame. After that’s done, the rest of the replacement process is pretty simple. 

Let’s see how you can make it work.

Things You’ll Need and Why

The top cup you can get to fit your frame is ZS49/28.6. Which is a 1 18 straight to the tapered adapter

But what does the ZS49/28.6 means? 

ZS stands for zero-stack, which indicates that just a little portion of the headset cup. It will be visible outside the head tube because the bearing is housed within it. “49” is the upper head tube type, which I assume is the diameter in millimeters. And lastly, the “28.6” refers to the diameter of the steerer in millimeters.

The bottom cup you can get to fit your frame is EC49/40. Which is a non-tapered fork adapter

But what is EC49/40?

EC stands for the external cup. This indicates that the bearing is located outside the head tube. And more of the headset cup will be seen. “49” is the kind of lower head tube. And finally, the “40” refers to the crown race seat diameter in mm. Where the crown race fits into the bottom cup to hold the steerer in place.

These measurement markers should be visible when you look for the headset. You shouldn’t be concerned about the headset’s depth in the head tube. 

Those cup stack height figures you’re seeing are most likely the depth readings. It shows how much sits outside the head tube. 

The stack height is critical for determining how long the steerer on your fork should be. Since if it’s too short, it won’t come through enough to attach your stem. 

Straight Fork on Tapered Frame: How to Make It Work!


Although tapered head tubes are shorter than straight 1 1/8″ head tubes. You should be OK with your fork having enough steer. 

We recommended some top and bottom cups and accessories for your convenience:

Try these external headset cup for your bicycle fork!

Hope these external cups and accessories will help you to get your job done easily. You also need to know whether a steel fork works with an aluminum frame or not.

Placing Straight Fork in Your Tapered Frame [Just in 3 Steps]

Placing and adjusting the straight fork in your tapered frame is not a hard task to do. You just need to follow these steps accordingly. And you can get done with it easily.

Step 1: Remove the Old Tapered Fork 

To remove the old fork firstly you need to lose the stem bolts. Then loosen and remove the top cap. After that, you need to remove the stem, spacers, and headset cover. Then you can easily remove the fork from the frame.

Step 2: Set the Bottom Cup to the Straight Fork

I think you have already got an EC49/40 bottom cup. Now put the bottom cup on the fork and check is it nice and even or not. 

For the further installation process hold the cup nice and tight on the fork. Then you will need a standard race crown driver. Use the race crown driver and a hammer to install the bottom cup on the fork.

By the way, don’t tap the race crown driver too hard with the hammer. Tap it soft and even until the bottom cup feels nice and tight.

Step 3: Install the Fork in Frame

Before putting the fork in the frame put some grease on the bottom bearing. That will help to move the cap easily on the frame. Then put the fork in the frame.  

As the frame is a tapered frame so normally the straight for won’t fit in it. That’s why you need to use the top cup here. Put the top cup on the top side of the fork. The fork should feel nice and tight now.

After that, you need to insert the stem, spacers, and headset cover. Then insert and tighten the top cap. And lastly, tighten the stem bolts.

Straight Fork on Tapered Frame: How to Make It Work!


That’s it you are done with installing a straight fork in a tapered frame. And don’t forget to maintain your bike properly. 


Is a Tapered Fork Better Than Straight Fork?

Yes, you can say that tapered fork is better that straight fork in some aspects. There is a fundamental advantage of a tapered steerer tube. Which is that its conical form resists bending from bottom-up forces. And makes the fork feel firmer, especially fore/aft.

What Is the Advantage of a Tapered Frame?

The front end is stiffer and hence more responsive. Also, the head and down tube might be a stronger upgrade to a more advanced fork. Whether this is the case depends on the particular frame. But it has some advantages all over. 

What is Better Tapered Headset or Non-tapered?

Tapered headset is better than non-tapered headset. The taper adds a lot of stiffness for a small weight gain. A straight steerer tube is called non-taper. There are two sizes available: 1-1/8 inch and 1.5 inches (rare from what I have seen.) The bottom of the taper will be 1.5, and the top will be 1-1/8.

Final Words

Hope that answered all your queries regarding the customization. Now you know how to implement straight fork on tapered frame. 

If you have any more queries then you can drop them in the comment section. We’ll try to get back to you soon with a perfect solution.

Till then happy biking.

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