Year by Year big suspension companies present new forks, however last year was a bit of a game changer with fork performance improving dramatically. In Issue #009 of the magazine we presented a group test of all the leading forks for the 2014 season, and made our choice for the benchmark this year. If you now want to upgrade your bike, we will guide you through the process of mounting a new fork.
Mounting a new fork into the frame is not complicated but you need a lot of tools to do it. Level:
Crown Race Setter
Star Fangled Nut Setter
4mm and 5mm Allen Tool
The first step is to install the crown race onto the new fork. You find this either in your new headset, or have to remove it from the old fork if you are keeping the old headset in place.
To be sure that the crown race is installed correctly on the fork you should use a crown setter. If the cone is slotted you will not need the crown setter, simply pop it on.
Now the fork can be installed in the frame for the first time.
The next step is to install the cockpit in your favorite position. To leave room for variations in the future you may want to add some spacers above the stem.
With a pen or screw driver the right length of the fork can be marked.
To shorten the fork there are various possibilities. We opted to use a pipe cutter for accuracy. This is usually faster, but requires subsequent deburring of the shaft. Remember measure twice and cut once!
You can also cut the shaft with a hacksaw. A saw guide provides the straight cut.
The steerer has to be deburred inside…
… and outside too.
In order to be able to adjust the bearing tension, we have to fit an star fangled nut into the shaft. ATTENTION: Never hammer the nut into a carbon shaft, as the nut will become clamped.
The nut first gets screwed into the threadless nut setter.
And then gets hammered into the shaft. The tool provides the correct depth for the nut.
Before mounting the headset it should be greased.
To protect the headset from water and dirt, the bearing race should get greased too.
Now the fork can get installed into the frame finally.
Before you tighten the mounting screws of the stem, the headset cap needs to be correctly tensioned first.
All done! The RockShox Pike found it way into the Focus SAM Frame.
Words: Christoph Bayer Pictures: Christoph Bayer