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Fortunatley, I haven't had to change forks in a long time. (i hope I didnt jinx myself). Forks connect to your frame and hold on your front wheel. Most forks are pretty similar. However the dropout type and offset varies, and that's what we are talking about today. Here's how a fork will affect your riding...
Really good video from vital, about it here!
Offset is a term used to describe the angle that the forks are at. This is probably the most important part of forks. Knowing the offset helps you make the right choice based on your riding.
Steep offset: Makes your bike more responsive and nose manuals easier. Steering will be really snappy and quick.
A steep offset is considered 15º to 25º
Mellow Offset: Will make the bike feel more controllable. Turns will be slower and feel less crazy. Poping into nose manuals will be hard.
A mellow offset is 28º to 32º
The dropout is where the front wheel bolts on. A lot of frames crack on the dropout. This gives us a growing concern about the type of dropout we buy.
Some dropouts are investment cast. Meaning that they are separate from the fork. These dropouts are pressed into the forks and then welded. Making them a lot stronger.
Dropouts can be 3/8" or 14mm. 14mm is old school thick axles and 3/8" is what everyone is riding nowadays. You shouldn't have to worry about this but who knows.
I have seen open and closed dropouts. This is strange and I'm not sure the point. But if you get a fork with closed dropouts, you need a wheel with a female axle.
A steer tube has different heights. This doesn't affect your riding, but it can affect your brakes and your "stack height" of the stem. I usually try and keep my steer tube the same when upgrading.
A long steer tube will make your stem higher, therefore, raising your bar height.
A short steer tube makes the bars feel lower, but also might not fit all of the stuff required to fit gyro brake gear.
Reach out on Instagram, and I'll help you find the perfect forks.