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How to replace your fork

If you have a new fork you need to install, check out this post for a step-by-step guide on how to do it correctly.

Replacing your fork can up your bikes performance, and buying is the easy part. The real issue lies in how to remove and replace your old one. Below, is a step-by-step guide to help you through this process.

Tools needed

Before starting, it’s always best to lay out the tools you need. To remove your old fork and replace it with a new one, you need the following:

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Step 1: Prepping the old fork for removal

Step 1: Prepping the old fork for removal

To ensure the old fork can be removed as easily as possible, do the following:

  • Remove the front wheel. This can be done is various ways, in our case we needed a 5 mm hex key to the take out the axle.
  • Unscrew the hose guide from the fork.
  • Before unbolting the brake caliper, make sure to insert a transport block in between the brake pads.
  • Now, you can remove the brake caliper.

Tips: Use an O-ring or rubber bands to hold the brake caliper bolts, spacers and adapters together.

To keep the caliper from flopping around, cable tie it to the handlebars.

To ensure the old fork can be removed as easily as possible, do the following:

  • Remove the front wheel. This can be done is various ways, in our case we needed a 5 mm hex key to the take out the axle.
  • Unscrew the hose guide from the fork.
  • Before unbolting the brake caliper, make sure to insert a transport block in between the brake pads.
  • Now, you can remove the brake caliper.

Tips: Use an O-ring or rubber bands to hold the brake caliper bolts, spacers and adapters together.

To keep the caliper from flopping around, cable tie it to the handlebars.

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Step 2: Removing the old fork

Step 2: Removing the old fork

Tip: Before starting this step, use a stool or similar to keep the old fork from falling out.

  • First, unscrew the Ahead headset cap.
  • Then, unscrew the stem and remove it from the fork’s steerer tube.
  • To keep the handlebars from damaging the frame and the hoses from kinking, strap the cockpit to the frame with padding.
  • Before pulling the fork out, set the spacers and top of the headset off to the side.
  • Now, you can slide the fork out from the head tube.

Tip: Before starting this step, use a stool or similar to keep the old fork from falling out.

  • First, unscrew the Ahead headset cap.
  • Then, unscrew the stem and remove it from the fork’s steerer tube.
  • To keep the handlebars from damaging the frame and the hoses from kinking, strap the cockpit to the frame with padding.
  • Before pulling the fork out, set the spacers and top of the headset off to the side.
  • Now, you can slide the fork out from the head tube.
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Step 3: Removing then reinstalling the crown race

Step 3: Removing then reinstalling the crown race

  • Using a crown race removal tool, you can re-use the old crown race on your new fork.
  • Now the old fork can be set aside, it will no longer be needed.
  • Before installing the crown race to the new fork, make sure to apply grease at the contact points.
  • Use a crown race setting tool to install the crown race to the new fork.
  • Using a crown race removal tool, you can re-use the old crown race on your new fork.
  • Now the old fork can be set aside, it will no longer be needed.
  • Before installing the crown race to the new fork, make sure to apply grease at the contact points.
  • Use a crown race setting tool to install the crown race to the new fork.
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Step 4: Cutting the new fork’s steerer tube to length

Step 4: Cutting the new fork’s steerer tube to length

  • Before cutting the new fork’s steerer tube, slide it into the head tube of your bike putting the top of the headset, spacers and stem on top.
  • To keep the fork from falling out, lightly tighten the stem clamp bolts.
  • Now, take a flat head screwdriver or other sharp object and mark where the top of the stem is on the fork.
  • Note: the steerer tube will be cut roughly 2-3 mm below this mark.
  • Cutting the steerer tube should be done with either a saw or a pipe cutter.
  • Once cut, remove any burrs from the inside and outside of the steerer tube where it was cut using a file, sandpaper or a reaming tool.
  • Before cutting the new fork’s steerer tube, slide it into the head tube of your bike putting the top of the headset, spacers and stem on top.
  • To keep the fork from falling out, lightly tighten the stem clamp bolts.
  • Now, take a flat head screwdriver or other sharp object and mark where the top of the stem is on the fork.
  • Note: the steerer tube will be cut roughly 2-3 mm below this mark.
  • Cutting the steerer tube should be done with either a saw or a pipe cutter.
  • Once cut, remove any burrs from the inside and outside of the steerer tube where it was cut using a file, sandpaper or a reaming tool.
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Step 5: Installing the star nut

Step 5: Installing the star nut

  • It is important that the star nut is installed into the steerer tube straight and level. Using a star nut installation tool makes this easy.
  • First lay the star nut into the tool and then, using a hammer, pound it into the steerer tube.
  • Correctly installed, the star nut sits roughly 15 mm in the steerer tube.
  • It is important that the star nut is installed into the steerer tube straight and level. Using a star nut installation tool makes this easy.
  • First lay the star nut into the tool and then, using a hammer, pound it into the steerer tube.
  • Correctly installed, the star nut sits roughly 15 mm in the steerer tube.
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Step 6: Installing the new fork

Step 6: Installing the new fork

  • Now, you can slide the new fork into the head tube for final installation.
  • The top of the headset, spacers and the stem can be slid on the steerer tube as well.
  • To keep the fork from falling out, go ahead and tighten the Ahead-set cap. To properly adjust your headset, check out another one of our posts here.
  • After, the brake caliper can be reattached. To make the proper adjustments, refer to another post here.
  • Bolt the hose guide and brake hose onto the new fork.
  • Lastly, reinstall the front wheel.
  • Now, you can slide the new fork into the head tube for final installation.
  • The top of the headset, spacers and the stem can be slid on the steerer tube as well.
  • To keep the fork from falling out, go ahead and tighten the Ahead-set cap. To properly adjust your headset, check out another one of our posts here.
  • After, the brake caliper can be reattached. To make the proper adjustments, refer to another post here.
  • Bolt the hose guide and brake hose onto the new fork.
  • Lastly, reinstall the front wheel.

When everything is installed and properly adjusted, it is time to hit the trail. So have fun with your new fork and keep shredding!