Upgrading to a Longer Travel MTB Fork

Over time, the improvement in your riding skills and the choice of the terrain might make you feel that you need an upgrade to a longer travel MTB Fork. Is that so?

The upgrade could be an exciting thing to do. However, you should expect a few changes in the existing performance and condition of your bike.

Changes in the bike weight:

While upgrading to a longer travel MTB Fork, you’ll require stanchions with a higher diameter, which means an overall heavier bike.

Increase in precision and accuracy:

The use of a stiffer bike fork ensures higher precision and efficiency during the ride. With all the other bike settings the same, you can expect your bike to go exactly where the handlebars are pointed.

Expected changes in the geometry:

When upgrading to a travel MTB Fork, you should expect some changes in the geometry as well. An increase in length of the handlebar results in rising of the handlebar, which changes the head tube angle too. As a general rule of thumb, with an addition of each 20mm of travel, a difference of 1-degree head tube angle should be expected.

Even the wheelbase won’t be at the previous position. All of these changes mean alterations in the overall bicycle performance.

Bike handling:

How big of a fork can I put on my bike? If you have this question, then you’ll have to consider it from the angle of bike handling. The longer wheelbase and slacker headtube can create a positive impact on your bike’s performance when going downhill. However, with these changes, your bike won’t respond to your steering with the same accuracy as it previously had been.

So, to answer your question, you can easily go for the bike forks that are 20mm larger than their original size. Going beyond this level might still not be an issue; however, you’ll have to be prepared for the differences.

Summing up:

Upgrading to a longer travel MTB Fork within a limit isn’t an issue. However, increasing the bike fork size drastically can alter the frame geometry considerably. You might not get the desired results with such a change, and you’ll more likely be out of the manufacturer’s warranty, so keep these factors under consideration.

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