Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Bouncing Bits: Terminology Time

All right, time for some basic terminology here so we are all on the same page!

fork: Obviously the front fork for your bicycle in a suspension flava!

crown: The part of the fork that connects the two stanchions together and has the steer tube connected to it as well.

stanchion: The part of the fork that is fitted to the crown and interfaces with the sliders.

steer tube: The tube fitted to the center of the fork crown and allows the mounting of the headset crown race. Usually threadless, it extends up through the frames head tube and allows the connection of the stem, which usually clamps around the top of this tube.

sliders: The part of the fork that usually includes the dropouts , fork brace, and (usually) the brake mounting studs. The disc only option on a fork will eliminate the brake mounting studs. The sliders also will most commonly have disc mounting tabs to allow the use of a disc brake. The sliders usually overlap the stanchions and allow the fork to compress due to a force applied at the wheel.

dropouts: The "pockets" shaped to allow the front axle to be clamped to the fork sliders by the use of a quick release skewer, or bolted on, in the case of a"through axle" front wheel.

fork brace: The part that bridges the two sliders together, and usually includes the provisions for the brake mounting studs, if so equipped. The fork brace and the sliders are usually cast into a single unit these days.

disc mounting tabs: The points on the left slider that allow for the mounting of a disc brake caliper.

brake mounting studs: Points at the base of the fork brace for the mounting of linear pull brakes.

Okay! That about covers the basic physical elements of a front suspension fork. Next time, I'll delve into some basic terminology that describes how a suspension fork works, and we'll take off from there. Kinda boring, but ya gotta start somewhere!

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