How to replace mountain bike fork

replace mtb front fork

If you want to upgrade your mountain bike with a new front fork, you have to dismantle the old one. Replacing a front fork is a very simple job. On this page you will discover how best to do this, what you need and what you should pay attention to.

Why replace the MTB front fork?

There can be several reasons why you would want to replace an mountain bike front fork. For example, the old one may be worn out or badly damaged after a fall. However, it may also be the case that you want to upgrade your mountain bike with a better front fork. For example, a model where you can adjust the compression damping yourself.

The most important reasons to replace a mountain bike fork:

  • The front fork is worn or damaged
  • You want to equip your MTB with a better front fork
  • The mountain bike wheels you want are not suitable for the current front fork

Fortunately, replacing the mountain bike front fork is not a difficult job.

replace mtb front fork
Replacing the front fork is easy. ©

Tools for replacing the MTB front fork

Before we start replacing the front fork, it is smart to grab all the necessary mountain bike tools. You need:

  • 6mm Allen key, for loosening the caliper
  • 4mm Allen key, for disassembling the mountain bike handlebar
  • Tray for stuff, so you don’t lose anything
  • Nylon hammer
  • Screwdriver

It may be that the centering rings and the headset bearings need to be replaced. I advise you to purchase a new set of headset bearings with the head of a new front fork.

Front fork MTB replacement step-by-step plan

Do you have your new mountain bike fork at home? Then we can dismantle the old one.

Follow the steps below to replace the MTB front fork.

  1. Put the mountain bike on a stand or hang it in the air

    When replacing the front fork, it is important that the front wheel hangs loose above the ground. An mountain bike stand can be very useful here.

  2. Remove the front fender

    Do you have a front fender on your mountain bike? Then you have to disassemble it first.

  3. Remove the front wheel

    Use the quick release to quickly and easily remove the front wheel from the mountain bike.

  4. Remove the brake caliper

    Unscrew the brake caliper using an Allen key (6 mm) and then hang it over the frame so that it does not get in the way.

  5. Now unscrew the top cap

    After loosening the top cap you can remove the stem and the spacers (if you use them). Make sure that the front fork does not fall out of the mountain bike now; so hold him.disassemble mtb handlebars

  6. Slide the front fork out of the mountain bike (at the headset)

    It often happens that the front fork gets stuck in the mountain bike. If this is the case, you can carefully tap out the MTB front fork with a nylon hammer.

  7. Remove the headset from the frame

    Now remove the rest of the headset from the mountain bike frame (bottom and top). Do this very carefully with a nylon hammer and a screwdriver and distribute the taps all around.

Now that you have disassembled the mountain bike front fork, you can mount the new front fork. To do this, follow the above steps in reverse order. Tip: Before you disassemble the new front fork, you can grease the MTB headset. It is also important to pay close attention to the headset bearing and check the centering rings. Are these due for replacement? Then buy new ones before you mount the new front fork.

FAQ Replacing a mountain bike front fork

Can you replace an MTB front fork yourself?

You can easily replace the front fork of a bicycle yourself. Make sure that you use the right tools and that you have the possibility to hang the bicycle in the air.

Which tools do I need?

To replace the front fork you need several Allen keys, a nylon hammer and a screwdriver.

What should I pay attention to when replacing the front fork?

If you remove the handlebars, the front fork may fall out of the frame. So hold it tight. In addition, it is also important to properly check the centering rings and the headset bearings before mounting the new front fork. My tip: buy a set of headset bearings and centering rings in addition to a new front fork.

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