Bicycle plugs: device, types, selection and installation tips

Bicycle plugs: device, types, selection and installation tips

The plug is considered one of the most important components of the bike. It is responsible for fixing the axis of the wheel, adjusting the direction of the means of movement, as well as for the preservation of other bicycle components.

In this article, you will get acquainted with all useful information about bike forks: their device, varieties, as well as recommendations for their choice and installation.

Purpose and device

The plug in the bike is designed to perform almost the same function as the car suspension. She fixes the front wheel of the bicycle, is responsible for maneuverability and control of the vehicle through the steering wheel, as well as (depending on the variety) is able to significantly ease the movement of the cyclist on bad roads.

Most often when they talk about the functions and pluses of cycling forks, it is precisely about depreciable varieties of these units. This is the most popular type of forks to date, widely used both for mobils in city trails and country roads.


  • High-quality bicycle plug with shock absorption allows you to reduce the shock-vibration load coming from the wheel to the bicycle frame components and the steering wheel. This allows you to keep the bike for a long time with its constant operation on problem roads.
  • The plug of the amortization type allows you to maximize the speed of the means of movement on problem areas of the road. “Thorough effect”, which occurs when the wheel of a bike on irregularities or pit is absorbed by the shock absorbing mechanism.
  • Lack of problems during movement on the road areas with irregularities provides full control over the bike. In addition, some varieties of forks allow you to more effectively use a bike on turns and braking.
  • One of the most pleasant and useful features of the front plug with a shock absorber – the preservation of your health, as well as the convenience of movement. Agree, it is much more pleasant to move around the uneven road without constant shaking and douse. In addition, the decline in shock pressure on the steering wheel of the bicycle allows for a longer time to keep the health of your joints, which are treated with a tremendous stress.
  • Overcoming any irregularity on the road site slows down the bike, which forces the athlete to use even more forces for rapid movement on the highway. Consequently, the plug saves a huge amount of effort that can be effectively spent on overcoming longer distances.

Among the disadvantages of bicycle forks, you can allocate two.

  • The more complicated the design of the fork and the more functions it performs, the more weighting it, it is more. Separate models of bicycle forks can weigh up to 3 kg, which is 1/3 weight of most standard mountain bikes.
  • Athletes who, when performing maneuvers and tricks, use the potential of a flip of 100%, are forced to use additional energy to rock bike.

      The design of almost any cycling fork (will be considered on the example of the depreciation) consists of the following components.

      • Steering trumpet (or as some call – rod) connects the fork itself with the wheel and frame components. As a rule, it is performed in standardized sizes. There is a straight and cone-shaped species.
      • Crown or crown – performs the function of connecting internal pipes and pants responsible for fixing the wheel and axis. Cycling fork can be both with one and two crowns. Typically, this component is performed from the most durable materials, since it is the crown that takes on the main load from the wheel and pipes, especially when it comes to models without depreciation.
      • Foot or inner tube – This is a component of the plug, directly connected or pressed in the crown and outgoing forks (in aggregates with depreciation). Some experts call this component piston.
      • Settings or adjustments are located on the heads of “Foot”. It is through them that the wheel is pumped by air, if it comes to air models of forks.
      • Cuffs or glands are installed at the junction of the internal pipes in the pants, Thus, prevent dust and dirt getting into the depreciation mechanism.
      • Trousers are a kind of external case for the entire depreciation device. Their diameter larger piston diameter. At the bottom of the pants ends with drills, which are responsible for fixing the axis, and from above – “gorillas”, which, like the crown, are already connected by the pants themselves.
      • Gorillas or Boosters, There are far from all models of forks even with shock absorption. They are designed to evenly distribute the load from the pants.
      • Dropauts, As already mentioned, there are downstairs, where the axis of the wheel is fixed.
      • Damper is an internal filling of the “leg” or the self-absorbing mechanism itself.


      All cycling plugs can be divided into several independent species depending on the design, such as the fork itself and its depreciation mechanism.

      By the type of fork design there are Hard (or fixed), depreciation, double-sided, single-legged and “flutter”. Each of the types is intended for certain roads and separate bicycle models.

      Rigid or fixed

      Such models of cycling forks are considered the most simple and budget. There are no complex depreciation elements in such aggregates, but today they occupy a leading place in the bike fork market along with depreciation.

      Features of ride on fixed units:

      • Most often, they are installed on the bikes of a highway, designed to drive exclusively on even urban or professional trails+

      • Hard plugs are usually installed in bicycles of a pleasure or urban type that are not able to develop high speeds+

      • Hard-type models – the perfect option for children’s bikes due to the simplicity of the design and high level of control on smooth roads.

      Such popularity of bicycles with rigid forks is explained by a number of factors.

      • Weight. Due to the lack of complex depreciation mechanisms and additional fasteners, such aggregates are extremely small. Consequently, bicycles with such forks are very light, easy to operate and storage.
      • Structural construction. Fixed forks are not inferior in reliability models with shock absorber. All due to the monolithic structure of such forks, where small components are lacking, which can potentially break through the long and strong load on the bike.
      • Price. Bicycles with fixed structures usually cost much cheaper of the same shock absorption models. The price difference may vary up to 100 dollars and more.
      • Easy installation. Unlike other types of forks, hard can be installed absolutely to any type of bicycle. With their installation can handle almost every.

      Experts advise to buy fixed aggregates only if your goal is not daily off-road walks. These forks are the perfect option for long trips on good urban roads.


      Unlike the rigid models of the forks in these units, there is a depreciation mechanism, in the role of which only 3 elements can perform: oil, spring or air. There are models with both single (only spring) and with combined (air-oil) depreciation.

      The view of the shock absorber itself affects the quality of the unit, as well as on its price.

      The most popular species are It is the spring fork – they are easier than the rest of the design, installation and repair.

      The advantages, disadvantages, as well as the features of driving on depreciation forks, were already described in detail at the very beginning of the article: such forks allow you to move more efficiently and faster on off-road, the bicycle condition remains for a longer term and the health of the athlete itself remains. If we talk about minuses, then it is, first of all, Increased price and increased weight due to the complexity of the depreciation mechanism.


      The first models of the depreciation forks appeared in the second half of the twentieth century, but the experts only recently came to the conclusion that The main pressure and voltage of all elements of the fork takes on themselves when using a bicycle, it is a crown that connects the internal pipes and distributing the load between them. Especially strong pressure crown is subjected to off-road and with angular strikes of the wheel.

      This led to the creation of an aggregate with a completely new design, which assumed the use of two separate crowns that deterrent “legs”.

      From the advantages of such models can be allocated Phenomenal strength and reliability – Models of bicycles with such a design are considered one of the most durable. As for the minuses, this is, first of all, the increased weight, the elongated structure of “feet”, which allows you to use this technology far from every bike, as well as increased cost.


      This type is only gaining popularity on the modern cycling market. Initially, the creation of such bicycles was only a marketing move to attract the attention of customers, but over time, these models have become a full, albeit controversial, species with their own characteristics, pros and cons.

      Single-type forks are structures with one single foot fixing the wheel axis. Such models may also present depreciation elements that will be designed to ease the pressure on one leg of the bike.

      An unambiguous advantage of such bicycle models is considered a lightweight design that directly affects the total weight of the bike, as well as the relative reliability of such models, which is achieved by using heavy-duty materials.


      The design of such aggregates is as follows: the legs or inner pipes are used to fasten the drills and are located below, while the pants are located on top and joined the crown.

      This design allows you to provide a bike with maximum front depreciation and reduces the load on all components.

      These plugs have acquired their popularity due to the increased number of adjustments, as well as open access to the shock absorber mechanism. Despite this, such bicycles need constant care and are much more expensive than standard depreciation models.

      Depending on the type of shock-absorbing element, there are spring, oil and air models for a bicycle for a bicycle, as well as derived from combinations of these types.

      • Spring. The design of such a plug assumes the presence of special steel springs without the damper itself. This is the most budget version of the depreciation forks, as steel springs provide only partial depreciation. Most often such forks are used in cheap or children’s bikes.

      • Spring-elastomeric. In addition to the standard steel spring, such plugs are equipped with an additional elastomer rod, which partially performs a shock absorber function. The most obvious minus of such structures is the need for regular replacement of an elastomeric rod, which over time, especially from regular trips, is quickly erased.

      This type of depreciation is most often found in bicycles with rear depreciation.

      • Air (or pneumatic). Air in such forks immediately performs two roles: and the role of the spring, and the damper. Air under pressure is pumped into the fork mechanism using a special pump. Bicycles with such forks are not recommended to use with extreme driving – the mechanism of the shock absorber at heavy loads very quickly loses strength.

      • Oil-air (or hydraulic). In this case, the role of the damper is a special capsule with butter, and compressed air is used as a spring. This type is used in the manufacture of expensive bikes of a professional level, as it is able to withstand colossal loads and has a number of additional settings.

          • Oil-spring. This species is considered the highest quality. The function of the spring in such aggregates performs the standard steel spring, and the oil is used as a damper. Bicycles with depreciation of this type have an incredibly smooth stroke and are adapted for any ride style.


          Dimensions of bicycle forks can be varied depending on the type of unit itself and the purpose of the bike.

          While the total unit size can be from 20 to 26 inches (in rare cases until 29), Power rates differ depending on what type of bike is used.

          • Hybrids – 5-7 cm+
          • Cross Country – 8-10 cm+
          • Dört – 8-10 cm+
          • Competitions – 12-15 cm+
          • Freeride – 18-25 cm+
          • Downhill – 17-20 cm+
          • Hardcor-Freeride – 25-30 cm.

            In addition, for different ride styles, it is recommended to use structures with different feed diameters: from 28 mm for ordinary cycling and up to 42 mm – for hardcore freeride.

            What better to choose?

            Experienced athletes know that when choosing a plug for a bike is not sufficiently guided by some kind of defined brand and certainly not an appearance of the model.

            When choosing a plug for a bike, it is sober to appreciate not only the dimensions and a lot of bike, but also its own weight.

            For example, for a person with a thin build, it is necessary to choose models of a lightweight type, but we should think about the purchase of carboxylic or titanium bikes with high strength and elasticity aggregates weighing.

            Regardless of how long you are engaged in cycling, Only popular models of cycling components are always worth buying. They will just find a replacement or repair them.

            Very much in choosing depends on the style of driving you stick. For example, for measured travel on city roads, it will be economically unprofitable to buy an aggregate with a double crown and a oil-spring shock absorber – in such conditions they will not be able to develop their potential.

            The more often the hardest you ride, the more expensive and better should be a fork for your bike. Remember that sometimes it is better to buy a high-quality model in advance than replacing it in a year due to breakage.

            Review manufacturers

            When choosing a bike plug, it will be necessary to familiarize yourself with manufacturers who, According to most athletes, produce the highest quality units.

            • FOX – Great option for buying high-quality bike plug. This brand produces expensive high quality aggregates with a long service life.

            • SR Suntour – Products manufactured by this company refers to budget and can compete with strength and reliability with many premium brands. Recently, the range of high-quality bicycle aggregates under this brand was supplemented by expensive titanium models, and therefore among Russian consumers such forks will meet not particularly often.

            • Zoom – It is considered one of the most budget brands for the manufacture of cycling components. Products of this company are characterized by high strength, reliability and offers for purchase both standard spring and air-and-oil forks.

            • Manitou – A very common brand, which has been in demand for more than 20 years in demand in America and Europe. Releases high-quality and expensive types of forks (“flippers” and spring-oil), which are used in creating professional highway bicycles.

            Installation rules

            The only rule when installing a bicycle fork (any type besides hard) – use the help of qualified specialists who can competently connect all bicycle components.

              If the desire to set it yourself is too large, you can get acquainted with the following video.

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