Forks are one of the essential components of a mountain bike. High-quality forks contribute to the performance of the bike and the rider’s enjoyment.
However, only some people can afford such forks due to their outrageous prices. This problem is enough to wonder what makes them so costly.
Therefore, it is best to read this article thoroughly to know the answer to why mountain bike forks are expensive and other related questions.
Mountain bike forks are expensive due to several factors. These factors include their construction, quality of production material, and design features, including the stanchion’s diameter, adjustability, and travel distance. All these factors contribute to the high cost of forks. In addition, the effectiveness of the forks impacts their cost price.
In this article, I will explain why mountain bike forks are so costly if expensive mountain bike forks are worth it, and which one is the most expensive.
By the end, you’ll also know the differences between cheap and expensive mountain bike forks.
Why Are Mountain Bike Forks So Costly?
Several factors make mountain bike forks expensive. Although not all of them are costly, the factors contribute to the high cost of few.
Here are the reasons mountain bike forks are costly.
#1. The Importance of the Forks
Mountain bike forks have a durable design that allows them to absorb much impact. The bike is prone to several impacts that it successfully survives.
As the bike’s front wheel encounters impacts during a ride, it sends a force through the frame. The force travels upward to the rider’s hand, arms, and wrists.
The fork absorbs some of these shocks. At the same time, the fork keeps the bike’s wheel in contact with the ground and from bending to the side.
Hence, the mountain bike fork gives stability and direction while acting as a shield to protect the rider from the shocks from impact through the front wheel.
Such an important component like this will cost a few extra bucks. After all, you can’t do without having one on your bike.
#2. The Distance of Travel
The meaning of travel is the ability of the force applied on the front wheel without lifting the bike off the ground to make its front suspension fork respond by moving up.
The movement of the support in the fork’s leg or lower part reduces the impact on the rider. As a result, an expensive mountain bike fork will have longer travel than cheaper ones.
For example, a cheaper fork can travel for about 100 mm, while a costly one will allow travel between 150 mm to 180 mm.
Although the amount of travel in the cheaper one is enough to absorb the impact of the road’s irregularities, such as potholes, stones, and half-buried roots.
It is also sufficient for riding trails and cross-country riding. But on the other hand, the costly ones are adequate for drop-offs, steeper up and down hills, and jumps.
However, more expensive forks are best for downhill racing because the pressure is on the front suspension.
These are technological upgrades that allow travel between 180 mm to 200 mm. So, your choice may be expensive due to the amount of travel.
#3. The adjustability of the Fork
Expensive forks have adjustable air springs for their stiffness or spring rate. This adjustment works by reducing or increasing air within a few minutes.
It allows the bike to give you the best possible ride, irrespective of the terrain. On the other hand, the cheaper ones do not have enough adjustability to adapt to different riding terrains.
You can only use the adjustment to lock out the travel to make the fork rigid to an extent.
#4. Quality of the Forks
High-quality mountain bike forks contain high-quality materials such as steel, aluminum, and magnesium alloys.
Steel is the heaviest material known to man, and it costs a lot of money to produce and acquire it. So any company using steel for manufacturing will have to increase the production cost.
At the same time, aluminum and magnesium alloys are lightweight and equally strong. As a result, companies also use them as an alternative material for producing forks.
In recent times, carbon fiber has become famous for specific parts. Unfortunately, these mountain bike forks come in grades, and you will have to spend more to get top-quality ones.
#5. The Mountain Bikes Stanchion Diameter
Mountain bikes have larger stanchions than normal bikes, contributing to their higher cost. The stanchions on mountain bikes are 32 mm to 40 mm.
The 40 mm stanchion diameter is essential for downhill racing as the rider needs rigidity for performance and handling.
At the same time, the 32mm stanchion is best for cross-country trails with fewer obstacles, drop-offs, and jumps.
Are Expensive MTB Forks Worth it?
Expensive mountain bike forks are worth every amount of money spent on them. They are perfect for more aggressive riding.
These types of the fork should be a top choice for a competitive rider, a downhill racer, and an enduro participant.
Expensive forks give the rider adequate control, perfect handling, reliability, and disability through challenging terrains.
Although the cheaper mountain bike forks can go on less demanding trails, the difference in their prices is evident in their performance and quality.
It is advisable to spend so much money to get better quality than having to replace it frequently due to cheap and low-quality forks.
What is the Most Expensive Mountain Bike Fork?
The most costly mountain bike fork is the Trust Message Fork. The current cost price for this fork is about $2,700 (this price is likely to change).
This fork has its wheel axle behind the linkage system rather than in front. This feature gives it more stability by maintaining the handling during suspension compression.
The fork’s offset changes in correspondence to the compression of its suspension to maintain the bike’s handling.
In addition, the Trust Message fork design features a variable leverage ratio common to the rear suspension system.
The fork has a flexible beginning stroke ratio that hardens as it goes through its travel. This system increases the bottom-out resistance.
The fork’s design also reduces friction caused by stanchions sliding through bushings and seals.
Unlike other forks’ combined abilities to be stiff to withstand impacts and allow friction, the Trust message has different features for this.
The fork’s linkage enhances the movement of the suspension, while the chassis is responsible for the structural stiffness.
Another advantage of this fork is the ability to avoid diving when you brake, and it helps to improve the bike’s geometry and enhance the rider’s control.
It has a 130 mm travel distance and weighs 1.980 grams. The fork has a carbon fiber chassis and carbon steerer linkages and tube.
Furthermore, the Trust Message fork works with 29-, 27.-5, and 27.5+- inch bike tire sizes and can take a width of up to 2.8-inch tires.
It’s a three-way adjustable damper based on the riding terrain and skills for the firm, mid and open modes.
The fork uses a 15×110 boost axle spacing compatible with tapered head tubes. A 180 mm, direct mount brake system is present, but you can run a 203mm rotor with an adaptor.
What is the Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Mountain Bike Forks?
A few obvious differences exist between a cheap and expensive mountain bike fork. However, the most significant difference is in their performance and prices.
The table below outlines the differences between both types of forks.
|Cheap Mountain Bike Forks||Expensive Mountain Bike Forks|
|They offer lesser absorbing ability.||They absorb the impacts better.|
|Few adjustable and customizable features.||More adjustable and customizable features.|
|They are heavier and more flexible.||They are lighter and stiffer.|
|Their flexibility makes them suitable for smooth terrains.||Their increased rigidity allows them to withstand rough terrains.|
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