Change Bike Forks

The fork is the drop bar section where the front tire is attached to the bicycle.

Changing out a bicycle’s forks, also called the front suspension, requires the old fork be removed prior to the new fork being added. Instead of spending money for the swap to be done at a bicycle repair shop, do the change yourself. The task takes approximately two hours and is done using standard bicycle tools.


1. Place the bicycle into the work stand. Remove the front wheel by releasing the quick release lever on the side and opening the brakes. Unscrew the brakes from the old fork using the Allen wrenches. Unscrew the handlebar stem screws and remove the handlebars and the stem.

2. Place the cloth on the top of the exposed fork top where the stem was removed. Tap the top of the stem through the cloth using the rubber mallet to knock the old fork out of the bicycle frame. Wipe the area around the bicycle frame where the fork was removed to clean it of any grease or debris. Remove any remaining spacer rings from the stem tube.

3. Find the bearing cup of the old fork. This is a recessed ring that holds a series of steel ball bearings packed in grease. You need this for the new fork and headset.

4. Slide the bearing cup onto the steering tube of the new fork. The steering tube is the main tube in the center of the fork. Make sure it is flush with the crown, or top, of the tube. Push the steering tube up and into the bicycle frame by inserting it from under the tube. The steering tube will be pushed up to where the stem is attached. Slide the top bearing cup ring and any spacers onto the steering tube and pack down so they are flush together.

5. Cut down the steering tube if it is too long. Measure twice and cut once to ensure the tube is the proper length. Insert the stem cap onto the steering tube and add the handlebar stem. Tighten the stem cap with the Allen wrench to secure the fork to the bicycle. Attach the handlebars at the stem and attach the brakes to the new fork.

6. Place the wheel onto the new fork, close the brakes and remove the bicycle from the work stand. Take a test ride to check for any wobbling or knocking at the steering tube. If the wheel wobbles, tighten the stem cap further.