Are your Forks Binding? Would you like to know if they are?

2 replies to this topic
  • Krannie McKranface

Posted August 05, 2014 - 02:41 PM


For some reason, on all my WR's, the front forks do not naturally 'settle' in the correct spacing by themselves.

Meaning, even with the front wheel off, the fork tubes are not parrallel to each other. To some extent this is normal.

If this is not corrected at the time of installing the front wheel, your forks will 'bind' internally, as they move up and down.

This will cause premature wear, but most of all, the forks will not work as smoothly, and usually become very harsh around mid stroke.


The simplest way to check your forks to see if they are parralell is to use one of these:  a telescoping magnet tool.

If yours is like mine, it is no longer 'loose' and acutally holds it position when extended, firmly enough for our purposes.






Loosen all the front axle clamps and nuts.

I have the fork protectors removed to make the measurement easier

Using a nut driver and a large hex insert tool, rotate the wheel to make sure there are no 'high' spots on the combination of the axel, spacers, and lugs.

Mine had a pronounce high spot, and I rotated it until the wheel appeared most centered, and the wheel spun the longest.



I marked the 'best' location for the axel with a sharpie and a punch, so I can return to this position in the future.






Now, using the telescoping magnet tool, I place the tool between the fork tubes, and extend till there is no gap




....then remove the tool, carefull not to extend or compress it, and repeat the process at the top of the fork tubes.....and HOLY CRAP look at the difference!

Yes, it looks like in the photo the measurement is not square, but trust me it was when it mattered.




So what does this mean?  It means the triple clamps are pushing the forks together at an angle, putting them out of parralell. 

It does not take much of an error at the top to create a much larger error at the bottom of the forks....


Fixing the problem at the clamps is the ultimate solution, but not practical for our purposes.

More than likely, my DHR fork clamps were not made correctly. They were prototypes that found their way on to the bike via the PO. 

You should also rotate the fork tubes next time you have the front wheel off, to make sure they are not bent.

Years of riding with binding forks usually bends them a small amount.

They can be straighted, and the lug repositioned if needed.


So now you tighten the Axle down about 5ftlbs, and tighten the right axle clamps (opposite the disc) enought to hold fork lug in place if you were to move it left and right against the axle.


Using a dead-blow hammer, you tap the fork lug in the direction necessary to correct the fork bowing. In my case, the bottom of the forks were too close together, so I hit the lug to pull the forks apart.


Then you re meaure,  and re-position the lug until the distance between the fork tubes is the same at the top and the bottom.






And after:



You can see how much the fork lug had to be slid to the outside to get the forks parralell.

Here I am scoring the axle so I can return to this position next time I reinstall the wheel.



It is also an extremely good idea to remove the disc pad pins (upper/lower most threaded holes have pins in them) and clean and polish them.

Otherwise, the disc will bind against the pads, as the pads will not be returning to their rest positon.

If the pin has any visible wear, replace it.


Tighten the axle lugs, then the axle nut, and re-install the fork protectors. 


So, now you have forks the work straight and true. 

You will find that they are suddenly much more supple, and too soft, if your forks were binding.

Resist the temtation to willie-nellie change the clickers, until you get used to it.

Two clicks in on the compression and maybe one in on the rebound is usuall all it takes.



Edited by Kah Ran Nee, August 05, 2014 - 02:49 PM.

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  • mebgardner

Posted August 06, 2014 - 06:53 AM


Nice writeup, Krannie.



  • fixitandy

Posted August 07, 2014 - 05:14 AM


Nice job Krannie, you sure know how to find stuff to play with, nice wheel-set BTW those Excel pro series are fine pieces, ROOSTA out!


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