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Front Axle Alignment


Mxtr

One key mistake that I see out at the track is improper front axle installation. Believe or not, this makes a big difference to how the suspension works. Although one would think this is very simple procedure, front suspension action will suffer if the proper steps are not taken. Here are a few simple tips many people out at the track could use to ensure proper fork alignment.

 

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First, with the wheel off, check to see if the shouldered end of the axle will slide freely through the right fork leg. If the suspension has been serviced by a shop, it is possible that they held the fork by the axle clamp in a vise. Occasionally, the axle clamp surface gets slightly compressed and the axle will not slide freely through the clamp. If the axle does not move freely in the clamp, the axle clamp must be de-burred with a file or sandpaper.

 

Once the axle slides smoothly in the axle clamp, place the wheel between the forks and the brake disc correctly between the brake pads. Apply a thin coating of Redline Assembly Lube to the axle. This is a thin grease that is used by most pro mechanics. Pro Circuit sells the same type of lube. Insert the axle and tighten the axle nut. If the axle spins while tightening the nut, hold the opposite side with a 19mm allen tool or lightly tighten one of the left (brake caliper) side pinch bolts. Now bring the nut up to the proper torque. Torque both of the left side pinch bolts.

 


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With the right side pinch bolts loose, center the right side fork leg on the axle. Some guys do this by compressing the forks repeatedly or by spinning the wheel and abruptly pulling the brake lever. I prefer to grab the lower right fork leg and just move it side-to-side to center it. The end of the axle is generally flush in the lower right fork leg. This will ensure that both fork legs are parallel as they go down in the stroke. Now, torque the remaining right side pinch bolts.

 

The key to this process is having the shouldered end of the axle free to center itself in the right fork leg before you tighten the right side pinch bolts.



User Feedback

Recommended Comments

great topic!

Once I have the axle tight I loosen both pinch bolts then push the fork through its travel several times while keeping the front break locked. Usually repeat this after i lay down the bike too :-p

Ps: might wanna let the readers know what side right or left are(drive side, caliper side,etc), don't wanna sound like a knob but some people reading these instructions might be a little green.

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