How to choose a fork for a freestyle scooter and what is its purpose?
The fork is one of the most important elements of a freestyle scooter because it is she who will come to hold the wheel before. It is also this component that will allow you to control the scooter in combination with the handlebars.
The different materials of a freestyle scooter fork:
The forks are made mostly from aluminum alloy. But there are also steel forks and some manufacturers try the titanium forks.
- The aluminum forks are very light, weigh around 300 grams, and are suitable for all types of riders. This material is not very dense and flexible, it forces the brands to make thick forks but allowing to have very solid finished products. Attention in case of wear well to check if there is no crack on this last one, it could break dryly in full trick.
- The steel forks were the first to equip our freestyle scooters. They are heavier than aluminum forks without being stronger. Less expensive to manufacture, the selling price will be much more attractive. Today we find mainly this type of fork on scooters walks, entry-level freestyle or on older models.
- The titanium forks are still in the prototyping phase, but we can already imagine that they will be present in the future of the sport. Titanium is a stronger material than aluminum for less weight, what more can you ask for? However it is also a more expensive material and therefore a product a little less accessible in terms of budget.
The shape and angle of the freestyle scooter fork, a choice for every rider:
There are forks of all shapes but finally there are only 2 major categories: OFFSET and 0 °OFFSET. The difference between these two names lies in the angle of the fork.
- 0 °OFFSET means that the axis of the wheel is in the continuity of the fork in its center. The wheel is at 0 °that it is forward or backward relative to the center of the fork tube. This allows you to have a more responsive fork and without worrying about the fork sense you can ride your fork upside down as well.
- OFFSET means, conversely, that the axis of the wheel is a little offset from the center of the tube of the fork. This is the most common case with generally 10 °OFFSET. In this case the fork allows a better stability, it will however force a little more for figures like "noses manuals"for example. Some riders return their fork to find the effect of a fork 0 °OFFSET, but beware of faceplants!
The diameters of the existing forks:
On the market, there are 2 types of fork diameters:
- Forks Ø27.8mm outside which represents the majority of products available. This average diameter finally corresponds to what is called the standard diameter which has not changed since the appearance of freestyle scooters. These forks are adaptable with an HIC compression system, an ICS and an SCS.
- IHC forks are smaller in diameter. In fact, it is fork with an integrated compression system called IHC and only works with this type of fork. When equipped with this combo you finally get a fork Ø27,8mm outside but already compressed, you just need to install your handlebars above.
A freestyle scooter fork with or without thread:
The question does not really arise since today, most of the forks are made without thread for an easier connection between the bar and the fork. Threaded forks are a residue of older bicycle-style nut compression systems. Today they are found only on the steel forks of city scooters or some entry-level freestyle.
For unthreaded forks, keep in mind that a compression system is needed for proper use.
Fork IHC, ICS or HIC:
In the case of threadless forks, there are several depending on the compression systems for which they are designed.
- The IHC forks, we have seen previously what it was. It is a lower diameter fork that works in a duo with an integrated compression system called IHC, which, when equipped and compressed, equals the same diameter as a standard fork.
- The ICS forks are of standard diameter and hollow, without internal thread so as to pass the compression screw ICS systems. These forks are not usable with an HIC or SCS.
- The HIC / SCS forks are easily identifiable, they are always sold with a compression screw at the top of the fork tube. This same screw is to be reused to install the different compression systems SCQ or HIC. This type of fork is not adaptable with an ICS compression system.