Distinguishing air fork and oil fork for MTB . terrain power bike
by Vy Nhat on Jun 06, 2023
With a mountain bike, surely no one is unfamiliar with the concept of mechanical fork, oil fork or air fork. But to distinguish where is the oil fork, where is the air fork, not everyone can grasp it. How to adjust the fork to suit each user, each type of terrain...
1. The shock absorber is composed of what parts?
Any MTB power-assisted bicycle fork is composed of 2 main parts: Spring - Spring has the function of bearing and absorbing impulses and Damper - Damper has the function of extinguishing vibrations.
- Springs: There are two types of springs: air springs and coil springs. Based on this to distinguish the type of fork: indentation vs spring fork
- Shock absorbers: Currently, there are only oil shock absorbers, used in both of the above fork types, so if you rely on oil shock absorbers and call them oil forks, 100% of them are all oil forks.
Forks from cheap to expensive must have enough springs and dampers, missing one of the two will not work. Cheap fork, these parts are also at a minimal level, not adjustable. The more expensive the fork, the more adjustments there are:
Spring adjustment: with coil spring, there is usually a Preload +/- knob, the purpose is to increase or decrease the pre-compression of the spring in accordance with the weight of the person and the vehicle. With air spring, people change the compressed air pressure in the steam chamber through the Air + steam valve (or even Air - if it is a Dual air indentation). These adjustments are usually located on the left fork.
Adjust the damping: there is a rebound button to change the opening of the oil hole, the lock to close and open the oil hole (some types of indents have a mechanical Lock or a hard Lock), Gate to adjust the threshold level so that if the threshold is exceeded, the temporary Lock ineffective. These adjustments are usually located on the right fork.
Distinguish types of forks
Coil Fork – Spring Fork
This is a type of fork that uses compression mainly in springs made of steel or Titanium. In addition, the Coil fork does not depend on the rate of impact force like the Air fork, for example, when absorbing an impulse of 100kg, the spring fork will reduce the stroke by 10mm, the impulse reaches 200kg, the stroke will decrease by 20mm.
Coil Fork – Spring Fork
Advantages of Coil fork – Spring fork:
- Easier to maintain and maintain than Air fork.
- Cheaper price.
- Often used for Dowhill, Freeride cars due to its better ability to absorb shocks and better bearing.
2.2 Air fork – Air fork
Air fork is the exact opposite of Coil, which uses compressed air to act as a spring. Once an external force is applied to the fork, the air is immediately compressed. The impact of the force with the compression is proportional to each other, the stronger the impact force, the higher the compression.
Air Fork – Air Fork
Due to the use of compressed air, the advantage of the Air fork is that it is very light and easy to adjust depending on the weight of the rider. All you need is a fork pump, open the valve cover, and pump according to the pressure ratio the manufacturer states in the manual.
The weakness of the Air fork is that the compressed air pressure can be changed by the ambient temperature or the heat generated during the friction of the fork, which affects the stability of the fork. Mountain bike fork Air is quieter than Coil fork, so it is used in XC, Enduro, All mountain, …
For Forks: Many manufacturers have combined the strengths of both forks and created Air + Coil forks with high customization and enhanced bearing capacity. But with the rear fork (Shocks): Air is still the number 1 choice for all-terrain vehicles and Coil for DownHill & Freeride lines.
In the process of using or choosing a mountain bike, you need to grasp the basic knowledge of the important components of a mountain bike. If you are not good at grasping, look to experienced Fornix bike experts for more detailed technical instructions on how to confidently choose the fork and bike. .