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fork lee-ngth


The distance between the center of the head tube to the center of the axle of the fork.

Example usage: I need to check the fork-length of my bicycle.

Most used in: Cycling circles around the world.

Most used by: Professional and recreational cyclists.

Popularity: 8

Comedy Value: 2

Also see: Steerer Tube Length, Head Tube Length, Reach, Axle to Crown Length,


What is a Fork-Length in Cycling?

Fork-length is a term used to describe the length of a bicycle’s front fork. This measurement is taken from the center of the wheel axle to the crown race seat, which is the part of the frame at the top of the fork.

Fork-length is an important factor in bicycle performance as it affects the handling and maneuverability of the bike. Generally, a longer fork-length will give the rider better control and stability, while a shorter length will give the rider more agility. The ideal fork-length for a specific type of bicycle will depend on the type of riding the rider plans to do, such as road-racing, mountain-biking, or city-cycling.

The average fork-length for a road bike is typically between 400-450mm, while the average for a mountain bike is around 460mm. For a city bike, the fork-length is usually around 400mm. However, these measurements can vary depending on the size of the frame, the type of riding the bike is intended for, and the rider’s preferences.

Fork-length is an important factor in cycling performance and should be taken into consideration when purchasing a bike. Knowing the ideal fork-length for a particular type of bike can help riders choose the bike that is best suited for their riding style and preferences.


The Origin of the Term 'Fork-Length' in Cycling

The term 'Fork-Length' was first used in the context of cycling in the late 19th century, specifically in France. It was used to describe the distance between the front wheel and the center of the handlebars, which is a crucial measurement in designing bicycles.

The French term for this measurement was 'longueur de fourche,' which translates to 'fork-length.' The term was adopted by English-speaking countries and remains in use to this day.

Fork-length is essential for the design of bicycles, as it affects the handling of the bike. A longer fork-length will give the bike more stability while a shorter fork-length will make the bike more agile. Modern bicycles typically have a fork-length of between 400mm and 515mm.

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Saddle Slang

Find definitions for all of the technical terms, slang, and acronyms used in cycling. From the different types of bikes and their components, to training techniques, racing terminology and put downs, this dictionary has it all.

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