I have accidentally removed the suspension fork from my bicycle (Trek Remedy 8). I was trying to take off just the handlebar, but was distracted for a moment and unscrewed the wrong bolt.

How safe would it be to assemble it back without going to my LBS (it will probably take them some much time, and I would not like to miss riding on my weekend)? I have no experience in suspension fork servicing; my idea is just to use common sense to screw parts back in.

It doesn't seem that the fork has any ball bearings.

  • 2
    Don't use common sense. Read a tutorial/watch a youtube video. It's actually pretty simple.
    – Vorac
    Sep 4, 2013 at 7:28
  • 1
    Did you disassemble the fork? Or just removed it from the bicycle?
    – cherouvim
    Sep 4, 2013 at 7:42
  • Only removed it; sorry for the confusion.
    – anatolyg
    Sep 4, 2013 at 9:16

1 Answer 1


I'm assuming this is your bike and you really mean that you've removed the fork from the bike as disassembling the fork isn't really something you do by mistake.

The specs I found say that you've got a threadless stem and sealed bearing headset. This is easy to reattach.

There are 3 or 4 bolts you need to be concerned with. One right at the top, that goes through a metal disc about an inch and a half wide. This is the preload bolt . Also, on your stem there will be either 2 or 3 that clamp the stem to the top of your forks.

To reassemble, find the following bits:

  • Fork
  • 2 x sealed bearings, one for the top and one for the bottom of the head tube.
  • Stem
  • Stem cap
  • Preload blot
  • Split washer (sometimes)
  • Spacers (often)

Start by inserting the bearings into the cups in the top and bottom of the head tube. Next slide the forks up through the head tube, add the split washer, spacers, stem, top cap and preload bolt. In that order.

Tighten everything down with the preload bolt so there is no unwated play. Rock the bike backward and forward, with the front brake on, and make sure there is no knocking.

When there is no play, straighten the stem and tighten the clamp bolts. Afterwards I usually loosen the preload bolt to finger tight, but some people don't.

Ta-Da! One fixed bike.

  • Wow, that was quite the save! I didn't have all of the described components fall out; anyway, installed everything back with your help. Thanks!
    – anatolyg
    Sep 4, 2013 at 9:14
  • 2
    I'm curious why you would loosen the preload bolt after tightening the clamp bolts. Sep 4, 2013 at 13:46
  • I'm with @CareyGregory. In fact I'd say do not loosen the preload bolt, or it can self-loosen from vibration and potentially get lost. If anything, it can be tightened further after tightening the clamp bolts--this is actually commonly prescribed practice for adjustment bolts in other applications (e.g. motorcycle chain tension).
    – mac
    Sep 4, 2013 at 15:45
  • Habit mostly. I don't like the idea of having too much stress on the star nut. Why are star nuts even still a thing, it's 2013. I've never had one loosen from vibration.
    – alex
    Sep 5, 2013 at 3:16

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