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I have a 26 inch MTB frame and I want to replace the fork.

How can I distinguish a 26 inch fork from a 28 inch one? Which are the measurement to know?

thanks!

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    answers are saying you can't get 26" forks, but have a look at online sellers, you can filter by wheel size and/or fork travel too. maybe 26" forks are limited and old model years but still available as far as I can see...
    – Swifty
    Jul 9, 2019 at 19:25
  • Nowhere in the question did it specify "new" There are plenty of bikes with 26" wheels out in the wild.
    – Criggie
    Jul 10, 2019 at 14:22

2 Answers 2

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Suspension (or rigid) forks are not designed just for a particular wheel size, instead they have a nominal crown to axle length. Frames are built for a specific length fork (or a range of fork lengths) that will give the proper head tube angle. This takes into account both wheel size and length of suspension travel.

Forks designed for rim brakes will of course have attachment points located correctly for a particular rim diameter. (Credit to RLH for reminding me of this in a comment.)

This gets a bit tricky with suspension forks, as obviously they are designed to change length and may extend beyond their neutral length without a rider on the bike.

Measure the crown to axle length of your current fork and look for a replacement based on that, length of travel (and rim brake boss location). AFAIK forks for 26" wheel bikes with short suspension travel (>80mm) are not available new (commenters please prove me wrong on this).

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  • Suntour, and low tier manufacturers still do low travel (e.g. 80mm) 26" forks.
    – mattnz
    Jul 10, 2019 at 0:16
  • Dirt jump forks are for 26" wheels, have short travel (100 mm), are sold new and even with latest standards such as through axle: bike-components.de/en/RockShox/… Jul 10, 2019 at 12:45
  • If the OP has a 90's MTB frame the original forks may have had only 50-60mm travel. Jul 10, 2019 at 13:47
  • If the bike has rim brakes, then these will be designated for a specific wheel size.
    – RLH
    Jul 10, 2019 at 14:48
  • Short travel front suspension fork does exist. (ex - srsuntour.com/products/fork/NEX-E25-5907.html ) The brake boss from the drop out distance is 280mm-ish for 700c. 26" would be shorter. Jul 10, 2019 at 15:42
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You need to measure your axle to crown length and match it up. bikecad.ca/taxonomy/term/52

However 26" is now pretty much an obsolete standard, so you may have difficulty sourcing a satisfactory replacement

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