Backwards forks

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  • Backwards forks
  • Premier Icon molgrips

    Has anyone actually ridden a bike with forks on backwards? What’s it like?

    Premier Icon scotroutes

    Ask all those Cotic Roadrat owners 😉


    Yes for a laugh and its scary and lethal in equal measure.


    Saw a woman in Champery on a BSO with her forks on backwards she got half way down to the lake under the Chavannes before she came off, quite impressive really.


    Quite common around here – I sometimes offer to fix it for free, most of them aren’t interested.

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager

    I did it once on a set of lyrics I serviced – put the lowers on back to front and put it back on the bike without noticing. Rode it round the park and it didn’t seem that big a deal tbh – the rake is pretty small. It was more noticing the knobs were swapped over than Woah – there’s something badly wrong with this fork. Didn’t really ride it in anger though.


    Yes, wouldn’t recommend it, google Jon Robinson for some interesting experiments in zero rake forks on motorcycles 😉


    there’s quite a few adjustable rake forks made, I built myself one.
    can’t really notice tiny adjustments would be great mated to that variable angle slackset made by vp I think.


    Some kids do unknowingly when they get them new from shops like that – alarmingly usually get 2 or 3 a year with the groups I do cycle training with; the first time I saw it I could see something looked wrong but couldn’t put my finger on it then it dawns on you. Now it’s obvious, bike just looks so wrong with higher front end, front wheel tucked in closer to the downtube, handling can’t be fun.

    I saw a guy riding a bike with backwards forks around a town centre.

    I told him, he just laughed, said it was his mates bike and carried on.


    Bikes are often shipped like that, so they can fit more in the container. Cheap ones sold by cheap shops sometimes don’t have anyone involved who is able enough mechanically to realise that they need turning around.


    Sadly not just the cheap shops or supermarkets though, my unofficial count has a big shop in the lead

    If my understanding of geometry is right then as long as you’re going in a straight line then they’ll be stable as they’ll have negative offset and thus much more trail (and thus more self-centering). As soon as you turn the steering the effective negative offset will shorten, which will reduce the trail far more quickly than if they were the right way around so they’ll switch from being strongly self-centring to very flip-floppy and nervy. And the shorter front-centre will make that nervousness even worse.

    MTB Rob

    Yes I come across a few when doing bikeability,
    the kids do say it turns better.

    one of the other instructors had a kids that kept falling off when turning, thought he was messing around to start with till they saw the fork was on backwards and hitting his foot when turning! 😯

    it will be a major safety issue and will be a main course of someone been killed one day.


    I have personally fixed this twice on bikes for co-workers.

    Both “cardboard box shipped” RTW bikes at the budget end of the spectrum. As mentioned earlier, the forks turned round and bars strapped (with stem attached) to the top tube, so they minimise shipping volume.

    Unfortunately these are then put together by people who have probably not seen a bike in a decade, and say “ooh steering is sharper than I remember”

    Just seems an area where we are ripe for an EU directive requiring a keyway to be placed in the steerer tube / stem to prevent this…

    Another Bikeablility instructor here – there’ll be a million kid’s bikes to put right after Christmas!

    As an aside, there was a form of track racing called motor pacing in which cyclists would ride behind HUGE motorbikes as close as possible. They would turn their forks around backwards to get even closer, while the motorbike rider would wear a squirrel suit and stand up with his elbows out to give the best possible draft. The motorbike would also have a little roller attached on the back so if and when the bike’s front wheel touched it, it would just spin instead of spitting the cyclist off. They could hit 75mpjh – must have been terrifying. Think I read somewhere they had a demo at Herne Hill track not so long ago.


    Bloke at the first CLIC with brand new fox vanillas with them the wrong way round.

    Told me “Its what the pros do”

    Yes, of course they do mate…

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