How to Take Apart Mountain Bike Front Forks

Updated April 17, 2017

The fork of a mountain bike refers to the arms that hold the bike wheels in place and allow them to spin freely. There are two forks, one in the front and one in the rear, each holding a separate wheel. There are many reasons why you would need to remove the front fork, including maintenance, modification and repair. However, regardless of what you are going to do afterwards, you will first need to take the fork apart to get it off of the bike.

Slide the brake line out of the caliper on the front wheel brake to open the arms up. Just push the line toward the middle of the brakes and pull it up to allow the arms to open up.

Flip down the lever on the axel of the wheel, which holds it on the fork. This will loosen the wheel, letting it slide out of the fork and out of the way.

Remove the brake calipers completely from the fork by releasing the hexagonal head bolts with a ratchet set.

Use clippers to cut off any ties holding brake wires and other cables in place. Be careful not to cut any of these cables or wires when you remove the ties.

Release the screw on the top of the bike with a small screwdriver. This screw is located on the handlebars where they connect to the bike, on the part called the headset.

Remove the tension on the two screws on the side of the headset until they are loose and the headset is able to slide off of the bike. There will be some spacers and washers inside the headset or on the bike that you should put aside.

Lay a cloth on the floor underneath the fork end of the bike to catch the bearings if they should come out when you take the fork apart.

Place a small piece of wood on the top of the fork where the headset was previously sitting. This will protect the fork as you remove it.

Lightly tap the wood with a hammer until the fork becomes loosened on the bike. Pull the fork completely off of the bike with your hand.


Have a friend stand near you while you are working to help collect any parts that may fall off or roll away.


Do not ride a bike unless you are absolutely sure the parts have been attached and secured by someone highly competent.

Things You'll Need

  • Ratchet set
  • Clippers
  • Small screwdriver
  • Cloth
  • Small piece of wood
  • Hammer
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About the Author

Based in New Jersey, Susan Raphael has been writing technology-related articles since 1991. Her work has appeared in “Wired” magazine, and “Mac Addict” magazine. Raphael received the Janet B. Smith Literary Award in 2002. She holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from New York University.