Motocross Triple Clamps: Everything You Need to Know
You’re probably aware that Xtrig was one of the first suppliers to commercialise the split design in 2015, and in the last few years more companies have followed suit. But do you know how to find the head angle, how to optimise balance, or what happens if you lessen the fork offset?
Teknik Motorsport does, and we’re here to share. Read on to find out more about these parts, their purposes, and how to maximise your performance.
Xtrig Triple Clamps – What’s the Point?
If you’ve ever seen a rider land a jump in slow motion, you know that the forks flex – it’s what they do. But you may be surprised at just how much they loosen up. In fact, they’re always flexing, not just from very hard hits, but at various levels all the time to keep your bike in good form.
As a result, the assembly is free to bend without support (except the structural support of the fork itself), from the axle to the triple clamps. The name triple clamp refers to clamping the legs at three points, and serves to provide a very rigid system to hold these up without damage. They can be found on downhill race bikes, freeride and some enduro bikes. Whilst these are relatively stiff, they are what marry the forks to the rest of the chassis, given they and the seals are in good condition.
Can I Still Ride with a Badly Leaking Fork Seal?
We encourage you not to ride with a badly leaking seal for many reasons, with your safety and that of those around you being the number one priority.
Poor shock absorption and being unbalanced makes a leaky seal dangerous to ride on altogether, not to mention mechanical friction damage from the fork's lubricant being low or leaked out altogether. Less oil means lower damping pressures, and a leaking seal holds even less of that pressure inside. In addition, a faulty seal could result in an oil leak onto your brake calipers, causing trouble whilst decelerating and attempting to stop the bike. To keep these in top condition, check out our bushings and rebuild kits, or reach out to one of our technicians today.
How Does Reduced Offset Help You Steer Better?
We know this one is confusing. Science says you should actually get the opposite effect. But even though the geometry of steering is slower-turning and more apparent, the increasing trail is also the same thing as propelling the engine forward, which puts more weight on the front tyre.
As such, riders find that having a reduced offset helps you to steer better, often describing it as lighter and quicker. This is because it gives the bike a more stable feel overall but still delivers on easier steering, with a front tyre that stays better grounded.
How Do I Align my Triple Clamps Properly?
The most important step in this process is checking your front axle slides freely in the axle foot. If you or a previous owner hit the axle with a steel hammer there is likely a burr on the axle end that will prevent the forks ever being correctly aligned.
Clean and deburr the axle, clean the axle feet out and use some lubricant on the axle to help the alignment process and prevent corrosion.
If you’re on a dirt bike with twisted tubes, loosen the fork and axle bolts a little. Then sit the front wheel between your legs whilst moving the bars so they are close to the proper position.
From here, work the forks up and down a few times – this will align the tubes almost perfectly. Once satisfied, then tighten the bolts and off you go.
We have a full range of tools to help you look after your wheels. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team today on (02) 4732 2626. We are open Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5:30pm.