Steel Bushings Vs Stainless Steel Seamless Shafts
Metric and stainless steel bushings have similarities, but there are differences that can impact your fork. Metric bushings and sleeve bushings are interchangeable in this regard. To find the right ones for your model of bike will require some understanding of the differences between them. While these measurements are significant, it is important to remember that not all steel bushings are made with the same specifications.
What is most important to you, the rider, is the ability of the steel bushings to provide a solid foundation without which the forks will have problems. The older style metric bushings used to supply such support, but with more riders demanding greater performance from their bikes, they soon had to adapt to new requirements. As a result, steel sleeve bushings were introduced as an alternative.
However, the newer stainless steel bushings provide better control and response than the older versions. Also, with each year that passes, manufacturers begin to devise better designs that work well on all types of bicycle frames and forks. All of this means that a great deal has changed since the original steel sleeve bushings were first introduced.
If you are still using the originals for your own bike, then the debate rages about whether steel sleeve bushings or metric steel sleeve bushings are better. Metric has many advantages and they are listed here. While I feel that they are a worthwhile upgrade, some other riders will have different opinions.
For example, with steel sleeve bushings, you will get more support than you will with the metric ones. This can help the bike responds more smoothly, helping to prevent any unwanted bottoming out. They also provide better locking action that makes the forks lock into place. Because of the increased space provided between the spokes of the rim, this allows for greater modulation. In fact, with many models of freewheel bikes, these adjustments will be automatic.
In addition, you will find that new steel sleeve bushings come with much better heat sinking characteristics. This means that they are not just hollowed out plastic shells, but rather they have been designed to incorporate the necessary machining to enable a smooth transition when the air inside them heats up. In other words, you can leave the gas tank full and your bike will not overheat.
By the way, although we are discussing the differences between steel bushings and sleeve bushings, it is worth mentioning that they are each designed differently. For example, the diameter of the steel bushings is smaller than the diameter of the stainless steel sleeve bushings. Some manufacturers claim that this is the reason they work better with certain fork styles, but when you go to buy them, you will find that they do not fit in all bikes. Therefore, it is a good idea to visit your local bike shop and have them cut them to fit your bike, as this will be much easier.
There is no doubt that steel sleeve bushings are the way to go for those who ride big BMX bikes. However, if you are a lighter rider, you may want to consider a little bit of an upgrade by replacing the steel sleeve bushings with stainless steel sleeve bushings.