The mountain bike suspension
Thanks to a suspension fork/telescopic fork, shocks are absorbed, while the frame ensures a more precise driving technique due to its rigidity. This stability promises you noticeably more security. Suspension is not as important on any other bike as it is on a mountain bike. If you want to go over hill and dale or over roots and difficult terrain, you need the right suspension and more travel.
A fully should only be considered if your requirements require it due to technically difficult routes and your preferred terrain variability. In general, a hardtail gives you more options when it comes to choosing a route in less demanding areas.
Which suspension for which application?
Think carefully beforehand about the driving characteristics you value. Do I ride more on country lanes or roads? Do I want to go off-road or on trails? If you mainly drive around town, a rigid fork is usually sufficient. For trekking bikes or mountain bikes, on the other hand, we recommend a hardtail. So a bike where only the front area is dampened. Of course, a suspension also means an increase in price, and the care/maintenance effort also increases a little. Your back and wrists, on the other hand, will thank you if you know exactly what you are walking on beforehand. Investment is then definitely worthwhile.
- More comfortable
- Cushions shocks
- Gentle on the back and wrists
- More flexibility
- Better ground contact
- more expensive
- Higher care and maintenance
- More weight (1 to 2 kg)
The suspension fork can be adjusted on most mid-range bikes. The length of the suspension travel is important:
- All Mountain: 140-160mm
- Fully: 120-140
- Enduro: 160-180mm
- Freeride: 180 – 230mm
Air or steel spring?
With the air suspension, there is the possibility of precisely adjusting the damping. So you can specify the correct pressure even with heavy luggage. The driver’s weight can also be ideally balanced with the air suspension. They are also lighter than steel springs. Disadvantages are higher heat generation and more seals are needed which may require more maintenance and care.
Steel suspensions are more sensitive to shocks and do not need seals. They have better traction and require little maintenance. The higher weight and not so flexible adjustment to payload are the disadvantages here. Also, the steel suspensions are not suitable for every frame shape.
It is best to clean all important parts after a long tour before the dirt dries. A bucket of warm water with a little dish soap works best. After cleaning, the suspension will appreciate a little silicone spray or Teflon oil. So it is fully operational again for the next load.
Set the suspension correctly
The correct adjustment to the driver’s weight and the luggage is very important. Suspension is only helpful if it is set up correctly. Make the most of your suspension and keep your driving fun all year round.