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Why do some dislike suspension forks?

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Why do some dislike suspension forks?

Old 04-30-14, 05:32 PM
  #26  
John Redcorn
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I ride a cheap diamondback outlook on paved trails and the front suspension fork hasn't really bothered me. Hasn't impressed me either though. I could do with or without, don't care as long as it won't cause me problems.

I do wonder though is it just springs in there on a cheapish bike like this? (Its a 50mm travel zoom brand) No pneumatic or hydraulic anything going on? If it bottoms out not going to hurt anything? Roughest i ever get is jump up/down curbs all the time at speed and haven't bottomed it out yet.
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Old 04-30-14, 05:36 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by John Redcorn View Post
I ride a cheap diamondback outlook on paved trails and the front suspension fork hasn't really bothered me. Hasn't impressed me either though. I could do with or without, don't care as long as it won't cause me problems.

I do wonder though is it just springs in there on a cheapish bike like this? (Its a 50mm travel zoom brand) No pneumatic or hydraulic anything going on? If it bottoms out not going to hurt anything? Roughest i ever get is jump up/down curbs all the time at speed and haven't bottomed it out yet.
Just springs and a rubber damper.

The front suspension on my mtb has no lockout but is air / oil and works pretty wonderfully on the trail... it weighs just a speck under 3 pounds and ran $500.00 when it was new.

The other thing about suspensions is that the better ones still need to be serviced regularly, every 50 hours of riding is pretty typical.
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Old 04-30-14, 06:09 PM
  #28  
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In my case I disliked what happened every time I hit the brakes. The front end would take a nosedive, which seemed to transfer even more weight to the front when stopping. A good suspension fork would probably eliminate that problem, but I'm not willing to pay the bucks for a good one.
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Old 04-30-14, 06:12 PM
  #29  
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I like to use rigid forks for both road riding and technical singletrack. It takes a lot more skill to ride a rigid fork MTB on technical trails, then it does with suspension... Suspension makes it too easy. I like the extra challenge.
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Old 05-01-14, 02:24 AM
  #30  
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If you're older and suffer from wrists being jarred on pavement then suspension can be helpful. But, as other have said, they add sloppiness and have additional parts to have maintenance problems.
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Old 05-01-14, 02:33 AM
  #31  
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The cheap ones are a spring and rubber. Mine is spring/oil with a height adjustment mechanism (80-120mm) and a lockout. Lockout still allows some movement but not much. Its a heavy old beast - Rock shox tora u turn model. But, its tough and has lasted me 30,000km and is still going strong. Decent off road if you don't try extreme downhill but nice on road as well. Cost me $200 second hand but it was totally worth it.

The new ones are all about air pressure and weigh.... nothing. Look nice but I don't need to spend that much on something I have that works well.
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Old 05-01-14, 09:52 AM
  #32  
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I've ridden nothing but crappy suspension forks and with a bad wrist, they are a no-go for me. I do much better on a rigid fork bike. I've been wondering if a decent suspension fork with proper dampening would work for my bad wrist. Regardless, I don't ride on trails that a mom couldn't push a stroller over so suspension isn't necessary.
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Old 05-01-14, 01:47 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by melloveloyellow View Post
As a Social Security eligible but enthusiastic rider, speed is not my primary concern.
Even if speed is not your primary concern, it still goes back to efficiency. Being less efficient means you can't go as fast for a given power output; but it also means you run out of gas sooner, even at slower speeds.

I've tried suspension on a road bike, and thought, "Meh! What's the point?" If I primarily rode on rough dirt trails, I'm pretty sure I'd have a very different opinion. Match the equipment to the conditions.
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Old 05-01-14, 11:43 PM
  #34  
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On a correctly fitted bike and while riding with the correct posture your arms and legs are your suspension. Why carry redundant systems?
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Old 05-02-14, 01:57 PM
  #35  
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A front fork does not rob you of power. I find one great for my winter commuter with frozen, rutted tracks.
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Old 05-02-14, 03:46 PM
  #36  
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well,,,,, so far you've recieved some good technical answers,,, but to answer your question,,,, itis because everybody has an oppinion and everybody has different taste, likes and disilikes , not everybodys gonna hate them and not everybodys gonna like them,,, it's the human factor,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I've got 6 bikes 1 has aspongy front fork ,,, thats the one I ride all around town???
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Old 05-02-14, 11:40 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Fastfingaz View Post
well,,,,, so far you've recieved some good technical answers,,, but to answer your question,,,, itis because everybody has an oppinion and everybody has different taste, likes and disilikes , not everybodys gonna hate them and not everybodys gonna like them,,, it's the human factor,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I've got 6 bikes 1 has aspongy front fork ,,, thats the one I ride all around town???
I don't know about this "power robbing" assertion. By the time the front suspension gets loaded with weight on the bike, movement of the fork is going to be very minimal just going down a smooth road which is where you're going to be really cranking the pedals. I just don't see it being a significant factor though I reserve the right to be proven wrong.
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Old 05-02-14, 11:57 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Robert P View Post
I don't know about this "power robbing" assertion. By the time the front suspension gets loaded with weight on the bike, movement of the fork is going to be very minimal just going down a smooth road which is where you're going to be really cranking the pedals. I just don't see it being a significant factor though I reserve the right to be proven wrong.
Its real. Unlock the fork and try to climb a hill and its a lot harder because your bike is actually taking some of the energy and turning it into unwanted movement. Add a rear shock and climbing is a real pain. Don't think so? Find a road bike and a cheap dual springer. Put slicks on the mtb and climb the same hill with both. You'll notice in about a second. Also shocks - especially cheap ones are heavy. I can ride my tour bike loaded down up a hill then take all the gear out and ride up the same hill. Harder. So, excess movement and more weight and you aren't as efficient.

Does it matter? Depends what you want to do. If I'm riding a 200km brevet and I want to finish as fast as I can then less weight and more efficiency is better. If I want to ride for 24 hours non stop then something to make the ride a bit more comfortable is VERY welcome.
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Old 05-05-14, 12:02 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post
Its real. Unlock the fork and try to climb a hill and its a lot harder because your bike is actually taking some of the energy and turning it into unwanted movement. Add a rear shock and climbing is a real pain. Don't think so? Find a road bike and a cheap dual springer. Put slicks on the mtb and climb the same hill with both. You'll notice in about a second. Also shocks - especially cheap ones are heavy. I can ride my tour bike loaded down up a hill then take all the gear out and ride up the same hill. Harder. So, excess movement and more weight and you aren't as efficient.

Does it matter? Depends what you want to do. If I'm riding a 200km brevet and I want to finish as fast as I can then less weight and more efficiency is better. If I want to ride for 24 hours non stop then something to make the ride a bit more comfortable is VERY welcome.
I think that given the realities of my particular area - central Florida - it just isn't an issue. What hills there are, are fairly mild. I throw it into 1st gear, low range (on a 24 speed) and I don't have any problem navigating such hills as there are around here. I'm not sure where I'd even find a "real" hill to make the kind of test you're suggesting.
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Old 05-05-14, 02:01 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Robert P View Post
I think that given the realities of my particular area - central Florida - it just isn't an issue. What hills there are, are fairly mild. I throw it into 1st gear, low range (on a 24 speed) and I don't have any problem navigating such hills as there are around here. I'm not sure where I'd even find a "real" hill to make the kind of test you're suggesting.
Here.in Korea its valleys and steep hills. I need my rigid fork/suspension lock. If you have rolling terrain then why not be comfortable?
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Old 05-05-14, 04:24 PM
  #41  
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Well there you have it!!! some people like them ,, and some people dislike them,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
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Old 05-08-14, 10:23 AM
  #42  
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When I swapped my suspension fork for a carbon fork there was a 4lb difference and the front dropped two inches. The steering isn't as responsive as a rigid fork. I like suspension forks on the trails, but not so much on pavement.
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Old 05-08-14, 10:40 AM
  #43  
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That 2" drop changed the steering geometry , dropping and thus altering the head tube angle to the steeper degree or so, .


seat tube angle also, as the frame dropped rotated downward, the radius center is the rear axle.

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-08-14 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 05-08-14, 11:00 AM
  #44  
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No disdain for them, here. I just don't need it for the riding I do.
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Old 05-09-14, 04:21 PM
  #45  
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Man I must be a real crude cyclist, most of the things mentioned here on this thread don't even faze me ! someone stated that they don't like when the front end of the bike dips when they apply the brake,, that's one of the main features I like! adds to my cool factor when dismounting!! yea when I'm ready to dismount I apply the front brake, the front end dips,I swing my right leg around off the pedal and onto the ground , by the time the bike springs back I'm already off and walking!! yea I feel like John Wayne getting off his horse. it's beautiful,,,,,,
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Old 10-02-19, 05:21 AM
  #46  
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A suspension fork can help some riders:

Some of us like suspension forks. Several years ago I swapped my Suntour fork for a rigid fork (a Nashbar suspension - corrected 26"rigid fork) on my 2006 Giant Yukon HT, and began my adventure into rigid forkdom.
After some vigorous trail rides that included roots and rocks I sustained several injuries: the dreaded tennis elbow and golfer's elbow. Following three months off the bike I went to a Continental 2.40 Trail King tire.
Fast forward to today. I've stopped riding trails on mtb for sometime, riding my road bike for commuting and riding with friends. I have ridden it around my neighborhood just as a change of pace from the road bike.
I've adjusted the dampeners on the fork to increase its tension so the 'bobbing' action is reduced.
My point: suspension forks are great for senior cyclists who want to reduce road and trail vibrations, and to avoid injuries similar to those experienced.
Current diagnosis: still have tennis and golfer's elbow, and it is under control with lots of stretching. People at work think I look strange when I stretch.
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Old 10-02-19, 05:36 AM
  #47  
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Zombie alert!
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Old 10-02-19, 07:59 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
No they are not all junk, and maintenance has been zero for the last 5 years...
This is a logical fallacy that argues from a strawman. No one says that all suspension forks are junk. The general argument is that the types of spring forks typically found on < $700 hybrid bikes (1) do not provide sufficient benefit to justify their weight penalty and (2) are not needed for typical road/paved path/light gravel riding that the majority of hybrid riders enjoy.

Good forks can be had. They begin at about $400 for tunable air suspension forks (2-year or older production models, bought aftermarket). Those are not the forks that the OP was discussing...

I ride a hardtail MTB with a decent fork on it. It works well for my single track riding needs. Worth the money to have replaced the OEM fork, which was indeed junk, BTW.
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Old 10-02-19, 08:38 AM
  #49  
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along my cycling journey I mistakenly bought a hybrid for road commuting (when I should have bought a road bike), also got one w/ an unneeded cheap spring fork which I tried to lockout, cuz when I braked, the front bars would dip so far, I also fell over them. the "lockout" didn't work 100% but it was a big improvement. modified the bike more & learned to love it for road commuting & joy rides. but eventually sold it when I spent all my time on drop bar road bikes (w/o suspension forks). now I have a MTB & totally appreciate the cheap spring fork!
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Old 10-02-19, 09:57 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
This is a logical fallacy that argues from a strawman. No one says that all suspension forks are junk. The general argument is that the types of spring forks typically found on < $700 hybrid bikes (1) do not provide sufficient benefit to justify their weight penalty and (2) are not needed for typical road/paved path/light gravel riding that the majority of hybrid riders enjoy.

Good forks can be had. They begin at about $400 for tunable air suspension forks (2-year or older production models, bought aftermarket). Those are not the forks that the OP was discussing...

I ride a hardtail MTB with a decent fork on it. It works well for my single track riding needs. Worth the money to have replaced the OEM fork, which was indeed junk, BTW.
Comon, Phil - my comment was in response to so many negative posts before it. For people who need them, or want them, I still say that most reputable brands forks work well for their intended purpose. Not everyone rides single track, while still needing some kind of bump protection. Trekking forks work fine for this. MHO

p.s. that comment was almost FIVE years old.

Phil
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