Mountain Biking - Is a Suspension Fork Necessary?
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03-22-11, 02:19 PM
I am building a bike for my sister who lives in Vancouver, BC. I bought a 2004 Fuji Thrill frame yesterday for $30. It's in excellent shape and the perfect size for her. I have all the components for a decent little mountain bike except for the fork.
She will do mostly road riding, but will do the occasional trail ride. Should I get an inexpensive suspension fork or a rigid fork?
I am leaning towards the rigid as I think an inexpensive fork will only weigh the bike down and not improve the ride.
How about a rigid carbon fork? Do I go with a straight or curved fork if I go rigid?
Thanks for the help,
03-22-11, 03:21 PM
if she is mostly riding road, she won't need a suspension fork. even if she rides the occasional trail, she won't *need* a suspension fork. go with the rigid.
Personally I`d suggest you go with a rigid cromoly fork. Kona makes some of the best and they`re not expensive.
You`d have to spend a lot of money to get a suspension fork that had decent performance and didn`t add 5 lbs to the bike. Go for ballon tires (2in min) and she`ll have all the suspension she`ll need for light trail use.
In the event of a crash - a cromoly fork will walk away from a direct impact much better than a carbon fork will.
03-22-11, 04:46 PM
Thanks for the help. I will get a cro-moly fork. It'll be less stiff than aluminum anyways, which means a better ride. As for the tires, I am going to go with a 2" tire with little tread, almost a wide road tire.
03-22-11, 05:17 PM
I'm riding a full rigid MTB. Great for street use, works good on a trail. Not great for big drops & high speed downhill.
I'd suggest getting the front suspension if she's going to be doing mostly casual riding and the roads are bad. The roads around here are pretty terrible and I was riding my hybrid a lot more than my road bike, before I converted it back to a MTB, because of the front suspension. It was a very nice ride.
03-23-11, 03:58 PM
No one "HAS" to have suspension. We get it because it does ease out the ride and even allows for more speed in places. Rigid was good until I got tired of chipping my teeth. I do agree with Max, if you have some bumpy roads, get a little cushion for the ride. Your sister won't need it, but she might appreciate it.
03-23-11, 05:01 PM
The grass is always greener. My S-Works Stumpy FSR is collecting dust thanks to my new fully rigid 29er. I would have sold my left nut for a full suspension when I first started trail riding on a fully rigid rockhopper in the mid 90s.
I always want what I don't have.
03-25-11, 11:56 AM
I also think no suspension is better. Traded in my full squish for a rigid 29er a few years ago, and have never missed it!
03-25-11, 12:06 PM
that's what the cyclocross bike is for!
03-25-11, 01:30 PM
Picked up a fully rigid SS 29er for cheap a while back and it is a lot of fun. Rigid definitely has its advantages, but I would never give up my full suspension.
If she is planning to do a lot of road riding on it rigid is the way to go for sure.
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