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    Why have front suspension?

    When thinking about how to increase my comfort while riding on bad roads, I wondered what is the point of front suspension? Surely it would be better to just have rear suspension or a suspension seat post?

    So what actually does front suspension do?

    Thanks

    Daven

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    Quote Originally Posted by daven1986 View Post
    When thinking about how to increase my comfort while riding on bad roads, I wondered what is the point of front suspension? Surely it would be better to just have rear suspension or a suspension seat post?

    So what actually does front suspension do?

    Thanks

    Daven
    Makes the bike look cool and marketing. IMHO an awful lot of the suspension stuff on bikes is unneeded and only drives up the price and the complexity. On a mountain bike it makes sense. FWIW if I happen to buy a bike with a suspension seat post that is the first thing to go, they take away from the efficiency of the rider. I also stiffen up or lock out the front suspension.

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  3. #3
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    Well, for mountain biking it's obvious. WHENEVER i ride i stand. I cannot sit down. I've found that front suspension bikes absorb some bumps every were on the bike. With front suspension sitting, you will feel reasonably less bumps, that having no suspension.
    However, having any suspension makes the effort reasonably harder you have to put forward to move the bike at a reasonable speed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daven1986 View Post
    When thinking about how to increase my comfort while riding on bad roads, I wondered what is the point of front suspension? Surely it would be better to just have rear suspension or a suspension seat post?

    So what actually does front suspension do?

    Thanks

    Daven
    Front suspension is there (on mountain bikes) primarily to keep the front wheel from being thrown off-course. There is less need for rear suspension because the rear wheel will tend to follow the genaral path of the front wheel. Basically, the rear wheel is being pulled by the rider's mass (which is ahead of the rear wheel). Even with suspension, mountain bikers need to use the same suspension that riders without suspension use: their legs.

    I'd guess that suspension doesn't work as well at higher speeds. Road riders deal with bumps by getting off of the seat. With dropped bars, this is easier to do because less weight is on the seat.

    What size tires are you using?
    Last edited by njkayaker; 03-13-10 at 09:12 AM.

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    For anything other than a mountain bike, suspension is more weight loss of power and more cost.

    It all about marketing and a total waste.

  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by v70cat View Post
    For anything other than a mountain bike, suspension is more weight loss of power and more cost.

    It all about marketing and a total waste.
    I rode rigid MTB's aggresively offroad till 200. Reason for front suspension was that I needed it after a bypass and I could not take the knocks the chest was taking.

    But onroad- there are other ways of getting a "Softer" ride. Unless you are talking $$$'s then front suspension will not be good. It will take the sting out of the bumps a bit but Pogo Stick comes to mind- and weight- and loss of propulsion.

    Just by using a wider tyre with less pressure in it will give a lot of comfort without a great loss of energy. Better quality wheels with a lacing pattern on the spokes that has them crossing 3 times will assist a lot. And hate to say it- improving your riding style to make the arms and legs act as shock absorbers helps even more.

    Suspension seat posts are a problem. I have an offroad Tandem and suspension for the stoker is a necessity. Cheap ones caused problems and broke freqently. I had to spend a lot of money on a Cane Creek "Thud Buster" to get one that worked and did not cause problems. So if you want a comfortable ride- get a top quality suspension post and use the arms to take the bumps. Or as I have said-get better wheels- wider tyres and modify the way you ride to make it comfortable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    Front suspension is there (on mountain bikes) primarily to keep the front wheel from being thrown off-course. There is less need for rear suspension because the rear wheel will tend to follow the genaral path of the front wheel. Basically, the rear wheel is being pulled by the rider's mass (which is ahead of the rear wheel). Even with suspension, mountain bikers need to use the same suspension that riders without suspension use: their legs.
    Thanks, this is what I was looking for.

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    OK, PEOPLE -- LET'S GET OFF THIS POGO-STICK CRAP! Yes, front suspension will add weight to the bike, and if all you do is ride road, you don't need it. But just because it's suspension does NOT mean it squishes and bounces with every motion. THAT'S what you get with the crap at Wal-Mart, not a real setup.

    Front suspension changes bumps in your path from punches to pushes. Rear suspension does that for your spine, front for your arms and chest.

    I swear, some of you are as bad as drivers about our road rights....

  9. #9
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    Suspension forks on hybrid-type bikes are about comfort. They absorb shocks from bumps in the road. Yes, they reduce efficiency to a greater or lesser degree. Yes, they're heavier. However, saying that's why they're categorically bad on anything but a mountain bike is missing the point.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
    OK, PEOPLE -- LET'S GET OFF THIS POGO-STICK CRAP! Yes, front suspension will add weight to the bike, and if all you do is ride road, you don't need it. But just because it's suspension does NOT mean it squishes and bounces with every motion. THAT'S what you get with the crap at Wal-Mart, not a real setup.

    Front suspension changes bumps in your path from punches to pushes. Rear suspension does that for your spine, front for your arms and chest.

    I swear, some of you are as bad as drivers about our road rights....
    Unless you are prepared to pay out some real money for a good suspension fork- you are going to get a crap POGO-STICK. Cheap end bikes will not have a good suspension fork on it. A good one would cost more than the bike does in the first place. And even a cheap one that is just about sensible does not cost much less.

    Cheap suspension will just be a Spring inside a column. It will take the "Sting" out of a bump- but where is the damping to stop it rebounding for the next bump? It is like a cars shock absorber- no damping and you will keep bouncing. It is a POGO STICK. There will be no adjustment for riders weight so it is set up as an average. Light rider will never be able to take advantage of the "Suspension" and a heavy rider will just compress to the limit and eventually have problems with the fork breaking. And when it does break- many of them cannot be stripped down and if you can- they cannot be rebuilt.

    So if you just "Have to have" a suspension fork on your bike- Look out for one that does have a damping/ rebound system on it- can be adjusted for riders weight- can be stripped down for maintenance and rebuilding and will be suitable for the use you are going to put it to. And if you find one for less than $250- check out that it is genuine.
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