Join Date: Dec 2010
Bikes: Rivendell A. Homer Hilsen
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Suspension is nice if you're going downhill on something bumpy, but it really sucks up a lot of energy when you pedal on a normal flat or uphill path--it'll feel like you have an under-inflated tire. The suspension lockouts on higher end hybrid/comfort bikes are there to give you the option for more efficiency when you don't need that suspension travel.
On a quick test ride, it'll feel super good and smooth with a suspension fork, but as you pile on the miles, it's harder to keep pace with something faster--e.g. you're riding a road or cyclo-x bike with her.
I'm with the idea that if you want something more cushy, get bigger tires and run them at lower pressures. If you want it to roll fast and easy on a smoother surface, just up the tire pressure. Weighs less than a suspension fork, and costs less too (usually). Of course, that may not be possible with those models, but you can ask the shop.