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Old 11-30-05, 02:46 PM   #1
erli
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Hi, I am about to buy my very first MTB. I would say I would be doing something like 70% asphalt, and 30% off road, and my style of off road is just that, nothing jumping involved.

I don't know much (anything) about MTB front fork suspension. So, I am having a hard time choosing between between a bike with front fortk suspensions (2005 marin valley bear valley, US model) and a non front suspension MTB, both have the same price, same major components.

Would suspension be needed for my style of riding? Or is it something nice to have just in case. What would be the reasons then for those who decide on bikes without any front fork suspension?
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Old 11-30-05, 02:59 PM   #2
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I would get them. there are still bumps and potholes on asphalt.
plus you never know when u will need them.
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Old 11-30-05, 03:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erli
Hi, I am about to buy my very first MTB. I would say I would be doing something like 70% asphalt, and 30% off road, and my style of off road is just that, nothing jumping involved.

I don't know much (anything) about MTB front fork suspension. So, I am having a hard time choosing between between a bike with front fortk suspensions (2005 marin valley bear valley, US model) and a non front suspension MTB, both have the same price, same major components.

Would suspension be needed for my style of riding? Or is it something nice to have just in case. What would be the reasons then for those who decide on bikes without any front fork suspension?
If you don't mind the extra weight and the extra expense, go for it. I prefer no suspension, but then I prefer Road Riding. You could always start without the suspension, and add it later if you think you need it.
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Old 11-30-05, 03:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erli
Hi, I am about to buy my very first MTB. I would say I would be doing something like 70% asphalt, and 30% off road, and my style of off road is just that, nothing jumping involved.

I don't know much (anything) about MTB front fork suspension. So, I am having a hard time choosing between between a bike with front fortk suspensions (2005 marin valley bear valley, US model) and a non front suspension MTB, both have the same price, same major components.

Would suspension be needed for my style of riding? Or is it something nice to have just in case. What would be the reasons then for those who decide on bikes without any front fork suspension?
The bear valley is a nice bike and is one of few steel (cromoly) bikes still offered by major manufacturers. More than basing the decision on the suspension I would base it on the frame's material and between steel or alloy I would choose the first every day of the week. If both of these bikes have steel frames you can probably go either way when it comes to suspension or suspension-less. I would not want an alloy frame bike without suspension for off road use because of all the vibration that would pass to your hands, arms, and shoulders. The suspension will be obviously less efficient on paved roads but unless you are too concerned with efficiencies or speed you will probably not care.
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Old 11-30-05, 04:00 PM   #5
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get a surly!
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Old 11-30-05, 04:53 PM   #6
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I never found the suspension worth the weight and expense. I also have found them difficult to keep in adjustment, but I have limited experience with different brands. If you ride mostly road, and you don't intend to be jumping boulders or logs, I would stick with a traditional fork and put the savings into nicer pedals or the inevitable nicer saddle itch.
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Old 11-30-05, 05:32 PM   #7
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When you think about the weight : Travel issue with rigid forks is worse than any other fork out there

I would base your choice on the frae that feels nicest. Then think about suspension, if Iwere you Iwould personally run no suspension, or if I did I would try to find something with lockout.
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Old 11-30-05, 05:47 PM   #8
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Try it without suspension. You'll develop better off-road riding skills.
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Old 12-01-05, 01:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erli
Hi, I am about to buy my very first MTB. I would say I would be doing something like 70% asphalt, and 30% off road, and my style of off road is just that, nothing jumping involved.

<snip>

Would suspension be needed for my style of riding? Or is it something nice to have just in case. What would be the reasons then for those who decide on bikes without any front fork suspension?
I converted my hardtail into a fully rigid bike recently largely because it never goes offroad anymore and the suspension fork (Rock Shox Jett C) wasn't adding anything but weight. I'd day that for your use a full rigid would serve you well, although I'd look into a fat tire for your offroad excursions. The larger volume will add the extra cushion you'll want on the light offroading you seem to do. One other note: Get a set of slicks for on road as they'll help with speed
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Old 12-01-05, 01:49 AM   #10
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Thanks for all your replies, I am leaning more towards the normal rigid suspension. I am sure suspension has alot of positives, but probably not that relevant to my style of riding, and beside as a non tech person, rigid fork is just less to worry about.

As I said before the bikes I am choosing from is the 05 Marin bear valley, but its 'German version' I find here, have all the same components and frame except that it has rigid steel fork.

thanks for all your replies, as my plan is to do some light weight touring on this bike, I will post a question on the touring forum to see if suspension is needed for touring purposes.
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Old 12-01-05, 01:54 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by erli
I will post a question on the touring forum to see if suspension is needed for touring purposes.
To tell you the truth I wouldn't suggest suspension for touring use. It's easier to get pannier racks for a rigid fork than it is for a suspension fork not to mention the spring rate changes that you'dd need to commit to for loaded touring. Granted there are air forks that would possibly work, but they don't come on bikes in this price range. Rigid would best suit your needs
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Old 12-01-05, 06:11 AM   #12
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Yeah, for riding on the road suspension actually robs some of your efficiency.
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Old 12-01-05, 06:39 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Raiyn
To tell you the truth I wouldn't suggest suspension for touring use. It's easier to get pannier racks for a rigid fork than it is for a suspension fork not to mention the spring rate changes that you'dd need to commit to for loaded touring. Granted there are air forks that would possibly work, but they don't come on bikes in this price range. Rigid would best suit your needs

Thanks for the replies again, good thing you mentioned that it is easier to find racks for rigid fork than suspension. This is new to me, and is defineatly important, based on this and the fact that one lose some pedalling engergy on suspension (normal road), I am pretty much sold on the rigid fork now.
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Old 12-01-05, 07:28 AM   #14
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You could also throw on a suspension seat post to take some of the edge off when you go on your offroad excursions.
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Old 12-01-05, 01:04 PM   #15
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second Raiyn's advice: get two wheelsets, one slick and narrow as possible, and one fat off-road setup.

As for suspension, there's good reasons to go either way. Front suspensions (hardtails) are the most common, because they are very forgiving for entry-level riders. They definitely soften up the bumps, make small logs easier to ride over, etc. However, fully rigid bikes are simpler, lighter, and, with decent riding skill, they will perform about as well as a hardtail. You have to do a little bit more work to ride them, though.

I don't think have a front suspension is a huge efficiency theft on streets (at least compared to a rear suspension, or having fat knobby tires). However, fully rigid bikes are, in my opinion, better in terms of handling when it comes to pavement.
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Old 12-01-05, 01:15 PM   #16
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I wouldn't be caught dead on a mountain bike without a front shock. I rode for about half a year on a specialized hardrock and found it hard on my hands and wrists from the jarring. But I was about 13 and jumped off of every curb and stair I could find so it made sense to get a bike with suspension. I got a cannondale f500 for xmas that year and the suspension made a huge difference to comfort on curb jumps big and small, as well as smoothed out the horrible roads around my house that have lots of potholes, rocks, lots of gravel. The adjustable headshock suspension was easy to use with an allen key but in retrospect it probably hurt my efficiency for long rides on pavement.

Now I've got a specialized crossroads, nonadjustable front suspension that works just as well as the cannondale. The weight is not noticable, the ride is very smooth, and the semi-slick 38c tires on it make a huge difference in efficiency. After many years of riding on MTB knobbie tires the "city" tires make uphill easier and enable faster overall speeds.

My next bike is going to be a trek road bike with no suspension for increased efficiency. The downside to this bike is that you can't hop curbs and must avoid road debris and hazards like the plague.

Good luck with the new bike! Alan
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Old 12-01-05, 04:10 PM   #17
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I rode a rigid for years before i got a fork for it.

Did everything when it was rigid that i did when it had a rockshox. Was just easier on the wrists offroad with the rockshox.

I think riding rigid makes you a better rider.
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Old 12-02-05, 01:05 AM   #18
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You could also throw on a suspension seat post to take some of the edge off when you go on your offroad excursions.
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Old 12-02-05, 04:31 AM   #19
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I can't live without suspension. But the only type of suspension i hate is the seat suspension like what raiyn said above.
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Old 12-02-05, 05:59 AM   #20
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Last May I had to go to New Orleans on business. While there I rented a bicycle to at least get in a few miles. It was a Jamis hybrid with a suspension seatpost and I found it ( the seat) to be more annoying than anything.
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