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Old 03-22-11, 01:19 PM   #1
w98seeng
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Is a Suspension Fork Necessary?

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,
Ian
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Old 03-22-11, 02:21 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 03-22-11, 02:43 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 03-22-11, 03:46 PM   #4
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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.

Ian
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Old 03-22-11, 04:17 PM   #5
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I'm riding a full rigid MTB. Great for street use, works good on a trail. Not great for big drops & high speed downhill.
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Old 03-23-11, 02:48 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 03-23-11, 02:58 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 03-23-11, 04:01 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 03-23-11, 07:47 PM   #9
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+1

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Old 03-25-11, 10:56 AM   #10
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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!
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Old 03-25-11, 11:06 AM   #11
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that's what the cyclocross bike is for!
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Old 03-25-11, 12:30 PM   #12
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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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