touring on MTB: front suspension fork vs. rigid fork
Re: MTB used for touring, fork selection?
I am about to purchase my very first MTB, beside the usual commuting, part of the intended purpose is also to use the bike for some loaded touring (3-4 weeks at a time). So, I'd say 70% of the riding would be on usual road conditions and the rest as off road (trails and gravel roads)
I have narrowed my bike selection down to either:
05 Marin Bear Valley U.S model: Steel frame, front suspension, mostly shimano Deore
the Marin Bear Valley 'German edition' (don't ask me the story behind it, it is advertised like that):
Steel frame, steel rigid fork, mostly shimano Deore
So, the main difference is the fork, I don't have any experience using suspension, and I would like to know for my style of riding, touring, is front suspension needed? Or is it something nice to have just in case?