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I'm sold on city bikes with front suspension... here is why

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I'm sold on city bikes with front suspension... here is why

Old 10-17-15, 02:10 PM
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bikinglife
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I'm sold on city bikes with front suspension... here is why

Ok, so I've been reading some of the commuting forum and I find front suspension bikes get no respect.
For the record, I am a 30km a day bike commuter. I also consider myself a cycling enthusiast, because I just don't see how you can avoid becoming one after so much time spent on a bike.

What explains all the antipathy towards suspension bikes? The truth is, in any city, the roads are usually bumpy, with a ton of potholes and whatever. Furthermore, riding comes with its share of necessities such as getting on higher ground (sidewalk), getting on lower ground, going on grass, gravel, etc.

More specifically, I have been riding an OPUS Dual Sport 2.0, it comes with Suntour front suspension. I find, compared to riding a road bike frame, or a mtb frame (with no suspension), the ride feels like you are gliding. You might get less avg speed, but the ride is just so damn comfortable, that I can't imagine any commuter being told to avoid suspension... Just my take.
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Old 10-17-15, 02:27 PM
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I'm not bothered by a few bumps in the road. I'm not usually planted hard in the seat. I like the more tactile feeling and better handling without suspension. And it's more efficient. And weighs less. Less to buy. Less to break.
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Old 10-17-15, 02:30 PM
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Although I don't own a bike with suspension, I can see the advantages. Regardless, you should just ride what you like; other people's opinions are irrelevant.
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Old 10-17-15, 02:31 PM
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I don't car for suspension myself, but if you enjoy it and it makes your commute better, awesome!
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Old 10-17-15, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Rino View Post
Although I don't own a bike with suspension, I can see the advantages. Regardless, you should just ride what you like; other people's opinions are irrelevant.
True!
I definitely have commuted with older road bikes and I really appreciated the simplicity and speed. But a nice light bike with shocks would be able to attain the same efficiency...
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Old 10-17-15, 04:02 PM
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I don't like bikes with suspension. I've done a lot of serious mountain biking with my rigid forked MTB. Commuting on rough roads or pavement is nothing compared to some of the off road trails I've ridden. I use my legs and arms as my suspension.... bigger tires run at lower pressures also provide enough suspension.
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Old 10-17-15, 04:04 PM
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I think it comes down to what sort of surface you are on. Mine is pretty good bike path for the most part. If you have enough off-road conditions then an off-road bike may be just the trick.
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Old 10-17-15, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I don't like bikes with suspension. I've done a lot of serious mountain biking with my rigid forked MTB. Commuting on rough roads or pavement is nothing compared to some of the off road trails I've ridden. I use my legs and arms as my suspension.... bigger tires run at lower pressures also provide enough suspension.
When I ride on bumps and potholes I don't even feel it, and my legs and arms are just in the cycle. I'd be just curious to know what you dislike about front shocks
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Old 10-17-15, 04:52 PM
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You can see both sides of the argument and it comes down to preference.

But as for weight, it's true. This is the SR Suntour unit off my Hardrock. I think it's the heaviest single component assembly that I've pulled off a bike, it beats the 4.5 lb one-piece crankset off my Super Sport.

Untitled by Darth Lefty, on Flickr

I replaced this with a Rock Shox Duke which is far superior, but it's still not svelte

Untitled by Darth Lefty, on Flickr
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Old 10-17-15, 05:24 PM
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Not all suspension is the same.
I rode a MTB with the ubiquitous front suspension and didn't like it at all. I also rode a city bike with a simple elastomer isolater between the fork and headset that worked really well without being cumbersome.
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Old 10-17-15, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by bikinglife View Post
Ok, so I've been reading some of the commuting forum and I find front suspension bikes get no respect.
For the record, I am a 30km a day bike commuter. I also consider myself a cycling enthusiast, because I just don't see how you can avoid becoming one after so much time spent on a bike.

What explains all the antipathy towards suspension bikes? The truth is, in any city, the roads are usually bumpy, with a ton of potholes and whatever. Furthermore, riding comes with its share of necessities such as getting on higher ground (sidewalk), getting on lower ground, going on grass, gravel, etc.

More specifically, I have been riding an OPUS Dual Sport 2.0, it comes with Suntour front suspension. I find, compared to riding a road bike frame, or a mtb frame (with no suspension), the ride feels like you are gliding. You might get less avg speed, but the ride is just so damn comfortable, that I can't imagine any commuter being told to avoid suspension... Just my take.
Cool. If front suspension makes you happiest when riding, then who cares what other people think.
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Old 10-17-15, 06:33 PM
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The reason MTB with suspension get less respect in the Commuting forum is that people want to buy a brand new suspension fork MTB for $500. You just don't get very good quality for that money. Most people can get by with a bike that supports fat tires. These soak up more of the road bumps and allow you to jump curbs.

My commutes are all road and good roads at that and 32 miles a day, four days a week.
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Old 10-17-15, 09:44 PM
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Usually I commute on bikes that many in this forum would consider poor choices for one reason or another. But I've been doing it happily for a decade so I'm not going to change. I know not everyone shares my preferences and that is OK. I've also gotten some very useful tips from other folks here. So take whatever advice makes sense to you and ignore the rest.
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Old 10-17-15, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
Usually I commute on bikes that many in this forum would consider poor choices for one reason or another. But I've been doing it happily for a decade so I'm not going to change.
Yeah, but you're still doing it in a less than optimal manner, if you rode a __________, you would be faster/more comfortable/carry more............Oh, and remember you must wear.............
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Old 10-17-15, 10:36 PM
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For the amount of money put in a suspension fork, you can get a more decent return with better tires and a sprung leather saddle.
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Old 10-17-15, 11:51 PM
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I think it's fun to be different and enjoy something outside the excepted norms. Don't be upset... revel in it!
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Old 10-18-15, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by bikinglife View Post
Ok, so I've been reading some of the commuting forum and I find front suspension bikes get no respect.
For the record, I am a 30km a day bike commuter. I also consider myself a cycling enthusiast, because I just don't see how you can avoid becoming one after so much time spent on a bike.

What explains all the antipathy towards suspension bikes? The truth is, in any city, the roads are usually bumpy, with a ton of potholes and whatever. Furthermore, riding comes with its share of necessities such as getting on higher ground (sidewalk), getting on lower ground, going on grass, gravel, etc.

More specifically, I have been riding an OPUS Dual Sport 2.0, it comes with Suntour front suspension. I find, compared to riding a road bike frame, or a mtb frame (with no suspension), the ride feels like you are gliding. You might get less avg speed, but the ride is just so damn comfortable, that I can't imagine any commuter being told to avoid suspension... Just my take.
I usually find I get a worse jolt when my back wheel goes over the rut or pothole - how do you manage that?
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Old 10-18-15, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
I usually find I get a worse jolt when my back wheel goes over the rut or pothole - how do you manage that?
Just stand up, and flex your legs like a shock absorber.
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Old 10-18-15, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
Just stand up, and flex your legs like a shock absorber.
Doesn't that defeat the purpose of suspension?
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Old 10-18-15, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
I usually find I get a worse jolt when my back wheel goes over the rut or pothole - how do you manage that?
It's better than a hard frame, but there definitely is a jolt.

To the others I have nothing against a hard frame but I feel like it's one of those "if you try it, you'll be sold on it" type things. We put suspension on our cars, so why would some bikers snub suspension on bikes? I'm talking strictly commuting here, not anything where performance and weight become issues... But then again, I've done my share of commuting with no suspension and it could be hella fun...
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Old 10-18-15, 10:57 AM
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Putting money out of the equation, the reason I don't like suspension forks is
1 - more weight
2 - they slow the bike down, especially when climbing hills. Ones with lockout less so, but they still do.
3 - maintenance

If wider tyres weren't enough for me, I'd go for suspension fork in spite of the stated reasons and in spite of a lot higher price. However, wide tyres make the ride quite comfortable. Also - rear wheel bumps are more bothering me than the front wheel, so in order to be more comfortable it would take a full sus bike, which is sloooooow.

Fat tyres, long chainstay and good seating position do the job for me.
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Old 10-18-15, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Doesn't that defeat the purpose of suspension?
No. It's how to ride over rough surfaces. It's in addition to the bike suspension. Look carefully at a motocross race or a MTB race, or even a fast ride. You stand up with legs bent almost all the time. You need to watch the traffic on a commute and scan the ground all the time, almost at the same time. That also helps miss big things on the ground. I got used to riding a dirt bike 40 + mph on a foot path in the woods. This makes it easy at 25 mph on a road. Anyone can do it. It just happened that I got used to the motorcycle first and made it easier for me. Be ready to take the weight off the bike, and for the bars to twist a little all the time. That's how to ride an MTB and not crash, or not damage a road bike. If you unweight hard enough you can roll or jump over many things.

One more thing, the bike will go where you look. Don't look at the big hole, look at the place next to it where you want to ride. It works.

Last edited by 2manybikes; 10-18-15 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 10-18-15, 02:53 PM
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Me + crap I carry is enough weight already. I'm already slow enough!

So I stick to a sprung saddle and nice fat tires. It seems to work. I'm comfortable.
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Old 10-18-15, 03:12 PM
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I agree with your premise on front suspension. If all of my bikes had to go, but one - the Crosstrail would be the one in my garage. I love trekking suspension on city bikes.
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Old 10-18-15, 04:17 PM
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I have a nice MTB with front sus. It has wide studded tires on it for the ice. I own it to ride with suspension. But, it does have a fork lock out. On smooth pavement the lock out is good for at least one or 1.5 gears higher with the same effort.
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