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Full suspension bike for road

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Full suspension bike for road

Old 03-15-12, 02:37 PM
  #1  
davsantos
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Full suspension bike for road

Hi,
I just bought a full suspension bike and I intend to use on normal road. The reason is that I live on a city with old roads and heavy winter. I also want to be very fast and, lets say, zig zag easily I though this was a good idea also because I read that full suspension is better for my back as it absorbs the impacts, right?

I haven't driven the bike much yet, but my question basically is: Did I make a good choice? Is it that uncommon to have a FS bike for normal road and is there any disadvantage? Finally, is it really better for my back?

Thank you all for the replies,
David
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Old 03-15-12, 03:15 PM
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CliftonGK1
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Probably better off with this in the commuter forum, since the question seems more related to city riding and commuter-ish conditions (even if you're not commuting) as opposed to cyclocross, where you're not likely to find a suspension (full or front) anywhere on the course.
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Old 03-15-12, 05:16 PM
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A carbon fork w/ a steel frame and, if needed, a suspension seatpost to smooth out very large bumps will suffice for most any road. Full suspension can do that better, certainly, but with a penalty for weight and lost efficiency (since you bob on it and lose power to the suspension that otherwise would go to the road). If it's comfortable and fun to ride though, keep w/ it. Get some narrow slick 26" tires and you'll gain back some of the efficiency that knobbies take away (and put studded knobbies on for winter only). You may want to adjust the gearing for going faster.

I wouldn't worry about needing an FS bike unless you have serious back problems that you don't want to aggravate.
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Old 03-15-12, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by pjkirk View Post
A carbon fork w/ a steel frame and, if needed, a suspension seatpost to smooth out very large bumps will suffice for most any road.
This is true. Wide tires help a lot too.

Originally Posted by pjkirk View Post
Full suspension can do that better, certainly, but with a penalty for weight and lost efficiency (since you bob on it and lose power to the suspension that otherwise would go to the road).
This is true for cheap suspension systems, but I bet the kind of suspension you find on a high end MTB wouldn't budge on anything less than a gaping pothole hit squarely.

Originally Posted by pjkirk View Post
Get some narrow slick 26" tires and you'll gain back some of the efficiency that knobbies take away (and put studded knobbies on for winter only). You may want to adjust the gearing for going faster.
Agreed.

Originally Posted by pjkirk View Post
If it's comfortable and fun to ride though, keep w/ it.
This is the most import thing. If you enjoy it, that's what matters. If you don't, look into the return policy.
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Old 03-15-12, 05:32 PM
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For what it's worth, I have a full suspension mountain bike and a rigid cross bike. I have ridden both on many of the same trails off road, but I just go slower when it gets rough on the cross bike. I personally hate riding my full suspension bike on the road because it is heavy and so much slower than a road or cross bike. I also have large knobby tires on it though. Overall though, it still works on the road, but is just a whole lot slower than a road bike and a good bit slower than a cross bike. If you could stiffen up the suspension and switch to slick tires though, it would probably increase the efficiency a lot.
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Old 03-15-12, 05:45 PM
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Finally, is it really better for my back?
A full suspension recumbent, maybe.. HP Velotechnik has a couple of those ..

cyclo cross, the race, requires your carrying the bike, at least a little bit, per lap

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Old 03-24-12, 08:30 PM
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Since you have already spent the money on the bike, tires are still the most economical fix/solution
Schwalbe Marathon and Vittoria Randonneur series are both excellent fast rolling city tires with high puncture resistance, and wet weather performance.
Both should come in a 26" size even if not in stock at your local bike shop.

You will notice the bike is heavier on the hills, but it will jar your back and wrists less, I only ride non-suspension and was amazed how smooth a ($1700) full suspension bike was.
You can easily make up for the heavier weight, with the lower gearing you will have typically provided on a full suspension bike. Only tradeoff is slower speed.
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Old 03-25-12, 01:22 AM
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My question to you is did you try any other types of bicycles before making this purchase? Everyone here can say yes it is fine and yes it will be better for your back but really comfort is a personal thing. Heck two fs mtb's arent exactly going to feel the same. But ultimately what matters is that you are happy with your bike, so are you?
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Old 10-07-19, 03:32 PM
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On the paved roads in my part of the world, a full-suspension bike would be the worst choice for efficiency and speed. Unless you are regularly contending with head-sized rocks and car-sized potholes, you don't need any suspension, apart from tires, the saddle and your backside.

A 40+ pound full-sus bike with knobbies will slow you down about 10kph for the same power output over a decent Road bike.

This is due to the excess weight, the upright (non-aero) riding position, the energy -sapping suspension bob, and large frictional energy losses due to the tires.

BTW: knobbies actual suffer from lower traction on smooth surfaces than slicks, hence the sketchy handling and cornering at high speeds.

Recommended cheap commuter bike: a rigid-frame MTB from the 80's with narrow, high-pressure slick tires. No suspension, and as light as possible. No department store junk.
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Old 10-07-19, 04:40 PM
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Old 10-07-19, 05:18 PM
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A thread from 2012? Oh man.
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Old 10-07-19, 07:51 PM
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Hey Dave, start a new thread with your post if you like, but this thread is too old to resurrect now.
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