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Should I worry about cheapo suspension fork?

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Should I worry about cheapo suspension fork?

Old 06-23-19, 09:47 AM
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Should I worry about cheapo suspension fork?

I bought a hybrid bike a few years ago that came with a super-cheapo (coil) suspension fork. I didn't really care either way: I bought the bike because it was cheap and a good fit.

However, recently I have been commuting every day with it (close to an hour per day). Roads here are horrible, so tons of crazy-bumpy riding.

I don't care about how well (or even if at all) the suspension fork works, but I do care if it might break in some non-graceful way while riding.

Am I right to worry? Do these things break in some bad way, or do they just stop providing any suspension?

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Old 06-23-19, 11:47 AM
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Noting to worry about. I would worry more about brakes or tires. I have a suspension front fork and I've never been concerned with it in any shape or form.
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Old 06-23-19, 12:01 PM
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all else fails... you just replace it steel stanchions will rust.. over exposure time..

.. a rigid suspension corrected fork makes sense..

other than the headset and hub, no moving parts..

maybe a fatter tire capacity bike.. ? 42 wide?

better performing suspension forks cost about what your whole bicycle cost...


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Old 06-23-19, 12:29 PM
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Never heard of a sus fork assplosion. GF has an old beater front sus Trek MTB that I can ride (albeit in a somewhat cramped position). The sus kicks-in only for really big hits.
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Old 06-24-19, 07:17 AM
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There is not really any safety issue with old forks, provided there is not a crack or advanced corrosion somewhere that could lead to loss of control... but this is rare. Do a careful visual inspection of the fork. Also if the front wheel seems to not track well or is not straight in the fork, do a more careful inspection as that could be indicative of such problems. Again, this is rare.

More likely the suspension will just stop providing any suspension, and TBH I am doubtful the forks that come on cheap bikes provide much benefit at the best of times.
Fatter tires at lower pressure are generally a more effective, lighter, and more reliable way to soften the ride than a suspension-shaped pogo stick on the front of your bike. Suspension forks that actually improve the ride are available starting around $400.
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Old 06-24-19, 08:47 AM
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Depend son how it is sprung. Likely it is elastomers---compressible rubber donuts around the sliders inside the tubes. They will lose their elasticity in time and simply not spring back. At that time you will probably start to notice the clunk when you hit bumps, and some up-and-down shaking because the fork will not fully rebound. Depending on how old the fork it, you could possibly source new elastomers. Likely unless you are doing major jumps, the fork will last a long time before that is a problem. Elastomers will also harden with age .....

Unlikely you have a spring in oil, but in that case eventually your seals might go. Rebuild or replace.

If I were riding a suspended bike and the fork blew, I would tear strips of bandana (because I always carry a couple) and tie the outer fork-mount bolts to the top of the stanchion to keep if from moving so much and just ride it to where I was going. if you are just commuting, likely you could just ride it as is and take a big jolt every now and then, because the bumps would be smaller.
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