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Why do some dislike suspension forks?

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Why do some dislike suspension forks?

Old 10-02-19, 10:06 AM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
But then the bike industry Humanity is a slave to fads. In 1995 you could not sell a bike unless it was a "mountain bike". At that time it was funny to see old 10-speeds and even older English 3-speeds being retrofitted with knobby tires and trying to be sold on Craigslist as rad and gnarly mountain bikes..
Fixed it. The industry wouldn't do these things if people didn't buy the bikes. Your CL entrepreneurs are the perfect example. Someone is making these (potential) kludges because they can make money at it.



Back on topic... I recently swapped out a 7 year old Rock Shock fork for a new Soma rigid unit. I did get the proper suspension corrected one. For my riding, which is more gravel roads than singletrack, it worked great. Lighter bike, more responsive climbing, etc. There is a slight change in ride on roads. The 56mm wide tires help a bunch also. Offroad and on really terrible roads, the change is far more noticeable. Yes, the bike will shake you around a whole lot more than before when blasting over really rocky areas, but I expected that. I made the tradeoff because I like the rigid feel for the majority of my rides and can deal with the rough ride for a few minutes when I do ride on the worse roads.
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Old 10-02-19, 10:23 AM
  #52  
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Hey, if you like using a suspension fork, go ahead, it's your ride.

For me, they just seem like a waste for road riding, with no real upside. They add weight, are less efficient, require maintenance, and I prefer the handling of a rigid fork on pavement. I'll let the tires take care of the bumps.

I'm all about suspension off road. Totally worth the money, weight, and maintenance time/money. But for the streets? Nah.
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Old 10-02-19, 10:25 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Robert P View Post
I don't know about this "power robbing" assertion. By the time the front suspension gets loaded with weight on the bike, movement of the fork is going to be very minimal just going down a smooth road which is where you're going to be really cranking the pedals. I just don't see it being a significant factor though I reserve the right to be proven wrong.
Then why do you think some suspension forks come with lockout features?
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Old 10-02-19, 10:26 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Robert P View Post
I find some seem to feel disdain for suspension front forks. Not clear to me why.

Insights?
Horses for courses.
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Old 10-02-19, 10:27 AM
  #55  
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I like suspension forks. I do not like $89 bikes that come with suspension forks - if you can't count on the front derailleur to be properly made, you can't count on the $10 fork to have the correct tolerances and function properly, and it is only a trick to make people think they are getting more than they actually are, when giving them less than nothing. Luckily, the forks on cheap bikes generally fail by turning into a sloppy five-times too heavy rigid fork, and not often by ejecting the front wheel while riding, but they still all fail if the bike is actually ridden (most are not). and those forks on cheap bikes, when they do work, don't work well enough to actually provide any benefit.

I used $89 bikes as an example, but in my experience, any bike under ~$300 (CDN) is unlikely to have a reasonably functional suspension fork. Bikes over $300 might have functional suspension forks until the inevitably stop working.
Garbage forks probably cost the manufacturer ~$15-20 more to include compared to a rigid fork, and that money could be better used making the bike more reliable or by using better wheel bearings or rims or something.

It's not just suspension forks, though.. There are two characteristics potentially at odds: 'Quality' and 'Features'. A quality $200 rigid bike does exist, but it has few features - probably rim brakes and rigid frame and fork. A single speed or 1X setup to keep costs down. There exist bikes with many features - Front and rear suspension, disc brakes, 21 speeds, Shimano Equipped - all sound like features found on good bikes, but on the cheapest of bikes they put the cheapest possible equipment that technically meets the definition, even if it doesn't come close to doing the same thing on the cheap bike.
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Old 10-02-19, 10:45 AM
  #56  
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You'd think in the 5 years since this thread, someone would have come up with a decent suspension knife and spoon to complete the cutlery set.
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Old 10-02-19, 10:50 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
You'd think in the 5 years since this thread, someone would have come up with a decent suspension knife and spoon to complete the cutlery set.
The problem with suspension cutlery is that it is inefficient and unnecessary in most eating environments. Provided the consumer is willing and able to use her or his hand/eye coordination and/or muscle memory to prevent shocks to the teeth, the compliance of a suspension fork, for example, is simply unnecessary.
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Old 10-02-19, 10:57 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
The problem with suspension cutlery is that it is inefficient and unnecessary in most eating environments. Provided the consumer is willing and able to use her or his hand/eye coordination and/or muscle memory to prevent shocks to the teeth, the compliance of a suspension fork, for example, is simply unnecessary.
I only use the suspension spoon for rocky road ice cream.
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Old 10-02-19, 11:35 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I only use the suspension spoon for rocky road ice cream.
A very good example of culinary conditions in which the added weight and complexity of suspension does provide a net benefit; horses for courses.
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Old 10-02-19, 12:23 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by Robert P View Post
Can you explain the physics on this?
Consider a super simplified example -- a pogo stick. Bouncing up and down on a pogo stick requires energy.
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Old 10-02-19, 12:43 PM
  #61  
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Ha! 5 year old thread. I hated cheap bikes with suspension forks then, and I hate them even more now.


Why?.. since then, I've taken up volunteering at a big-city bike Co-op. We get dozens of full-bike donations per week, most of which are cheap MTB's. Almost all of these feature suspension forks that are seized-up solid with internal corrosion, or are dangerously wobbly due to internal wear, or are completely bottomed-out due to seals being blown, or elastomers that have disintegrated to dust. All unsafe and unridable.


Since we typically sell used bikes for $100-200, it doesn't make a lot of sense to replace the old fork with a new one that will cost in excess of $100. Sure, we have a pile of used suspension forks that were donated, but why would we spend 30 minutes replacing an old fork with a donated fork that probably is just as useless?


Why don't we replace the suspension forks with rigid you ask? Because everybody has that same idea. Anytime an unbent, unmangled fork with a 1 1/8" threadless steerer comes through our door, it is snapped up in minutes.


So now, about 75% of the bikes that come as donations get stripped of (literally) a handful of parts, and then shipped right to the landfill. If these bikes had rigid forks, we could turn them into cheap commuters. Not any more. I predicted this 5 years ago: that there will be a whole generation of bikes produced from the mid-90's onwards that will be unrepairable throwaways - due to suspension. This has fully come to pass.


When this thread is revived in another 5 years, here is my next bold prediction: that bikes with cheap disc brakes will be throwaways. We are already seeing this, that we are getting donations of inexpensive disc-brake bikes because the pads have worn out, or the rotors bent, and it doesn't make sense to service them when shop rates are $75 per hour.


At our Co-op, we only replace disc-brake pads if the customer comes through the door with their own (new) replacements. We cannot afford to stock the 500 different types of pads. We definitely cannot afford to have our customers rooting through our limited pad collection, opening 5 new packages to test if they fit on their calipers, throwing the fails back in the bin, and then donating $5 to us after an hour of joint frustration.


So here is my prediction: within 10 years, almost all bikes sold today will be essentially unserviceable, and head direct to the landfill after a short life, due to suspension elements, weird new bottom bracket standards, and disc brakes. Especially hydro discs.
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Old 10-02-19, 02:15 PM
  #62  
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My disdain comes from the fact that I have to ride heavy, clumsy front suspension "police" bikes at work. I admit I've never ridden a quality front or dual suspension mountain bike, but for police/security bikes I don't think they add anything. I wish I could ride my Bridgestone MB-1 for work!
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Old 10-02-19, 06:00 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post

So now, about 75% of the bikes that come as donations get stripped of (literally) a handful of parts, and then shipped right to the landfill. If these bikes had rigid forks, we could turn them into cheap commuters. Not any more. I predicted this 5 years ago: that there will be a whole generation of bikes produced from the mid-90's onwards that will be unrepairable throwaways - due to suspension. This has fully come to pass.


When this thread is revived in another 5 years, here is my next bold prediction: that bikes with cheap disc brakes will be throwaways. We are already seeing this, that we are getting donations of inexpensive disc-brake bikes because the pads have worn out, or the rotors bent, and it doesn't make sense to service them when shop rates are $75 per hour.


At our Co-op, we only replace disc-brake pads if the customer comes through the door with their own (new) replacements. We cannot afford to stock the 500 different types of pads. We definitely cannot afford to have our customers rooting through our limited pad collection, opening 5 new packages to test if they fit on their calipers, throwing the fails back in the bin, and then donating $5 to us after an hour of joint frustration.


So here is my prediction: within 10 years, almost all bikes sold today will be essentially unserviceable, and head direct to the landfill after a short life, due to suspension elements, weird new bottom bracket standards, and disc brakes. Especially hydro discs.
Since we are opening a time capsule, you are right, the lifetime bicycle is gone. The disc braked, weirded out cf frames, hydraulic brakes and all of that will head straight to a landfill. I see them already, one by one now, soon by the truck load, then train load of junk bicycles sold on the siren song of the latest technology.
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Old 10-02-19, 08:36 PM
  #64  
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Discs are easier to service than calipers, in my experience. Calipers can be tricky to get lined-up and balanced.
More the issue there is the increasingly useless throw-away society.

Hydraulic discs are easiest of all. Don't get me started on cables, I never opt voluntarily to go back to them.

Suspension forks, well I can't run without them now. Arms burn. Cheap steel forks are terrible but even budget alloy-mag ones are fine for most people.
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Old 10-02-19, 09:00 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
Discs are easier to service than calipers, in my experience. Calipers can be tricky to get lined-up and balanced.
More the issue there is the increasingly useless throw-away society.

Hydraulic discs are easiest of all. Don't get me started on cables, I never opt voluntarily to go back to them.

Suspension forks, well I can't run without them now. Arms burn. Cheap steel forks are terrible but even budget alloy-mag ones are fine for most people.
Is this why the MTBR forum is filled with disc brake questions, and why the RBR forum has almost zero questions on caliper brakes?
c'mon man stop the nonsense
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Old 10-02-19, 09:33 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
Discs are easier to service than calipers, in my experience. Calipers can be tricky to get lined-up and balanced.
Usually you just need an allen wrench or a phillips to center dual pivots.

Single pivots are a piece of cake with one of these and an allen wrench.


Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 10-02-19 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 10-02-19, 09:41 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
Hydraulic discs are easiest of all. Don't get me started on cables, I never opt voluntarily to go back to them.
I stick with cable actuation myself. BB7s and TRP Spyres.
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Old 10-02-19, 10:28 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
Is this why the MTBR forum is filled with disc brake questions,
It isn't. The only post I see on the whole first page is somebody asking if a 203mm rotor will fit on the rear of their frame. Don't feel like looking any further back.
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Old 10-03-19, 06:24 AM
  #69  
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they look clunky
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Old 10-03-19, 09:36 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by flip flop rider View Post
they look clunky
qft
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Old 10-03-19, 09:54 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
they look clunky

Not at all, I wonder where you got that from






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Old 10-03-19, 10:22 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by subgrade View Post
Not at all, I wonder where you got that from






lol
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Old 10-03-19, 10:25 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by subgrade View Post
Not at all, I wonder where you got that from






I can't unsee that.
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Old 10-03-19, 03:05 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by Canker View Post
It isn't. The only post I see on the whole first page is somebody asking if a 203mm rotor will fit on the rear of their frame. Don't feel like looking any further back.
ugh bro, check again
there's a whole subforum on brakes, and with 25,000+ threads and 200,000+ posts, it's one of the most active subforums on there
https://forums.mtbr.com/brake-time/

In contrast, how many questions are there on caliper brakes on RBR? Once every couple months, maybe?
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Old 10-03-19, 03:33 PM
  #75  
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My current bike has a barely decent suspension fork instead of a Suntour pogo stick, and wow, what a difference.
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