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Must all budget MTB's have suspension forks?

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Must all budget MTB's have suspension forks?

Old 09-12-15, 05:23 PM
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Must all budget MTB's have suspension forks?

So this is probably a lame question but I don't get the suspension on budget mountain bikes, perhaps this is a marketing scheme or a selling point? I'm sure there are many mountain bikers that would much rather ride a rigid than a budget bike with a crappy suspension that adds nothing but weight and instability.
Wouldn't it be more cost effective for manufacturers to make a rigid bike for a few less dollars?
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Old 09-12-15, 08:49 PM
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Its a selling point. General Joe off the street would automatically buy the one with suspension forks. Especially places like WalMart, all about what it looks like. Have no clue just assume that they work. An actual mountain biker would just save a bit more to buy one with functional forks. Or beginners tend to buy then upgrade, or expect a cheap bike to handle the x games then complain when they break. But regardless, suspension forks sell, rigid for mountain bikes doesnt except for people that know and want a rigid.
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Old 09-12-15, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by tigris99
But regardless, suspension forks sell, rigid for mountain bikes doesnt except for people that know and want a rigid.
Like this one?

https://www.bikeforums.net/mountain-b...y-new-toy.html
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Old 09-13-15, 01:58 AM
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Tigris pretty well covered it but I'll add those that do want rigids generally want nice rigids like Mostermashe's for instance . I have a surly karate monkey rigid that isn't anything special but even it new would have cost way more than most entry level bikes go for.

I don't know if I would have stuck with the sport either if I had started on a rigid. I've been riding full squish bikes for years and when I brought out the rigid for it's first ride I was ready to swap a suspension fork onto it by the end of the ride lol. Luckily I'm lazy and didn't get around to it and after a few more rides I started getting it and even liking it. I just put carbon bars on it which helps but it still beats the crap of me.
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Old 09-13-15, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Monstermash
Wow, that's a gorgeous bike!

I'm referring to bikes whether from the LBS or the big box store for the occasional rider like myself that simply wants to do light trail, gravel and some street. These days you actually have to purchase a bike with a front fork and do the fork swap or build your own.

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Old 09-13-15, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by gilpi
I'm sure there are many mountain bikers that would much rather ride a rigid than a budget bike with a crappy suspension that adds nothing but weight and instability.
Trouble is there are mighty few in this category. Tigris99 pretty much nails it. You have to have been around the proverbial block a few times to understand that rigid beats suspension at the low end.
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Old 09-13-15, 07:46 AM
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You get what you pay for,

I have seen more than a few wally world bikes ride into my local trail system, not long after that the rider Is walking the bike out.
Catastrophic failure's are the norm with these bikes.

Single walled rims fold, not even trued out and single wall rims are a bad mix.
Brakes don't work due to bad assembly,
Poor crank assembly at the factory, out of round gears and sticky chains,,, etc etc.
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Old 09-13-15, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by gilpi
Wow, that's a gorgeous bike!

I'm referring to bikes whether from the LBS or the big box store for the occasional rider like myself that simply wants to do light trail, gravel and some street. These days you actually have to purchase a bike with a front fork and do the fork swap or build your own.
I have found it's much better to build your own. Especially if you can do the work yourself. Honestly, I don't think there are any good values available as a complete bike in today's market. If you really think about it, what can you buy for $1000-1500 that has good components on it? IMO, there isn't anything available that's a good value.

I'll mention my last complete bike purchase as an example. It was a 2014 Specialized Sirrus Carbon Expert Disc. The bike listed for $220 + and I bought it as a leftover for $1700. Even at $1700 I don't think it was a good value. It weighed 22 + lbs in stock form and came with crappy components like an FSA aluminum crankset, 105 rear derailleur, Tiagra front derailleur and shifters, wire bead tires, $hitty wheelset, and Formula C1 disc brakes. Come on Specialized, really? Thats what you offer for $2200 +??? To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.

I ended up scrapping most of the components and rebuilding the bike from the ground up. A lot of the components from my El Mar Ti were originally used on that build such as the Crossmax wheelset, FSA carbon bars/stem, S Works seatpost, and rotors.

I don't think I will ever buy another complete bike again.
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Old 09-13-15, 10:39 PM
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I picked up a lightly used Specialized Carve SL earlier this year for $675. You just have to watch for deals.
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Old 09-14-15, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by gilpi

I'm referring to bikes whether from the LBS or the big box store for the occasional rider like myself that simply wants to do light trail, gravel and some street.
That's me! I often wonder, as I'm riding this thru my neighborhood, if anyone sees it and assumes it's a cheap department store bike. I think only enthusiasts would recognize it for what it is. Plus, I have the option to add a good, 80-100mm travel fork, if my riding ever warrants it.

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Old 09-14-15, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by corwin1968
That's me! I often wonder, as I'm riding this thru my neighborhood, if anyone sees it and assumes it's a cheap department store bike. I think only enthusiasts would recognize it for what it is. Plus, I have the option to add a good, 80-100mm travel fork, if my riding ever warrants it.

Cool bike!

If one really wanted a rigid but still wanted something halfway decent one could consider a hybrid bike with large enough clearance for some off road type tires. The 2015 + Specialized Sirrus comes to mind. Or, if one were informed, one could just buy something like you did.
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Old 09-14-15, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Monstermash
Cool bike!

If one really wanted a rigid but still wanted something halfway decent one could consider a hybrid bike with large enough clearance for some off road type tires. The 2015 + Specialized Sirrus comes to mind. Or, if one were informed, one could just buy something like you did.
I built this one from a frameset/headset with my own components. It replaced a 1995 Trek 730 that didn't have enough tire clearance and that had too much toe overlap. My next step will be to put some 2"+ tires on it, probably Maxxis Torches but maybe Schwalbe Big Apples. Mid-term plan is to buy some real MTB tires and long-term, a new disk compatible wheelset with really wide rims so can max out that 2.5" of tire clearance!
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Old 09-14-15, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by corwin1968
I built this one from a frameset/headset with my own components. It replaced a 1995 Trek 730 that didn't have enough tire clearance and that had too much toe overlap. My next step will be to put some 2"+ tires on it, probably Maxxis Torches but maybe Schwalbe Big Apples. Mid-term plan is to buy some real MTB tires and long-term, a new disk compatible wheelset with really wide rims so can max out that 2.5" of tire clearance!
Were you thinking of the Big Apples for paved riding? If so, keep an eye on Schwalbe's website in the coming weeks/months before you buy the BA's. Trust me, you'll thank me later.
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Old 09-14-15, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Monstermash
Were you thinking of the Big Apples for paved riding? If so, keep an eye on Schwalbe's website in the coming weeks/months before you buy the BA's. Trust me, you'll thank me later.
Big Ones?

I have some reservations about really fat tires with my current rims (24mm outside diameter). I know they are fine for 50mm tires but I'm not sure about 60mm.
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Old 09-14-15, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Monstermash
Cool bike!

If one really wanted a rigid but still wanted something halfway decent one could consider a hybrid bike with large enough clearance for some off road type tires. The 2015 + Specialized Sirrus comes to mind. Or, if one were informed, one could just buy something like you did.
I couldn't see your bike earlier due to being at work but now I'm home and yours makes mine look like a Wal-Mart bike!!! LOL That is one sweet ride you've got!
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Old 09-14-15, 06:59 PM
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There's always this:
ToughRoad SLR 2 (2016) | Giant Bicycles | United States

Probably going to pick one up as a commuter bike.
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Old 09-14-15, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by corwin1968
Corwin, that's a classy build you've got there. Simple. And elegant. I'm liking it.
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Old 09-16-15, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by corwin1968
Big Ones?

I have some reservations about really fat tires with my current rims (24mm outside diameter). I know they are fine for 50mm tires but I'm not sure about 60mm.

Here you go.....


Schwalbe Big One - Schwalbe Professional Bike Tires
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Old 09-17-15, 06:13 PM
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What originally made me think and post this question is the Cannondale Trail 7 with the XCT fork I recently purchased, can't really judge since I've ridden the bike only on a few occasions over light to moderate terrain.
It "seems" to do the job, no sticking and it does take some of the beating away from my arms when compared to my all rigid bike, my only dislike is the very and I mean very slight wobble when standing still and applying the front brakes while rocking it back and forth, not noticeable when riding, I don't know how better forks behave the same.
This is my first front suspension bike so I have zero experience on this but I almost wish the bike would have sold with a carbon front fork instead of the XCT.
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Old 09-18-15, 10:18 AM
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I've ridden actual technical mountain bike trails with both a rigid bike and a hardtail. I much prefer the hardtail. Even though it's technically a "budget" bike at $800. Much too cheap to be considered an "actual" bike. If you're riding trails that have actual rocks you have to ride OVER, you're going to want front suspension, even cheapish suspension. Your hands/wrists/arms will thank you. Not to mention the increased handling and forgiveness for hitting a rock and being able to steer directly afterward. Suspension isn't just about a "soft ride," it's about keeping your tires on the ground.

I'm not saying that you NEED suspension, but riding a rigid bike on these trails requires more skills to pick the correct line and stick to it. Skills most beginners don't have.

Surely I couldn't take anything less than an XTR equipped carbon fiber bike on these trails and have fun.

What I hear from the OP is "I bought a bike with a suspension fork and even though it's given me no problems whatsoever and even seems to make the ride more enjoyable, I don't like it and would prefer a different fork."
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Old 09-18-15, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by corrado33
I've ridden actual technical mountain bike trails with both a rigid bike and a hardtail. I much prefer the hardtail. Even though it's technically a "budget" bike at $800. Much too cheap to be considered an "actual" bike. If you're riding trails that have actual rocks you have to ride OVER, you're going to want front suspension, even cheapish suspension. Your hands/wrists/arms will thank you. Not to mention the increased handling and forgiveness for hitting a rock and being able to steer directly afterward. Suspension isn't just about a "soft ride," it's about keeping your tires on the ground.

I'm not saying that you NEED suspension, but riding a rigid bike on these trails requires more skills to pick the correct line and stick to it. Skills most beginners don't have.

Surely I couldn't take anything less than an XTR equipped carbon fiber bike on these trails and have fun.

What I hear from the OP is "I bought a bike with a suspension fork and even though it's given me no problems whatsoever and even seems to make the ride more enjoyable, I don't like it and would prefer a different fork."
Never said I didn't like it. Since I've only owned rigid bikes till recently, I wouldn't know the difference between a bad fork and a good one, that is till I take my time to ride them both of course and make a comparison.
Good advice overall though, thanks!
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