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Suspension fork or no?

Old 04-21-14, 09:01 PM
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Suspension fork or no?

I'm building up a folding bike. Its main use would be for exploration. Not a big mountain biker, so it would likely mostly stay in car trunks and city streets.

Am searching for a fork right now. It looks like most rigid forks that are halfway decent are in the lower $100's.

Thinking maybe a suspension fork because weight might not be as big a difference and it might be useful.

So first of all, is a suspension fork worth it if you are mainly touring around

and secondly, what to look for in a suspension fork and what are some good low-cost options?
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Old 04-22-14, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by adlai
Thinking maybe a suspension fork because weight might not be as big a difference and it might be useful.

So first of all, is a suspension fork worth it if you are mainly touring around
If you're touring on asphalt roads? Not at all.

If you're riding mostly/all off pavement then it makes sense, but a suspension fork for an all-on-asphalt ride is worse than useless - it's extra dead weight and contributes nothing.
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Old 04-22-14, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by jbphilly
If you're touring on asphalt roads? Not at all.

If you're riding mostly/all off pavement then it makes sense

I would say seriously off pavement. You don't need a suspension fork to ride your average limestone MUP or many U.S.F.S. roads.
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Old 04-22-14, 06:14 AM
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In addition to what they said, having a suspension fork that you can't lock out can be a huge source of energy loss.
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Old 04-22-14, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
I would say seriously off pavement. You don't need a suspension fork to ride your average limestone MUP or many U.S.F.S. roads.
Yeah, this is accurate. Even dirt road touring probably doesn't merit suspension, unless you're finding that riding on those kinds of surfaces really beats you up.
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Old 04-22-14, 07:23 AM
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Except for rough trails, no. Instead, select tires/pressure to match the surface and your riding experience preference.
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Old 04-22-14, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by adlai
So first of all, is a suspension fork worth it if you are mainly touring around
No. Suspension forks are useful on technical single-track.

and secondly, what to look for in a suspension fork and what are some good low-cost options?
Lock-out and preload adjustment are must-have features on suspension forks. All of the low-cost suspension forks that I've tried have been awful at best. If you're buying new, $350-400 will get you a mediocre suspension fork. If you want something that works well, plan to spend $600+.
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Old 04-22-14, 09:50 AM
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I only have a suspension fork on my Koga WTR, because it , a used bike came that way , was selected & modified at the OEM level .

the travel is short 35mm travel, and stiff, so only moves on a good sized hit.

good and low cost in suspension forks are opposites ..

there was a fork well designed for loaded unpaved tracks the pannier mounts on the top, wheel motion un restricted,

But the company website where I saw it , seems to not use that one anymore.. even as an option..

Panamericana


so if low cost is a concern, then say No to a suspension fork , a thudbuster seatpost under your Butt, may help ..

the mass of having gear in panniers on your front wheel , absorbs a fair amount of buzz, just as a result of inertia.

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-22-14 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 04-22-14, 11:59 AM
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Suspension is great when you're jumping obstacles off road. That shock absorption keeps me from biffing each time I land in my usual clumsy manner.

Suspension isn't much use on the road, except for landing from curb jumps.

The type of forks you see on hybrids are almost worse than useless, because they don't have the travel or rebound to handle jolts well, yet they're still plenty heavy.

The best suspension for the road is wider tires. I jump curbs on 2" tires comfortably, with a little technique.
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