How To Choose The Best Bike Suspension forks
If you are looking to upgrade your mountain bike, you should seriously consider changing the mountain bike suspension forks. The ongoing advancements in the technology incorporated into mountain bike fork suspension work to enhance the bike’s handling and maneuverability on rough terrain.
The mountain bike suspension forks are classified by the technology they incorporate. Some examples are 4X and Jump suspension forks, Freeride / Mountain suspension forks, Freeride / DH forks, XC suspension forks, and Cannondale Lefty’s.
To achieve the best mountain bike suspension, you will have to evaluate them against the riding surface and your particular style. An important aspect to look at for mountain bike suspension forks is travel, the measure of movement of a suspension coil between action and rest.
Jump and 4X forks have a travel of 80-100 millimeters and are ideal for cushion heavy landings while significantly reducing front-end compression, allowing for a seamless ride. The forks are the most robust and highly stable, with weight directly proportional to their durability.
Freeride Lite or Mountain suspension forks have greater travel than cross-country forks, of up to 6 inches. Being heavier than other mountain bike suspension forks, the lockout is even more important. Most riders choose coil-sprung forks over air-sprung ones. The coils do make the forks heavier, but less susceptible to damage from heavy impacts.
Freeride or downhill forks are ‘double-crown’ suspension forks with travel of up to 10 inches. Many forks integrated this technology have coil springs for better robustness. Freeride forks allow for customization by changing the springs, and thus travel, which changes handling too. Downhill forks shouldn’t be integrated in cross-country bikes, as these bikes are not build to withstand the pressure of these forks. Freeride forks can snap the frames of cross-country bikes.
XC cross-country mountain bike suspension forks have lower levels of travel, and are built for light weight. These single-crown suspension forks have 80-100mm travel on average. Forks built for cross-country bikes now increasingly utilize air springs; air pressure is used instead of elastometers or springs, allowing for significant reduction in weight. These kinds of mountain bike suspension forks are also simpler to adjust. Elastomers and coil sprung forks are still preferred by some due to their enhanced durability and ease of maintenance.
Cannondale Lefty’s and Headshocks incorporate more advanced suspension fork technologies, integrating all mechanisms within the frame of the bike. The fork is very reliable, with some higher-end variants including lockouts for simple adjustment. These forks usually result in a lot more responsive handling, with active suspension and better traction.