Do I Need a Full Suspension Mountain Bike? Explained by Experts

Do I Need a Full Suspension Mountain Bike

Hello, mountain bikers!

You need comfort, traction, and improved control to ride over rocks, athwart streams, and all those different terrains out there. And for this, you have to choose the best-featured mountain bike.

At this stage, there might be a question in your mind- do I need a full suspension mountain bike?

Well, I am here to explain you this. In this series, I am going to break down why you need this.

Whether it is rocky singletrack, rooty, or jerky road; bike suspension technology is one of the necessary factors that plays a potential role in making your riding full of fun and excitements.

Most of the modern mountain bikes are designed with suspension. Bike suspension features a smooth and controlled ride with dampening the roughness of the terrain.

It comes in three categories; full-suspension or dual-suspension bike (a bike with front and rear suspension) is one of them.

Are dual-suspension bikes any good?

Mountain bike manufacturers offer different types of suspension systems. All those help both you and your bike to alleviate from harsh riding.

Hardtail suspension only consists of a shock-absorbing suspension in the front fork; whereas dual-suspension includes both front and rear suspension.

As you know, mountain biking is harsh every so often due to various obstacles of wild terrains. Dual suspension bikes offer you the ability to pass through rigid terrain in an adventurous way to explore the rugged outdoor.

Not only in the front but also the rear; full-suspension bikes are experts in absorbing impact.

No matter how many obstacles are there on your rugged terrain, dual suspension bikes are very comfortable compared to their stiff counterparts.

The best part is that riders with back pains get the full support and unbelievable comfort with this suspension bike.

As they are comparatively heavier, this suspension bike is good with efficiency at downhill riding and jumps.

At the time of pedaling, any suspension consumes both the riders pedal force and bumps. That is why dual-suspension bikes decay more energy while pedaling.

And they are not suitable for climbing up hills.

But, on a rugged trail, biking with injury, discomfort, or saddle soreness; dual suspension bikes are the right choice.

How does a full-suspension mountain bike work?

You will find many bicycles equipped with full suspension. Its main task is to absorb small collisions and at the same time, keeps the tires contacted with the ground.

This technology ensures better control. Also, while landing jumps, the bike with full suspension helps to absorb large bumps.

The front and rear suspension system combine with a spring and a damper, which refers to a shock absorber collectively.

If you have prior experience to have off-road challenges, then you must know hilly roads bring so many ups and downs and bumps on your way.

Spring in the suspension helps the bike to move up while the wheel faces bumps and to rapid move back down immediately after passing the bump.

For a full-suspension mountain bike, you need the spring to compress more force with every big jump landing.

Now, what is the purpose of a damper? If the suspension system is only equipped with a spring, it would be bottoming out several times after every bump.

A damper evaporates the stored energy in the spring and prevents the suspension from bouncing out when landing big jumps.

Front suspension is also known as suspension fork. Here in the picture, you can see the lower point of the fork suspension is connected to the frame with the wheels fitted over the tubes.

When your bike encounters a bump, the fork starts to change position. These bike’s piston forces fluid throughout the orifice while the spring is compressed.

You will find a wide range of rear suspension designs based on their frame and linkage from different bike manufacturers.

Hardtail or Full Suspension –  Which suspension is better for bikes?

Are you still confused between full suspension and hardtail suspension for bikes? Then let me make it easier for you to realize which one is better.

As far now, you know that the mountain bike’s comfort and control both depend on the type of suspension you choose.

Hardtail or Full Suspension

Hardtail suspension for bikes

Hardtail suspension bikes come with a more straightforward design. These bikes don’t include high-end bike parts like shifters, derailleurs, brakes, etc.

which are expensive to manufacture. They come with a budget-friendly price limit and offer you the ability to handle moderate bumps on fairly smooth trails.

With its front suspension fork, a hardtail bike is less costly in the matter of maintenance. Though you need to follow specific maintenance rules, they are simple compared to full suspension bikes.

Hardtail suspension is good as it is light in weight due to its simpler designed fewer parts. If your adventure includes riding long distances or so many climbing, then hardtail suspension suits fine your bike.

Full Suspension for bikes

The full suspension makes a mountain bike much more capable of handling the wild tracks and various obstacles.

They are more rigid as they have suspension in both front forks and the rear of the frame. That means they can absorb impact both in the front and rear of the bike.

Though full suspension bikes are a bit heavier and expensive, riders find this combination of front and rear suspension good while pedaling through rock gardens, uproots, and off drops.

This technology makes the bike offering the riders comfort, total control, and better handling facility.

The front and rear suspension are suitable for bikes when the riders need more speed along with absorbing power while riding through technical trails, which hardtail suspension won’t support.

What’s the best full suspension mountain bike?

The full suspension makes a bike expensive, but that you shouldn’t bother if you are searching for great mountain bikes.

It can be overwhelming finding the best one among the infinite options of full suspension trail bikes.

Due to the advanced frame and fork technology, rear shock function, and cutting-edge suspension, the full-suspension mountain bike is the most popular one.

You will find short, medium, or long travel specified full suspension bikes.

The short-travel bikes for cross-country riding; the medium-travel bike for all-mountain riding; for downhill or freeride, there is long-travel bikes.

Moreover, there is another type of full suspension bike- 29ers, which comes in different travel lengths.

So among so many varieties of full suspension mountain bikes, how would you know which one is the best?

Comfortable and efficient riding, offering better traction and more control- all these are the main features that make a full suspension bike at its best.

Moreover, as more you ride on your bike; the more you would get to know the accurate frame size, handlebars, and seat posts that go with you. If you don’t know then no worry! We have writter an article on how to choose right size mountain bike easily.

You can keep upgrading your bike always with these components to make the best out of it.

So, as you can see, full-suspension mountain bikes come with excellent benefits and quality service that make your adventure more exciting.

I hope you have got your answer in this content to the question- do I need a full-suspension mountain bike? Thanks!


Reference:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15758846

https://forums.mtbr.com/shocks-suspension/purpose-full-suspension-bike-782777.html

https://www.active.com/articles/the-shocking-truth-mountain-bike-suspension-and-you

https://bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/6238/front-suspension-or-full-suspension-mountain-bike

Updated: 20.01.2020

About the Author Zachary Anderson

Hi, I am Zach who is behind Bikefeatures.com. I have vast experience about Bicycles as previously I have worked in a bike shop near to my home in Pittsburgh, PA. From there I have learnt lot of things about bicycles which is very important for a beginner bike to know before landing the first bike. I hope my articles about different bike reviews will help you to selecting the first bike. Happy Pedaling!

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