This is the first of 5 topics we are going to talk about front suspension for bicycle fork. We will cover from the choice of the damping system to how each part works. Here we go?
BEFORE ANYTHING, CHOOSE THE DAMPING SYSTEM
Do you know which is one of the most common doubts when buying a suspension? Decide between a suspension with lock or without lock . But before that it is important to choose the suspension damping system. Because?
Shock absorbers with elastomers little flex, are less efficient and have no regulation. Shock absorbers with spring system:
- They flex more;
- They are a little more efficient;
- Usually have preload adjustment (to make it softer or harder) .
The air and oil systems are fully adjustable and very efficient. They have pneumatic and return adjustment with numerous possibilities. It only depends on the rider’s weight and the rider’s weight.
More sophisticated systems are more efficient at reading the terrain. They cause the rider to lose less kinetic energy for the spring effect. I speak of the famous “rise and fall” of the suspension at unwanted moments.
COST X BENEFIT
In the cost evaluation, considering the XC (Cross Country) modality , spring-loaded shock absorbers and elastomers are more important than oil and spring systems, which are cheaper than air and oil systems.
Now that you know the suspension damping systems, it is important to reflect on the ways of using the bike. After all, choosing the product that really caters to us can mean great satisfaction in the use and hundreds of dollars more – or savings – in the pocket. Especially when it comes to bike parts.
If its use is recreational, with irregular routes, but with few obstacles that require much of the suspension, a system without lock will attend it. If you have just started on the MTB but intend to “clear tortuous paths” in the short term , with greater difficulty and demand, your choice should be for locked systems.
TO SERVE THROUGH THE SUSPENSION
After learning about the damping systems and defining their real need in MTB practice, it’s time to understand what the suspension lock is for. The lock is a device that blocks the damping of the suspension. This would be like turning the suspension bicycle fork into a hard fork.
HOW IT WORKS AND HOW TO USE THE SUSPENSION LOCK
In a hydraulic suspension, either with spring or air , the suspension lock is on the side of the cane where the oil chamber is located and, when activated, blocks the oil flow, preventing bending of the damper.
The use of the lock brings benefit by ceasing the spring effect, which moves us up and down, rather than moving us forward. The main use of the latch is in climbs, when we pedalamos standing or even seated, long straight and stretches without obstacles. The use of the latch in uneven parts, even in climbs and standing, is not indicated, because impacts with the damper locked fatally will damage the locking system.
It should be remembered that we are referring to mechanical locking systems , as there are manufacturers that have already developed “intelligent” locks that lock and unlock the suspension as the terrain is read.
At the end of the day, with or without suspension, with or without lock, what is NOT worth inventing excuse not to take skinny for a ride!