Mountain Bikes Suspension Choices

Mountain bikes are specialized machines designed to meet specific needs. Early mountain bikes are built with a rigid frame and fork. As the hobby caught, so have the need to augment the design to fit more to the terrain it is already being used. In the early 1900's the mountain bike was fitted with suspension forks. Early suspension forks had only 2 inches suspension travel. This suspension travel was evolved and today the suspension travel of mountain bikes could exceed 8 inches.

The suspension that you choose for your bike is almost as important as the activity that you will be doing it with. Without the proper suspension in a bike, its maneuverability could be compromised and when traveling at certain types of terrains.

The Dual suspension design

When the popularity of aggressive off road, mountain trail, down hill biking caught on, bikers and manufacturers alike realized that a new set of suspension should be fitted to the bike to make it adopt better to the terrain that it is being used on. Previous suspension designs where only the fork is fitted with suspension is no longer sufficient and so a new set of suspension for the rear tire were also fitted. Fitting new suspensions for the rear tire resulted into smoother ride while enabling the bike to travel upwards or downhill as the rear wheel can now absorb the energy that is generated whenever a bike hits rocks and other obstacles.

The only downside to this design is that it is heavier, more expensive and pedaling is not as efficient as those with the single front fork suspension. This down side though is enormously compensated by the amount of control that a biker has when the bike encounter bumps and when traveling on a rugged down hill descent.

This is so because as the bike hits an obstacle or a hump, the tendency of the bike is to bounce up that could often careen out of control when the bike lands. The advantage of having an added rear suspension is to absorb much of the energy of the bounce. This is so because the forward momentum of the bike that results in upward motion when it hits the obstacle is now absorbed by the rear suspension that results in decreased upward motion allowing for better control as the bike lands. Anther advantage of having a dual suspension is that the bike could travel faster on both downhill and smooth terrain. Having dual suspension on the bike is also easier on the back.

Previous dual suspension designs also dramatically increase the weight of the bike, the latest makes today however resulted to reduced weight. However if the bike will not be really used on hilly terrain a single suspension bike will suffice

The Single suspension Design

Single suspension design means that only the tires are fitted to a suspension. When the bike is to be used for some slopes and dirt jumping, the single suspension design will already suffice. This will lessen the weight of the bike and make it less expensive also. The single suspension design also called a hard tail design provides better pedaling efficiency and easier maintenance.

This design though is getting less popular as the choice has been shifting to the Dual suspension fitted bikes.

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