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Bicycle Fork Guide


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bicycle fork Most road bicycles are equipped with a front fork without an integral suspension system.  They rely on flex in the frame and the air in the tires to absorb shock.  Older bicycles may also have shock absorbing springs under the saddle.  However, the nature of off-road riding necessitates shock absorbing front forks on mountain bikes.  Some mountain bikes also feature rear shock absorbers.

Spring, sag, damping, and travel are all words used in conjunction with bicycle suspension.  The spring is most often a coil spring, and is used to absorb jarring shocks.  Air filled shocks are often used instead of coil springs because of their light weight.  Sag refers to the amount of give the suspension has; how much it lowers under the weight of the rider.  Damping refers to the speed of the spring.  Travel is the total distance the suspension can move.  More travel generally allows for bigger bump absorption, but less efficient pedaling energy.

Cross country mountain bikes typically use a front shock with a rigid frame or a short travel rear-end.  Enduro mountain bikes are designed for harder riding and have a heavier duty suspension system.  Downhill bikes are the heaviest duty of all mountain bikes and use a very long travel fork similar to a motorcycle shock.  For optimum shock absorption, a suspension system should be set up specifically for the rider's weight and riding style.

Shop for new and used bicycle forks and suspension products at eBay.

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Bicycle Forks - Bicycle Suspension Products

spring fork and front brake on a mountain bike
Mountain Bike Spring Fork