Whatever type of off-road riding you enjoy most—from XC to trail, enduro to downhill—a mountain bike suspension fork plays a huge role in how your bike performs. It’s your front line of defense against rocks, roots and ruts, and having the right suspension fork can give you more control, efficiency and speed on the trail.
Most suspension forks have a telescopic design, with two upper legs that slide within a one-piece lower leg assembly. There are alternative designs out there, such as the one-legged Cannondale Lefty, but these are rare. At JensonUSA.com, we carry a large selection of mountain bike suspension forks from top brands including Fox Racing Shox, RockShox, Cane Creek, DVO, MRP and others. These forks range from the XC variety (80-120mm of travel) to trail (120-170mm) to gravity and DH (170-200mm).
When shopping for a suspension fork, you want to consider both the bike that you’re riding as well as the terrain. If you’re riding a full-suspension bike, the fork and rear shock need to work together as a system to give you a smooth ride. You don’t necessarily need the exact same travel front and rear, but in most cases it’s best to keep them close.
Unless you’re riding aggressive DH, chances are your fork will use an air spring rather than coil. The air spring sits in one leg, and an oil damping system in the other. You can dial in the air spring to your weight, terrain and riding style, and then adjust the damping to control the action of the fork. Suspension forks have come a long way in their capabilities in recent years, and today’s forks can be fine-tuned with volume spacers and spring rate adjustments to give you the feel you want on the trail. If you need assistance making your purchase, please give one of our expert Gear Advisors a call today at 888-880-3811