4.8 - Excellent
  • Europe's largest selection
  • Only certified sellers
  • Buyer protection
  • Funding
Europe's largest selection
Only certified sellers
Buyer protection
Funding

All things spring travel

All things spring travel
Photo by Tim Foster / Unsplash

Who wants to roll over rooty forest passages, explore rough trails or even be prepared for deep drops in the bike park, reaches for the MTB - why? Because these particular types of bikes are distinguished by a components from their Road and Gravel bike colleagues: They are suspended. The suspension travel makes almost any off-road adventure possible. But what exactly it has to do with suspension elements and how much travel is suitable for whom you can learn here.

1. what is the spring travel?

🙋🏽
buycyle vocabulary box: The suspension travel

Suspension travel= This is the suspension depth that absorbs bumps and jumps; it is a maximum of 200 millimeters.

Suspension fork and damper= They are considered suspension elements. A suspension fork is the connecting element between the front wheel and the handlebars and allows the front wheel to compress in order to absorb shocks caused by riding on rough surfaces.

Hardtails= These are bicycles that only have single suspension, i.e. only one fork on the front wheel.

Fullys= These are full-suspension bikes that have a shock absorber in the rear of the frame in addition to the suspension fork. These compensate for bumps and absorb jumps.

Stroke= This is the distance the shock can compress.

Air suspension= This is the most widely used form of suspension nowadays; it can be precisely adjusted to the rider's body weight and needs by changing the air pressure it contains. However, the suspension fork and also the shock absorber can be adjusted on level ground and for easier acceleration with the so-called lock-out system can be locked out
Rear shock absorber

2. what spring travel do i need?

Who wants to buy a new bike , should analyze in advance his driving behavior - where is realistically spent most time on the bike and what is it mainly used for? For which user type which MTB with which suspension is suitable, you will find in the following:

Hardtail

Do you want to go on long tours on slightly uneven ground, climb mountain peaks but bounce over roots on the way down? Then the cheaper and less maintenance-intensive hardtail can be the perfect choice for you. Usually it has around 100mm travel and is particularly suitable for beginners in the MTB sector.

Fullys

Do you feel like adrenaline, bumpy descents and the full fun in the bike park? Then look around at the fullys of your favorite manufacturers. With the Fullys it is particularly exciting when it comes to the suspension travel.

Cross country bikes usually have up to 120 mm suspension travel. If you ride uphill a lot but still want to perform downhill on easy trails, you can look for a cross country bike, also known as an XC bike .

All mountain bikesalso known as trail bikes, have up to approx. 150mm suspension travel. You sit fairly upright and the bike copes well with climbs as well as adventurous drops. It is the perfect companion for people who want to visit a bike park occasionally as well as trails at home.

Enduro bikes and freeride bikes have an average suspension travel of up to 180mm. They are also characterized by the riding position much more geared towards downhill riding, large obstacles are simply rolled over and jumps are well cushioned. These bikes are more suitable for experienced MTB riders.

Downhill bikes usually have up to 180mm suspension travel. They are designed for high speeds on rough trails and the suspension fork provides additional stability thanks to its double bridge. Downhill bikes are very resilient but therefore also somewhat heavier. Riding uphill is therefore no fun with these bikes...

3. how do I adjust my suspension?

In fact, you can improve your own performance on the bike by adjusting and readjusting your suspension elements. With the air suspension, for example, knobs and volume spacers can be manipulated in addition to the air pressure.

First, the negative spring travel should be set appropriately. This is nothing more than the compression of the shock absorber by the sheer weight of your own body and the weight of helmet, protectors and other equipment that weighs down the bike . This negative spring travel can be regulated by the air pressure or the spring: The more downhill loaded the bike is, the higher the negative spring travel should be in relation to the total spring travel.

Then you can take a look at the rebound d amping. This refers to the rebound speed of the suspension elements after they have been compressed by jumps or bumps in the ground. The faster, the more playful the ride.

4. is more suspension travel better?

Often you tend to aim for more suspension travel than you really need. Although larger obstacles can be rolled over more easily with a lot of suspension travel and high speeds are possible downhill even without much technology. But speaking of technique: This is the be-all and end-all of mountain biking, but it is much easier to learn on a hardtail and with less suspension travel, because the feel is less spongy. Certain tricks are also easier to learn and implement with less suspension travel.

So how much suspension travel do you need? An honest analysis of your own bike use and the terrain you feel comfortable on will help you make the right choice. But what counts in the end is practicing, trying things out, playing around - this is the only way to get a real feel for your own bike. We are sure to have your next dream bike for you at buycycle for you - with every conceivable suspension travel! If you have any questions about suspension elements or suspension travel, the buycycle-team will be on hand with help and advice, until then we wish you all the best: Happy browsing, happy cycling!

What is the spring travel? | buycycle

The significant difference between a road bike and a mountain bike is the suspension. Road bikes are designed for speed and covering long distances. Suspension elements would swallow energy applied by the cyclist for propulsion. A suspension fork or damper are therefore not used. In addition, very narrow, smooth tires provide little resistance so that high speeds can be achieved. However, this means that only asphalt or very flat surfaces can be ridden on. Gravel bikes allow due to their tires including more profile, even on dirt and gravel roads to get ahead. If, on the other hand, you want to roll over rooty forest passages, explore rough trails or even be prepared for deep drops in the bike park, you'll reach for the MTB. The demands placed on a bike change depending on the type of terrain ridden. Different gradations of suspension travel support in the intended range of use. Whether hardtail or fully, E-bike or exclusively self-propelled: with the right suspension travel, every adventure off the road seems feasible. Here you can find out exactly what suspension elements are all about and how much travel is suitable for whom.

What is the spring travel?

Mountain bikes can be suspended in different ways. The suspension travel means the suspension depth that absorbs bumps and jumps. Suspension fork and damper are considered suspension elements. The distance the damper can compress is called the stroke. Multiplied by the rear end gear ratio, you can calculate the frame's suspension travel. For a better understanding, let's first take a closer look at the suspension elements along with bike types. Hardtail is the collective term for bikes that are simply suspended. For example, dirt bikes also belong to the hardtails. A suspension fork is the connecting element between the front wheel and the handlebar. It allows the front wheel to compress. There are rigid forks with steel suspension or air suspension. In modern bikes, air suspension has largely prevailed over the heavy, limited-adjustment steel suspension in recent years. Rigid forks are used on road bikes, cyclocross bikes, gravel bikes and BMXs.

Air suspensions can be precisely adjusted by changing the air pressure they contain. This is relevant to adapt an MTB to the body weight of its rider. It also allows you to respond to your own needs during the ride. The nature of the surface on which one mainly moves plays a role. Certain riding techniques and tricks are easier to implement with a harder suspension fork. Up to 200 millimeters of suspension travel are common with suspension forks. This means that a maximum suspension travel of 200mm is possible. Nowadays, the so-called lock-out system is widely used. The suspension fork can be locked. This increases the traction. What is meant is the bike's ability to convert drive power into propulsion, i.e. acceleration. Energy is thus saved on level ground or uphill when the suspension fork is locked. The applied power goes directly into propulsion and is not swallowed by the suspension fork. Fullys are mountain bikes with "full suspension". In addition to the front suspension fork, there is a rear shock absorber. This can also be locked on many models to perform better uphill and on flat trails. All Mountain Bikes or Trailbikes, the Enduro or Freeride bike are counted for example to the Fullys. Rear shock absorbers compensate for bumps and catch jumps and drops. The spring and shock absorber combine to form the suspension strut, which is often just referred to as a damper in common parlance. As with the suspension fork, there are two options. A suspension by air or by a steel or titanium spring. The material is of course also a question of money. The air suspension can also contribute to weight reduction of the entire bike and is more precisely adjustable. Especially for riders with little body weight, this can pay off. Bikes with a lot of suspension travel that are built for particularly rough terrain tend to go for steel or titanium suspension. As the suspension travel increases, the frame geometry also changes.

What spring travel do I need?

If you want to buy a new bike , you should analyze your driving behavior in advance. It is important to start from the real main area of use. If you like to go to the bike park once or twice a year, but are otherwise more at home in the forest, you will never really use a freeride bike . Staying realistic is the be-all and end-all here.

Hardtail

Do you want to do long tours on slightly uneven ground or reach the top of the mountain independently? In addition, the way down should be fun and lead over rooty trails? Then the cheaper and less maintenance-intensive hardtail can be the perfect choice for you. Usually it has around 100mm of suspension travel. There are trail hardtails or race hardtails. Manufacturer specifications tell you what their models are suitable for. Hardtails are especially recommended for people with little riding technique. Since no damper is installed, which could forgive many driving errors, you learn to ride very well.

Fullys

Do you feel like adrenaline, bumpy descents and the full fun in the bike park? Then look around at the fullys of your favorite manufacturers. With the Fullys it is particularly exciting when it comes to the suspension travel.

Cross country bikes usually have up to 120 mm suspension travel. They are also known as race bikes. If you ride uphill a lot but still want to perform downhill on easy trails, you can look for a cross country bike, also known as an XC bike .

All mountain bikesalso known as trail bikes, have up to approx. 150mm suspension travel. Some enduro bikes also fall within this range. They rely on long frame geometry with a flat steering angle. This results in an upright riding position. Most mountain bike enthusiasts are well served by this category of bike. You can still ride uphill independently. The All Mountain bike also compensates for rough trails and long jumps or small drops. It is the perfect compromise for people who want to visit a bike park occasionally as well as trails at home. The focus is on lightweight construction, with aluminum and carbon being common frame materials. It is mainly found with 29-inch wheels.

Enduro bikes with a little more travel and Freeride bikes have an average of up to 180mm suspension travel. It's not just the suspension that differs, the steering angle, seat angle and therefore the whole riding position are much more geared towards downhill riding. The wheel size or the mounting of the bike components also influence the riding position. The body is positioned more above the rear axle. This means that large obstacles can be rolled over and long jumps are cushioned. Riding uphill on your own is rather difficult with this suspension travel. In the bike park, on the other hand, this is the best option. Freeride bikes are worthwhile for people with a lot of experience on the bike or professionals.

Downhill bikes usually have up to 180mm suspension travel. They are primarily designed for downhill racing, i.e. speed on rough trails. Downhill bikes are also exposed to high loads. The high load capacity of the frame is accompanied by a lot of weight. The suspension fork has a double bridge. This ensures stability. Riding uphill is hardly possible with a downhillbike . The frame geometry is geared even more towards a recumbent riding position.

Various types of mountain bike are now available with an integrated electric motor. This makes things easier, especially on the climbs. E-mountain bikes are an excellent support for reaching unique mountain peaks and viewpoints that would require a great deal of effort under your own power. E-fullys are particularly popular. The walk to the gondola or the shuttle service can be saved by getting uphill support from the motor. This means that a particularly large number of downhill runs can be completed in a short time.

How do I adjust my suspension?

Suspension elements offer options for adjusting them. This makes it possible to improve performance. In addition to the air pressure in air suspension, knobs and volume spacers, also called tokens, can be adjusted. Volume spacers are made of plastic or rubber and reduce the volume in the air chamber of the suspension fork or shock.

  1. First, the negative spring travel should be set appropriately. The negative spring travel is the compression of the damper by just putting it on the MTB. This can be regulated by the air pressure or the spring. Here, the more downhill loaded the bike will be, the higher the negative spring travel in relation to the total spring travel. Here you should always go after the body weight in addition to the bike equipment such as helmet and protectors. It is important to set the negative suspension travel while standing, not sitting. Otherwise, the suspension fork may be set too low for steep terrain.
  2. After that, you can take a look at the rebound. This refers to the rebound speed of the suspension elements after they have been compressed by jumps or bumps in the ground. A fast rebound setting is more playful. Too fast of a rebound can give the feeling of flying over the handlebars quickly. A slow rebound setting makes the bike stick more to the ground. The important thing here is to find a compromise that suits your own riding style.

Known suspension manufacturers such as Fox, Rockshox or Sram offer a setup guide. This helps for orientation with the correct setting.

Is more suspension travel better?

People often tend to aim for more suspension travel than they really need. However, more travel does not only have advantages. While it is true that much suspension travel forgives a lot. Larger obstacles can be easily rolled over and high speeds are possible downhill even without much technology. Here lies a problem. Technique is the most important factor in cycling. You will learn it properly rather with little suspension travel. It is helpful to start riding on trails with a hardtail. A full suspension bike fires up a spongy feel and you get less feedback from the ground. Also, certain riding techniques and tricks are easier to learn and implement with less suspension travel. If, for example, you want to try a "bunny hop", i.e. take both tires off the ground at the same time, you will have a hard time with a fully at the beginning. Offsetting the wheels also works better when the bike has less compression. An honest analysis of one's own bike use and the terrain in which one feels comfortable will help one make the appropriate choice of suspension travel. In the end, though, endlessly reading up on the subject doesn't count. Better time is spent practicing on the bike , trying things out and getting a feel for your bike. You can find a variety of potential dream bikes at buycycle. If you have any questions about suspension elements or travel, the buycycle team is there to help and advise.