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Mountain bikes are well-known to be diverse. When buying one, there are multiple factors that you need to take note of.
And one of the essential aspects to decide on is the fork you’ll be getting- whether you’ll go for a rigid fork or a suspension fork.
There are many products of each type available on the market from various manufacturers around the world. It may be confusing which to choose, so here’s something for you!
In this article, we will have a discussion and comparison between rigid fork vs. suspension fork.
Below you’ll also find a brief description of these forks and recommended products for each type.
Just read on to find out more!
Rigid Fork Vs. Suspension Fork- Comparison in 2021
Rigid forks have been around for ages ever since the original mountain bikes were introduced.
Back then, the bikes aren’t equipped with any suspensions on either wheel. They are only made with a pure solid frame.
There are various materials that are used to make this type of fork. They may vary from steel, titanium, carbon fiber, and aluminum.
The most common ones are made of either steel or titanium due to their outstanding characteristics.
A rigid fork bike comes with many benefits, but you shouldn’t overlook its drawbacks.
One thing that you must take into account first is your objective as the rider.
This type of bike has a long-lasting and economic fork with very little maintenance.
In addition to that, these rigid forks are an excellent way of getting rid of undesired weight, providing that you don’t need any suspension at all. However, if you’re planning to ride on rough terrain and extreme trails, these forks may not offer any kind of comfort. So you’ll feel all the shaking and jarring for sure.
Recommended Rigid Fork to Buy
You can find numerous rigid forks on the market that comes in various styles and sizes.
If you decide to purchase a rigid fork, it may become challenging to choose the best one.
Here are our recommended products that we think incorporate all the features and specs you need.
Black Ops DefendR HD Forks
Do you love to go biking outdoors while enjoying the freshness of the air and the beauty of nature?
If you’re more of a type that just wants to relax on a two-wheels, then having a bike with a rigid fork can be your best option.
The DefendR HD fork from the Black Ops is one of the best rigid forks out there. This fork is a 24-inch BMX style fork fabricated from a chrome alloy steel.
You are then sure to have a high-quality and durable product on your hands.
It may be more cumbersome, but they’re cheaper and hot-treated to ensure its quality.
Hence, this fork is a perfect replacement for any modern wheelie bikes that are pretty much BMX-inspired. They are also available in black or chrome for various sizes of wheels.
Although there are some complaints from consumers that it doesn’t have enough room for spacers, it is still an excellent product given all the features it can provide you. There is no doubt why it is included in the list.
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CarbonCycles eXotic Fork
What do you think is so unique about this CarbonCycles eXotic fork? Probably nothing special at first glance, but with a closer look, you’ll indeed see its worth.
The construction and design are just on the standard level that is popular on most mountain bikes for several years now.
This fork is fabricated with a forged 6061 alloy dropouts along with a one-piece crown.
Then, these are connected by a few bonded-in 3K-weave round carbon tubes with a 34 mm diameter.
In addition to that, the tube on top of the fork crown or also known as steerer tube is made of aluminum alloy.
Yes, none of these features are revolutionary or high-tech, but this product can deliver optimum performance in many ways.
Much more, this is a stunning and lightweight fork with a 44.5 cm length that can accommodate a 26-inch wheel. It also comes with an IS Disc plus V-brake.
Hence, this CarbonCyles eXotic fork is an outstanding product because of its features and specs.
For sure, having this equipped in your bike will give you an excellent riding experience.
Ritchey Comp Carbon Road Fork
If you’re looking for a fork that offers top-notch features ensuring you an enjoyable ride, then look no further than this product.
This carbon road fork from Ritchey is manufactured with high modulus fiber (HMF) that ensures superior strength that you always wanted.
Much more, this fork has a very strong built without compromising the fantastic feel on the road.
The crown/steerer portion has a smooth internal fiber flow that can deliver the best force transfer and increase the impact strength.
Also, it comes with carbon fiber blades that can help minimize its weight and vibration while also providing the bike with the needed stiffness.
The fiber orientation has been optimized to make sure it absorbs and dissipates the loads giving you a comfortable ride.
It also utilizes various types of fiber according to their properties in handling different load types.
However, this product may not be the lightest fork that you’ll have. Nonetheless, if you’re not conscious about the fork’s weight, then this is a perfect option.
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If it’s your first time with bikes, especially with forks, the first thing you need to know is the fact about suspension forks.
These types consist of a single or two hydraulic shock absorbers mounting on the front wheel into the frame.
Much more, these hydraulic shocks will allow the wheel to travel along the fork for a few more inches to increase your bike’s control on various roads.
Hence, this is mostly recommended for mountain bikers than commuters.
The dynamic movement that it offers will help absorb all the jarring impact of extreme trails and rough terrains, giving you a very comfortable riding experience.
However, this type of fork tends to be expensive. Not only the fork costs more but also the maintenance that comes with it. So if you’re not planning to utilize your bike on rougher terrains, then it’s just practical to choose the other one.
Recommended Suspension Fork to Buy
You may be welcomed with a lot of options for the suspension fork, and have a headache just to pick one.
So, we have chosen three of the finest ones on the market. You might find the one for you, so keep reading.
RockShox Recon Silver Fork
Are you fond of going to extreme rides on the toughest terrains? Well, here’s something that you might like.
This RockShox fork has indeed set the new standard for value-based performance.
If you’re looking to upgrade your bike’s stock suspension, then this product is a perfect option since it offers 100 mm of travel.
It is an excellent balance of trail performance and affordability, giving you an exceptional fork that is reliable and robust.
One notable feature of this fork is the lockout function. With this, a secure and straightforward twist will lock the fork, making it function more like a rigid fork.
It is ideal for flat surface and hill climbs, but don’t forget to set the lockout function correctly.
On top of it all, the product comes with a new chassis that lets you have a significant decrease in the length of the stanchion. With this, you will have a much lighter suspension fork with you.
Overall, this RockShox Recon Silver fork is indeed a top-notch product. No wonder why many consumers loved this suspension fork.
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ZTZ Suspension Fork
Are you looking for one of the best mountain bike suspension forks? Then, you just found one.
This ZTZ suspension fork can indeed rejuvenate your bike with all its nifty features and offer a much more fun riding experience.
First off, it is built with magnesium alloy ensuring that it has a fantastic finish and can perform for its intended purpose. You can go wherever you want for sure.
There are available sizes including 26 inches, 27.5 inches, and 29 inches. The wire and vertebral pipeline control that come with this ZTZ suspension fork develop an effortless installation.
Much more, you’ll love its smart look. It isn’t the typical black ones; instead, it comes with a burnt gold and bright orange forks. You’ll be much fancier on the road while on the go!
So if you want to upgrade your bike’s overall look and performance, this ZTZ suspension fork is a perfect choice.
You can enjoy a fun ride without breaking your bank.
SR Suntour Epixon XC Fork
When it comes to a suspension fork, you need to ensure that it can deliver the functionality that you certainly need. This SR Suntour Epixon XC fork can do the job for you!
With a low price-point, you will hardly find a fork like this one. Its appealing finish makes it more pleasing to the consumers, and its exceptional features that are easy to use are just some of the attributes that many love.
Much more, this fork is made of magnesium alloy. It also features hydraulic damping.
With these features, you’re sure to have a comfortable journey on any type of road.
Offering a 120 mm travel, you will be guaranteed an excellent replacement for the old stock suspension that doesn’t give you the performance that you want.
Although it isn’t the lightest fork, it still feels cozy while riding the bike. With its amazing features and specifications, you’re sure to have a high-value product for sure.
Rigid Fork Vs. Suspension Fork Comparison
Below, you’ll see the notable differences between the rigid and suspension forks when it comes to various features and specifications. So, let’s delve further!
Hydraulic Shock Absorber
Probably, this is the first thing that you’ll notice when it comes to these forks.
The rigid fork doesn’t come with any form of hydraulic shock absorber on either wheel, while the suspension fork consists of one or two on the front wheels.
The second thing you need to know is that these forks can be utilized on different terrains.
If you’re riding more on extreme trails and rough terrains, it’s best to go for a suspension fork.
Rigid forks can’t provide you the comfort you need on these surfaces.
One of the things that set them apart is their price. Suspension forks tend to be more expensive compared to the rigid ones.
So if you’re not planning to ride on the toughest trails, then it’s practical to choose the rigid forks for your bike.
Choosing which one is better between rigid and suspension forks depends merely on what you want.
They both have their advantages and drawbacks, and it’s really up to you to pick the most suited one.
I hope this rigid fork vs. suspension fork discussion can be of assistance to you.