Rigid Fork vs. Suspension Hybrid
When acquiring a bike, there are several points to bear in mind. One of the most important ones -if not the most- is whether to get a rigid fork or a suspension hybrid one. So, let’s ride together through both paths, and see if we can decide which one adapts the best to our goals.
What Is A Rigid Fork?
A rigid fork bike has a solid frame with no suspension on either wheel. The material may vary from steel or titanium -most commonly used due to their reparable characteristics- to carbon fiber or aluminum. Wheel size can also vary from 26 to 29 inches.
What Is A Suspension Fork?
As the name indicates, contrary to a rigid fork, a suspension fork is one including suspension on one or both wheels. What we mean by ‘suspension’ is a hydraulic shock absorber, which prevents the rider from feeling the impact of rough terrain.
What Is A Hybrid Bike?Hybrid bikes are a mix of road and mountain bikes. Mostly used by commuters due to their adaptability to different road conditions, they usually have a flat handlebar instead of a drop bar, so the biker can maintain an upright position when riding.
Brake types may vary, but V-brakes are the most common option nowadays. Wheel size is also a mixed variety since 26 or 29-inch tires may be found, offering stability and commodity to the user. Hybrid bikes don’t usually include suspension on either wheel.
Advantages and Drawbacks of a Rigid Fork
When considering the pros and cons of a rigid fork bike, we must also take into account the objective of the rider. This type of bike provides an economical and long-lasting fork, with hardly any maintenance other than the conventionally required one.
Plus, rigid forks are an excellent way to get rid of undesired weight, provided you consider you don’t need any kind of suspension at all. On the other hand, if you plan to ride on rough terrain, rigid forks will not provide any kind of comfort, making you feel all of the shaking and jarring of a bumpy road.
Advantages and Drawbacks of a Suspension ForkSuspension forks do provide comfort when riding on rough roads. As the front wheel travels along the fork, they also increase the biker’s control on these types of roads. This is why it is mostly recommended for mountain bikers, rather than commuters.
In opposition to this, having a suspension fork means an extra cost, which can even come across as unnecessary. Not only maintenance -for a deterred suspension fork may have negative effects- but also, the cost of the fork itself is considered a waste of money if you are not planning to use your bike on roads that require it.
Do I Need Front Suspension on My Hybrid Bike?
Should we have to answer this question in a short, direct way without taking into account some particular aspects, we would say no; you don’t. You must always take into account the type of use you’re going to give to your bike.
If you plan to go mountain riding and are convinced to use your hybrid bike, I would recommend the front suspension. If you plan to give a hybrid bike its regular use, it’s not necessary to get it.
You must always bear in mind that suspension requires scheduled maintenance. If you solely ride your bike on weekends and just for mountain roads, this maintenance may be needed every year.
But hybrid bikes are more frequently used, so the suspension will not last as long. You might have to spend more money on maintenance for equipment that is not essential for a commuting bike.