Full suspension bicycles are one of the least common types of bikes in the suspension classification. The most popular in the world are hard tails (bicycles with only the front shock absorber), and the most popular all over the world are rigid – bicycles without shock absorbers.
Best bicycle created for extreme conditions when you cannot prevent the loss of grip on both wheels, which is provided by an additional shock absorber. Such models have always been very expensive and have built a reputation for high-quality and “cool” bikes because recently there are more budget models that do not meet the requirements of sports riding, but delight customers with their bright appearance.
Bicycle design calculations
As already mentioned, the bike dvuhpodves is a design with two shock absorbers, i.e. A rear shock absorber is added to the standard front fork, which compensates for bumps and increases rider comfort. Adding such an element to the frame seriously complicates the entire design of the bike and its weight, in addition, because of the complexity and variety of specific conditions of use.
Recently there have been solutions specifically for comfort and design – the so-called soft-tails, bicycles with a small rear shock absorber stroke and its simplified design. It seems that this is a fixed division into “professional” bikes with two pendants and “mass”, recreational models. The main orientation is mountain riding.
The models we consider differ very seriously from hardly:
- Fully reworked frame.
- Frequently modified system design.
- Lack of additional accessories, such as a luggage carrier, a chain damper. Very rarely are “urban” wings.
Let us consider in more detail what the rear wheel shock absorbers can be, and how the frame design changes for them.
Bike brakes cantilever
The very first construction, which appeared full suspension bicycles, de facto, then, when the first mountain bike appeared – in the 80s. Extremely simple design and low price are compensated by a little less reliable than other types, and a small move – the degree of freedom is frankly small.
The basis of such a connection is a pendulum, fixed to the frame along one axis and connected to the shock absorber. This design is uniformly and partially limited to core patents. Perhaps, because of them and possible trials, as well as due to the limited development, a logical development of this design appeared – a multi-link system.
Multi link suspension system
The main design at the moment, best suited for mass consumption. This is not to say that it is stable. Each manufacturer seeks to invent something new, both in search of a new design and in attempts to escape from the patent restrictions of competitors.
In this design, the wheel is connected to the frame through a set of hinges and levers; the de facto standard was a combination of four pieces. The system is not simple and, accordingly, has serious weight and value. High requirements for manufacturing technology lead to the fact that the longevity of such a design leaves much to be desired on almost all models.
Also quite an old design with a high cost. In it, the entire transmission consists of a rear pendulum i.e. form a sprung triangle. The main difference is a smaller load on the chain and sprockets, which is compensated by higher demands on the shock absorber and its durability. In addition, such a system is quite heavy and requires serious maintenance all the time.
We should also write about cheap models. Manufacturers write about various methods of saving: steel instead of the aluminum frame, more weight, which compensates for the low price.
Reviews of experts are extremely unanimous: cheap dvuhpodvesy not worth buying ever.
When choosing a dual-suspension or single-suspension bike for one price, if this price is below $ 1,000, you should choose a horntail.
There are a lot of critical points for a two-suspension on which you simply cannot save:
- The quality of the shock absorber – the work of the shock absorber is constant, and the load is great – here the requirements are even higher than to the front fork since the received force is higher.
- Swivel joints – the load on the frame goes along different vectors, and when saving on joints, they very quickly loosen up, destroying everything connected with them: the levers, the shock absorber, and the transmission.
- Transmission – the chain, the stars, and the switches experience additional load with a constant change of position and angles, which leads to rapid wear.
- The frame design – the majority – is the male “triangles”, but there is also a female version, the requirements for the quality of materials in which is even higher.
- Brakes – most equipped with v-brake and disc brakes, they have to be equipped specifically for downhill or free ride.
- In sum, a lot of elements demanding materials and quality dramatically increase the cost of more or less worthy models, therefore, when buying a two-suspension and properly adjust suspensions, you should focus on 1,500-2,000 dollars.
Bike advantages and disadvantages
After the introduction, we will briefly review the conclusions from the studied features that a dual-suspension bike possesses its pros and cons.
- Off-road handling;
- Stability of the bike in any conditions, including asphalt;
- Bright appearance;
- Saving forces to overcome obstacles;
- Rider comfort and reduced stress on the joints from vibration.
- High price;
- Great weight bike;
- The fragility of the design and the need for frequent maintenance;
- Damping the energy of pedaling (low efficiency);
- The complexity of choice.
In sum, it can be said that the double suspension is still a product for sports use in downhill and other disciplines, where it reveals all its advantages. For everyday use, such models should be used only by very rich riders, while the rest should wait a few years before the final development of the softball class.
If it came to the choice of best bike us, you should choose the best brand for full suspension bicycles. These are Specialized, Scott, Cube, Cannondale and several other brands.
In the budget range, we should consider the firm Giant, which collects all the best from the more “older” brands, realizing everything in a simplified form.
What should you learn about the bike you choose? First, the direction and appropriate layout. Many produce double-suspension bicycles purposefully for specific tasks: DH (Downhill), XC (Cross Country), FR (Free ride).
What parameter is important? Should pay attention to:
- Suspension design;
- Transmission layout (chain, stars, switches);
- Frame material and suspension arms;
- Total weight
Once again it should be recalled: when choosing a bike of this type it is forbidden to save. The result can be not only bad but frankly harmful. For example, inexpensive frames can simply break on a regular bump, which can lead to serious injuries. We should also pay attention to the accessories – disc brakes are equipped only with top cycling, and if you choose such a bike, then you know why it is needed.
Conclusion and discussion
Full suspension bicycles are actively gaining popularity, but are not yet sufficiently accessible, and in the budget segment, they have serious drawbacks. These are models for professionals who know that they are looking for and using bikes in very difficult conditions. For a quiet ride and in search of comfort, more suitable high-quality models of other layouts.
However, improved are full suspension bicycles, divided into several directions and are becoming more accessible to the masses of riders, which cannot but rejoice. They do not install complex transmissions or disc brakes, but they are perfect for soft riding.
Now it is already possible to find soft-models, not as expensive and complex as sports ones, and a folding two-suspension bicycle, which prototype was presented last year by Canadian manufacturers.