If you are getting fed up with counting bumps with your “point of contact”, or standing up on your pedals before each and every obstacle, then maybe it’s time for you to change the type of bike that you are riding. And there is one solution which probably might suit you – a full suspension mountain bike.
So what exactly is a full suspension mountain bike and why you might need one? Full suspension mountain bike is a bike that has not only front wheel suspension, but also a suspension on the back wheel, thanks to which it goes smoothly over uneven surfaces, and ride itself becomes softer and more comfortable.
Types of full suspension mountain bikes
At this point in time there are three categories of full suspension mountain bikes:
- First one is CROSS COUNTRY. This bike differentiates itself from other type of bikes by having less travel in its suspension. Usually the travel is not more than 120 mm. Because of the short and resilient rear suspension these bikes are great for cross-country races. They are the lightest bikes in full suspension category, weighing just a bit more than a hardtail.
- Second type is TRAIL bikes. These types of bikes are more aggressive. They were made for extreme descents. The suspension travel on them is greater than on cross-country bikes. Around 140 – 160 mm of travel. The suspension system itself is designed for overcoming big obstacles like rocks. The frame is stronger and other components are strengthened as well. These bikes are not that suitable for everyday riding because of energy consumption by suspension.
- Third type – most powerful and brutal – is the DOWNHILL bike. The look of this bike resembles more of a light cross motorcycle. The geometry of the frame is designed to bring the center of mass to the rear , because this bike is made exclusively for downhill racing. Average travel of the suspension on a downhill bike is mind blowing 200mm, and it is far from limit. All components have a ludicrous structural factor of safety. Dual crown heavy duty front forks are installed on all bikes in this category. The tires have a very aggressive tread. You can even see some motocrosses bike parts on them, like disk brakes on both sides of the hub.
Benefits of riding these bikes are obvious. The comfort of heaving a rear suspension will bring you a lot of joy when overcoming obstacles. There is a category of people who love using full suspension bikes as their city bike.
Full suspension makes you forget about certain obstacles like curbs, stairs or even railway tracks. The sensation of riding on a full suspension is fantastic. You feel like you are floating over the obstacles and rough terrain.
There are a couple of disadvantages to full suspension, like more weight and sway. Engineers are constantly working to lessen those factors.
People who have problems with their back, and had to give up cycling, now have a chance to get back in to the world of cycling, all thanks to full suspension mountain bikes.