should i buy a touring bike with suspension fork or without (strait normal rigid)?

cyclewhynot

Regular
Location
canadas
hi
im canadian.
i m trying to see what difference it makes to have a suspension fork for touring on road both gravel , asphalt, non asphalt .
i would especially appreciate comments of those who tried with a suspension fork of different kind(let us know) and without.
My assomption is that it absobs some vibrations and bump impact on the handwrist, elbow and shoulder.
maybe some people tried also read suspensions in addition with front suspension
what suspension kind would be best ? coil, hydrolic plastic( im noob at this but confort and ergonomy-self preservation is important to me)

pros and cons of having suspension front , front and rear , none?
most important things.?
other thing to take into considerations?

let , us assume that i will stay on gravel, some asphalt some detoriated asphalt .i would prefer to have a bike with possibilty for going full offroad if there are not too many cons to it .
BUt lets inspect the question in a non mountain trail environment to simplyfing the situation which is hard surface i assume is most common.
with a lot of baggage :smile: and im not trying to beat any speed record :smile:
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Hard surface seems easy: fixed fork with wide plush tyres will win every time.

It is when you go rough that front suspension helps, but how much and whether it is worth the weight is hotly debated. I think not, but I have only hired FS hybrids, not owned.

As for reducing shocks to hands, wrists, shoulder and elbow: when riding for touring, there should not be enough weight on them to cause painful shocks. If there is, IMO usually either your bike fit is wrong or you need to build more core strength.
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
There is very little difference that a suspension fork can add to comfort for the scenarios you have outlined. You’ll get more comfort from using larger tyres and run them at lower pressures when the going gets rough, higher when on asphalt.
When you take into consideration weight the advantages to touring on mixed surfaces of a suspension fork are negated.
 

Bonefish Blues

Banging donk
Location
52 Festive Road
There is very little difference that a suspension fork can add to comfort for the scenarios you have outlined. You’ll get more comfort from using larger tyres and run them at lower pressures when the going gets rough, higher when on asphalt.
When you take into consideration weight the advantages to touring on mixed surfaces of a suspension fork are negated.
I violently agree :smile:
 

T4tomo

Guru
I'll also add get a touring bike or gravel/adventure with drop handlebars - many more positions for your hands thus easier on wrists etc than a flat bar hybrid.
most come now with room for 40-50mm tyres and rack and mudguard mounts galore, making them very versatile.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
Most hybrid type bike suspension is rubbish and heavy - bit like a pogo stick. I'm afraid if you want really usable suspension, that comes with MTB's that you chuck down mountains, you are looking are around £500 just for the fork.

You won't be able to use front panniers with suspension.

On a bike, suspension belongs on a proper mountain bike that's being used for charging up and down mountains. Otherwise don't bother.
 

Fram

Senior Member
Location
Highland
I started touring on my old hard tail mountain bike. After the first short tour I swapped the shocks for rigid forks: much better for touring, perfectly fine on rough tracks and lighter to carry (unloaded) or push through the rougher stuff
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cougie uk

Über Member
Just look at what you can buy and other people use for similar purposes. Nobody uses suspension forks. Gravel isn't really bumpy. Have you ridden gravel or a suspension fork ?
 

si_c

Veteran
Location
Wirral
I would be cautious about getting any non-mountain bike with suspension, they inevitably add significant amounts of weight to the bike and in most circumstances add little to no value. If you are riding on unfinished trails through forests with lots of rocks and roots on the surface then I'd say yes, it's probably worth it. If riding on gravel or unpaved roads then a "gravel" bike with high volume tyres is likely to be the best option.

Something 48mm or larger would likely be perfect - on normal roads the tyres provide more than enough suspension to smooth out road imperfections anyway.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
I'll also add get a touring bike or gravel/adventure with drop handlebars - many more positions for your hands thus easier on wrists etc than a flat bar hybrid.
It is possible to swap flat bars for swept or butterfly or other strange shapes, giving more choice than a drop bar bike. (Swapping flat to drops or back is not straightforward, though, due to bar diameter and steering geometry design.)
 
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