Best Mountain Bike Suspension Fork Reviews & Guide for 2018
Suspension forks are separate accessories fitted on a mountain bike to improve the rider's experience on rough terrain. A good fork does not only give you comfort and control over the suspension action in rough terrains but also keeps you in line by aiding in steering and tracking well The spring and damping also need to work in synergy in rough terrain to support the bike and give a consistent feel, especially on long descents. Are you looking for only the best mountain bike suspension fork? Well, you are in luck because we have prepared a detailed list of 6 of the best in the market today.
Mountain Bike Suspension Fork - Comparison
Linear Pull & Post Mount
Aluminium & Magnesium Alloy
Disc Brake(IS) and V-Brake
Linear Pull & Post Mount
Best Mountain Bike Suspension Fork-Reviews
The Suntour SR XCM is a quality fork from a quality brand. This thing of beauty is specifically crafted for casual off road use and it perfectly fits the bill.
Made in the most sublime and sleekest of styles and featuring Nickel plated finish, the XCM is a fork you can feel proud to show off to your biking mates.
Made out of high-quality and top-notch metallic alloys, the XCM is guaranteed to be strong, sturdy and highly durable. The alloy on the lower leg also allows you to adjust your post disk and comfortably mount.
The alloy material also makes the fork impressively light hence allowing easy carrying of the bike even on difficult ascents. Adjustability on the XCM is on top there. The fork features the ability to manually adjust 30mm steel stanchions by way of preloading the coil spring in the spring chamber.
Comes with a coil spring which is quite dependable as it can take in severe shocks and rough treatment without reaching its elastic limit fast. When it comes to compatibility with the various mountain bike braking systems the XCM is king. It is compatible with braking systems such as the V-brake, cantilever, disk and linear pull brake systems.
When it comes to aesthetics and performance the XOSS MTB works like a boss. Indeed, it boasts some top of the range features at a very affordable price tag.
Imagine a fork that does not overburden your mountain bike due to weight but makes it easy for you to carry it along when needed?
That is the XOSS MTB for you. It features a stanchion crafted out of a mixture of magnesium and aluminum alloys. This makes it much more durable and lighter than normal forks.
With a 100mm travel and a long steering tube of 215mm, you are guaranteed of a smooth ride even under rough terrain characterized by big jumps. For Adjustability, the XOSS MTB features the revolutionary air spring that allows adjustment via external compression and by way of an air valve.
Although the fork doesn't come with damping it transmits only a smooth shock and has a fast return all thanks to the air spring technology.
The ZOOM 565 Suspension Fork boasts of coming from the prestigious Zoom brand that is renown for its line of bike parts and components products since 1991.
It does not let down as it makes for a powerful and functional riding experience.
Crafted with the finest hard anodized aluminum material means that the fork is exceptionally strong, durable and lightweight. It weighs in at around 1.8 kgs; this is great news if you often carry along your bike in unforgiving terrain.
Additionally, it comies with an adjustable 80 mm travel that is considered to be in the middle bracket. This thereby means that the ZOOM 565 is compatible with wheels of various varying sizes.
What about compatibility with braking systems? The Zoom 565 is compatible with either the disk or V-brake braking system of operation.
Looking for the perfect entry level mountain bike fork that works best for paved and surface roads? You cannot go wrong with the SUNTOUR SR XCT 26".
While the fork is not ideal for extreme riding it can withstand small bumps really well.
The coil spring system and mechanical lockout damping system allow for relatively decent shock absorption, good weight distribution, and great control. This makes it very comfortable and easy on the wrists.
Crafted using aluminum materials for added durability, strength and longevity. Overall the fork weighs in at 2 kgs. Features an adjustable travel of 80mm or 100mm which makes it compatible with different wheel types. The fork is fully compatible with bikes featuring the disk brake system.
With the RockShox TK, RockShox company did not lose focus on their goal of allowing riders to ride faster and with more control and comfort.
This luxuriant suspension fork costs top dollar and is for people willing to sacrifice big money for excellent features greater longevity.
You are sure to experience great shock absorption and weight demonstration while on the RockShox 30. This is thanks to the fork's special Solo Air technology that allows one to fill the positive and negative air spring chambers at the same time.
All this is possible via a single Schrader valve. While the Aluminium steerer on the RockShox 30 is long at 265 mm it does not need to be manually cut off if it becomes too long for comfort.
Make no mistake. Decals of Air guides on the legs of the RockShox 30 Gold TK are not there only to fulfill good aesthetics. They go a long way in aiding in the fast set up of your suspension.
Manitou one of the most renown suspension providers worldwide has finally released the Manitou M-THIRTY M30 cycling fork.
This model is based on the R7 although some features in the previous version were not included. The manufacturer retained ABS lockout and Air control technology with rebound.
Just like in the previous R7 model, the weight was maintained at 1640g.
The Manitou M-THIRTY M30 features a lightweight magnesium monocoque alloy construction on its 30mm diameter stanchion tube.
This effectively makes the fork on of the most strong, durable and lightweight you will find on the market today. The fork's left side is equipped with TS air control system for great shock absorption and awesome weight distribution.
The right side, on the other hand, features ABS lockout damping system that comes with a rebound at the bottom for unparalleled control.
Mountain Bike Suspension Fork - Buying Guide
Choosing the best forks may not be as straightforward as it looks. There are a couple of things you need to be keen on when checking them out The following factors will go a long way in determining whether you get value out of your suspension fork.
Travel is the amount of suspension movement the fork gives. A fork with longer travel is able to absorb much more shock thereby allowing for smoother rides. This, however, comes with its downsides in the form of a heavier fork and disturbing the bike's handling. It is therefore paramount to strike a right balance.
Mountain bikes come with a variety of brake systems. Always check whether what you are looking to buy is compatible with that particular brake system. You don't want to get stuck with a fork that isn't compatible just because you failed to do your homework.
Most forks are specific for certain sizes of wheels. With an adjustable fork, you will be able to adjust it to go with the various wheel sizes. This is especially necessary if you own multiple mountain bikes as it will save you from buying different forks for each.
The structure of the suspension matters a lot in determining its performance and that of the bike. Check for an integrated brace on the lower legs: this increases stiffness and keeps the weight low. Good forks should also come with a one piece crown and have a bolt passing through the axle. This ensures better brake control, grip, accurate steering and less flex.
Spring and dampers:
In recent times there have been changes in the spring and dampers front. Air springs are increasingly replacing coil springs as the preferred means of taking in shock in most suspension forks nowadays. The best suspension springs for mountain bikes will feature a positive and negative air chamber in one leg. This will usually be controlled by a single valve. The other leg houses an oil damping system that controls the action of the fork. Forks with this kind of construction are the best there is out there.
A suspension fork may either be costly as a result of brand or the feature it packs. While additional features may be desirable some may be bloatware and not add any tangible benefits. Established brands, on the other hand, are prestigious to own but some unknown brands may surpass them in performance. It is thereby important not to spend a fortune on a fork without performing a cost-benefit analysis.
By going through the product reviews and then analyzing our buyer's guide, we now consider you well versed to make the right decision when it conies to choosing the best suspension forks. All the six brands presented to you have varying characteristics, features, and costs. They are everything for everybody including people on a tight budget, those looking to balance between features and cost and those willing to spend top dollar for the best.
We, however, can guarantee that all are capable of holding up well despite their minor cons here and there. Would I recommend anyone of the bike suspension forks to my really close friends? I wouldn't recommend them more. The onus is now upon you to take a step in the right direction.