Getting outside in nature is made possible through mountain biking. Like most cycling disciplines, it can be done competitively and is a lot of fun. Dual suspension vs full suspension these are two of the three main forms of suspension. I’ll describe the variations between them today. Both the terms “dual suspension bike” and “full suspension bike” refer to the same kind of bicycle. There is no distinction between a bike with dual suspension and one with full suspension. Although they can be used for any form of riding, these bikes are most suited for cross-country and trail riding. In comparison to other types of suspension, dual suspension, usually referred to as full suspension, provides a number of benefits. Today, I’ll define these and discuss if it’s preferable or necessary to choose one over the other.
Is Full Suspension (Dual Suspension) Superior to Front Suspension?
Bikes with dual suspension, sometimes known as full suspension bikes, are best suited for particular riding styles. But compared to a single suspension bike, a “full-suspension mountain bike“ has trade-offs. Find out if and why dual suspension is preferable than front suspension. For downhill or enduro riding, only the front suspension benefits from dual suspension. Both front suspension and dual suspension are effective for off-road and trail riding. Impact absorption is improved by dual suspension over front suspension. However, it is not necessary for trail riding or in the country. Dual suspension, often known as complete suspension, is preferable to front suspension for a variety of reasons. As the name suggests, front suspension only has suspension on the front. The following would be a shorter name for these two separate suspensions:
- Front suspension
- Front and rear suspension
Unfortunately, the naming scheme is much more perplexing. Another name for a front suspension bike is a hardtail. This is due to the rigidity of the rear, which prevents bouncing like on a dual suspension bike with suspension on the rear wheel. The advantages of a full suspension over a hardtail for specific types of mountain biking are listed below. And having a front suspension mountain bike or a dual suspension mountain bike makes no difference.
Why You Should Choose a Full Suspension Over a Hardtail
Cross-country and trail riding are the types of riding front suspension is greatest for. Downhill and enduro riding are best done on a mountain bike with full suspension. Both enduro and downhill racing are timed. Therefore, the goal is to complete the given circuit as quickly as possible while achieving the lowest time.
Full suspension gives the following benefits over a hardtail:
- It absorbs impacts more
- The tail stays close to the ground
- The ride is smoother
The smoother ride provided by dual suspension keeps the tail closer to the ground.
In bumpier trails, full suspension more effectively absorbs impacts.
The bike gives as it lands thanks to the suspension. When you get some air, the impact on the arms, legs, and seat is reduced. When riding downhill, you move quickly and frequently have to jump barriers. Get air when passing over bumps as well. A softer landing provides far greater comfort and, in the event that you misjudge a jump or fail to spot it, more room for error. Because the impact from landing is not a limiting factor, you can move quicker.
For improved control, the tail stays close to the ground.
On downhill and enduro riding, a front suspension bike’s hind end bobs around. In contrast, a “mountain bike with full suspension“ has a moving frame that moves to absorb impact while the rear wheel remains much closer to or on the ground.
- More traction
- Better control
- Safer riding
- More comfortable riding
When riding cross-country or in a leisurely manner on trails, this isn’t really a problem. But downhill and enduro racing’s high speeds, fiddly manoeuvres, and jumps help you improve your time since you can steer more effectively.
Less force is applied to the arms and feet due to the smoother ride.
When riding a hardtail (single suspension) bike downhill, the butt, arms, ankles, and knees start to feel a little sore. The ride is exceptionally smooth when the suspension is fully engaged. You remain affixed to the bike without making contact with the ground even while the frame is in motion.
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Do I Really Need a Dual Suspension Bike?
Bikes with dual suspension cost more than those with front suspension. Knowing whether you have to spend more money to purchase a dual suspension bike is crucial. Here is an overview of whether a dual suspension bike is absolutely necessary for you. For downhill or enduro riding, a dual suspension bike is required. A hardtail (front suspension) bike is preferred in all other cases. Downhill and enduro riding can be done without a dual suspension bike, but it is far better and more worthwhile. It’s essential for riders that compete in downhill or enduro riding.
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You will have a competitive advantage in downhill and enduro events with a dual suspension bike. It’s difficult to place well without it. You can move faster thanks to the softer landing provided by a dual suspension bike. The following table compares the benefits and drawbacks of a hardtail with a full suspension bike:
Hardtail (front suspension)
- More acceleration
- It’s easier to control the trail when you can feel it more.
- On a rocky surface, the tail lifts off the ground.
- Less control and safety on bumpy terrain
Full suspension (dual suspension)
- Less acceleration
- Softer landings
- Not as sore on hands and feet
- Less control at slow speeds
Additionally, it aids in maintaining ground contact for the wheels. You have more control as a result, which results in a straighter line.
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What Hardtails Are Good For
Due to the level terrain, bikes with either front or full suspension are preferable for off-road riding. You can get a hardtail or a full suspension bike. When purchasing a hardtail and the types of riding they are suitable for are at this point. For trail and cross-country riding that is primarily flat and even, a hardtail is optimal. The fastest acceleration on a bike is with no suspension, but it is quite stiff and uncomfortable on uneven ground. A hardtail is therefore preferable for off-road riding because the trails are generally level. Mountain biking is therefore preferred with some suspension. It strikes a balance between comfort and acceleration. You get less acceleration with more comfort. Additionally, you enjoy more comfort with less acceleration. You may wish to read about the “electric unicycle benefits“ as well, I’ve produced a comprehensive article on it.
How Do Dual Suspension and Full Suspension Differ?
There are numerous bike alternatives available, and there are two types of suspension available for mountain biking. both the front and the entire suspension. Dual suspension is another option, so let’s define it now. A full suspension bike is the same as a bike with dual suspension. These are two alternative methods of expressing that a mountain bike has both front and rear suspension. There is absolutely no suspension on road and track bikes. Therefore, mountain bikes are the only vehicles with these sorts of suspension. You don’t require suspension on flat, slick courses like those used for the Olympics. The suspension smooths out bumps, making for a significantly smoother ride.