Can You Add Suspension To A Bike?

By Rachel Lee
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If you own a bike without suspension and happen by chance to ride a friend’s bike with suspension, you can immediately notice the difference when going over bumps and potholes. Suspension not only adds more comfort to your ride but also gives you enhanced control when going off-road.

So, can you add suspension to a bike? This will depend on the type of bicycle you own. You can install a suspension fork (the most common variety), suspension seat post, or suspension stem on an old or cheap bike, however, the results will vary.

We would suggest that you get a new bike instead of adding suspension to the old one as the suspension fork itself can cost hundreds of dollars excluding installation. So, at the same price, you can get yourself a new bike with suspension and advanced features.

There’s not much financial sense in getting a suspension fork that costs more than a bike. If you are looking for a quick and cheap fix, you may get larger tires that fit your old bike and run them at a low pressure to get some sort of shock absorption on irregular roads.

Can I Add Suspension On Mountain Bike

If you are thinking of adding a new front suspension to an old mountain bike, you will need to consider the geometry and handling changes. To avoid the conversion of bikes designed to bounce on the rough road, the manufacturers have applied the strategy of using a different diameter altogether.

As a result, we would recommend that you keep the old bike without suspension for things that it is best at, and invest in a new bike with suspension for the hardcore stuff. The difference not only lies in the geometry but also in the entire technology, the way bike frames are built, brake technology, and so on.

The type of suspension used on mountain bikes provides a wide range of adjustments to perfectly fine-tune your riding experience. There might be a few variations based on the type, robustness, shock absorption method, and adjustments made.

Can I Add Suspension On Road Bike

We know by now that suspension does much more than simply improving the riding comfort. It can also improve the efficiency of the bicycle and the rider too. The biggest advantage of having a suspension is that it decouples the wheels from the remaining parts of the bike.

The impact of this behavior is that when you ride on rough and bumpy terrain, only the wheels jump up and down on the irregularities instead of the entire bike. So, the wheels can move independently, saving you from the trouble and impacts of the road.

This maintains forward momentum, thus makes the ride much more convenient. If you have ever wondered why the mountain bikes have large tires then this is the primary reason behind it. The suspension forks and rear forks are standard on mountain bikes but their designs are restricted for road use.

As the shock absorber or fork increases the weight of the bike, it impacts the performance and even changes the geometry during compression. The modern and advanced road bikes have a specialized approach that is good both in aesthetics and functionality, with benefits of suspension fork too. This results in a more efficient bike system that is capable of carrying momentum.

Can I Add Suspension On Hybrid Bike

As the hybrid bikes are extremely versatile in nature, it is hard to tell what a person riding it exactly intends to do. Although the rider will probably not think of taking a mountain trail, the dirt roads are not ruled out. The suspensions can help in dampening the impact of any bumps that you may ride over.

Even though the addition of suspension tends to increase the weight of the bike significantly, you will experience a much better ride whether you use the bike for commuting or riding just for fun. The few extra ounces added to your hybrid bike may be well worth the effort you put in riding it.

In high-end hybrid bikes, you will also find the wider tires that tend to operate at a lower air pressure than any type of road bike. So, if you are riding a hybrid bike with large tires, you will find some form of shock absorption anyway, making you feel at ease even without a suspension.

See Also: 6 Best Tires For Commuter Bike

Things To Consider When Buying A Suspension Bike

If this post motivates you to get a new bike with suspension instead of adding one to the existing one then here are a few things that you need to consider.

  • Build quality: The high-end bike models come with an advanced technical design and construction that give you a longer life span with proper maintenance and servicing.
  • Less weight: You know that suspension men’s additional weight, but you can keep a check on that by choosing an air spring instead of coil.
  • Ride value: Look for a more responsive suspension system that is capable of offering you a smoother ride on rough terrains. An expensive fork will anytime offer a better experience than an inexpensive one.
  • Further adjustments: Look for a bike that allows you to make compression and rebound adjustments to fine-tune the suspension so that it can suit your weight. This type of adjustable travel allows you to adjust the short travels on rough trails.

Final Words

Whether you get a new bike with suspension or still add suspension to your existing bike (which probably bought just last Christmas), remember to never neglect your suspension. Keep in mind that it will degrade inevitably with time, particularly in dirty conditions so maintain it well to get the most out of your investment.

See Also:
Bicycle With Suspension Vs Without Suspension
8 Best Hubs For Mountain Bike