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Suspension needed?

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  • marcva
    replied
    I found a cheap, lightly used Anthem, and em3ev sells a 100mm BBS02, so I can build a new compete bike for about 2k if I sell my existing ebike otherwise I'll move over all the bits and swap the motor, selling my last 02 to cover the wider one. At 135+ a sub 50 lb bike. I don't need bbshd power, weight or cost

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  • Retrorockit
    replied
    I would try something like the Schwalbe Big apple Plus 2.15" tire. At 30 PSI the difference is huge. As long as your not near the limit on range there's not much downside. I also have a Cane creek Thudbuster LT seatpost with the softest dampers and maximum preload. But if you have the budget full supsension and big wheels will probably be better.

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  • marcva
    replied
    I'm running 1.85 slicks on my Cannondale, and while it is light, I've found the headshock is marginal in its shock absorption capabilities. I'm going to be commuting a lot more in the coming years based on upcoming road construction, so I'm doing to opt for full suspension comfort. I have a 35mph drivetrain and find myself on roads because I'm too fast for bike paths. I'm shopping for a giant Anthem to migrate my bits over. The larger wheel diameter will serve me well riding 18 mi each way.

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  • Retrorockit
    replied
    I have a Gary Fisher comfort bike i converted. The front fork has coils pring, oil damping and a tuneable elstomer iside the spring. It was too soft originally and bottomed out in corners. I installed the heavy rider damper kit and now it's soft for 15mm then stiff the rest of 60mm travel. Good control at 20mph on bumpy bike paths. I also run a Thudbuster suspension seat post. Pretty good over small bumps but it can load up and toss you over big ones. Not well damped. The Headshock is actually a lighter fork than my Rockshox SID XC fork on my XC bike. I've always wanted one. The Luna CNC pedals have shock absorbing function. Mostly when standing (which is when you're going over bumpy surfaces right?). They have a place to add reflectors for commmuting. But tires are your first line of suspension. Larger than 2"wide can drop down to 30PSI and tha's where they smooth things out. I'm obviously in favor of suspension forks, and there are other things you can do about the rear. iI you get no suspension I owuld suggest at least 2.5" wide tires.

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  • marcva
    replied
    So the Cannondale head shock bike I built has a bit of give and torsional stiffness. It takes the edge off of the experience for my hands, and I've never had rear suspension, so I don't know what I'm missing. I like a 43 lb build that accelerates far with a bbs02. I consider going to a Cannondale quick carbon frame, but that only buys me a couple pounds. If anything, if work on aero clip one that I figure would give me the best few mph of top end (I'm at 33+ so far).

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  • AZguy
    commented on 's reply
    +1

    I have a bike with a cheap fork with a coil spring, no damping, only preload adjustment and a lot of torsional flex and it is lousy at hold corners at any speed at all whether in the rough or not - it's just worse in the rough.

    I have another bike with similar geometry with a higher-end air sprung, oleo damped with rebound and compression damping adjustments and very torsionally rigid and it is very confidence inspiring in turns at whatever speed on whatever terrain.

    In my moto crowd we'd look at peoples tires to see how wide their chicken strips were (the edge of the tread that isn't seeing use). On my bike with the lousy forks the chicken strips (they're not as well-defined as moto tires) are 15-20mm... on the bike with the good forks they are only about 5mm... =]

  • Hard Tail
    replied
    I,ve got three 29ers, two hard tails and one full suspension. I commute daily 50klm along back roads and paved bike paths. I didn't realise how much difference full suspension makes to ride comfort, even on relatively smooth urban surfaces. The hard tails are fine, probably slightly more efficient, but I find myself throwing the leg over the full suspension bike more often than not, these days. Bottom line, it's worth the extra bucks and trouble to build one in my opinion.

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  • JPLabs
    replied
    Good forks can help hold the tire on the road over bumps, for sure! Bad forks can make it worse. If you get suspension for that feature, as opposed to just sucking up bumps, you need to get GOOD suspension.

    (I have crappy forks and good forks)

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  • MoneyPit
    replied
    Suspension is nice to have but not necessary. Bear in mind at high speeds your suspension may be bottoming out so consider beefing it up to something stiffer than you'd use on a normal bike.

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  • Kocho
    replied
    I commute on ebike in the DC area trails and streets. Dual suspension and mid-fat tires (2.5" +/-) offer a lot more comfort than no suspension and skinnier tires. I was thinking originally to build-up a hard-tail mountain bike, Specialized Rockhopper. But came across a dual-suspension frame off eBay from a nice early 2000s top of the line Turner bike. I originally transfered my RockShox Indy front fork over (and most other components from my Rock Hopper - full drivetrain, seat, handlebars, brakes, everything pretty much). Rode it as a non-electric bike for a while to make sure I liked the build. And it was OK. It took me a little bit of time to get used to having a rear suspension, but the better comfort with rear suspension was undeniable - smooth as butter over potholes, small bumps, and larger things too (like jumping curbs). After converting to electric, I later upgraded the front suspension to a better quality RockShox Recon Air in order mainly to get disk brake installed, but the increased ride comfort and compliance was a nice improvement too, plus better adjustability to suit my preferences and weight: preload and rebound are independently adjustable now vs. just preload and I am able to dial-in just the comfort and performance I want.

    Yup, adds some weight, complexity, cost, and maintenance down the road. But worth it, IMO, if you ride more than short distances. I'd go with at least front suspension if not full. And a good suspension vs. cheap one also helps. Also, a wider, softer seat makes a big difference too. On an ebike I tend to pedal less hard than on a regular bike, so more weight on my seat and arms (weight that should have been supported by my pumping legs on and regular bike). The sest that I was fine with on the regular bike was not comfy enough on the ebike. And I travel much longer distances on a regular basis - almost daily if I go to the office it is 25 miles roundtrip, infrequently 40 miles to another work location, and occasionally up to 65 miles if I combine both. So more upright position, wider and more comfort-oriented seat make sense.
    Last edited by Kocho; 12-26-2017, 09:00 AM.

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  • PowerOnBikes
    replied
    My commuting ebike has suspension and it makes for a very comfortable ride. The bike I had before didn't have suspension and it was a lot harder on me, especially my wrists. I think it's all a matter of personal preference, but I definitely prefer a bike with suspension.

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  • commuter ebikes
    replied
    I have never commuted with a suspension, but I commute regularly on an ebike with no suspension. My average speed is about 29 mph on flat city streets. I weigh 290 pounds and the tires are 5.05" wide X 31.5" tall with 15 psi in the rear and 19 psi in the front.

    This setup is completely okay (controlled, smooth) up to about 37 mph. Above that speed, however, the lack of a suspension becomes apparent. Good luck!

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  • ExciteBike
    replied
    I only go 20 mph, but I found that front suspension gave me a much nicer ride once I switched, with less wrist pain. I use a relatively narrow front tire though, at 1.5 inches. Also, I am much heavier than you.

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  • marcva
    started a topic Suspension needed?

    Suspension needed?

    I'm researching a commuter build for a combination of closed bike paths with some street bike lane riding in the DC suburbs. I'm wondering if I need a front suspension to provide more control at the higher speeds.Specifically, I'm looking at two Cannondale frames. 1) Cannondale Quick 2) Cannondale Bad Boy2. The Bad Boy 2 is similar to the quick though it has a fatty head shock in the front fork. I'm a smaller person (135 lbs) so a lighter bike is material to me as I plan on pedaling to subsidize my range. For people that have ridden both with and without suspension on commuter bikes, is the suspension necessary to reduce fatigue on longer rides. Are there control issues at consistent higher speeds (25-30 mph vs 15-25 mph?) that a suspension fork helps with? My original dream build was a Cannondale quick carbon, now I'm leaning towards a bad boy as a relatively light bike with a bit of give in the handlebars, though the Quick will also be a few hundred cheaper.

    Thoughts on suspension vs not?



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