ebike front suspension - necessary or pointless? (1 Viewer)

Jan 7, 2023
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(sorry, I'm littering the forum a bit with my ebike anxieties)

Most foldable ebikes I like (and can afford) have no front fork suspension. All the video reviews I see cite this as a "con" but then go on to praise the bike to the ground.

A quick test proved it not to be too much of a problem, but the experience of a quick ride against living with it are, I think, far apart.

So my question - do you have a foldable ebike without front suspension, and if so do you wish you had bought an ebike with it? Does it bother you? If not, do you ever ride on imperfect roads or tracks? Are you happy with no front suspension? I really would value opinions from people who have experience.

Nurse will be here soon to give me my pills ...
 
Feb 14, 2021
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I don't have any suspension on my non ebike and it's fine. Why does an ebike need suspension (unless you are talking off road/mountain bike?)
 
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daventess
Jan 7, 2023
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I don't have any suspension on my non ebike and it's fine. Why does an ebike need suspension (unless you are talking off road/mountain bike?)

I've only ever had ordinary bikes with suspension (mountain bike style). Whilst I'm hardly an off-roader, the roads around here are terrible and I use gravelly, potholed and uneven towpaths. In my head that says no suspension would be bad, but never having had no suspension I wondered what other's experiences were like.

I guess I should have said - I'm not going offroading but I imagine I will come across poor road surfaces and poorly made up tracks in any country I will be using the bikes in. I just don;t know, I think I've gone bike-blind!
 
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daventess
Jan 7, 2023
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I don't have any suspension on my non ebike and it's fine. Why does an ebike need suspension (unless you are talking off road/mountain bike?)

And that's actually a good point - I guess normal or electric, the bike would be the same regarding suspension. I stated it because that's what I'm looking for.
 
Feb 14, 2021
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I think if you have reasonably size wheels and wide/deep enough tyres it would be fine. I have proper skinny race bike tyres and still do paths, tow paths and poor roads.

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MattR

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(sorry, I'm littering the forum a bit with my ebike anxieties)

Most foldable ebikes I like (and can afford) have no front fork suspension. All the video reviews I see cite this as a "con" but then go on to praise the bike to the ground.

A quick test proved it not to be too much of a problem, but the experience of a quick ride against living with it are, I think, far apart.

So my question - do you have a foldable ebike without front suspension, and if so do you wish you had bought an ebike with it? Does it bother you? If not, do you ever ride on imperfect roads or tracks? Are you happy with no front suspension? I really would value opinions from people who have experience.

Nurse will be here soon to give me my pills ...

I have a folding shopping style e-bike without suspension. I don't miss suspension on it although I do go on some rough tracks, paths etc. I have it on my mountain bike where it is useful.

Good suspension will add quite a lot of £ to your costs and possibly a reasonable amount of weight. Poor suspension will add £, mass etc with little improvement on the ride against the disbenefits.
 
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daventess
Jan 7, 2023
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I think if you have reasonably size wheels and wide/deep enough tyres it would be fine. I have proper skinny race bike tyres and still do paths, tow paths and poor roads.

Most folders are 20", the tyres vary quite a lot. Thanks, that's interesting.
 

Wingingit#1

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Dec 13, 2022
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I use my bike mostly on road but if at all possible i choose to stay away from traffic so this means using tracks ,cyclepaths etc .
Personally i love my front suspension and would not be without it .
 
Sep 29, 2019
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My own experience is riding a full suspension off road bike and an also a non suspension road bike.

I once made the mistake of going down a towpath on the non suspension bike, it’s one I won’t make twice. Even my shins ached from the bumps.

By choice I only now ride the off road bike. If you are spending lots of dosh on a nice e-bike, I would get one that is a pleasure to ride.

You will always go to places bumpier than you think you will. With suspension you have a choice to be comfortable or not.
 

Wingingit#1

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Good point , Dont buy anything with cheap suspension on .

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Jul 28, 2021
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We have two Bromptons, 1 electric, and have not found any necessity for front suspension. For their road use design front suspension would just be a gimmick, hence why Brompton with massive world wide sales do not produce a front suspension variant.
 

MattR

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(sorry, I'm littering the forum a bit with my ebike anxieties)

Most foldable ebikes I like (and can afford) have no front fork suspension. All the video reviews I see cite this as a "con" but then go on to praise the bike to the ground.

A quick test proved it not to be too much of a problem, but the experience of a quick ride against living with it are, I think, far apart.

So my question - do you have a foldable ebike without front suspension, and if so do you wish you had bought an ebike with it? Does it bother you? If not, do you ever ride on imperfect roads or tracks? Are you happy with no front suspension? I really would value opinions from people who have experience.

Nurse will be here soon to give me my pills ...
What is your budget for the bike?
 

dna

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I havent got front suspension on my bike but have swapped the seat post for one with suspension built in. I can ignore the handlebars vibrating but the give in the seat post takes out a lot of the jarring (and teeth rattling) on the more bumpy surfaces
 
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daventess
Jan 7, 2023
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What is your budget for the bike?

I am looking to pay around £1.2k-ish each (I need two). I know that puts me at the budget end (unless I buy used, which I'm also considering) so I can't be too picky. I need folders because they need to go into the garage of my MH and find space amongst all the other stuff.
 
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daventess
Jan 7, 2023
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My own experience is riding a full suspension off road bike and an also a non suspension road bike.

I once made the mistake of going down a towpath on the non suspension bike, it’s one I won’t make twice. Even my shins ached from the bumps.

By choice I only now ride the off road bike. If you are spending lots of dosh on a nice e-bike, I would get one that is a pleasure to ride.

You will always go to places bumpier than you think you will. With suspension you have a choice to be comfortable or not.

That's my thought as well, it's just so few of them have suspension I was wondering if it's a non-problem and I'm just over thinking it all.

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MattR

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I am looking to pay around £1.2k-ish each (I need two). I know that puts me at the budget end (unless I buy used, which I'm also considering) so I can't be too picky. I need folders because they need to go into the garage of my MH and find space amongst all the other stuff.
Avoid suspension IMHO and look at second hand and / or European suppliers... there seems to be a wider choice and cheaper than getting them in the UK ... the Netherlands seems to be a good place to get them from.
 
Sep 29, 2019
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Avoid suspension IMHO and look at second hand and / or European suppliers... there seems to be a wider choice and cheaper than getting them in the UK ... the Netherlands seems to be a good place to get them from.
I would agree with this, a decent full suspension non e-bike is the best part of 1.5k. Even just the front is at least 1k for decent spec.

I never buy new anymore.

Bagged a full suspension 3k specialised for £500 last year. Looked brand new!

If you can get a decent second hand one, then I would go for the suspension.

Alas for that budget, the suspension will be awful!

Another option is to get a decent front suspension fork yourself and chuck it in after you have got the bike you want and are happy with it. Again second hand and serviced will be good as new. 👍
 
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daventess
Jan 7, 2023
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Alas for that budget, the suspension will be awful!

Yeah, that's kind of what I'm discovering. I may have to up the budget a bit.

Another option is to get a decent front suspension fork yourself and chuck it in after you have got the bike you want

Hmm...I guess I'd need to find out in advance if an after market fork would fit. What questions would I need to ask? By that I mean are there certain types of fork that the bike is likely to be one of? eg "that" shape bike is always a ThrumbleSpanner 40E fork, and "this" is usually a PimpleWangler 7a, that kind of thing? A bit like gears.

I'm discovering I don't know very much :)
 

Ridgeway

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By the sounds of what you’ll be riding on then suspension will only increase inefficiency. If it’s comfort you’re after then you can always add a suspension (sprung) seat post and comfier bar grips as well as max width tyres the frame will take, even better if you can run them at low pressure.

Both our 16inch folders are rigid bikes and a lot of fun because of that, very efficient, light and nippy.
 
Sep 29, 2019
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At that budget just look at non suspension stuff and dont stress about it . (y)
This is what I would do too, find something decent secondhand, or buy new within your budget and enjoy. It’s nice to have suspension that’s decent, but it’s not going to stop you enjoying it within reason.

The choice is mind boggling with bikes. Buy the best you can and enjoy.
 

Bobby-gg

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I picked up a Gocycle cheap second hand a few year's back, then found out why it was cheap - had to rebuild the 3 speed rear hub gears and overhaul the disc brakes.
But, now that it's done, the other half absolutely loves it, and it's got primative suspension, just be aware of the risks buying secondhand
 
Nov 4, 2011
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What about going fat tyre type and then the suspension, which probably wouldn’t do much on basic bike, wouldn’t be needed.
 

MattR

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What about going fat tyre type and then the suspension, which probably wouldn’t do much on basic bike, wouldn’t be needed.
Not for a folding e-bike.

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Sep 17, 2017
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I ride a full suspension 'enduro' mountain bike (Bird Aeris AM9), a 'gravel' style road bike (Specialized Diverge on 47mm tyres) and a Brompton folding bike. I did a 100km bike packing ride in the New Forest at the weekend, 70% off road on the gravel bike.

My opinion is that basic front suspension is no better than a nice wide tyre, preferably on a larger wheel. Many of the unbranded suspension forks do very little and just seem to be for show. Put a cable tie around the stanchion and see how little they move. Modern tyre rubber doesn't have to be slow and draggy, and who cares when you've got a motor anyway. I'd prefer the lower weight and lower complexity of a rigid fork (unless I was doing a red run at the bike park).
 
Jul 27, 2013
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My e-folder has front suspension. However my non-e-folder doesn't. In real life riding I don't really notice the difference as far as the suspension/lack of it goes.
Personally, if I were replacing the e-bike, I'd spend the money on buying a lighter weight bike over buying one with suspension. Oh, and I'd also buy one with reasonable gears. Both my bikes have great gears and it makes a big difference, even on the one with added 'e'. Both bikes have Schwalbe tyres and are primarily used on tracks etc, ie. 'off road'. The Dahon (non electric folder) is VASTLY lighter to ride and manhandle than the ebike.
 
Sep 10, 2020
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I'm with Guigsy. Forego the suspension and save the weight. Put the weight into wider tyres and bigger wheels. The extra load spread will soften the ride and it will be more stable on canal footpaths. We had no trouble doing the C2C on Scott e-bikes with 40mm tyres on 29in wheels.
 
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Bought a couple of roodog Bliss foldable electric cycles at the last NEC show with front suspension and disc brakes. Very comfortable and very pleased with them!

I find front suspension bikes are a much more comfortable ride that non, especially when going up and down kerbs.

 

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