Table of Contents
- What makes a great suspension fork?
- 1.Manitou Circus Expert Suspension Fork – 26″, 100 mm, 20 x 110 mm, 41 mm Offset,
- 2.FOX FLOAT 36 Jump Forks
- 3.RockShox Revelation RCT3 DJ Forks
- 4.Rockshox Argyle 302 Bicycle Forks
- 5.RockShox Pike DJ suspension fork
- 6.Manitou Machete Cone 15x110mm 51OS 27.5+/29″ 120mm
- 7.Marzocchi Bomber Z1
As almost all of us know, there are different cycling disciplines. Downhill discipline is one of the most extreme and adrenaline-filled discipline where the cyclist reaches a speed of about 80 km per hour during the race. Downhill mountain biking is one of the sport’s most impressive segments. You can come across many pictures, pictures of riders falling off huge jumps, cliffs and so on. This discipline attracts many to start with mountain biking.
In short, these races are known for being only downhill, on mountain trails that abound with very technical parts, high jumps that stretch up to 18 meters. Well, precisely because of such technical and risky moments, it is very important whether your bike meets the necessary conditions for participation in such a race. These downhill bikes are designed only for downhill riding, i.e., for downhill riding on extremely steep trails. The frame of the bicycle is specific, the bicycle has a full suspension and it is safe to say that one of the most important things is the choice of a good suspension.
In almost every article you can read about the importance of bicycle parts, but without a doubt the forks are one of the most important things for this type of bicycle. With the information you will receive from reading this article, you will appreciate the investment in choosing the right suspension much more. The suspension travels 180 to 200 mm, helping to protect riders from large, repetitive impacts.
Choosing a straight suspension is vital as suspensions play a major role in mastering the trail, smoothing the surface, helping absorb shocks and also improving speed and control over rough terrain.
Namely, the shock absorber looks like it has a simple function, but it is actually made of several complex components.
To meet the demands of a track filled with many obstacles and absorb all shocks through its compression, the shock absorber consists of three main elements: damper, spring and chassis.
Damper– has the function of converting the kinetic energy into heat, it helps in controlling the compression speed of the shock absorber. Damper is located in the opposite fork next to the spring.
Spring – when energy is created from an impact, the spring absorbs that energy, protecting the driver from it. Spring absorbs first stores energy, then releases it when stretching the shock absorber and converts excess energy into heat, defined by spring speed, and the compressed force ratio after spring break. The spring is located next to the shock absorber in the opposite leg.
Chassis – this part houses the shock absorber and the spring, and together they provide a stable and strong platform for the efficient function of the parts and good handling by the cyclist.
The damper transfers the impact force to the suspension, the spring stores and returns the energy with compression, and the shock absorber helps to help with uncontrolled rebound and thus control the speed of movement. The suspension is actually a chamber consisting of a piston and this piston moves up and down. In the air spring, there is a liquid or oil in the chamber and when the shock absorber compresses this oil moves from one side of the piston to the other depending on the extension of the shaft. When the fluid/oil moves, friction occurs and the energy stored in the suspension is converted into heat. The amount of damping depends on which hip is the restriction, if the valve opening is smaller then more energy is obtained as the oil passes through the damper.
There are coil spring and air spring in the suspension fork. A fork spring component cannot be both air and coil. The difference between these two springs is that a coil spring is linear and the amount that is compressed by the coil under a given load is identical. Depending on the manufacturer, there are progressive rate springs that require more compression force. An air spring is recommended for this type of bike (downhill). The air spring is filled with air and during compression the fork goes down and the internal piston moves up, thereby reducing the volume and increasing the pressure, which applies an opposite force to the air club and pushes it back. Specific to air springs is that they have a progressive curve which means that the amount of force required for compression increases exponentially over the course of the stroke. Air springs have the advantage that the air pressure is adjusted using a shock absorber pump, which greatly facilitates the user.
To the question of which wheel size (26 27.5 or 29) is better for jumps, we will answer you with a few verified facts.
The first mountain bikes were designed with 26 inch wheels and this wheel size has long been recognized as the standard for mountain biking. This meant that tire, rim, suspension and frame design and technology began and ended with 26-inch wheels.
Then came a group of frame designers who questioned the superiority of 26-inch wheels. and began designing and manufacturing 29-inch wheels.
Early adoption of 29er technology resulted in bikes with heavy wheels, heavier steering response, long hook-and-loop wheelbases, mediocre fork performance, and oversized and heavy tires. And many cyclists were dissatisfied with this type of wheel size, but today 29-inch wheels are some of the most sought after and produced wheels in the cycling world. 27.5-inch wheels are much closer to 26-inch wheels in ride, but provide a much better position for the rider’s body. It doesn’t have the high feeling of riding 29-inch wheels, but it’s better than 26-inch in any case.
Of all three wheel sizes, only 27.5 inches have a 15mm axle and without a doubt this bike gets the advantage of a model equipped with a 9mm quick release axle. As a disadvantage of 27.5-inch wheels we can mention that it is slower to steer in contrast to 26 inches, and it does not easily cross the rough parts as it does with 29 inches. But these are not enough facts to turn the driver away from 27.5-inch wheels.
To choose the right fork for you, keep the following three things in mind: it should have a spring that will absorb the heaviest shocks well and effectively, the shock absorber should be filled with oil for better control of the spring speed, and a solid chassis that would allow track stability and precise line slack when under pressure.
What makes a great suspension fork?
There is no doubt that the best shock absorbers that meet these three conditions will provide support and stability on steep terrain.
The following types of suspension have been named the best dirt jumping forks for 2023:
1.Manitou Circus Expert Suspension Fork – 26″, 100 mm, 20 x 110 mm, 41 mm Offset,
Manitou is one of the most used suspension forks for downhill/dirt bikes. The Manitou company was created in 1986, whose production is concentrated on high-quality and technologically advanced products related to mountain biking. Manitou is a well-known manufacturer of super reliable forks, both nationally and internationally. Manitou forks are recommended for enduro rides and dirt jump riding. These forks have a simple design and are suitable for many cyclists, from beginners to professional riders. They have three variations: Comp, Expert and Pro.
Our recommendation is Manitou Circus Expert Suspension Fork which belongs to the Expert version.
The Manitou company started the Circus project with the aim of helping slopestyle riders, to make it easier for them to enter events where much bigger jumps are made thanks to this fork.
2.FOX FLOAT 36 Jump Forks
About FOX suspension you will often read that they are the kings of suspension. This is a suspension that is rumored to be a top level, more advanced and popular suspension brand. One of the reasons it has such a good reputation is that it was founded way back in 1974 and they have designed many types of suspensions, not only for bicycles but also for motorcycles. One of the reasons why FOX has been able to advance faster than many other suspension brands is the length of time it has had.
Most of the brands on this list only provide suspension for mountain bikes, meaning they have no experience or history in other disciplines. FOX FLOAT 36 Jump Forks is a fork that is available in all bike sizes up to 26-29. The GRIP2 technology is a new version of the performance Float 36 and these forks are only available for 29 and 27.5 inch wheel sizes.
This is the next evolution of the FIT Sealed Cartridge System with the highest performance gravity focused shock absorbers. After all the research derived from the original GRIP system, 4-way adjustability, a high-speed WC return circuit, a high-performance mid-valve and overall fiction reduction treatments are included in the new design.
3.RockShox Revelation RCT3 DJ Forks
There are three types of RockShox forks, and they are Revelation RC, Charger RC, RCT3 26, which we will tell you more about below. The Revelation RCT3 is the perfect fork for enduro riding on tough and demanding trails. They are intended for a more aggressive driving style. With Solo Air springs, weight has been reduced compared to the previous air spring.
4.Rockshox Argyle 302 Bicycle Forks
Rockshox Argyle has several different models (RCT, RC and R) if you decide on a top model of this series then choose the RCT.
The Argyle RCT is at the top of Rockshox’s jump and slopestyle lineup. The fork is built on a specialized solo air spring and shock absorber for motion control, with a minimum of 80mm and a maximum of 140mm which is great for riding on tougher trails.
Maxle Lite technology was used for the production of this fork. This means that the axles are designed in such a way that they take away unnecessary weight and give more stiffness to the wheels.
The only negative thing we have heard from some cyclists is the high price they have to pay for this product.
5.RockShox Pike DJ suspension fork
These forks are very good for dirt jumping riders. RockShox has a large selection of forks, for 26-inch wheels and 100 to 140mm of travel. 140mm of travel is recommended for tougher DH trails. Sram and RockShox seem to dominate this list. While for many people FOX may make the best forks ever, Rockshox probably provides one of the best product ranges for MTB forks. By using this shock absorber you will feel very confident while driving and in overcoming high jumps. They are designed so that they return very quickly and with great precision after an impact or a jump, the fact that a large number of slopestyle cyclists use them shows how good they are.
6.Manitou Machete Cone 15x110mm 51OS 27.5+/29″ 120mm
As we mentioned at the beginning that Manitou is a popular and very good fork for DH bikes, with this fork we will confirm that. Manitou Machete forks are purpose-built for trail carving. The case is lightweight 7050 aluminum with Absolute+ damping, external compression, specific rebound and lockout adjustments. Another notable thing is the arch at the rear of the fork. The advantage of this bow is that the dirt does not settle on the fork, it throws it out during the ride.
7.Marzocchi Bomber Z1
The Marzocchi Bomber Z1 is a fork model that has been around since 1997. around a while. This fork model is suitable and accessible for all mountain bike riders. The chassis is 36mm and is large enough for a significant amount of travel, thus maintaining a large amount of force for big jumps. This shock absorber uses an air spring and is of a closed type. There is not much difference between Marzocchi forks and FOH apart from the weight. If you are limited by budget, we recommend the Marzoki Bomber Z1 you’ll be very happy with the Bomber Z1.
We hope this article will help you choose the best suspension for you!