E-Bike Suspension: Choose the Right One for Smooth Rides and Better Control
A choppy e-bike ride that has you shaking is not enjoyable. A bumpy ride can also be dangerous, increasing your chances of flying out of your seat, losing your hold on the handlebars, or slipping your feet off the pedals.
The answer to a rocky bike ride is suspension for your e-bike. The e-bike suspension allows the bike wheels to move gently up and down, absorbing minor bumps while remaining in contact with the ground. A well-functioning suspension improves riding comfort and assures control on rough terrain. Keep reading to learn about the types of suspension and how they function.
How Suspension Works
The suspension system of a bicycle consists of either a mechanical coil or an air spring (front suspensions can be either, while rear suspensions are normally coil-based). The mechanism absorbs kinetic energy from the bike wheels when they get on the ground, such as when riding over a bump or jumping.
The suspension also incorporates a damper in addition to the spring. The damper helps dissipate the kinetic energy that the spring absorbs, preventing the suspension from bouncing out of control. Many dampers are filled with oil.
The air spring or coil contracts, when a force travels from the bike wheel to the suspension. The damper then spreads the shock, enabling the coil or spring to fully release, bounce, and expand before absorbing it.
Types of E-Bike Suspension
There are three types of e-bike suspensions: front, rear, and full suspension. Learn the differences and decide which one is best for you.
The front suspension is located at the front of the bike, as the name implies. The fork is the most popular type of front suspension, consisting of two struts that connect the e-bike's front wheel to the bike frame's head tube.
The fork has an internal mechanical coil or air spring that absorbs front-wheel shock. When riding on rough terrain, sliders or lowers connect the fork to the front wheel and brakes, allowing the force of bumps and jumps to transfer from the wheel to the fork's mechanical coil or air spring. Front suspension is usually sufficient for everyday riding – for example, if you are a beginner.
The rear suspension, often known as the rear shock, is located at the back of the bike. The coil spring (rather than an air spring) is the most common type of rear suspension system. An additional shock absorber at the back absorbs impact and improves tire contact with the ground, improving control and reducing fatigue. If you intend to ride off-road, consider a bike with additional rear suspension.
Some ebikes have both rear and front suspension, known as complete suspension or dual suspension. Mountain e-bike (MTB) cyclists can benefit from a full-suspension system because off-roading typically involves uneven, unpaved terrain.
A full-suspension bike is often more pleasant than a hardtail ebike (a bike with only one suspension). Yet, full-suspension bikes are typically more expensive to purchase and maintain. They are also more substantial.
A full-suspension system is often required only for intense riding, like mountain biking. , you can tackle additional complicated trails with drops, rocks, and roots with full suspensions. Even if they are not undertaking extreme riding, cyclists with joint problems may benefit from full suspension. Heybike Horizon electric bike has a hydraulic suspension with 80 millimeters (mm) of travel and Horst-link suspension.
Choosing the Right E-bike Suspension
You are probably thinking about which e-bike suspension is best for you now that you understand how it works. When selecting ebike suspensions, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution.
Here are some things to think about when deciding on suspension.
Type of Terrain
A full-suspension e-bike is not necessary in the city on paved surfaces. If you have an electric mountain bike (EMTB) and plan to ride on unpaved surfaces, such as over rocks, roots, and jumps, you should get a dual-suspension bike for optimal shock absorption.
Another factor to consider is riding style. Even city riders may desire to fly over curbs and other obstacles, making rear suspension indispensable. If you are a fast biker, go with a full-suspension road bike or e-bike.
When purchasing an e-bike, budget is another factor to consider, and suspension type influences price. A high-end electric mountain bike with full suspension will cost more than a single-suspension commuting bike. A single-suspension model is the way to go if money is an issue.
How to Maintain Your E-bike Suspension to Keep it Working Properly
Your e-bike suspension is a critical component. You can ensure your e-bike's suspension functions and lasts longer by caring for it.
Checking and Adjusting Air Pressure
If your bike's tires do not have pressure, they will not have enough air to absorb shock. As a result, the suspension must work harder. Check your tire pressure with a regular bike pump before each ride to ensure it is within the acceptable range marked on the side of the tire. Put in the air if the pressure is too low.
Lubricating the suspension is not recommended since it can cause grit to become caught in the suspension. Yet, should oil other sections of your bike, such as the chain, to reduce friction and stress on the bike, particularly the shocks.
Regular checks at a nearby bike shop can help ensure that the suspension and other critical components are in the correct operating order. Casual cyclists can get away with an annual inspection, but those who ride 100 miles or more per week should get one every three to four months.
The owner's manual for your bike may also suggest how regularly you should inspect it.
How to Adjust Your E-bike Suspension for Different Types of Riding
Your suspension must be able to respond to every bump on the trail. When you hit something, your fork will compress, collecting the impact energy and then releasing it by extending it back out. It is critical to strike this equilibrium to retain traction. We preload the suspension with our body weight to allow the suspension to compress and expand. The sag is when you sit on the bike and the fork is slightly compressed.
our suspension fork compresses sharply when you brake or ride very steep downhill routes. Your air spring rate is insufficient. Repeat the path, increasing the pressure by 5-10 psi at a time. Stop when the fork has firmed up and provides adequate support. Keep track of the pressure.
Rebound damping regulates how quickly compressed suspension rebounds after a bump. If your rebound damping is too low (-), your fork will extend too quickly, feeling springy and out of control. If the rebound damping is too high (+), the suspension will not return quickly enough after repeated bumps, falling lower into its journey and performing improperly.
Suspension may make your e-bike ride smoother and more comfortable and increase handling and control. Yet, while selecting a suspension system, it is critical to consider various things, including the type of riding you intend to perform, the terrain you will be riding on, and your tastes. It is also critical to properly maintain your suspension system to ensure optimal performance and longevity.