Whether you are newbies or bike experts, a common question for them is do they need suspension on their bikes? Of course, it is a useful component, but it is not a must-have part based on your own needs.
With electric bikes, this question is even more common. While ebike experts may know deeply about ebike suspension, those rookies could be pretty confused about it. So today, we will tell you things that you want to be aware of about ebike suspension. Also, you will find out if you need a suspension on your electric bikes.
Why Do You Need Suspension on An Electric Bike?
Electric bikes for adults can enable you to travel on all kinds of terrains, but maybe you’ve heard it before that not all of those terrains are completely equal. When it comes to flat and smooth city streets and roads, you are able to gain a wonderful riding experience. However, if you are riding on dirt, sand, gravel, hills, and other bumpy and rugged terrains, the rides won’t be as smooth because of the shocks and vibration resulting from bumps and rocks.
Occasionally, it might not be difficult to tolerate those bumps on an ebike without suspension, but if that remains for a long time, well, trust me, it will be really annoying and uncomfortable.
And things can be worse than that. With shocks and shaking, you may fall off your ebike and get hurt more easily. That is why manufacturers create suspension systems. It is to make your ebike rides much safer and more comfortable.
Pros and Cons of a Suspension on an Electric Bike
You might already understand that it is necessary to have anebike suspension. Next, we will dig into the pros and cons of it.
More Comfort: As I said above, with an electric bike suspension, your electric bike rides can be much more comfortable. That is because the suspension system plays a major role in absorbing shocks from bumps and decreasing the strain you feel while riding on rugged terrains. Therefore, it is really essential to have a suspension, especially for those who want to take adventures on mountain bike trails. For instance, some people tend to use an electric mountain bike when it comes to riding off-road. The reason is that an electric mountain bike is usually specialized to have a professional suspension system.
Smooth Control: An suspension is able to provide more traction for an electric mountain bike. Traction is something that helps tires have more contact on the ground. Therefore, it will be easier to control your ebikes.
Besides electric bike suspension, a pair of hydraulic disc brakes can help you gain smooth control as well. They are able to provide you with strong braking power. When it comes to applying them, you could pull the brake levers with only 1 or 2 fingers.
Longer Lifespan: In fact, an electric bike suspension does need a lot of maintenance, but it can maximize the lifespan of an ebike frame. By absorbing shocks and shaking from bumps on the roads, your ebike frame will not wear down so quickly. And again, this is also true for electric mountain bikes.
More Price: The price could be a little problem. Normally, an ebike with a suspension will be a lot more expensive, but it is not difficult to understand. You can take it as adding an extra piece of gear. Even something like a suspension post can cost you $100 - $150, but to get a better experience, it is worth the price.
Heavier: Compared with traditional bikes, electric bikes for sale are way heavier with motors, batteries, ebike fat tires, and some other electric components. And the frame also serves as a major part of the total weight of an ebike. An electric bike suspension can increase the overall weight.
Much Maintenance: There is a lot of work to do about maintaining electric bike suspension, like oiling and replacements. This kind of maintenance requires professional skills, and most of the time, you will have to get to a bike shop. If you don’t maintain the ebike suspension appropriately, your electric bike performance will be more or less degraded.
Different Types of Suspension Ebike
Currently, there is not only one kind of suspension ebike on the market. Below we will introduce two kinds of electric bike suspension.
Full-suspension electric bikes mean that they got a suspension fork up front and another suspension for the rear wheel. Both front and rear have suspension. Their advantage is basically the comfort and the handling. There's really nothing that compares to a full-suspension bike when it comes to comfort. Anything you hit whether It's with the front wheel or the rear wheel, you're going to have that nice dampening, which will make you ride so much nicer if you're going to be doing lots of commuting and street riding.
Whether or not you need that, it is sort of a personal question if you're doing a lot of off-road, and definitely, a full-suspension electric bike is almost a must on some more technical terrain. You can certainly do off-road riding with just a hardtail ebike, but the more technical terrain you are riding on, the better handling you want.
The downside here is usually going to be the increased price and the weight. Usually, a full-suspension electric bike is priced between $2500 and $3000. There are cheap options out there, but when you get into really cheap full-suspension electric bikes, you will find out some of their suspensions are crap. Therefore, be sure to stay away from them. Also, you can check out the 2022 ebike buying guide to get away from pits.
Hardtail Electric Bikes
Next, let’s move on to another type - hardtail electric bikes. The advantage of it is that you get some of that comfort in the front end, and you don't have the increased cost and the weight of a full-suspension electric bike. One of the bigger contributors to the cost of a full-suspension bike is really the rear suspension as that's where things get complicated. If all you have to do is put a suspension fork up front, the bike is definitely going to be a lot cheaper.
Non-Suspension Electric Bikes
To be fair, not every electric bike has suspension. There are some of them out there that are rigid and lack suspensions. It doesn't mean they are not good bikes. They are nice, affordable, and lightweight. You can even lift it with only one hand here. So there are big advantages to going with an entirely rigid electric bike, but comfort is not one of them. If you're commuting in the city on nice smooth bike lanes or bike paths, you can probably get away with a non-suspension electric bike, saving money and weight.
What kind of Suspension Do I Really Need?
Well, you know this there are various answers to this question. It depends on what kind of riders you are to choose a specific suspension level. If you live in urban areas and always take your bike riders out there, it is obvious that you may not need that much suspension. A lot of city commuters will choose a commuter electric bike with little, even no suspension as city streets are smooth enough to get off that discomfort. Occasional bumps and potholes probably don’t require you to have that suspension upgrade.
Oppositely, in rural areas, things can not be the same. There may be a lot of hills and dirt which can cause a lot of discomforts. In this scenario, a hardtail electric bike is really beneficial. These kinds of ebikes are designed to fit all kinds of terrains, absorbing shock and vibration.
Lastly, if you are to do some eMTB riding, a full-suspension electric bike is really necessary, especially for those who suffer from joint and back pain. This type of electric bike is designed to give you the highest level of suspension. So when you are taking adventures on mountain bike trails, you will gain the best handling and control.
Hope all mentioned above can give you more insight into how you should think about the suspension. Having ebike suspension can definitely benefit you, but it is totally up to you and what you need. Also, you have to consider the extra cost and weight into consideration. It is all aoout what you want in your ebikes.
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