Full Suspension Mountain Bikes – When Teeth are Chattering and Bones are Aching

OK, I admit. I may have dramatized a bit with those
teeth and bones. Still, full suspension mountain
bikes offer smother ride.
No matter how strong your teeth are.

“When Your Body Gets It All”

No, full suspension is not only for those over 30! Anyway, every one of us is approaching or has already reached that point (and it’s not necessarily at 30’s) when our body begins to talk…

“Hey, what a heck are you doing with me?!”

At this point you need to reconsider your riding habits. Do you need to change them completely?

Not necessarily.

Better consider to cheer yourself and choose something form full suspension mountain bikes menu.

So, you are certain that no other type of bike suspension will make your body happy? The choice is made than. Full suspension mountain bikes are designed for those who want more forgiving rides on all terrains.

Especially aggressive ones. No matter how old you are.

Bike Construction

Full suspension mountain bikes are equipped with front and rear suspension systems. So, you don’t need to install other types of bike suspension to proudly call it “full”.

As I have noticed in article about mountain bike forks , you may choose from short and long travel suspension front forks. Short travel is considered to be something between 50 mm (2 inches) up to 80 mm (3 inches).

Long travel - 100 mm (4 inches) up to 120 mm (5 inches). And more.

Take these numbers just as guidelines. Technology changes. What was considered to be long, one day may become short.


Rear suspension system, often called as “rear shock” usually contains a triangle which is a rear part of your bike frame 100 mm (4 inches), 130 mm (~5 inches), 216 mm (~9 inches). These numbers reflect different characteristics of different rear suspension systems.

So, with rear suspension’s travel you have even wider choice than with fork suspension.

How much suspension “travel” do you actually need?

It depends.

If you are thinking about XC mountain bike with a bit of DH spices, you don’t need to look for maximal suspension travel available on the market.

Although, if you prepare your bike for more extreme trails like real downhill (not just spices) or freeride, you would like to consider more suspension travel.

By the way… Suspension’s Lock-Unlock ability is just great. Have you heard about that?

When first full suspension mountain bikes have been introduced to market they had a problem called pedal bob. Pedal bob – understood as a bike bouncing when you pedal your full suspension bike – has been almost removed using modern designs and technical improvements.

However, depending on your trail, you may also like to make your suspension stiffer or softer from time to time.

Pedal bob is unwanted passenger when you are climbing up the mountain. Lock your suspension and make it stiff. Going downhill?

Open your suspension and meet those jumps and bumps.

Your body will thank you.

On Budget?

Simple rule applies here. Aggressive rides require aggressive suspension and more aggressive expenditures. Consider full suspension if you are taking more extreme trails or even ride downhill.

Anyway… you may ride your hardtail bike even DH trails if you like. It may work in some cases. Until your body tells you to stop.

Consider your budget at this point.

Entry level full suspension bike may take something from 1100 USD from your pocket. Up to…

much more. No need to tell this.

So if you can’t afford such amount (let’s say you are saving on medical treatment of your bag… or teeth…), don’t make a mistake and…

Don’t buy cheap full suspension bike (I mean even cheaper than lower class hardtail).

Choose not so active rides until you can get a decent full suspension. Avoid shopping centers.

Real bikes live in specialized bike shops.

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