We’ve examined an entire lot of mountain bike forks and listed here are the perfect mountain bike suspension forks for enduro, path riders and XC racers.
Learn extra: The way to arrange mountain bike suspension
Should you’re trying to make a major enchancment to a mountain bike’s trip high quality, upgrading your suspension fork is the most suitable choice. The highest fashions are more likely to be one of many greatest investments you’ll make however they pack the potential to completely rework your using expertise.
With manufacturers regularly updating their merchandise for improved efficiency, fork expertise is a consistently evolving panorama. Main gamers like Fox and RockShox might be acquainted as unique tools on full bike packages.
Most high-end forks include mind-boggling adjustability, however whether or not you’re a suspension professional, otherwise you simply wish to get pleasure from extra pace, consolation and management, we’ve put within the exhausting miles to essentially unravel which mannequin delivers final efficiency on the path.
The perfect mountain bike forks
1. Fox 36 Manufacturing facility GRIP2
By way of final efficiency, Fox’s new 36 is a superior product
Weight: 2,220g | Offset: 44mm or 51mm (29in), 37 or 44mm (27.5in) | Journey: 150 or 160mm
Execs: The perfect ever 36 by far
Execs: Easy and delicate in every single place
Cons: The value tag
The brand new 36 by no means will get flustered and absorbs hits of each measurement calmly with an preliminary boring slurp that looks like your tyre has much less air strain inside. On one native path part with brain-rattling high-speed moto whoops, it danced over crests with out jiggling imaginative and prescient and stability, whereas most forks jackhammered and pitched the again finish of the bike of their wake. Contact and bump absorption really feel constant whether or not completely hauling into sq. edges, or plopping off sluggish pace steps too.
The most recent Manufacturing facility 36 looks like floating in a shower of oil, but additionally informs sufficient concerning the terrain to trip exactly and actively by by no means being too wallowey or mushy. The very good efficiency comes at a substantial monetary premium to its closest rival – the RockShox’s Lyrik – nonetheless, plus all the brand new options add a bit of weight over the older mannequin.
2. RockShox Lyrik Final RC2
It’s exhausting to disregard RockShox’s Lyrik for its ease of arrange and the way properly it performs
Weight: 2,015g | Offset: 42, 44 or 51mm (29in), 37, 44, 46mm (27.5in) | Journey: 140-170mm
Execs: Supreme suppleness and simple to setup
Execs: Cheaper (and lighter) than a Fox 36
Cons: Damping not fairly as managed and finesse as Fox 36
RockShox’s Charger 2 damper is buttery clean, has tons of management and by no means throws you any curveballs. This retains the Lyrik assured in every single place from climbing over bumps at crawling speeds, twiddling down technical steeps or hammering DH tracks with huge berms. The consistency and sense it’s at all times bought your again with no drama means you possibly can give attention to the using, plus it’s nonetheless probably the most snug forks when it comes to killing path chatter, which stops arms and arms getting fatigued on the longest descents, so you possibly can cost exhausting for longer.
RockShox’s fit-and-forget Lyrik already nailed all the development and inner subtleties to maximise sensitivity and sturdiness and gained a helpful lighter compression tune final yr. It has a really stiff and durable chassis, is a cinch to achieve a ‘candy spot’ on, and works for months with zero upkeep.
3. Marzocchi Bomber Z2
Needs to be on the shortlist to any rider that simply desires to get out and trip
Weight: 2,000g | Offset: 44, 51mm | Journey: 100, 120, 130, 140, 150mm
Execs: Nice suspension motion and chassis stiffness
Execs: Good worth for an amazing fork
Cons: Does feel and appear a bit low cost
The fork is noticeably stiffer fore-aft than a Fox 34. The fork takes mid- and massive sized hits actually excellently. No spiking, binding or unpredictable deflection. It undoubtedly isn’t as supple off-the-top as increased finish forks however… it didn’t actually hassle us. And if much less suppleness is the worth to pay for having seals and damping system that preserve the baddies out for 125 hours between providers, we predict that’s honest sufficient.
We’d truly quite have a Bomber Z2 than a dearer Fox 34 attributable to its stiffer building and the knock-on impact this lack of flex has on the fork’s predictability and consistency. Underneath braking or exhausting cornering, the Z2 leaves different 34 and 35mm stanchion forks discovered wanting. Positive, that is principally attributable to thicker wall 6000 alloy stanchions tubing however… it really works. Heavier sure. However stiffer. And cheaper.
4. Cane Creek Helm Coil
Beats most different forks when it comes to calming fatigue by ironing out high-frequency chatter
Weight: 2,400g | Offset: 44mm | Journey: 130-160 (internally adjustable)
Execs: The most effective at beating path chatter
Execs: Sheer traction ranges from that coil spring
Cons: Coil brings weight
Silky clean damping, wonderful grip and hand consolation. Sure, it’s a tad heavy, and extra considerably, the complete 160mm journey is unattainable for some riders; we managed simply over 150mm, earned on the heaviest touchdown overshooting a giant bounce.
That mentioned, this Helm Coil trumps every other fork we’ve used when it comes to smoothness and calming fatigue by ironing out stutter bumps and high-frequency chatter. It clearly has supreme traction when leant proper over on tyre edge blocks on off-cambers or super-slippery terrain, which suggests the Helm is a riot on a muddy day and actually means that you can actually take the mickey pushing the bounds of traction. It is a huge profit that can at all times rule over a few of small negatives right here for a sure breed of riders too.
5. DVO Beryl
A top-performing fork at a low value
Weight: 2,231g | Offset: 44, 51mm | Journey: 140-160mm (29), 150-170mm (27.5)
Execs: Tremendous delicate and plush as heck
Execs: Feels and appears dearer than the Bomber Z2
Cons: Mounted destructive spring not best for heavier riders
Positive, the Beryl is heavy and there’s a backside out clunk if you happen to actually slam it exhausting, and if you happen to weigh roughly than common there’s a robust likelihood it received’t really feel fairly as slick.
However it’s a tremendous delicate fork that merely blew me away with its preliminary floaty feeling. The Beryl cushioned us from that first few millimetres of path chatter you get throughout lengthy days on the paths. We ran the fork with one OTT spacer put in (the utmost is 2), as per DVO’s suggestions, which ought to now be out there in a setup booklet that comes with the fork.
6. Components Selva R
You’ll want endurance to essentially delve in to attain your good settings… but it surely’s price it
Weight: 2,140g | Offset: 46mm or 51mm (29in), 46mm (27.5in) | Journey: 130-160mm (29in), 120-170mm (27.5in)
Execs: Probably the most broadly adjustable fork on the market
Execs: Not match and overlook – so nice for tinkerers
Cons: Not match and overlook
We might dial in a very calm, ground-hugging really feel with wonderful management and stability from each the blue and purple CST valves we tried (with a tweak of the air spring). The damping feels very clean and rounded in each instructions, and you may dial in a bit of compression on the blue dial (which impacts each low and high-speed damping) with out including an excessive amount of harshness or vibration by the hands. The rebound vary was acceptable for our weight and silent and clean in operation too.
The additional money and time required to dial within the final suspension received’t be for everybody, however this spectacular Components Selva R affords a ‘manufacturing unit’ stage of tunability with out the necessity to ship it off for retuning, supplied you realize precisely what trip traits you’re on the lookout for.
7. RockShox SID Final
Olympic success moreover, its capacity to bridge the hole between XC and path is its greatest win
Weight: 1,326g | Offset: 42mm | Journey: 100, 120mm
Execs: Deliver stiffness to the light-weight XC world
Execs: Far more supple than different XC forks
Cons: 29er solely
There’s one thing actually enthralling about thrashing your favorite trails on a motorbike rocking the naked minimal of weight and journey. OK, so 120mm remains to be lots, however as we develop into increasingly more accustomed to using 150, 160 and even 170mm journey bikes. Much less inertia, much less security internet, extra buzz while you get it proper. It’s definitely addictive. And the RockShox SID helps you to get away with using stuff that you simply wouldn’t dream of tackling on any earlier XC fork.
Given how mild the fork is, there’s sufficient precision to allow you to get away with railing ruts and slamming it into turns. In back-to-back testing, we’d say it was on par with the Fox 34 Step Solid, but the SID is 150g lighter. And that weight saving is considerable too, with a lighter contact to the steering that retains the entrance finish tremendous agile.
Know your mountain bike forks
1. Rebound damping
That is the damping circuit that controls how briskly or sluggish a fork returns to its sag place after a bump occasion. Low pace damping is the commonest exterior adjustment.
2. Compression damping
Compression damping controls the speed at which displaced damper fluid is allowed to maneuver throughout bump occasions. Low-speed controls low shaft velocities equivalent to physique weight shifts and rolling terrain, whereas high-speed impacts harsh impacts like sq. bump faces and landings. By forcing the oil by means of ports or shim stacks, damping resistance is generated, with vitality transformed into warmth.
Stanchion diameter is a vital metric within the quest for general stiffness. Thicker fork legs add weight although. Tapered steerer tubes are the norm – 1 1/8in to 1.5in. Decrease leg assemblies use forged magnesium to avoid wasting weight, and all forks right here use a Enhance 110mm axle spacing with QR-type or hex-key fixing.
4. Exterior adjustment
Dials on the highest and backside of the fork legs modify parameters to tune assist and management. Separate damping dials permit particular tuning choices as to how a lot oil is allowed by means of ports and shims inside to soak up impacts, however extra choices generally is a dangerous factor; they’ll introduce extra scope to mess up your bike’s efficiency if you happen to’re not assured in what every adjustment affords.
5. Optimistic and destructive springs
Throughout the air spring there are usually two separate components balancing breakaway friction and small bump sensitivity in opposition to assist. A destructive spring pushes again in opposition to the primary optimistic spring, and both takes the type of a separate (routinely equalising) air chamber or a coil spring.
6. Quantity spacers
These aren’t used on each fork, however tweaking the dimensions of the (optimistic) air spring by including or eradicating quantity spacers (or in-built methods to the identical impact) impacts the spring curve form. Extra spacers enhance spring development and make it tougher to backside out the fork, whereas fewer spacers make it simpler to get full journey. Most forks right here have one or two spacers factory-installed.
Fork rake or offset is a key factor of steering response and dealing with, and with the introduction of various choices, can now be influenced independently. Most manufacturers now supply two totally different offsets in every wheel measurement, starting from 37mm as much as 51mm. There’s a posh interplay at play right here, however broadly talking a shorter offset affords extra stability however a extra compact wheelbase, and an extended offset sharpens the steering however provides general size to the bike.