Downhill Mountain Bike Suspension
Some cyclists swear by it, others swear it off - either way, suspension is one of the most important components of a mountain bike. Whether you opt for front, rear, or dual suspension, know that it will increase the comfort, as well as the efficiency, of your ride. The advantages to suspension are increased comfort for your ride. Suspension allows our bike to absorb many of the small and some of the large bumps you are going to take running roughshod over miles of downhill mountain biking trails and terrain. Instead of having you vibrate, they allow your frame to do the vibrating for you allowing you a more peaceful state of mind when deciding whether or not to fly over the next jump, or to brake and go around it.
Suspension systems of downhill mountain bikes allow for your wheels to stay in contat with the ground while moving up and down, absorbing bumps from the ground below. Downhill mountain bike suspension is comprised of a spring and a damper. The spring allows for flexibility in the wheel, allowing the wheel to move up and down with the terrain it covers. Suspension springs absorb a lot fo energy - they thus need a place to tranfer that energy to ensure that they stop bouncing in time to absorb the next shock. The dampers in a downhill mountain bike suspension system absorbs the energy form the spring and keeps the suspension from bouncing, like a gummy bear, out of control.
Suspension, either front, rear, or dual (both front and rear suspension on the same bike) will drive up the price of your downhill mountain bike, so be aware of that. Different styles of bikes, such as hardtail mountain bikes and softail mountain bikes, either offer no or some rear suspension. Today, it is more common to find downhill mountain bikes with at least a little suspension. If you want to be hardcore and forgoe all suspension options, you will probably reconsider after your first ride leaves your butt bruised and aching!