Shocks or springer forks

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by skyl4rk, Jul 14, 2007.

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  1. skyl4rk

    skyl4rk Guest

    Front suspension is very important to riding comfort, especially at high speeds (for bicycles). What are the pros and cons of using a mountain bike fork with shocks vs. a springer fork? Do the mountain bike front forks have a technological advantage over springer forks?

    Some of the considerations:

    What kind of brakes will work with each?
    Can you put fenders on?
    What is the ride quality?
    Is there an effect on handling?
    Weight comparison?

    Also, there are different kinds of springer forks. I have seen the Monarch style, a style with a big spring sticking out in front as if it were a headlight, and then there is another common style with two springs. Do these springer fork styles have names? Are some better than others?

    Sorry, lots of questions, I need to get educated.

  2. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    I can answer the mountain bike fork side of your question
    a good mb fork will have adjustment for stiffness and rebound (how far it will compress, and how fast it will return )
    I have used cheap ones (Mozo) and higher end (rockshox) and there is no comparison, the bike handles 100% better with the rockshox
    my rockshox have bosses for rim brakes and disc, but I am using a sturmey-archer xfd drum and it stops me very nicely
    hope that helps you
  3. iRide Customs

    iRide Customs Member

    The only advantage the springer has over MTB. suspension is the look. MTB forks are superior in every way...IMO.

  4. ironwarlock

    ironwarlock Guest

    you will be happier with the mountain bike type suspension. but the springer looks sweet. ;)
  5. Springer vs shocks

    I LOVE springers. But, according to guys I know, even guys that restore old harleys, there is not a springer alive that is as good as a moderately well-made hydrolic front end. That goes from Harleys, all the way down to motorbicycles.

    I will still use springers on everything, and am developing a new one even now.

  6. Lowell

    Lowell Guest

    I currently run a Rock Shox Boxxer, but I've never tried a springer or any other design of front end. I have no doubt that a modern dual crown mountain bike fork offers the best performance possible though.

    If I had to buy another fork, I'd probably look for something with larger tubes like a Fox 40. The thin walled lowers shouldn't be an issue for on road and light trail use.

    Additionally, I highly recommend 20mm through axles on front wheels.
  7. JE

    JE Guest

    I agree MB fork will give you the best ride.Alot of it depends on the theme you're going for and how much you plan on riding you're bike.On my bike I was going for a board tracker look so I used a springer but i don't ride it every day so I sacrificed some comfort.
  8. iRide Customs

    iRide Customs Member

    You run a Boxxer on your motorized bike?

    When you say the thin walled lowers handling road and light trail use, are you referring to the Fox 40?

  9. Lowell

    Lowell Guest

    The Boxxer is on my electric mountain bike which has done 91km/h on flat ground, and 100km/h on a slight downhill.

    The Fox 40 has thin walled lowers, which are prone to damage if you crash them off road. Since I doubt any motorized bikes do 'North Shore' type riding, it won't be a problem.
  10. skyl4rk, another thing to consider is the size of the head stem when buying forks and if they are a threaded or non-threaded headstem.

    I have a bike that takes 1 1/8" forks but the springers like the ones you mention (and the ones I want) only come in 1" forks in Australia. :???:

    I am about to order some size converters from choppersus so I can fit the 1" size and I will be installing one of those front hub brakes.

    I am not sure at this stage what I have to attach to the bottom of the fork to make the hub brake stop? Anyone have any ideas?
  11. iRide Customs

    iRide Customs Member


    Can you post a pic of your mtn. bike? Sounds like a sweet machine.
  12. skyl4rk

    skyl4rk Guest

    I think you mean Lowell's mountain bike. Here's mine, an electrified Giant Sedona.


    I have another bike on order, more of a cruiser style, that I need to get a front suspension for.
  13. iRide Customs

    iRide Customs Member

    Sorry skyl4rk. Nice bike!


    Please post a picture of your bike.


  14. Lowell

    Lowell Guest



  15. iRide Customs

    iRide Customs Member

    Sweet machine! Looks like a cushy ride with the forks and padded seat. Why no Hookworm on the back? You might get a little more top speed.

  16. Lowell

    Lowell Guest

    The rear tire was what I had kicking around in a 24" on short notice. If I stick with this rear motor, I'd buy another 24" Hookworm to match the front. I still might go to a 20" rear rim, and some sort of 20x3 tire that's around 22" tall for a little more thrust. (the 24" Maxxis Holy Roller is 23.9" tall)

    If I go that route, more voltage will be needed to give the minimum 50mph top speed I want.
  17. toxicmammoth

    toxicmammoth Guest

  18. Lowell

    Lowell Guest

    In my opinion, good components are worth the money. I hate riding flexy flyer forks, unsafe brakes, cheap nasty tires, etc...

    Before I installed the Hope 6 piston front brake set, I had some ****py Avid Juicy 7's. On a long downhill descent they faded badly, and I had to drag my feet to help stop the bike at the bottom.
  19. DougC

    DougC Guest

    Normally with cruiser style drums, there's two ways it can be done.
    The cheapo way is that there's an arm that sticks off the drum brake body with a hole in it, and you use a screw-on strap to fasten it to the left fork leg (rather like how most coaster-brake arms attach).

    The expensive way is that most drum brakes have some sort of slot cut into the anchoring arm. You can weld a tab on the left fork blade that sticks inside (towards the wheel) and when you bolt the front wheel on, the slot in the drum brake fits over that tab to keep the drum brake from rotating.
  20. Thanks for the info DougC.

    In the pictures I'd seen I thought I could see a clamp that attached to the fork for the drum brake but was not sure. I guess the cheapo method avoids messing up the chrome with welding so I'm thinking this is a better option if you don't have paint.

    I also looked at disk brakes but the thing that put me off was welding the bracket to the forks. Choppersus have a great bracket for disk brakes that does not require any welding but when I was about to order they suggested that the fork would flex too much so I did not do it. (was very happy with them).

    I think the drum gives that classic look with the springer.:cool: