Air or Coil Suspension Fork for 20mph on Road Only e-Commuter ?

e-boy

Active Member
Air or Coil Suspension Fork for 20mph on Road Only e-Commuter ?

Curious in general if its worth going from coil to air on an on road only 20mph e-commuter ?

As I understand it , Air would be lighter , easier to adjust , and ride smoother ?
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Sounds like you already have your answer (air, if the budget will allow!). I just wanted to add that any front suspension is better than none. For my purposes anyway!
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Air or Coil Suspension Fork for 20mph on Road Only e-Commuter ?

Curious in general if its worth going from coil to air on an on road only 20mph e-commuter ?

As I understand it , Air would be lighter , easier to adjust , and ride smoother ?
Air is always worth it. If people tell you that a spring fork is fine, they’ve never ridden a well tuned air fork.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
You bring up a good point. People may think that an expensive suspension is going to work great set up the way they get it, and that's not always the case. If it's too stiff and you're riding around on it full topped out, the only way you're going to get any travel out of it is if you hit a hole or drop off a curb. Same thing if it's fully collapsed with your weight on it. That's not doing anyone any good either! It needs to be tuned to your weight and the terrain you ride most often!

Point here is don't assume it's going to come pre-tuned. That's just impossible. You'll need to do that yourself, or have a shop (that's familiar with something like this) give you a hand.
 

hurricane56

Active Member
I’d recommend the Rockshox Paragon. It’s a quality unit that I used to replace my stock Suntour on my Haibike. Remote lockout might not be needed unless you find yourself needing to pedal super hard without the suspension.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Air or Coil Suspension Fork for 20mph on Road Only e-Commuter ?
There is a big difference between AIR suspension used on hybrid/commuter bikes with 65 mm travel compared to 120mm travel suspensions on eMTBs.
The stanchions are thicker, air chamber is longer and bigger (solo or dual chambers) and the seal quality is better. The kind of hits/bumps a eMTB fork can absorb is vastly different than 65mm thin forks.
very often, 65mm travel commuter oriented suspensions are built for non-electric (with the exception of e-bike specific ones), they use 9mm quick release not a THRU axle.
but there are quite a few E-bike specific eMTB forks with thru axle and tapered headtube.

A well-tuned coil fork can be heavy but will work well. You could also try a carbon fork with bigger volume tires. At low pressures they react much faster than a fork that is not maintained well.
Carbon forks do not need any maintenance and they are far lighter.

Trek sells thousands of bikes all over Europe and US. They have some of the competent engineers and design team. For a commuter bike like Allant+, they use a carbon/alloy fork with 2.4" high volume tires.
If your commute involves both paved and trail surfaces, then 100mm travel fork with a thru axle could work well.



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e-boy

Active Member
Thanks for the detailed reply Ravi .

The question was posted "in general" but specifically I have a 2020 Giant Explore e+4 .
The stock fork is a RST Volant T coil, 60mm travel, tappered steerer .
And the performance is fine .
Was just curious about going to an Air .
I really like the idea of going to a Carbon for your stated reasons .
The Explore is stock with 700 x 45 's but has lots of room to spare .
With the current fork I'm thinking anyway to try Schwalbe Almotion 28 x 2.15 (55mm) .
Commute is on paved roads only , however , they're not good condition and with lots of light sandy , gravelly debris on the side of the road .
 

e-boy

Active Member
... although , I recall riding a Trek SuperCommuter 8 at an e-Bike Expo ; the ride was a bit harsh compared to a similar Haibike Trekking 9.0 that had a suspension fork vs. the Trek's Carbon fork .
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
... although , I recall riding a Trek SuperCommuter 8 at an e-Bike Expo ; the ride was a bit harsh compared to a similar Haibike Trekking 9.0 that had a suspension fork vs. the Trek's Carbon fork .
In a previous life, I spent a LOT of times messing with motorcycle, quad, and snowmobile suspensions, to the point I was taking them apart and modifying the internal valving to take care of whatever issue was at hand. Even though there were no bicycles involved, I do have a good idea of what goes on internally with both air and hydraulic systems.

My point is, that when you are testing 2 similar style forks, you could easily get the completely wrong impression of each because they were not tuned to you or the surface you were on. The difference between a well tuned shock (one that's been tuned for you!) and what comes from the OEM can often be (and frequently is) dramatic! If you want to belly up to the table with an expensive shock, be prepared for the concept it's going to need tuning. It does in fact, make test drive impressions more difficult. For instance, if the air pressure is way wrong one way or the other on an air shock, a test drive can leave the impression it's way to soft or way too stiff. Just something to consider....
 

e-boy

Active Member
I’d recommend the Rockshox Paragon. It’s a quality unit that I used to replace my stock Suntour on my Haibike. Remote lockout might not be needed unless you find yourself needing to pedal super hard without the suspension.
Did you get 50 or 65mm travel ?