Do pedelec-specific forks matter?

Dmitri

Active Member
I don't have any experience with pedelec-specific forks, so I wanted to ask the community's advice.
Main reason I'm asking is that pedelec-specific forks are, ahem, ridiculously cheap. I mean, you can get like a pedelec Fox 32 performance for peanuts.
On the other hand, a top Fox 34 (non-pedelec, obviously) costs a lot more.
So I guess what I'm asking is whether pedelec-specific forks are generally worth it and whether it's even worth bothering with them. Something tells me the extra 200g of weight don't give that much improvement, but I could be wrong.
 

Manu

Active Member
You do not look at the weight, you look at the behavior in case of bump. Suntour / FOX have an extensive catalog where they clearly put their differentiated products not only for ebike also for the driving style.
A pedelec of high speed of 45 km / h treking type carries a suntour of 6 centimeters because at that speed it is very complicated to adapt to the bump.
and you have a low center of gravity and a very low rebound, With a greater suspension the rebound can be greater and it can take you off the road in a curve .

If having a lot of suspension on the road was good, all cyclists would have it, but there is a lot of contact with the ground because the speeds can be very high.

The emtb is many more centimeters to give more height to the engine, to adapt to continuous hole bumps, where the main function is to stretch and shrink inside the hole bumps without causing rebound and adapt to the next hole bump.

One is designed for high speeds, soft bumps, the other is designed for medium speeds in conplicated terrain.

If you use the emtb on the road, you should lock the fork.
 
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Dmitri

Active Member
But surely given how configurable forks are, you can simply adjust lockout/rebound/compression and you'd have the perfect response for both high-speed road motion and riding on trails?
 

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
I suspect a lot of equipment labeled as being e-bike specific or approved is not much more than marketing. Sure, it might actually have a unique feature, but nothing that would not be a benefit to any bike. Of course there are regulations that my demand certain performance standards from some components (lighting in the EU comes to mind).
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
I don't have any experience with pedelec-specific forks, so I wanted to ask the community's advice.
Main reason I'm asking is that pedelec-specific forks are, ahem, ridiculously cheap. I mean, you can get like a pedelec Fox 32 performance for peanuts.
On the other hand, a top Fox 34 (non-pedelec, obviously) costs a lot more.
So I guess what I'm asking is whether pedelec-specific forks are generally worth it and whether it's even worth bothering with them. Something tells me the extra 200g of weight don't give that much improvement, but I could be wrong.
S-pedelecs require certain certifications for components and companies do that but it has not much bearing on the actual performance on the road.
For e.g., Schwalbe Marathon Plus is certified for S-pedelecs in certain dimensions (26x1.75" but not the 2"). When I inquired with Schwalbe, they said, 1.75" is the size in most demand and we got it certified but to get multiple dimensions certified, it costs more and we did not do that. But, they were confident almost all sizes would pass the certification.

E-MTB specific forks (FOX) have thicker stanchions and may perform better on hardcore technical terrain. This is the only case I see any benefit of E-bike specific fork.

Having tried few configurations for on-road purposes, I have realized that a carbon fork with high volume tire (29" x 2.5" Maaxis hookworm or 27.5" x 2.4" Super Moto X) run at 30 psi would have the best response. A balloon tire is pliable and adopts to the road imperfections more quickly than any suspensions. This combo of carbon fork and high volume tire is very low maintenance and much LIGHTER than any suspension. I like that both Stromer ST2-S and Trek Super Commuter have opted for this design.
I see hundreds of cyclo-cross and other road bikers prefer this combo as well.

When I see a guy who has FOX suspension for on-road purpose and uses a cheap pedal, it says that he is quite new to this whole bike thing. Almost all the experienced cyclists I have met, prefer to avoid cheap suspensions and go with lighter rigid fork.
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
@Dmitri I’m not sure if you’re considering a Fox 32 for your Delite, but I would recommend against it. I would go with the 34. The stantions on your stock Suntour fork are 34mm so going to a 32 would be weaker fork. You’d experience more flex.

As Ravi mentioned the stantion thickness is one of the main differences in the ebike fork, but there are actually other differences as well. The fork is usually tuned better for a heavier bike and in the case of most brands the steerer tube, crown and lowers are beefed up as well. Suntour recently released a whole series of ebike forks called Mobie and they added Ebike certification to many others. I agree that generally the ebike specific parts might not generally have major performance gains, but many do. Keep in mind the forces put on an ebike are often more than put on other bikes. Just think of the way you can climb a hill for example, this wouldn’t be considered on a non-ebike so the fork manufacturer might not test in those same conditions.

I personally wouldn’t own a bike that doesn’t at least have front suspension at this point. It’s not just for comfort, but for safety as well. Especially when travelling at higher speeds. The suspension helps to keep the tire on the ground. Full suspension is really optimal for these conditions.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
@Dmitri ...
Suntour recently released a whole series of ebike forks called Mobie and they added Ebike certification to many others...
@Chris Nolte do you have an idea yet of how the Mobie stacks up against the other ebike forks from Suntour such as my Aion? I thought in Court's video on one of the Moustache models he said it was not an air fork which surprised me. I had been hoping for more info since the fork is a new model.
 

Dmitri

Active Member
@Dmitri I’m not sure if you’re considering a Fox 32 for your Delite, but I would recommend against it. I would go with the 34. The stantions on your stock Suntour fork are 34mm so going to a 32 would be weaker fork. You’d experience more flex.
I already went for a Fox 34 27.5+ Factory a while ago. Was just curious whether the pedelec-specific designation is worth it, considering pedelec forks are sold off all the time on sites like Jenson.
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
@Chris Nolte do you have an idea yet of how the Mobie stacks up against the other ebike forks from Suntour such as my Aion? I thought in Court's video on one of the Moustache models he said it was not an air fork which surprised me. I had been hoping for more info since the fork is a new model.
The Mobie forks are more trekking style. They Aion is a little more burly actually, but for a short travel ebike for they are really nice. Some are coil, but most in seeing spec’d are the air versions.
 

Reid

Well-Known Member
Can anyone recommend an upgraded fork compatible with the fender mount-ability of my Juiced CCS-stock equipment Suntour NCX E?

More travel than the present 60mm is the main desire.

Air instead of spring, if possible.

Oh, and room for a 203mm disc would make the new fork be like a cake with icing for the next time I eat it.

Thanks!
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
@Reid provided the spec's you list and Juiced lists are correct, your fork is actually an air shock so you could consider adjusting the air pressure and you might get better performance. I would caution you about adding a fork with more travel though as it could dramatically change the geometry of the bike and I'm almost certain it will void any claims you have in the case of injury. I think adjusting the air will be the ticket though. The left side cap should unscrew and you can pump the shock up with a high-pressure pump, if you don't have one you could probably stop by a bike shop and have them do it.
 

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
Can anyone recommend an upgraded fork compatible with the fender mount-ability of my Juiced CCS-stock equipment Suntour NCX E?
AFAIK, Suntour is the only manufacturer that has those special fender mounts on the lower legs of their suspension forks. From what I see on Suntour's site, the fork on your bike is their best 1.1/8" E-specific fork. They make MOBIE forks which is the next step up, but those are only available with 1.5" tapered steerers; the CCS does not have a tapered headtube.
 

Reid

Well-Known Member
@Reid provided the spec's you list and Juiced lists are correct, your fork is actually an air shock so you could consider adjusting the air pressure and you might get better performance. I would caution you about adding a fork with more travel though as it could dramatically change the geometry of the bike and I'm almost certain it will void any claims you have in the case of injury. I think adjusting the air will be the ticket though. The left side cap should unscrew and you can pump the shock up with a high-pressure pump, if you don't have one you could probably stop by a bike shop and have them do it.
Thank you, Chris. It is a spring shock, though, and has hydraulic damping. It is a good fork and I have adjusted the spring for excellent results.

I don't know diddly about these things and so I am thankful that you and Nova Haibike helped so fast!

AFAIK, Suntour is the only manufacturer that has those special fender mounts on the lower legs of their suspension forks. From what I see on Suntour's site, the fork on your bike is their best 1.1/8" E-specific fork. They make MOBIE forks which is the next step up, but those are only available with 1.5" tapered steerers; the CCS does not have a tapered headtube.
OK, am understanding better. Two questions more, please, for Chris Nolte and Nova Haibike:

  • why do street forks mostly have about 60mm travel and not double that amount?
EDIT: I looked up tapered steerer and learned why a straight headtube cannot be adapted to a tapered steerer:
https://bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/3877/what-benefits-does-a-tapered-head-tube-afford

I guess I will stick with what I have unless there is an air version available. As my present fork survived a car crashing into the bike, I want to replace it soon, anyway. It did take a hit; the fork is only scuffed up looking, but the headtube twisted the frame slightly. I will replace the entire bike eventually. For now, it is repaired and running and I wanted to learn if there are better suspension fork options. Perhaps not after all.

Thanks for any further thoughts.
 
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Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
According to Suntour, the NCX-E is an air fork. Maybe your's is mis-marked, or maybe it is an OEM-only model? In theory you could turn your fork into an air fork simply by swapping in the appropriate parts; the stanchions and lower legs are identical between all NCX forks. But Suntour's North American site does not list any parts available.

As for why street forks do not have a lot of travel, the fork is meant to smooth out small bumps in the road, not tame pot holes or ease curb jumping hits. Whatever the case, 60mm is more than what mountain bikes had when suspension forks started showing up on bikes in the 90's!

You cannot mount a tapered steerer fork, because the bottom end of the steering tube of a tapered fork is 1.5" wide; the headtube of your bike can only accommodate 1.1/8" steering tube.
 
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Reid

Well-Known Member
My error! My bad: Long ago I removed the stickers from my CCS front fork for a cleaner look.

I was presuming a model name by looking at the Suntour pages. Did not notice that the NCX-E is an air fork. Mine is definitely spring, with damping on the other side.

Thank you Nova Haibike and Thank you Chris Nolte for all the help and wisdom.

I now know to aim for an NCX-E when I replace the fork.
According to Suntour, the NCX-E is an air fork. Maybe your's is mis-marked, or maybe it is an OEM-only model? In theory you could turn your fork into an air fork simply by swapping in the appropriate parts; the stanchions and lower legs are identical between all NCX forks. But Suntour's North American site does not list any parts available.

As for why street forks do not have a lot of travel, the fork is meant to smooth out small bumps in the road, not tame pot holes or ease curb jumping hits. Whatever the case, 60mm is more than what mountain bikes had when suspension forks started showing up on bikes in the 90's!

You cannot mount a tapered steerer fork, because the bottom end of the steering tube of a tapered fork is 1.5" wide; the headtube of your bike can only accommodate 1.1/8" steering tube.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I have a 140mm TS6 Magura air fork on one of my street bikes and a rigid carbon fork on the other and for the most part I really don't think the ride is noticeably more comfortable on the suspension fork bike. I will add that an air fork is superior to any oil/spring fork I have ridden on the street (they seem to have such slow performance you may as wall ride them locked out 100% of the time when your not off-road). I actually prefer the nimble handling of the carbon fork and with enough air volume (go for tires over 2.0" wide with wider being better as the new generation tires don't have dramatic increases in rolling resistance as they get wider so there really is only upside with wider tires on an eBike).

My suggesting is to not pay attention to any marketing hype that claims suspension forks are really essential on an urban eBike,..even a very fast one. Go for rigid and large air volume tires if you want the best combination of comfort and handling.
 

jeffphoto

New Member
I recently bought a Specialized Crossroads Sport Step-Through with non lock-outable spring forks. My plan is to add a conversion kit to the front hub. Good idea or bad?
I plan on local road riding in hilly terrain along with some cinder bike trails.