Upgrade suspension fork or upgrade bike?

jo12345

New Member
Region
Australia
Hi Everyone

I am looking for advice on whether to upgrade the suspension fork on my NCM Moscow Plus to an air fork, or upgrade to a new bike like the Specialized Vado 4.0? What would you recommend?

My wrists and hands do not like the vibrations felt through the handlebars on the NCM Moscow Plus. I wonder about any long term damage this may cause to my wrists as I am having to shake my hands and wrists regularly while riding. I am often riding with no hands on the handlebars for the reason that the vibrations are uncomfortable. I am older (46 years) so I suspect that I am more sensitive to the vibrations as it never used to bother me in my younger years. Will a suspension upgrade help? Would changing out the handle bar help too? I ride everyday a mix of smooth and bumpy bike path, including grass sections. I ride the occasional forestry trails. I like the forward positioning of the NCM Moscow Plus but realise I am putting weight on my wrists which wont help. I wonder whether I should include spacers?

On the other hand, the Specialized Vado 4.0 is an upright, forward position with a front suspension fork, covering the mix of riding that I do - would the Vado be better for me?

I like the NCM Moscow Plus, it is cheap (inexpensive) and I dont worry about it getting stolen.

Any advice? Thank you in advance.
 
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Moscow29

New Member
Hi - a couple of ideas for you that might help . I have the suntour suspension seatpost on my standard Moscow. I found it transformed the feel of the bike especially over rough surfaces . You can basically just sit on the seat and it takes the strain , you don’t have to use your legs / arms as suspension . In practice , I put a lot less of my weight on the handlebars and even the basic coil suspension fork works and feels a lot better . Second idea - a suspension handlebar stem ?
 

mikeschn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
SE Michigan
Test drive a Vado. Only you can tell if it's right for you...

BTW, I really enjoy my Vado...

Mike...
 

jo12345

New Member
Region
Australia
Hi - a couple of ideas for you that might help . I have the suntour suspension seatpost on my standard Moscow. I found it transformed the feel of the bike especially over rough surfaces . You can basically just sit on the seat and it takes the strain , you don’t have to use your legs / arms as suspension . In practice , I put a lot less of my weight on the handlebars and even the basic coil suspension fork works and feels a lot better . Second idea - a suspension handlebar stem ?
That is a great idea. I am going to get a suspension seat post. I have been reading it will add a lot of comfort to my ride. I have also been reading about handle bars so I am going to upgrade those too. Here are a couple of resources that you might like;


The humble NCM Moscow Plus with it's large capacity battery is going to get some nice upgrades.
 
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jo12345

New Member
Region
Australia
Test drive a Vado. Only you can tell if it's right for you...

BTW, I really enjoy my Vado...

Mike...
Good to hear you enjoy the Vado. I am booked in to try a Vado next weekend, cant wait. Although, I have convinced myself upgrading the handlebars, and swapping the seat post for a suspension post will make my ride on the NCM a whole lot more plush. I am also curious to see how these upgrades will change the ride overall. Happy riding.
 

EnduroDad

New Member
We have 3 Moscow's in the family and last year I switched to a Giant Trance e-mtb and it's a different world. Similar to the Vado, the mid-drive along with a well designed controller changes everything. Power delivery is smooth, it's responsive to pedaling torque and just feels natural and much more comfortable. Nothing wrong with the Moscow, it's functional and gets you places cheaply, but a properly designed system is luxurious in comparison. Enjoy!
 

jo12345

New Member
Region
Australia
As an update I bought a used model of the 2022 Liv Intrigue X E+3 Mtb with 900kms which retails new for $7,500. I am super impressed with the Liv. The Liv is a much nicer ride and it has strong capabilities off trail given the style of riding that the emtb is made for which is enduro. I have kept the NCM Moscow Plus. Interestingly the Liv does not always outshine the NCM Moscow Plus when I compare them both.

My friend was riding the Moscow Plus and I was on the Liv. My friend does not cycle regularly, where as I am out nearly everyday cycling. My friend climbed a steep asphalt hill with a gradient around 40-50 degrees much faster than me using the Moscow Plus. We were side by side and the Moscow Plus was faster up the hill. I had to pedal hard on the Liv to try and beat my friend. Off trail with rocks, boulders, tree roots going up a steep climb the Liv would outperform the Moscow Plus 100% - I doubt the Moscow Plus would be able to take on a technical trail climb.

I have cycled over 2,000kms on the Moscow Plus before buying the Liv Intrigue X E+3 Mtb. I have cycled less than 500kms on the Liv and the battery sparked, then popped as I tried to connect to the charger. The battery no longer works and a new battery is $1,599 for 800Wh. A new battery for the Moscow Plus is $800 for 864Wh.

Conclusion
The Moscow Plus when set to PAS 6 will look to reach 25kms per hour regardless of effort and cadence when pedalling. Effort and cadence determines the output of assistance with a mid drive. Expensive bikes have nicer components providing greater comfort and ability. I am keeping the NCM Moscow Plus so I dont wear through the components on the Liv as fast. The durability of the Liv battery is highly questionable for an expensive battery.

The NCM Moscow Plus is a durable, versatile, and reliable ebike with a large capacity battery that will work well for commuting. The Suntour suspension seat post, and new saddle I have fitted are providing a lot of comfort and have been worthwhile upgrades. I am currently looking for good quality used components such as a shorter stem so I am more upright taking weight off my hands and wrists, and carbon handlebars to dampen the vibrations from the front fork. If I find a used air fork with the right offset at a good price then I might swap out the basic Suntour spring fork on the NCM Moscow Plus.

Thanks for your help. Ride safe :)
 
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CodyDog

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Texas Hill Country/Banana Belt, Colorado
I'm a Specialized fan and like the Vado. The Vado and Moscow are two very different bikes. I definitely prefer Torque Sensor over Cadence (have had both). Let us know about your Vado test ride.
 

metalcircles

New Member
Region
USA
Vibration is probably caused by tires (knobby, offroad), I suggest upgrading to street tires. Will significantly reduce vibration.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
If you already have a suspension fork on the Moscow Plus, going from spring to air is not going to make a meaningful difference with respect to hand pain.

@jo12345 given the link you posted I am guessing you have already done your homework and figured out wrist angle has a lot to do with how aging or injured hands/wrists handle cycling. The Jones bars have been a lifesaver for me. Recently I tried doing without them on my most recent build and built the bike with a very nice set of titanium bars I keep trying to use (hit by a car in 2016 and my wrists have never been the same; Jones bars with their 45-degree sweep solve the problem). I recently gave up on the flat bar and - before I went to the Jones bars again (I have 5 bikes with them and another set of 660's I could plug right in) I bought a cheap set of bars from Ergotec they call the Space bar. Had to get it from BikeInn.com in Spain as they are seldom available here in the States. Lower profile and more compact than Jones bars, which suited the bike which is itself very compact. They work great for me but you cannot go wrong with a set of Jones H bars.

Bottom line: Do the bars. Also look at hand grips that support your palm. Like the ones from Ergon (different company than Ergotec). Between the sweep and the wider palm support, chances are your not-uncommon problem will be largely solved.
 
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6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
Good advice from m@Robertson above.

I noticed a big improvement in wrist comfort by adding the Jones H bars. I found additional improvement by adding the Redshift suspension stem and a quality pair of gel padded gloves.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I found additional improvement by adding the Redshift suspension stem

That reminds me... I have the Kinekt suspension stem on I think three of my bikes. All needed their heavy duty spring upgrade to be usable. Gives just a bit of extra cushion for the wrists. But expensive.