Generally, hybrid bikes would never feature a suspension system. However, more and more manufacturers are starting to include a suspension system in their hybrid bike offerings.
That’s confusing new cyclists, who are starting to wonder if you need suspension on a hybrid bike?
While a hybrid bike doesn’t necessarily require a suspension system, there are certain situations where the need might arise. If you’re riding on unpaved roads or off-road terrains, then you’ll need a hybrid bike with a suspension. Whether or not you need a hybrid bike with a suspension depends entirely on the situation and needs.
With some hybrid bikes featuring a suspension system and others featuring no suspension, it’s much easier for the inexperienced cyclist to become confused.
There’s no need to worry though. We’re here to help ensure that you can learn everything you need to know about whether you should get a hybrid bike with suspension or not.
Why are manufacturers including a suspension system with hybrid bikes?
While previously. It was unheard of that a hybrid bike manufacturer would include a suspension system; it’s becoming more common. An increasing number of manufacturers are starting to include a suspension system with their hybrid bike offerings.
There are several different reasons why manufacturers are starting to include a suspension system with hybrid bikes. One of the main reasons more hybrid bikes are beginning to feature a suspension system is to help with versatility.
Hybrid bikes are marketed as being the best of both worlds. They allow cyclists to enjoy both on-road and off-road cycling. To improve their off-road riding performance, adopting a suspension system is essential.
The best mountain bikes need to feature a suspension system to compensate for all the bumps and obstacles you encounter. Hybrid bike manufacturers are taking the same element to their offerings and producing versatile bikes that can perform on all terrains.
On top of the performance, hybrid bikes manufacturers will often include a suspension system to increase the price. It might not add any actual value to the bike for certain cyclists, but it’ll increase the overall price of the bike.
It’s very common for some manufacturers not to pay any attention to the quality of the parts and just get any suspension system to help increase the bike’s price.
These are the two main reasons manufacturers are starting to include a suspension system with their hybrid bikes. Now that you know why manufacturers are incorporating a suspension system with their hybrid bikes let’s look at how a suspension system works.
How does a suspension system work?
By understanding how a suspension system works, it’ll put cyclists in a decent position to assess whether or not they need suspension on a hybrid bike.
The suspension can fit on the front, rear, or both wheels of the bike. They typically feature a cable that connects the suspension fork to the handlebar and the bicycle frame.
Here are the other main features of a suspension system
Every suspension system needs to include brake mounts to help ensure that they fit in properly with the suspension system. The brakes would regularly become misaligned or too loose to function properly without any mounts.
A stanchion on a suspension system contains several different components. The compromise of the air chamber, damper rods, and different valves. These components combine to help absorb any shock the bike encounters and are essential to the performance of any suspension system.
Generally, a suspension system will feature two stanchions on either side. The role of the crown is to ensure that the stanchions remain levels and don’t merge with one another. If they aren’t on the same level or are intertwined together, it’ll have a negative impact on the performance.
Every suspension system features a dropout that helps ensure that the wheel axle remains in place. As the suspension system absorbs all the additional shocks, it can potentially release the energy it collects onto different components of the bike. The dropouts can help ensure that the axle doesn’t produce any necessary vibrations.
These four main components make up a hybrid bicycle suspension system. Whenever you encounter an obstacle or a few bumps, the suspension will work overtime to absorb as much of the shock as possible. Consequently, you’ll enjoy a much smoother ride on bumpy or off-road terrains.
Benefits of Hybrid Bike with Suspension
One of the ways you can understand whether or not you need suspension on your hybrid bike is by looking at the benefits they offer. Here are the main benefits you can expect from a hybrid bike with suspensions.
More Comfortable Ride
There are no two ways about it, getting a suspension on your hybrid bike will help make the overall ride a lot more comfortable. The suspension system will absorb any potential bumps that you encounter.
A suspension system will help ensure that the hybrid bike remains functional and simple to control. If you travel a significant amount, a comfortable ride is crucial and will make you appreciate a suspension system even more!
Better Off-Road Performance
One of the reasons why a mountain bike works so well off-road is the presence of a suspension. Similarly, installing a suspension system on a hybrid bike will help improve off-road performance.
Your hybrid bike will be much more capable of handling trail performance with a suspension rather than without. Additionally, a suspension system will also help increase performance on roads that aren’t completely smooth.
The name of the game when it comes to hybrid bikes is providing a versatile riding experience. With the inclusion of a suspension system, it gives hybrid bikes a chance to be more versatile. If they include a lockout suspension system, it gives hybrid bikes a chance to serve even more purposes.
These are the main benefits that cyclists can expect to gain from a hybrid bike with a suspension. While there are definitely some benefits to getting a suspension on a hybrid bike, there are a few disadvantages.
Disadvantages of Riding a Hybrid Bike with Suspension
Hybrid suspension forks present several advantages, but there are many different disadvantages that cyclists need to consider. Here are the main disadvantages you can expect to experience while riding a hybrid bike with a suspension.
One of the most significant disadvantages of a hybrid bike with suspension is that the suspension system adds weight to the bike. The additional weight slows down the bike and causes its performance to fall.
For some cyclists, the extra speed is why they decide to go for a hybrid bike over a mountain bike. The addition of a suspension system might not decrease the overall top speed of the bike depending on the cyclist. Still, it will most definitely harm the acceleration.
A hybrid bike without suspension will perform significantly better in comparison. It won’t have to deal with the extra weight and accelerate quicker than a hybrid bike with a suspension system.
Many cyclists fail to realize that once they buy a hybrid bike with a suspension, the story doesn’t end there. With all the advantages that a hybrid bike with suspension provides, it also provides a lot more maintenance.
The components of a suspension are such that after a set number of miles, they will require maintenance or complete replacement. While it’s much less noticeable on mountain bikes, people tend to ride their hybrid bikes a lot more.
Most cyclists use their hybrid bikes for a daily commute and some additional riding on the weekend. That’ll cause the total distance you cycle to accumulate very quickly and can potentially lead to quicker wear and tear of your suspension system.
The quicker the suspension wears out, the more maintenance will be necessary.
Mediocre off-road performance
Even if you buy a hybrid bike with suspension or not, you’re not going to experience any major changes in the off-road performance. Sure, the hybrid bikes with suspension will outperform hybrid bikes that don’t feature a suspension, but the minor upgrade won’t start providing you with mountain bike performance.
Despite including a proper suspension system, a hybrid bike won’t be able to handle rough trails. So if you’re expecting to tackle all kinds of rough terrain after investing in a hybrid bike with suspension, you’re in for a disappointment.
Looking at both the advantages and disadvantages of a hybrid bike with suspension, you can arguably make a case for both. Some cyclists will say that you do need a suspension with a hybrid bike, while others will say that hybrid bikes are better off.
Needing a suspension is situational
All in all, the answer to whether you need suspension on a hybrid bike will differ from cyclist to cyclist. It isn’t about what the bike needs, but it’s about what you need.
Whether or not a hybrid bike needs a suspension all depends on the situation and the preferences of the rider.
For example, if you’re looking to buy a hybrid bike to compete and beat your fastest possible cycling time, then you’re better off with a hybrid bike that features no suspension. The hybrid bike will be lighter and will allow you to accelerate faster.
Alternatively, if you want a more comfortable ride and occasionally tackle some light off-road terrains, a suspension will completely transform your hybrid bike experience.
There’s no right or wrong with whether your hybrid bike should feature a suspension system or not. It’s all down to the preferences of the cyclist.
Consider what you need
Before making the final decision on whether you’re going to buy a hybrid bike with suspension or not, it’s important to take a look at your cycling ability and your overall needs.
If you’re just starting with cycling, then getting a hybrid bike with suspension might not be the best idea. A bike’s suspension requires fairly regular maintenance that beginner cyclists tend to be completely unfamiliar regarding.
The amount of money that you’re looking to spend also plays a key role. Even if you manage to buy a hybrid bike with suspension for the same price as one without, you’ll end up paying more in the future due to regular maintenance.
Additionally, if you’re not going to be engaging in any sort of off-road riding, then getting a hybrid bike with suspension is completely pointless. If you want your ride to be more comfortable, then it’s much better to invest in a more comfortable saddle rather than investing in a suspension.
There are so many different factors that could influence your decision, so it’s essential to check your needs and requirements before finalizing anything.
As the number of manufacturers who include a suspension with their hybrid bike increases, more and more people are starting to ask, “do you need suspension on a hybrid bike?”.
Ultimately, there’s right or wrong answer to the question, and it all depends on the needs of the cyclist. If you’re looking to tackle more off-road terrains and have intermediate-level cycling experience, then there’s no harm in getting a hybrid bike with suspension.
However, if you’re going to ride predominantly on the road, then there’s no reason to invest in a hybrid bike that features a suspension.
Hopefully, reading through the article will help you understand do you need suspension on a hybrid bike or are you good to go without one!