There’s no shortage of options when it comes to buying a folding bike, and you can always find one customized to your needs. When it comes to riding style and comfort, which is the best folding bike for you: suspension or rigid bike? Both types have their pros and cons, and it’s all down to what your lifestyle is and how you’ll be using your bike. Is it for a daily commute or a weekend venture? Read on to find out the pros and cons of both.
Rigid bikes are lightweight
The lightest folding bike is a rigid bike. Suspension forks, or a shock at the rear, have moving parts, and plenty of them. All those parts for folding bikes add weight, and while you might think that you won’t feel that weight, you’d be wrong. With a rigid bike, there is a significant reduction in weight, and a lightweight folding bike without suspension, like Pacific Cycles’sBirdy folding bike, is made for those looking for an easily transportable frame that is light, yet still functional and comfortable.
But weight is not the only thing that rigid bikes have going for them. When you’re pedaling, you move yourself forward by transferring your strength through the pedals and into the ground in order to propel yourself forward. In this situation, a rigid bike means that almost all of your strength will go into propelling you forward.
A folding bike with suspension absorbs some of that energy into the suspension forks and the frame. It might not be too much, but you will be exerting that little bit more energy to gain the same distance, which might be a drawback for you if you aren’t looking for such a workout.
If you’re not engaging in high intensity rides or mountain biking, but a more basic commute along flat roads and pavements, a rigid bike is the better pick for your needs.
Suspension equals comfort
If there’s one area in which a suspension bike excels a rigid bike it’s definitely comfort. Whether it’s just front suspension, or front and rear, the main goal is for the bike to act as a buffer between the ground surface and you, resulting in a more comfortable ride.
Suspension eliminates the impact of potholes and uneven terrain, making for a smoother and more comfortable ride. A bumpy ride can significantly affect your journey and your energy levels if your route is varied in its terrain, so opting for a folding bike with suspension could be the option for you.
Since we already mentioned that suspension can “waste” some of your strength, you could go for a folding bike with a front suspension fork and a rigid frame. Such a combination will give you both the suspension’s comfort, and the stiffness and rigidity of a non-suspension bike when you need it.
Which one is right for you?
Unfortunately, there’s no right answer when it comes to this question. Both a rigid foldable bike and a folding bike with suspension have their place with various users, but there is one thing that can help you make the right decision – the terrain you will be riding.
When you’re looking to buy a foldable bike, chances are you already know what kind of rides you will be taking it on. If you’re primarily going to stick to asphalt and smooth roads that don’t have large holes or bumps in them, you’re more than okay to go with a completely rigid bike. Something like the IF Move 9SP with a rigid frame makes riding a breeze.
On the other hand, if you think you’ll be taking your foldable bike over rougher terrain, or you’d just like a more versatile bike that can take a pothole or two, a folding bike with suspension is definitely the better pick. Yes, you’ll gain a bit of weight, but you’ll love the comfort that comes with it. The Reach STD has both front and rear suspension for added comfort and off-road adventures.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference and what you, as an individual, need. In any case, there’s a Pacific Cycles bike that’s perfect for you, check out our range of foldable bikes to suit your needs, which come fully customizable with a variety of folding bike accessories to choose from.