Do I need a front suspension bike for city riding?
My main question is whether I need a front suspension on the new bicycle I'm planning to buy.
I'm not a very experienced rider, and all the bikes I've had before have been low quality mountain bikes. I will be using the bike for recreational riding on city streets and paved bike paths, and I may start commuting to work once a week, which is a 10-11 mile ride each way. Some roads are in good shape and some are poor, including potholes. Because of where I ride, I will also need the ability to drop off curbs while riding. These aren't big curbs, just standard city curbs that are 3-4 inches high. Would that damage the bicycle if it doesn't have front suspension? Two people, a bicycle store worker and my brother, told me I would be popping tires frequently on a bike without front suspension. Is that true? I'm currently thinking of buying some kind of hybrid bicycle as I don't think I'm ready for a road bike and I'm not sure it would be a very nice ride on the sometimes very bad roads I would riding on.
This is a great topic and question to be asking! A bike with suspension is definitely going to impact your ride, particularly in the conditions you have described. However, whether or not you are popping tires on a bike without front suspension is also going to depend on the kind of tires on the bike as well as the amount of weight (you plus gear) on the bike.
While having front suspension on a hybrid bike will definitely soften the landing when coming off of a curb, it will also reduce the impact uneven terrain has on your body as a rider. If you are concerned about roads with potholes, curbs, rough patches, and debris then a bike with suspension can be a great choice. It can save your hands and shoulders from a lot of fatigue that the jarring of rough terrain can bring.
We recommend taking a look at a bike like the Co-op Cycles CTY 2.1, which is a great hybrid style bike that has front suspension for the conditions you're describing. Additionally, if you find that you don't need the suspension for some parts of your ride, you can lock it out.
Hope this helps!
Whether you have a suspension or not
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