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SUSPENSION LOCKOUT: HOW IT WORKS

  • Know your Bicycle
Suspension Lockout: How it Works

When you first heard that you could use a Lockout to stop your front suspension from compressing with ease, you might have wondered; why do Rigid Bicycles even exist and why do we need a suspension lockout? This article is to help explain what the purpose of a lockout suspension fork is and why you might want one.

WHAT IS A LOCKOUT SUSPENSION ON A MOUNTAIN/HYBRID BICYCLE (MTB) FORK?

A Lockout is a small switch placed atop the front right stanchion of your MTB/Hybrid Bicycle’s suspension which when engaged decreases the low speed compression rate of the front fork, adjustable to the point of being fully rigid. This switch can also be routed to the handle bar which is called as a remote lockout.

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WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE OF HAVING A LOCKOUT SUSPENSION ON A HYBRID/MTB BICYCLE?

A Rigid Bicycle is neither equipped with a front suspension or a rear suspension. The advantage of not having any suspension systems equipped on a Bicycle is that you will get great responsiveness out of the pedals. No energy is being absorbed by the suspension so it is all going into the surface. This is good for uphill and flat terrains. The disadvantage then, is that a Rigid Bicycle will not be particularly comfortable to ride if the terrain is uneven and will be difficult to withstand when going through obstacles. Any sort of drops will be extremely punishing and large drops are almost impossible to land.

It would seem then that if you want to ride on a wide range of terrains and inclines (or declines) then it is necessary to either put up with a difficult and punishing experience half the time or buy two Bicycles. Of course, neither of these options seem attractive to either your body or your wallet. It is for this exact reason that the lockout fork was invented. With a lockout fork a Suspension Bicycle can be utilized when riding downhill/flat surfaces and on rough terrain. With the flip of a single switch the suspension can be made more rigid for riding on flatter and smoother surfaces.

WHAT IS A REMOTE LOCKOUT SYSTEM ON A MTB?

A Remote Lockout System is a lockout fork which can be controlled by a dial placed upon the handlebar of the MTB. The advantage of a Remote Lockout System is that it isn’t necessary to get off of the Bicycle to engage the lock. On a challenging trail, with lots of ups and downs, this can be really helpful. These can even be installed for a rear suspension lockout.

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Conclusion

Every style of Bicycle has its purpose and has been manufactured specifically for a certain purpose. A Suspension MTB/hybrid is made for rough and tough, terrains. A Rigid Bicycle is made for uphill climbs and smooth/flat surfaces. Yes, a lockout can definitely mimic the feeling of a fully rigid Bicycle. Overall, a Suspension Lockout is great at what it is meant for and can still help you out when you are switching between trails and riding on flat surfaces.

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