Are you struggling to find the best budget friendly suspension fork? Don’t panic. It’s a common problem for most bike owners to deal with because suspension fork is not only an important part but also a critical section of any bike. Depending on the type of bike you have and where you ride it, you need to pick the best quality suspension fork.
You may ride the bike on smooth roads or mountain trails, choosing the right fork will ensure how comfortable of a ride you will enjoy. Since there are already different types and quality of forks available in the market, it’s, even more, riskier to decide which one would be the best. Leave all your confusion aside because you are on the right page.
Here I will not only suggest some of the outstanding suspension forks but also analyze their features deeply to highlight the strengths and drawbacks of each product. I must say the suspension fork I have picked is from renowned brands, amazing quality with a budget-friendly price. So, keep your eyes on the detailed review that is coming up.
Besides, to help you decide the right product and enlighten you about some basic information that you must have, I am also discussing some of the popular types of suspension fork, advantages, key features, and risk factors you might face in this article.
What is a suspension fork, and why do you need it?
Suspension fork the section of a bike that connects the bike with the front wheel. The fork is suspended with a spring to deal with the bumps, stress, and shock when you are on the road and mountain.
Then comes to why anyone would need a suspension fork in their bike. Well, riding a bike is a hectic job regardless of where you ride it. So, to add comfort and protect yourself from any sort of pain, the suspension fork is used. Having a suspension fork in your bike not only ensures a smooth and comfortable ride but also protects you and your bike from damages.
Top 5 best budget suspension forks reviews in 2020
After a complete 48 hours of research and analysis, here I have picked five of the most popular suspension forks at the present time to review. Each of these items is not only from trustworthy brands but also recommended by mass users. Therefore, I have decided to highlight the fascinating features that make these suspension forks amazing and evaluate their strengths and drawbacks for you.
So, don’t miss any details in the review section and make a wise decision by yourself.
1. BOLANY 26/27.5/29 inch MTB Bicycle Magnesium Alloy Suspension Fork – Best MTB Suspension Fork
Bolany is a popular brand these days for manufacturing good quality suspension fork in an affordable price range. You will feel like purchasing the fork just by looking at the price. However, it doesn’t lack any of the versatility or modern features, even though the price range belongs to an affordable range.
To begin with, the fork is suitable for MTB cycle. Nowadays, MTB cycles require modern features and compatibility. Considering that, the fork is made of magnesium and aluminum alloy. The combination of these two materials makes this fork strong, durable, and flexible.
One of the problems of riding an MTB bike is to ensure control and stability. But, the disk brake system and the fork is specially designed for a mountain bike that will give you all the easy to have control in your hand. Also, you can adjust the size as per your comfort level from 26 / 27.5 / 29 inches, which also comes with tapered and straight steerer.
Besides, according to your convenience, you can enjoy the two lockout services, one is manual, and the other one is a remote lockout. You can also quickly assemble and disassemble the fork whenever you need it. Additionally, no matter what the rider’s weight is or which position you are riding the bike, the fork can withstand, shock, stress, and you can adjust the air pressure for a comfortable ride.
And, above all, the ergonomic design and bright color will bring a new dimension to your style and comfort to your long-distance cycling.
2. KRSEC Air Rebound Adjust MTB Suspension Fork – Best MTB Fork for the Money
Are you looking for a lightweight and simple looking suspension fork? Here is a good quality entry-level suspension fork from MTB. MTBis a renowned brand in the cycle industry for manufacturing a wide range of suspension forks with advanced and user-friendly features.
The KRSEC rebound adjusts MTB suspension fork Silver Suspension Fork comes with a combination of silver and black. This simple yet smart design makes it suitable to use on any bike. Besides, the materials used in creating this suspension fork makes it lightweight and easily portable.
For instance, the upper tube is made of 30 mm straight wall steel and 9mm aluminum axle. This upper section comes with a turnkey lockout system with an external rebound. So you can quickly tighten or release this section whenever you need manually or using a remote control.
You can use this fork for 26″, 27.5″, 29″ wheel size. Also, the fork comes with updated air pressure that makes the fork even more compatible to use on an E MTB bike. So, whether you are on the trail or on the road, you can easily set up a fork and ride comfortably on any pathway.
Overall, it’s a good quality suspension fork that comes with the required features for a newbie. If you are looking for an entry-level suspension fork, this can be the perfect match for you.
3. RockShox Pike RCT3 Solo Air 160 Suspension Bicycle Fork – Best quality suspension fork
Here is another outstanding quality suspension fork from RockShox Pike. As you already realize, it’s a trustworthy brand, let’s explore the extraordinary features they have assured in this suspension fork.
Though it’s a super expensive suspension fork, you can have full faith in the quality of it. In fact, the fork has been designed considering the comfort level of the rider. It’s a lightweight suspension that comes with excellent rigidity due to the reinforced asymmetrical chassis in the lower arm.
Also, the pneumatic spring solar air can easily deal with any obstacles on the road. Meaning it can withstand jumps, stress, and even shocks. The fork is compatible with 27.5” to 29 inches, which increases the opportunity for the suspension fork to fit with most MTB bikes easily.
So, while riding the bike when you have a suspension fork like this, you won’t have to worry about any damage to your body or the bike. Unlike most suspension forks, this fork comes with a charger damper which you can easily place in your desired position from open, I cadence, or lock.
Even though you have to pay a high price purchasing this Rockshox’s RCT3 Solo Air 160 Suspension Bicycle Fork, it will make your ride blissful without a doubt. Hence, for a smooth, stable, and stress-free ride, you must consider purchasing it.
4. DFS Carbon Air Fork Civet-RLC-TP-RCE-TC Suspension Mountain Bike Bicycle MTB Fork – Best Suspension fork for Mountain Bikes
You may have heard about the brand DFS. They are one of the leading companies for manufacturing good quality bike parts. Hence, here I have chosen one of their popular suspension forks that most users recommend.
This is a carbon air fork that is suitable for standard mountain bikes. Also, the material used in the construction makes it extremely lightweight to handle or ride for long-distance. The fork is compatible with 26 inches and 27.5 inches. But, bear in mind that the maximum compatible tire size is 27.5 “X2.1”.
Besides, the fork comes with a carbon steerer tube with a crown. You can easily lock out the section without any worry of compression afterward. Additionally, you can adjust the damping according to your requirements.
Overall, it’s the best suspension fork for mountain bikes, which is extremely lightweight. If you are looking for a flexible yet powerful suspension fork for racing, you can definitely purchase this DFS Carbon Air Fork Civet-RLC-TP-RCE-TC Suspension Mountain Bike Bicycle.
5. SR Suntour XCT-DS Suspension Fork 26″, 1 1/8″, threadless steerer, V- brake,100mm Travel – Best suspension fork for the money
Last but not the lease, our final suspension fork is from SR Suntour. If you are on a low budget and unsure about which suspension fork would be the best investment, here is your chance. It’s one of the popular suspension forks in terms of quality and price.
It’s a fork compatible for 26 inches, which comes with a V brake. The fork also features coil spring with preload adjuster. So, whenever you are facing any obstacle on the road, the spring coil will support you and your bike right away.
Talking about the build quality, the fork comes with cast aluminum on the lower section and 28mm nickel plated stanchions. This feature makes it a perfect fork to ride on casual off-road use.
Overall, this suspension fork comes with all the necessary quality within the affordable price range. It’s the best suspension fork for the money.
How to find the best budget MTB fork? – Buying guide
In order to find out the best budget friendly suspension fork, must look to the feature of it. Here is the two-part of the buying guide. Read carefully and then get the best one for you.
Must-have features to consider to find the best suspension fork for the money
Whether you purchase a bike or its parts, you must pay attention to certain features to find the best one. Likewise, you need to pay attention to certain key features that will help you evaluate and identify the most qualities and right suspension fork for your bike.
What are they? Let’s find them below!
Usually, suspension forks are made of steel, titanium, carbon fiber, metal, and aluminum. Among them, the three most popular materials are steel, aluminum, and titanium, considering their strength and durability. If you are wondering which one is best among all, I would recommend steel material would make the fork the strongest compared to any other material.
Size is another important feature you should pay attention to. As there are different types of suspension fork that also come in different sizes, you need to be careful about what you choose. Usually, a bigger fork seems to give more flexibility. However, depending on your travel range, you should pick the right sized suspension fork that you feel comfortable while riding your bike.
The stronger the material is; the durable the suspension fork will be. However, you may end up picking the strong material, which also turns your bike into a heavy one. So, choose the right material that makes your bike long-lasting without adding up too much weight that becomes difficult for you to ride and handle.
4. Brake Compatibility
Usually, most suspension fork offers to fit in only one type of brake. If you can pick a fork that can support multiple kinds of brake systems, that would be amazing. So, don’t forget to check the brake compatibility of your suspension fork.
5. Distance of Travel
How frequently you ride your bike and the distance of traveling around with it are other factors to think about. Because of the amount of movement, you make will have an impact on the bike. Usually, long-legged forks are more capable of withstanding rough use. So, think of your travel distance and choose the right legged fork.
6. Controlling ability
If you are frequently traveling or for a longer time, it’s difficult to have control over the bike. Especially when you are riding across bumps or rocks on the road. If the fork isn’t flexible and strong enough, then it will make your ride even more painful. So, choose the suspension forks that can withstand stress, pressure, and deal with the impacts well. Such suspension forks come with supportive spring.
When you are purchasing a suspension fork, you must find a strong and durable one. But, if you focus on only those two features, you may end up purchasing a heavy fork that will add up the weight of your entire bike. So, you must choose a combination of the three that will make your suspension fork strong, flexible, and lightweight to easily ride and handle.
8. Wheel size
You must pay attention to the fact of whether the fork matches with your bike’s wheel size. If you are not sure about your wheel size, check out the tires. Usually, the wheel size is mentioned on the tire. Then, choose the best suspension fork that is compatible with your bike’s wheel size.
9. Disc mounts
If you are planning to buy a suspension fork for a mountain bike, then you must need to have disc mounts brake calipers. You can find such disk mounts in modern mountain bikes.
What might happen if you don’t consider the features
The suspension fork is one of the significant parts of a bike. I cannot stress enough how important it is to consider the key features while purchasing. Especially when you are searching for the best one, prioritizing the key features will reduce a lot of risks that you may encounter with.
First of all, there are diverse types of suspension fork. Also, from cheap to expensive ones, the quality also varies considering their build quality, features, advantages, and so on. So, if you don’t pay attention to specific features that determine the best quality of a suspension fork, you may end up investing money on an average quality suspension that won’t last long.
Usually, users focus on the brand and reviews. If you make your purchasing decision based on that, you may pick the top quality one, but it may not be suitable for your bike. Besides, there is a common belief among users that the strongest suspension fork is always the best.
However, if you only think of the strength and how strong material the fork has been built with, you may pick the heaviest one. Then, this very suspension fork will make your bike a weighty one, which you will have the struggle to ride and deal with.
Also, users tend to have a limited budget. And, they want to pick the best suspension fork that fits within the budget. Hence, there is a higher risk of picking the suspension fork that lacks versatility, durability, and compatibility. Therefore, to make the best investment of your limited budget on the best quality suspension fork, you must pay attention to the key features whenever you are looking to purchase the best one for you.
What would be the ideal budget for a good quality suspension fork?
Though this article is about finding the suspension fork at a budget-friendly price, we don’t mean to compromise the quality at any cost. Hence, I suggest you keep a good budget when you are intending to pick only the best suspension fork.
Usually, such suspension forks aren’t that cheap. If you are looking for a brand new suspension fork for the wheel to travel about 150-millimeter range, then you can get the fork within $500 to $700. However, the price varies depending on the features and quality of the fork.
So, look into the details while purchasing the fork and pick the one that seems worth the money. Overall, you can get top quality suspension fork within a $100 to $400 budget range.
Glossary terms related to suspension speak
Here are some of the terms you should know to understand the product description well when you are fiddling through the suspension forks. Some of these terms you are already familiar with.
Often, you will see the travel time mentioned as “_ mm travel” in the product description. By the number, it mentions you will understand the maximum movement the fork can withstand from top to the bottom stroke. Usually, it’s from 80 to 200 mm, and some are adjustable.
Air-sprung and coil-sprung
the air-sprung is compressed air spring, and the coil-sprung is coiled metal spring.
it is the fork’s upper part that slides through the lower leg
the seals come with rubber rings at the top of the lower leg of the fork to keep them free from dirt and debris.
the crown is the section that stays under the head tube of the bike. This section attaches the fork’s leg and the steerer.
The damping system ensures how you can control the bike. Damping the combination of compression and rebound of the fork.
Compression and rebound
The compression rate is when the fork moves up, and rebound is the rate when the fork returns to the extension after compression.
How to replace a suspension fork?
You can seek professional help to replace a suspension fork on your bike. If you are intending to replace it all by yourself, then you must know how to do it. Here is the detailed process of how to replace a suspension fork.
- Keep the cycle in a standing position in a stable and steady place.
- Then, loosen up the front wheel bolt to release the front wheel.
- After removing the front wheel, loosen up the bolt of the front brake and remove it.
- Next, hold the fork and remove the stem bolts and the top.
- As you keep holding the fork, you need to lower down the crown race. You may need assisting tools, loosening spray while lowering the crown race. Now, you need to properly set the lower crown and mark the position of the stem.
- Once you are done, remove the headset and bring out the fork. Make sure all parts are removed and kept in a secure place. Also, remember the order of all the parts. Then, reinstall the new fork and headset and all the other parts in their actual order.
To know more watch the video
Finally, I am at the end of our review. I hope you have had a great time reading the reviews and you get the best quality suspension fork for you.
My effort was to present the actual information of each suspension fork so that you can choose the suitable fork for your bike, evaluating the strengths, features, and drawbacks. The additional yet basic information I have provided to have a firm understanding of fork to pick the right one. Also, read the latest article about the bike for beach sand.
Now, it’s finally time to make the purchase. Which suspension fork are you going to buy? Choose anyone you like, but don’t forget to check out the key features to make the best investment of your money.