Full Suspension E-Bikes: What You Need to Know

Full Suspension E-Bikes: What You Need to Know

Electric bikes with full suspension provide a very comfortable and safe ride on any terrain. They are not just for "bikers" but also for anyone who wants to take full advantage of the power of electric assistance, while enjoying a smooth ride, perfect handling, and perfect control.

With electric bikes, you can choose from front-wheel suspension, rear-wheel suspension, full suspension, and more. Understanding how electric bikes differ and how they'll affect your riding experience will help you choose the right e-bike for your needs. Here, we break down the basics about full suspension ebike.



What is a Full-Suspension E-Bike?


You may sometimes see this written as 'FullSus'. The word is a combination of 'full' and 'suspension'. Due to the fact that they have both front and rear suspension, full suspension mountain bikes can also be referred to as dual suspension mountain bikes. Off-road bikes with a rear shock are more efficient and more comfortable to ride. Furthermore, the rear shock improves the bike's traction and control, making riding more comfortable.

 


Why Do I Need Suspension on My eBike?



Bicycles help you travel over many different terrains, but as an experienced biker will tell you not all terrain is equal. Flat roads may offer a smooth riding experience, but gravel, loose dirt, hills, cobblestone, and other bumpy terrain will all cause tension, vibrations, and shock in your bicycle. The occasional rough patch might be tolerable with a standard bicycle, but long term riding over uneven terrain will not only make riders sick, but can lead to bruising and other injuries due to the amount of shaking and shock that comes from riding a bike.


Pedaling over uneven terrain becomes both safer and easier with the use of bicycle suspension systems, which provide improved traction. This makes it easier to ride over rough terrain. Several types of suspension systems are available on the market, from single components to multiple components, and the whole frame has suspension support. Nevertheless, suspension systems have an impact on how you ride your bicycle, and have unique advantages and disadvantages you should consider before installing suspension components on your bike frame.


Pros of Bike Suspension on a eBike:



Greater Comfort. A suspension system reduces overall strain on the body while traveling over bumpy, uneven terrain by acting as a major shock absorber. For anyone intending to ride over a mountain trail without getting sick, besides those who wish to ride for more than a few minutes without wearing out their arms, suspension is a necessity.


Greater Control. Suspension systems often improve the traction of a bike as well, helping both tires stay on the ground and more level with each other when you ride. The level of control is affected by the type of suspension you get, with major gains if its wheel suspension and minor gains if its a seat post or saddle suspension system.


Greater Lifespan: The suspension systems on most eBikes also cause most frames to last longer overall, even though they do require some periodic maintenance. Due to the suspension system, your eBike won't get worn down nearly as quickly as one without. Traditional eBikes with no suspension will quickly become worn out and break down, especially for mountain bikers.


Cons of Bike Suspension on a eBike:



More Expensive: A suspension system will increase the cost of your eBike, and that is the most obvious con. For example, something as simple as a suspension stem and saddle can cost over $50 to $100, while full suspension systems can cost $1,000 or more. While suspension systems do improve performance and comfort, this is not an inexpensive upgrade you can make.

 

More Weight: Electric bikes already have the problem of being heavier than traditional bikes due to their electronic components, and suspension systems are going to make your frame even heavier. The heavy weight of the frame is part of the design, with heavier bikes typically offering better shock absorption, but if you go for a full suspension eBike you may wind up with something that weighs more than 80 lbs, with some premium bikes even weighing more than 100 lbs.


More Maintenance: A bike with a suspension system will require more oil changes, seal replacements, and more maintenance than a traditional bike. Without proper maintenance, your suspension might not only do nothing, but could actually detract from the overall performance of your bicycle.


How Much Suspension Do You Need?



The level of suspension you need for your eBike is going to depend on what kind of riding you intend to do.

If you are a dedicated city rider who doesn’t have many unpaved roads to cross or hills to climb, you require little to no suspension. Many city eBikes come with either a small suspension fork or suspension saddle, which is often enough for the typical urban cyclist. It might feel a bit rough when you hit the occasional pothole or have to cross over cobblestone or gravel, but otherwise you probably don’t need to upgrade your eBike with any additional support.

A hybrid eBike or moderate suspension bike may be beneficial if you live in a rural area or have to cross a hill or dirt road during your daily commute. The hardtail eBike (an eBike with serious front suspension) and the hybrid eBike are designed for all-purpose use and can be ridden on smooth trails and paved asphalt. Ebikes with front or moderate suspension support are what you'll want if you stick to the city but feel uncomfortable or if you want to go on the occasional mountain bike trail with your friends.

If you're going to be doing extreme mountain rides over treacherous trails and a lot of downhill racing, you may want to consider getting a full suspension bike. They typically provide the most absorption and may improve handling in those circumstances.

The downside to full suspension bikes, however, is they’re typically heavier and more expensive than bikes with suspension in just the front or the back. And for all but the most extreme routes, most people don’t need (and probably don’t want) a full suspension bike.

At Hovsco we make two different e-bikes. The A5B City Hunter is our electric bike made for urban life and commuting. The A5 Mountain Cruiser is our everyday electric cruiser bike that makes it a pleasure to get around.

They feature a front suspension fork. That along with big, grippy, tough shocks and a Shimano motor to flatten the rough stuff make for comfortable adventures. It can definitely handle tough mountain terrain with ease, but it’s also ready for adventures in sand, snow and over the speedbumps of your city streets. It’s not a full suspension e-bike, but it’s well equipped to take you places you never thought possible.



Is it Worth Getting a Full Suspension E-Bike?

 

The answer is yes. The most basic reason we can provide is that they are simply more versatile. Consider the difference between a luxury SUV and a Jeep. A Jeep is purpose-built to take on rocky, rooty, off-camber, uneven, rugged roads. But that doesn't take away from its ability to drive around town with ease. On the other hand, the luxury SUV thrives in the city but simply can’t keep up with the Jeep when the going gets tough.

The same comparison can be made between a hardtail and a full suspension e bike. While the hardtail will certainly be able to take you wherever you'd like to go, it simply won't be able to keep up with full suspension electric mountain bikes.

Many climbers are attracted to hardtails because of their reputation for being more efficient and energy-efficient. We cannot argue with that. There are, however, most shocks on the market today that have an integrated lever that locks out your rear shocks when you're climbing, which can be re-engaged easily for easier, smoother descents. The trick is remembering to switch the lever back and forth!


We'd nudge you towards making your decision primarily based on what type of riding you’re going to be doing most often and what kind of access you’d like to ensure you have, but if you’ve got a serious need for speed, that certainly becomes a factor as well.



What Motor is the Best for a Full-Suspension E-MTB?



As full-suspension bikes are equipped with a lot of technology, solid tyres and frames, they can be quite heavy. For e-mountain bikes, the motor and battery add some kilos on top. So only the weight requires a powerful drive. That’s why mid-drive motors are the first choice for e-mountain bike engineers.


How Big Should My Battery Be?



With some fast checks, you can find out which battery will be the right one for you. The first thing you should know is that more watt-hours mean more range. However, weight (rider+baggage+bike) has a dramatic impact on the real range of your battery. You should also consider your chosen support level, terrain, and many other factors. Cycling uphill pushes the energy consumption of your engine, so your battery will empty quicker. Cycling flat terrain in eco mode makes it last longer.


The Final Words:


Cycling enthusiasts usually have two different bikes for different situations. In the best case scenario, it would be best to have a dedicated city bike with a small to moderate suspension upgrade, and a mountain bike built specifically for trail riding. With the popularity of eBikes increasing, a number of solid, secondary bike options are becoming more affordable. By keeping your eye on sales or clearance sales, you can find a second bike that will make riding comfortable without having to overhaul your first bike.


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