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Vertical amplibutive vs. Horizontal in double suspension, which one is better?

Vertical amplibutive vs. Horizontal in double suspension, which one is better?

When buying a double suspension bicycle, the most important element is the shock absorber. And as with other components such as the change group or brakes, Not all shock absorbers serve the same nor offer the same benefits. This is determined by the type of use we are going to do with the bicycle. A is not the same double suspension bike to compete on routes and marches of XC or Marathon, which to practice enduro or do trialeras. [IRP posts = "743" name = "trail, descent, xc, enduro ... everything you need to know about the 4 basic modalities of Mountain Bike"] When we compare the bicycle suspension of the same modality, we usually look at some details of the shock absorber such as the brand or type of blocking it offers. Specialized Epic But equal conditions, that is, between two Mountain Bikes with the same change group and even the same shock absorber, Is it better to choose the one with vertical shock absorber or the one that has a horizontal shock absorber? Let's put for example the Specialized Epic and the Scott Spark, two bicycles of Cross country and Marathon They have won world championships. While the Specialized has the shock absorber in horizontal disposition, the Scott takes it vertically. Which is better? >> Find Cross Country and Marathon bicycles

The Racing vs Enduro myth

It is common to find opinions that suggest that vertical shock absorber is The most indicated to perform enduro cycling or technical trialeras, while horizontal suspension is ideal for Cross country and roll by long routes. However, this theory finds practical contradictions. For example, Nino Schurter has been several times world champion of XC and Olympic champion with a Scott Spark that carries the cushion in vertical disposition. Mountain cyclist We also found Sovele Suspension Bicycles for Enduro that mount the shock absorber in horizontal position. This is the case, for example, of the Orbea Rallon. >> See double suspension bicycles for enduro And then we have manufacturers that always bet on bringing cushioning in the same disposition for all their models, without making distinctions that are for XC, for trail or for descent. For example, Specialized double suspension bicycles always carry the shock absorber in horizontal position. Including the Specialized Demo of descent. In fact it is one of the few descent models that carry it that way. >> See descent bicycles On the other side, Trek has always opted for the vertical position in all his mountain bicycles with double suspension. With the Trek Top Fuel The same thing happens with the scott spark: it is a model of Cross country that carries the pursuator perpendicular the soil. In its 2020 Trek range, a double suspension mountain bike with the shock absorber integrated into the horizontal tube has incorporated for the first time: the Supercaliber. Other brands are changing the suspension geometry of their bicycles for seasons. Thus, for example, the Canyon Lux Before it rode vertical shock absorber and in the 2019 range it went on to ride it horizontally. Therefore, The dilemma of what damping position is better not to be resolved simply by the type of use for what is the bicycle. It is necessary to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

Advantages of vertical shock absorber

The double suspension system with vertical shock absorber has the main advantage it offers a lower center of gravity. In addition, when the rebound perpendicular to the ground, favors impact absorption and the stability in the grounds of terrain. This is an advantage in situations where great bicycle control is required, such as When descending a trialera between stones at high speed. Having the lowest center of gravity, the bicycle is more maneuverable. However, this is so in theory, since in practice there are other factors that also affect the traction and control of the bicycle in these circumstances. Vertical shock absorber On the other hand, the vertical shock absorber allows more aggressive picture geometries. For those who are an important element when buying a bicycle this detail can be valuable. As for the inconveniences, two stand out mainly. To be able to attach a vertical shock absorber to the painting We need a largest anchor. And this means also carrying more weight. In a horizontal shock absorber the bistard is smaller. The second disadvantage of vertical shock absorbers is that They do not allow two portabidones. Perhaps this is the reason why some bicycle manufacturers are beginning to vary the picnic position in their double suspension models.

Advantages of horizontal shock absorber

The main advantage of horizontal shock absorber is that, being located in parallel to the ground, Force is transmitted more directly. In the vertical shock absorbers the power of the pedaling and the rebound of the suspension is transmitted in two directions: the vertical of the movement of the shock absorber and the horizontal of the direction of the march. This does not happen with the horizontal shock absorbers, where the force is transmitted in the same direction. That is why it is usually said that for fast routes, such as XC test, Double suspension bicycles with horizontal shock absorber are more reactive and agile. This, although in theory it is an advantage, can also mean a disadvantage, because the bicycle can become more nervous and uncontrolled rolling at high speed due to technical and irregular sections. This is the reason why it is usually said that horizontal shock absorber is better for Cross Crountry. In practice there are many other factors that affect The agility and reactivity of the bicycle. In addition, as we have indicated above, the best XC cyclist in the world has been accumulating international titles and gold medals setting up on a bicycle with vertical shock absorber.


In a practical way, The shock absorber position offers different sensations, that they do not have to be better or worse depending on whether it is in a horizontal or vertical position. A cyclist the vertical suspension can be more agile and another the most comfortable horizontal suspension. And it is that many more factors influence the position of the shock absorber, such as the pedaling style, the weight of the cyclist, the type of wheels and even the position in which the saddle is advanced. The best recommendation in this regard is be guided by the sensations that everyone has on top of the bicycle. And if what is about comparing yields of the suspension, there are other more important factors than the shock absorber position. If you are still doubts, we recommend this video of Daniel Race about The differences between the vertical and horizontal shock absorber explained by an engineer: https://youtu.be/wr10Sgg9IDc
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