Lockout forks are great for those who want to ride trails that require some pedaling. They allow you to adjust the suspension so it can be firm when needed and soft when desired. This makes your ride more comfortable and enjoyable, no matter what kind of trail you’re riding on.
You won’t have any trouble with traction or control as you go over rocks, roots, bumps, or other obstacles in your path. You can also switch between full-suspension mode and Hardtail mode whenever necessary for an even better experience than before. With this fork installed on your bike, there will never be another time where you wish you had something else instead of what was already there. It’s just perfect for every type of rider out there.
Read on this post to know more!
What is a lockout fork and why does it matter?
A lockout fork on a mountain bike is like having two different bikes in one. The lower part of the suspension can be locked out or turned off completely for those times you want to pedal smoothly over paved roads or climb hills without wasting energy. This type of suspension is best suited for downhill racing where riders may need to maintain traction as they descend steep slopes without breaking traction and sliding into trees or rocks. But if you ride in hilly areas with many bumps and dips, you might also want one of these forks on your bike – especially if you plan on doing some serious off-roading.
Can you lock out rear suspension on a mountain bike?
One of the most common questions that we get here is: “can you lock out the rear suspension on a mountain bike?” and it’s a great question. The answer? Yes, but with some restrictions. Generally, when you lock out your rear suspension, what this does is increase the stiffness in the shock so it becomes more rigid and doesn’t compress as much making for better efficiency pedaling uphill or over rough terrain.
What is the Advantage of Having a Lockout Suspension on a Mountain Bike?
To explain the advantage of having a lockout suspension, it is important to first make clear what separates full suspension mountain bikes and hardtail mountain bikes. Both types of bikes have their purposes; therefore they also possess benefits as well as drawbacks.
The difference between a hardtail mountain bike and a full-suspension mountain bike is the way they are constructed. A Hardtail mountain bike has no rear or front suspension, while a Full-suspension Mountain bike has both suspensions rear as well as the front.
A Mountain bike that is equipped with only a front suspension would be called a Front Suspension Mountain bike and can be benefitted from having a front lockout suspension.
The Chief advantage of having a suspension system is When going downhill, a suspension system will absorb energy and thus make riding more comfortable. However, when riding uphill or on pavement, this same feature makes it difficult to scale steep inclines as there is much energy being absorbed by the suspension.
Since a Hardtail mountain bike does not feature a Front suspension or Rear suspension, it will be easy for you to climb uphill or just ride on a paved road, unlike Full suspension mountain bikes. Hardtail mountain bikes provide maximum pedal efficiency, thus helping to reduce fatigue by eliminating wasted energy from the suspension movement of the bike because simply they do not have any suspension system.
Unless you are a particularly experienced rider, a Hardtail mountain bike will be very difficult to withstand when going downhill or any sort of drops. Rough or uneven terrain is not a thing for a hardtail mountain bike.
Now it seems that you must have two bikes or you just face limitations of having any of either bike. I know that neither of the above two options seems attractive. This is where the lockout fork comes into play.
Do you need a lockout fork for your mountain bike?
It really depends on your needs. In summary, Hardtail MTBs are only comfortable for uphill climbing and paved roads, whereas Full-Suspension MTBs are more comfortable for downhill or any sort of Ups-Downs. This is where Lockout fork works by providing features of Hardtail MTBs and Full-Suspension MTBs into one bike. So you should decide whether you need a Lockout fork for your bike.
Differences between a Compression (Lockout) and Rebound Suspension Adjustment on a Mountain Bike
Mountain bike suspension has two ways to adjust compression speed. The first one is by adjusting the low speed compression rate which deals with the rate of compression on the MTB. A second method is called rebound adjustment, which impacts the rate of decompression on the Mountain bike.
There are typically two manufacturers namely Rockshox and Fox which manufactures lockout systems for MTB. Both manufacturers have similarities in many ways like they both use the same colour blue and red to denote compression and rebounding adjusting dial respectively.
Directional use of compression dial for Rockshox are as follows:
Open – Extreme left
Adjusted compression – Middle
Fully locked – Extreme right
Directional use of compression dial for Fox are as follows:
Open, Medium and Firm
For Rockshox, Rebound dial has been labeled with Jackalope and Fox. The more close to Jackalope, the quicker the shock will compress.
For Fox, Rebound dial has been labeled with Plus and Minus, the plus represents slower to rebound (more suppression), whereas Minus represents quicker to rebound (less suppression).
What is a Remote Lockout System on a Mountain Bike?
A remote lockout system on a mountain bike is a system that allows the rider to lock out the suspension in order to climb steep inclines.
It’s typically used when there are multiple obstacles such as roots, rocks and jumps. The remote lockout can be activated with one hand while still riding so it doesn’t get in the way of other controls like shifting gears or braking.
A few manufacturers produce these systems for bikes but they require an additional switch mounted on the handlebars which will be activated with the help of dial pads.
Do Real Riders Actually use a Lockout Suspension?
According to the survey done by a popular MTB forum, the results of the survey are very strange to many of you, who are reading this.
This table represents people took part in a survey about how many riders actually use their lockout:
When I first saw the results of this poll, they confused me. However, after reading further into a thread on this forum about it, I realized why so many people weren’t taking advantage of their lockouts.
Top reasons were:
- Many people complained that they often forget to turn off the lockout. This is a serious problem while riding downhill or on any uneven terrain.
- Some riders complained that the lockout doesn’t feel like an improvement no matter how it’s adjusted. If you have a mountain bike with a low travel distance, then a lockout might not offer much of an effect on power transfer into trails.
- Lockout is much more useful when it has a remote dial that can be switched from the handlebars. However, most riders seem to avoid using lockout because they find the inconvenience of having to stop riding and get off their bike too cumbersome.
Do Lockouts and Rebound Adjustment Replace Hardtail Mountain Bikes?
No, Different styles of mountain bikes are made for specific purposes, and don’t necessarily mimic one another perfectly. A full suspension bike works well on rough trails with big dips and while riding downhill.
A Hardtail MTB is a great bike for paved roads and climbing uphills because it doesn’t have the suspension system.
This is an undeniable fact that Lockouts and Rebound adjustments provide benefits of Hardtail MTB into full-suspension MTB, but it also adds weight to a suspension system.
How do you lock your front fork on a Mountain Bike?
The front lockout fork allows the rider to adjust how stiff or soft their suspension should be. By using a single switch, you can make your MTB more suitable for climbing up hills and as well on rough terrains where quick compression of the suspension may be necessary.
The fully locked-out fork completely inhibits any suspension movement in order to maintain speed while riding over asphalt surfaces with less resistance required from gravity.
The Lockout employs a pressure-compressed lubricant that shifts the rate of compression and decompression of the MTB, depending on what mode it’s placed into with this fork control system.
Do suspension lockouts require maintenance?
The suspension lockouts on your mountain bike should be serviced periodically. This is usually done by a professional bike mechanic. Failure to service the lockout can lead to problems, including poor performance and even damage to your suspension system.
There are many reasons why the suspension lockout may need to be serviced. The biggest reason is that dirt and debris can build up over time. This buildup prevents the lockout from functioning properly, which could cause your bike to perform poorly on descents and impact your overall performance. Dirt and debris also damage the components of the lockout system itself, which can lead to failure or permanent damage to your suspension.
What are the newest lockout systems developed for an MTB?
There are different types of forks. RockShox and Fox lockout systems are the most common ones. They all have three levels of the lockout fork, which you can adjust to make it more or less rigid. The first option cannot completely decrease the rate of low-speed compression, a middle selection causes compression to become extra rigid, and a fully locked out style where there is no travel at all.