Do Mountain Bikes Need Shocks?

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Cycling is becoming very popular among Americans and its popularity is increasing day by day. The market size by revenue of the bicycle industry is estimated to be around $6.9 billion. As cycling is increasing in popularity people are niching into different kinds of bicycle. One of the most popular niches is mountain biking. Not only do mountain bikes require better gears, and types due to off-road usage but they also need excellent suspension.

The most important suspension in a mountain bike is the rear suspension which is also known as shock. These shock not only improve the user experience while riding the bicycle but also improves the life of the bicycle. In some extreme cases, it is the difference between a serious injury and a minor fall. Today we are going to discuss how important are shocks and do mountain bikes really need this suspension or if we can still ride mountain bikes without them?

Do Mountain Bikes Really Need Shocks?

The short is yes, every kind of mountain bike should have some sort of suspension. The long answer is that it depends on two main factors. The first factor is how much you are willing to spend and the second factor is how roughly are you using the mountain bikes. Keeping these factors in mind there are three types of mountain bikes you could consider which are as follows.

1) Rigid (No suspension in front or rear).

2) Hardtail (Only front wheels have suspension).

3) Full suspension (Both types have suspension).

Now lest take a deeper look into these three types and decide which one is suitable for your needs.


Rigid moutain bikes

As we mentioned earlier that every moutain bike needs some kind of suspension and in case of rigid moutain bike that suspension is often provided by thick tyres and the design of the bike. There is no external suspesion in these kind or bikes.

 Lack of suspension cost make these bikes little cost effective and they are often the first choice of beginner or hobbist mountain bikers who are just trying to see wheather mountain biking is their cupp of tea or not.

If you are looking for something more expensive and you have decided that you are going to explore mountain biking more than just a hobbie then there are better options for you.

Hardtail bike

Hardtail bikes are bikes in which there is only suspension in front types. The back wheels do not have any added extension. To be fair most of the suspension is required in the front part of the cycle and this is why the front is the better choice if you only have one suspension.

These bikes are a little costlier than rigit bikes in general but the rates might overlap for different brands. If you are looking for a better deal than rigid cycles and are willing to spend a little more money then you should go for hardtail bikes as they provide you with a better experience and you are going to get better safety compared to rigid bikes at least on the front wheels.

Full suspension

Full-suspension bikes have suspension on both wheels. They are the best option for you if budget is not the constraint. Most professional and advanced mountain bikers use this kind of cycle. The added suspension is very useful in rough trains and is often the difference between a small jerk or a fall from your bike.

We do not recommend this kind of bike if you are a complete beginner as full suspension is often not needed in smaller trails and you are going to pay a little extra for something that you are not using. 

You can always switch to full-suspension bikes if there is a need. Flipping bikes and upgrading to a new one is often better than buying a bike that you are not using to its full potential and wasting your money.


Finally, lets do a recap and see what we learned today. There are broadly three kinds of bikes based on shocks namely rigid, hardtail and full suspension. There is no one fit solution to pick the right mountain bike and the decision is dependent on your budget and experience in moutain biking. Based on these two factors we have shown you how you can pick the right bike for your experience level. If you like this article please share it with someone who is looking forward to purchase a moutain bike so that it can help them in making the right decision.