The rear shock absorbers are the heart of a double suspension, as they allow the absorption of ground impacts on the rear wheel. The design of the rear shock mechanism varies greatly depending on the bicycle model, and usually includes some form of pivoting or triangle support. Thanks to this mechanism, the driver and the rest of the bicycle are less exposed to the impacts and vibrations of the terrain. The driving is more comfortable and relaxed, because the rear wheel adheres better, since it is always in contact with the ground. This guarantees optimal traction and control. Using shock absorbers helps protect the muscles of the back and spine as well, by better absorbing impacts.
Bicycles with integral suspension have the advantage that they adapt very well to technical terrain, both uphill and downhill, and offer very good traction and a feeling of control and safety. As a counterpoint, they require high maintenance with a greater probability of breakdowns, due to the number of moving elements in the rear axle, and they are also heavier than their rigid counterparts. The rear suspension also tends to contaminate the pedal, losing effectiveness in the force that is transmitted from the pedal to the wheel.
They are indicated for competitive modalities such as the enduro, downhill or the most aggressive XC rally , as well as non-competitive disciplines such as the most technical trail, all mountain and some freeride variants. The rear suspension is generally indicated for technical areas such as trails, trialeras or stony ground.
The rear shock absorbers are available in two designs: the sensitive and robust shock absorber of springs or steel springs and the air cushion , which is much lighter and is tuned by means of an air chamber according to the weight of the cyclist. It is necessary to use an oil for the maintenance and lubrication of the shock absorbers of the bicycles.
According to the use, the shock absorbers can also be classified by discipline:
Shock absorbers for cross country
This discipline of MTB consists of crossing mountain at high speed, circulating practically everything by flat tracks, as much with punctual complications, for which the shock absorbers have a route (amount of movement) faster and easier, from 80 to 100 mm , offering a moderate suspension. This makes them lighter in ups and fast on the track. This is the usual route in the most aggressive cross country and trail bikes. Lighter air cushions are also sought.
Shock absorbers for enduro
We talk about more aggressive double suspension bikes than rally bikes where, unlike the descent, you also climb mountain, so that used bicycles maintain a good suspension travel -between 100 and 160 mm- , but they are lighter and more normal geometry, because they have to allow more or less comfortable pedaling to be able to pull them up the mountain and be able to withstand jumps of more than one meter in height. The routes from 100 to 160 mm of the enduro bicycles require a specific geometry in the bike, since the height is increased and the steering angles vary, modifying the final behavior of the bike.
Shock absorbers for downhill and freeride
The descent, in English downhill , and the freeride are modalities consisting only of going down a mountain (or city with steps, ramps, etc.), where, in addition to extremely resistant bicycles, a large shock absorber travel is also used, above 150 or 170 mm . These also tend to be more robust and resistant to withstand impacts.
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