If you love bike riding on mountains, you do know that there are several precautions you should take in advance so that you can enjoy the ride with full protection.
One of the important upgrades you must do is to install a mountain bike fork. This strategic approach makes sure you are a step ahead of the problem all the time.
Most of the professionals love using the best mountain bike forks because it has never disappointed them in any situation.
Now, you might ask, what is the best budget suspension fork? Don’t worry; we have got your back.
From the following article, you will find out all the quality models that are currently in high demand. So, read on to find out more.
Best Mountain Bike Forks Review
Top 11 Mountain Bike Suspension Forks
Out of all the products, we have selected the top 11 for you. Go through this section so that you can find out which one fits your requirement.
Let’s get started.
1. RockShox RS9641000 30 Silver TK Mountain Bike Fork
If you are looking for an affordable model, this one can be a suitable option for you.
Not only is it considered the best budget suspension fork, but also you will get satisfactory results all the time. Plus, this product is specially designed for mountain bikers.
Fortunately, it is well-built because it has used 6061-T6 aluminum alloy for the crown and steel for the upper tube.
Besides, the installation process is not complicated, and you can get the job done quickly. Its lightweight body allows you to enjoy the bike ride without any hassle.
Moreover, the unit uses a lockout switch that helps you to calibrate the low-speed compression rate.
This feature becomes a blessing in disguise during the time you ride. Also, it has very good compatibility with the disc brakes.
2. GURIDO Manitou Markhor Mountain Bike Fork
With a premium outlook, this model is considered one of the best by many professionals.
It has a remarkable travel of 120mm, which is a very noticeable feature that you can’t take lightly.
It also features an on/off ‘Kwik Toggle’ switch that you can utilize during climbing with the bike.
When you are climbing, you can reach down to decrease the travel so that the fork absorbs less amount of pedaling energy.
After you reach the top, you can flip the switch in another direction, and you will get back to the original travel without any issue.
Besides, you will have a great time setting the fork up, and if you talk about its durability, you will be happy to know that it will last for a long time.
3. Rockshox Recon Silver TK RS9643001 Fork
This model has a perfect balance between price and performance. If you purchase it, you won’t be disappointed with its outcome.
Surprisingly, it is not heavy, and due to that, you will be a great boost on your cross-country bike riding.
The chassis is upgraded, and it allows a good amount of reduction in stanchion length.
You will definitely be impressed with the updated graphics, and it will look excellent with your bike.
Moreover, the unit comes with an external rebound and a well-designed TurnKey lockout. These features become a blessing in disguise during the time you ride the bike.
If you want to know about the crowns’ construction material, you will be happy to know that it uses 6061 T-6 aluminum, which is very strong and durable.
4. BUCKLOS Mountain Bicycle Suspension Fork
If you love mountain bike riding, you can definitely go for this model. This unit has a travel of 100mm, which is considered an excellent feature.
In this list, this product gives a tough competition to the others.
You will always get a smooth and comfortable ride because there is a brilliant combination of damping adjustment and oil spring forks.
Plus, you won’t face any issue if you ride the bike to uneven streets or even downhill.
However, you won’t need any tools to detach and attach the parts, and due to that, you can easily finish the installation process.
Besides, the product comes with a crown lockout that is manual, and you can also adjust the on/off switch at any moment during the time you ride so that you get the best experience possible.
5. ZTZ Magnesium Alloy Mountain Bike Front Fork
Do you want a cheap one? If so, this unit can make your wish come true.
Plus, if you love riding in the mountains, this fork can be your best friend in this type of situation.
It has used magnesium alloy as its construction material. Due to this feature, you won’t have a problem stressing about its durability as you will be able to use it for a long period of time.
Luckily, installing this unit is not hectic at all, and you can get it done immediately. [On a side note: to know more about how to install a suspension fork, click here.]
Besides, this product comes with excellent wire control and vertebral pipeline control. Furthermore, it is not heavy, so this won’t add extra weight to your bike.
6. KRSEC Air Rebound Adjust MTB Suspension Fork
When you see this fork, you will definitely be impressed with its outlook in the first place. If you are a mountain bike rider, this one will be a great fit for you.
This model comes with a rebound adjustment feature that controls the rebound speed according to your body weight and other preferences.
Whether you take the bike on a mountain or off-road, this unit can set itself to the fast or slow mode when you adjust it properly.
The unit has used magnesium and aluminum alloy material, which makes it highly durable and powerful. Plus, its lightweight body allows you to control the bike with ease.
Furthermore, you won’t have to go through a long process to install it because the process is easy and quick.
7. BOLANY MTB Bicycle Magnesium Alloy Suspension Fork
This model is made of aluminum and magnesium alloy, which makes it very robust and durable. If you love outdoor cycling, this unit will give you stability in all situations.
It has a travel of 100mm and comes with a remote and manual lockout. You can quickly assemble and disassemble the unit without any problem.
It also uses a gas and oil structure process so that you get the best performance all the time.
Surprisingly, the air pressure valve will get adjusted according to your condition and body weight so that you get the utmost comfortable riding experience.
Besides, forks’ outer tube is robust and stable. Due to that, it prevents the circulation of the traveling tube from getting polluted by the incoming dust.
Also, it is designed ergonomically and is fully shockproof.
8. DNM Osl Mountain Bike Fork with Lock Out
This model looks unique in terms of outlook and provides fantastic performance in rough terrains and downhill.
Mountain bikers enjoy using it because it has never disappointed them.
It comes with an adjusting and preload knob that makes your riding experience smooth and easy.
Plus, it uses an air chamber that increases the forks’ performance to a new level.
Fortunately, it consists of an adapter, but you have to keep in mind that it will work only with a 235mm rotor.
Moreover, the unit has used high-quality material for its construction, so you won’t have a problem if you encounter challenging terrains.
Make sure you read the instruction manual properly before you dive into the process. Everything is written in a way that you won’t have a confused understanding of it.
9. ZTZ Mountain Front Fork Air Pressure Shock Absorber Fork
In the list of the best mountain bike forks, this model gives a tough competition to the others.
If you are interested in mountain bike riding, you will be happy to know that this fork can help you out with that.
Its construction material is magnesium alloy, and if you look at the tube, it is fully made of steel.
As a result, you won’t be able to question its durability because it won’t get damaged for a long time.
Furthermore, it features ABS adjustment and a pressure valve that makes your riding experience comfortable all the time.
Plus, it uses a brake cable fixing buckle that is considered a lucrative feature. Since it is not a heavy product, it won’t add weight to your beloved bike.
10. BUCKLOS MTB Suspension Fork
Surprisingly, this model has used two different types of construction materials. It has used aluminum alloy on its upper tube and magnesium alloy on its lower tube.
Plus, it features a rebound adjustment facility that adjusts to the air pressure valve according to your riding condition and body weight.
If you go to a mountain or even off-road, you will be able to adjust the speed of the bike slow or fast.
Moreover, it has an air chamber and compression adjustment that is a very important aspect for a fork.
Thanks to its lightweight body, you won’t have to go through the hassle of your bike weight issues.
You can easily assemble and disassemble the parts because the manufacturer made sure you can install the product without any issue.
11. DFS Air Fork, COOLRLCRCE
Finally, this budget suspension fork is creating a buzz among people because of its excellent features.
First of all, it is a durable product, and because of that, it will be able to withstand pressure without damaging itself.
It has also passed a mountain bike standard test and has earned EU EN-14766 certification.
The damping is adjustable, and you will get 1080 degrees of adjustment on 3 laps. Besides, it efficiently adapts to different traffic without any issue.
You will be amazed to know that it comes with a smart unlocking system.
When you hit the giant hole, the lock switch will be opened within 0.2 seconds. Due to that, you will get to ensure your own safety in all situations.
What to Look for Before You Buy?
Before you place the order for mountain bike forks, it is best that you consider some important factors beforehand.
Below are all the key factors that will help you out in finding the best suspension fork. Keep reading.
A specific mountain bike has its own suspension fork, and due to that, you have to be a bit careful when you purchase it.
For example, cross-country bikes have a suspension travel between 80 and 120mm, all-mountain and enduro between 150 and 170mm, trail bikes between 120 and 140mm, and downhill or gravity rigs range from 180 to 210mm.
So, how much suspension travel you will need for your purpose. Keep in mind that if your fork can move further without any issue, this means that it has the strength to withstand impacts.
If you plan to replace your current suspension fork, make sure you are replacing it with the one that will give you the same amount of suspension.
Besides, check your bike’s recommended travel, and according to that, you should do the upgrade.
The weight of the fork will determine its strength in different conditions. Light forks are suitable for cross-country riders and even climbers.
On the other hand, the heavier ones work very well in different extreme situations.
In total, you should look for a suspension fork that provides accurate balance all the time.
Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendation before you make any kind of decision by yourself.
There are three individual axles that you should consider. Some of the lower-end forks use 9mm quick-releases.
Most of the trail and cross-country forks use 15mm thru-axles.
In the case of downhill and enduro, the suspension forks (longer travel) use 20mm thru-axles. So, check which one fits your requirement.
Type of Steerer
You will find two types of steerer, tapered and straight. The latter one is fully straight and has a diameter of 1-1/8 inches.
Currently, the upgraded forks use tapered steerer because they are light, stiff, and will give you a better experience than a regular unit.
The spring system comes in two types – coil and air. The air springs are the most popular one since they consist of a progressive or increasing compression rate. Plus, these are also tuneable.
You will get a soft feel at the beginning of the travel, and it will get stiffer with the increase in compression.
Coil springs are mainly used in downhill bikes. The feeling is linear, and its impact absorption is good and powerful.
How Does a Mountain Bike Fork Work?
A mountain bike fork is also known as a front suspension or front shock. It is a very important element in a bike, and you must take this aspect very seriously.
The forks’ bottom part (holds or supports the wheel) is connected precisely over the tubes. This construction mainly joins the fork straight to the frame.
There is a shock present in each of the forks’ tubes, and when the fork moves in an upward direction, the spring gets compressed.
Due to that, the piston forces the fluid to move through the opening part of the tube or orifice.
This process allows the wheels to absorb a small number of bumps. Plus, it keeps the tires in contact with the ground so that you can have better control over the bike.
If you land jumps, you and the bike won’t have a problem withstanding large shocks because the mountain bike fork is there to the rescue.
The two elements that absorb the shock are the damper and spring.
What Size MTB Forks Do I Need?
MTB forks come in different sizes, but all of them won’t fit your requirement. So, you need to do some homework before you make the purchase.
You have to know the type of fork steerer your bike will accept, the proper wheel size, and the type of wheel axle your front wheel will take.
Here are all the explanations.
Types of Steerer
Most of the fork steerers come in two different sizes, tapered and 1-1/8th.
The best thing is that you can easily run the 1-1/8th steerer forks in the type of bikes that have a tapered head tube.
In this case, you must have a special adapting headset in your arsenal, or else you won’t be able to get the job done.
Mountain bike suspension forks come in three different wheel sizes, 26in, 27.5 / 650B, and 29in.
If you have the 29in or 27.5 / 650B wheels, then you must use the equivalent sized fork to get the best performance from your bike fork.
Types of Wheel Axle
You will get fork axles in three individual sizes, 9mm QR, 15mm bolt-thru, and 20mm bolt-thru.
For your front wheel, go for the one that comes with a hub so that you can convert it to accept any axle type.
Mountain Bike Fork Types
There are two types of mountain bike forks:
- Coil sprung
- Air sprung
The former one is very helpful if someone prefers to ride aggressively. Besides, the latter one is suitable for cross-country (XC) riding style.
Coil Sprung Fork
This fork is the most popular one since it is used in all-around bikes. Moreover, it is budget-friendly, and won’t give you a headache if you decide to buy it.
You will be able to adjust to different riding styles if you decide to upgrade your bike with this excellent fork.
Plus, you can easily maintain it without any hassle. The biggest problem is that this fork consists of a steel spring that adds additional weight to your bike.
Though it adds weight, you can easily do freeride or downhill racing since it is strong and tough.
Air Sprung Fork
This one is expensive and is highly suitable for cross-country riding. If an XC rider prefers to adjust their fork, this reliable element will get their job done.
Fortunately, it cuts the suspensions’ weight and uses the internal air pressure instead of the coil.
Take a shock pump and use it to adjust the air pressure so that you can enjoy the riding according to your preference.
Overall, this fork is an efficient one, and it won’t let you down in any situation.
Suspension Fork vs Rigid Fork
If you are confused between a suspension fork and a rigid fork, the following information will definitely benefit you. Keep reading.
A suspension fork is a type of fork that contains a suspension in one or both of your wheels.
The suspension is basically the hydraulic shock absorber that absorbs the impact on all kinds of rough terrain.
So, you will get a comfortable riding experience if you ride on different rough roads.
Moreover, you can always control the bike without any problem, and because of that, all-mountain bikers love using it.
The main drawback is its price, and the maintenance process is a bit hectic.
This type of fork is well-built, and you won’t have any issue using it for a long period of time.
It doesn’t require maintenance unless you encounter a severe problem.
However, you will be able to cut off the undesired weight to ride the bike smoothly.
If you plan to ride on different rough terrains, unfortunately, rigid forks will be a huge problem in this situation.
Due to the bumpy road, the bike will shake, and you won’t have a comfortable ride at all.
So, if you love riding on challenging terrains, you should ignore using the rigid fork and opt for the suspension fork without thinking twice.
- Can I join a wider hub into a narrow fork?
No, you should ignore this approach because forcing it might damage the fork and hub.
Before you do anything, check your hub size and consult with the supplier to sort out the problem.
- Is it necessary to upgrade my fork?
Yes, it is necessary because, without the upgrade, you won’t get the top-notch performance from your bike.
With the new fork, you will get a smooth ride all the time. So, invest in a good-quality one and reap the rewards from it.
- Can I use a 29-inch fork on my 26-inch bike?
If you take this approach, the 29-inch fork will decrease travel. Plus, it will change the total geometry and increase the overall weight.
As a result, you won’t be able to ride it comfortably.
- What are forks made of?
Forks are made from aluminum and magnesium alloys. These materials make it highly durable and powerful to withstand all kinds of impacts.
- How can I fix my mountain bike suspension fork?
If you notice a problem with your fork, you should remove the screws that are located behind the dropouts.
You will see that the stanchion tubes are now detached, so you can easily pull them apart.
Take a dry and fresh piece of cloth and use it to remove the grease from the sliders inside and the stanchion’s outside part.
After you are done cleaning, connect all the parts and give it a final check.
All in All
These are all about the best mountain bike forks. Hope this helps. Pick the suspension fork with confidence that fits your criteria. Best of luck!
If you are planning to purchase a bike, you have to consider a lot of factors beforehand. The most important factor is whether you should