Electric bikes allow you to ride faster and cover more terrain than a normal bike. You may want a front shock on an ebike to help you out, even if you don’t think you will be riding off-road!
Quickly Ride to a Section -
A Front Shock on an Ebike Will Help By
- #1 – Smoothing out your ride
- #2 – Allowing you to try out different routes
- #3 – Pushing your riding abilities to new levels
- #4 – Keeping your ebike future proof
- #5 – Allowing you to ride longer
- #6 – Making your ebike look cool
- #7 – Giving you more control
- #8 – Saving your joints
- #9 – Reducing flat tires
Downsides of Front Shocks
- #1 – Front shocks add weight
- #2 – Front shocks cost more
- #3 – Certain front shocks may need regular service
If you are considering whether or not you may want an electric bike with front suspension then please read this article. For some, it will be a make-or-break feature for your new ebike!
#1 – A Front Shock Will Smooth Out Your Ride
This may seem like the most obvious reason, but it’s also the most beneficial. Having the front end of your bike bumping around as the terrain changes can be a problem.
Even if you only plan to ride on the road, our infrastructure here in the US is not the greatest and the paved roads can often be as rough as riding off-road.
A front shock on your ebike can help dramatically with this! Even a small front shock that does not have a lot of travel. (the travel of a front shock is the distance your shock can move)
Another thing that helps is to lower the tire pressure a little in your front tire, but not too much. 🙂
#2 – A Front Shock Will Allow You to Try Out Different Routes
The great thing about riding an ebike is exploring new routes to get places. Sometimes there is a cool unpaved path or a gravel back street that can add some adventure to your route.
Just knowing that you have a front shock on your bike can be enough for you to get a little out of your comfort zone and try out a new route.
Explore the world around you and even if your new route dead ends, you’re on an ebike, just zip back and try a different way.
A front shock will help you out if the road gets uneven and you may just find a new way to get where you’re going that you never knew existed.
#3 – A Front Shock Helps Push Your Riding Abilities to New Levels
I have had many people come into the shop and they were certain they were only going to ride on gentle paved areas and didn’t need an ebike that do can more than that.
Well, after riding their ebike for a while they soon came to learn that ebikes will dramatically increase what you think you might do on a bike.
Having a front shock, even if at first you don’t think you need one, will give you some confidence when that urge to travel further comes.
You will be able to try out some dirt paths or gravel roads and not feel like the bike is too hard to handle. You may even start to prefer these new routes, fewer cars!
#4 – A Front Shock Keeps Your Ebike Future Proof
What I mean by this is that at some point down the road you may wish to sell your current ebike and upgrade to another. Having a front shock adds value to a used ebike and will make it easier to sell later.
More and more people are looking to start ebiking, and as more ebikes are sold every day there will start to be more ebikes in the used market.
If you can show that your used ebike has a front shock, this is a great selling point!
#5 – A Front Shock Allows You to Ride Longer
If your hands and arms start to get sore too quickly it can put an end to your ride before you may have planned.
Having a front shock will take a lot of the stress out of the front end of your bike ride and allow you to keep riding further and longer.
You may not even think you shock is doing all that much but believe me, it is!
Just try riding an ebike without a front shock for a little bit and you’ll notice. (that is, if you have the opportunity to)
Sometimes when I’m riding I can get a little distracted and hit a bump in the road without seeing it and my front shock takes up some of the impact.
#6 – A Front Shock Makes Your Ebike Look Cool
This may be a personal preference of mine by I think bikes look a little cooler with a front shock. It gives them the appearance of being a more capable bike.
Some folks I know think that a solid fork can be more “sexy” but I disagree. Just keep your front shock nice and clean and it can look just as “sexy” as a smoother solid fork.
I will let you decide what you prefer!
#7 – A Front Shock Gives You More Control
Being able to stay in control of your ebike is critical. A front shock will allow your front tire to stay in contact with the ground more often than a rigid fork.
Keeping your front tire in contact with the ground lets you steer and lean easier on your bike.
As your front wheel hits uneven areas of the roads, it bumps up and down and with a front shock, your shock will be moving up and down instead of your tire.
With a rigid fork, your tire can actually leave the ground a bit on rough terrain. It’s not something dramatic, but it can feel less controllable.
#8 – A Front Shock Saves Your Joints
If you have arthritis or are just prone to your joints getting sore if they are jostled, then a front shock is a must for you!
The simple addition of a front shock on your ebike may mean the difference of even being able to ride at all.
Not having any suspension on the front of your bike will make the ride more jarring.
I’ve known many folks that have turned away from riding a bike due to having sore hands. But after letting them try an ebike with good front suspension (and some padded gloves) they can get out and enjoy riding again.
If you have a local bike shop that carries ebikes, then I would recommend trying out one with a front shock and one without. You don’t have to go on a long ride notice the difference.
Some front shocks will also allow you to lock it out and try it without it moving. Try this out for a few miles and all will become apparent.
#9 – A Front Shock Reduces Flat Tires
If you hit a pothole, even a small one, on a bike with a rigid fork and your tire pressure is low, then you will get what is called a “pinch flat”.
This is when the tire squished all the way into the rim and pinched the tube inside, usually causing 2 holes, known as a “snake bite”.
A front shock can often counteract this, even if your tire pressure is low.
Big Tip! – Check your tire pressure regularly! Tires lose air even without a hole. If it’s been a while since you checked your pressure then check it.
You will get fewer flats in your front tire with a front shock than you will with a rigid fork. There is no great way to confirm this for you but just know it’s true. 🙂
So as you can see, having a front shock has many benefits for most people and it will improve your riding experience.
Then why doesn’t every bike have a front shock? Well, there are some disadvantages to front shocks, keep reading to find out!
Here Are 3 Downsides of Front Shocks
#1 – Front Shocks Add Weight to Your Ebike
Ebikes are already heavy due to the motor and the battery and having a front shock will only add to this.
Front shocks are heavier than rigid forks. Especially carbon rigid forks!
If weight is a key factor then you might consider an ebike without a front shock. You will have to determine if a more comfortable ride is worth the extra weight.
Front shocks do not add a ton of weight to your bike but it may be noticeable if you have to lift your ebike a lot, say to put it in an RV or in the back of a truck.
#2 – Front Shocks Cost More
You can definitely save some money by buying an ebike with no front shock. There is more going on inside your shock than you might think.
Front shocks can vary in price quite a bit and you get what you pay for.
The front shock on my full suspension Haibike costs as much as my whole Letcric XP 2.0 ebike did!
Not all front shocks cost that much, but generally, it will increase the overall price of the bike.
#3 – Certain Front Shocks May Need Regular Service
Front shocks don’t last forever. A cheaper one will eventually stop performing well and need to be replaced or you can keep riding on it without it working. (it’s still safe, just doesn’t help you at all)
More expensive front shocks will need yearly maintenance to function properly. Oil and seal changes can cost around $100 a year, give or take.
Cheap front shocks are not rebuildable and when they start to fail will simply need replacement.
It is always best to wipe down the stanchions (the shiny part) of your front shock after each ride, to get the most out of it.
Dirt and grime can build up in your shock and eventually cause it to seize up. Then you just have a heavy rigid front fork.
Wiping your front shock down will also help keep it from rusting! Condensation will build up on your fork, it’s what happens to metal in changing temperatures. Just keep it clean and it will last.
At the End of the Day
Hopefully, this article will help you decide if a front shock is for you. I like having one on my ebike!
It just allows me to ride where I want when I want and keeps me in control of the bike while doing it.
If you have the option of getting an electric bike with a front shock and the extra weight is not a problem, then I would say go for it.
May your ride be smooth and your adventures be plentiful!