You can lock out your front suspension mountain bike. It’s a common question, and the answer is yes—with some caveats. Some bikes are equipped with lockout levers that allow you to turn off the compression damping in your fork or shock.
The idea is that you can lock out the suspension when climbing to reduce bobbing, and then unlock it for descending.
- What is a Lockout Fork on a Mountain Bike?
- Can You Lockout Front Suspension Mountain Bike?
- Why You Need a Lockout Mountain Bike Suspension Forks?
- How to Lock Out Your Mountain Bike Front Suspension For More Efficiency
- When To Lock Out Your Fork ls On Your Mountain Bike?
- When Not To Lock Out Your Suspension On Your Mountain Bike?
- What are the latest lockout systems developed for an MTB?
What is a Lockout Fork on a Mountain Bike?
A lockout is a small switch placed atop the front right stanchion of your mountain bike’s suspension which when engaged decreases the low-speed compression rate of the front fork, adjustable to the point of being fully rigid. This switch can also be routed to the handlebar.
When you need to stop quickly on a downhill ride, you can engage the lockout by turning it to the “on” position. This will cause the front fork’s compression rate to decrease, making it more rigid and preventing you from ploughing into obstacles.
If you ever lose your lockout key, you can replace it with a new one from your local bike shop or online retailer.
Can You Lockout Front Suspension Mountain Bike?
Yes, you can lock out the front suspension on a mountain bike. The Lockout fork 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.
This allows you to adjust how stiff or soft your suspension should be.
Why You Need a Lockout Mountain Bike Suspension Forks?
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.
A lockout fork on a mountain bike 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.
With a lockout fork, a full suspension system can be utilized when riding downhill and on rough terrain. With the flip of a single switch, the suspension can be made more rigid for riding uphill or on the pavement.
Additionally, newer lockout systems by both Rockshox and Fox are adjustable to the tune of three different levels of lockout.
An option which does not decrease the low-speed compression rate at all, a middle option which simply makes the compression more rigid, and a fully-locked out mode which eliminates travel altogether.
Ultimately, choosing a mountain bike with a lockout fork gives you two bikes in one – an efficient mountain bike for smooth rides over road or pavement, as well as an aggressive downhill race machine when needed.
How to Lock Out Your Mountain Bike Front Suspension For More Efficiency
To lock out your mountain bike front suspension for more efficiency, you will need a shock lockout lever. To use the shock lockout lever, first, disengage the suspension by pressing the button on the side of the fork.
Once the suspension is disengaged, insert the lever into one of the two holes on the top of the shock and turn it to lock it in place.
To re-engage the suspension, simply push down on the button on side of the fork and twist it until it comes off of shock.
When To Lock Out Your Fork ls On Your Mountain Bike?
When Riding On Paved Roads
When riding on paved roads, you should lock out your fork. When the forks are locked out, it allows for better control of the bike and can allow for a more comfortable ride.
When riding on dirt, you should not lock out your fork. It can cause a loss of traction and make it difficult to navigate the terrain.
When ascending a mountain on your mountain bike, it is often a good time to lock out your suspension. This action conserves energy and improves speed.
Additionally, by locking out your suspension, you can play around and unlock it as you please. Climbing is one of the most common times that riders use the lockout feature on their suspension.
Locking out your shock is equally effective over long distances.
On a Smooth Trail Sections
When you lock out your mountain bike’s suspension, you should do so on smooth trail sections. Suspension is vital when you are proceeding in beast mode down or across a highly rough trail filled with rocks, tree roots, and all sorts of benign objects.
Riding on a non-technical climb, paved roads, well-maintained fire roads, and flat smooth trail sections does not require suspension to be active on your mountain bike.
On a Well-Maintained Fire Road
When biking on a well-maintained fire road, it is important to lock out your fork when going up a fire road. This will prevent the front end from tipping over, and also keep you from getting stuck in the mud or rocks.
Similarly, when biking down a fire road, it is important to lock out your fork to prevent the back end from squatting. Doing this will prevent you from getting thrown off your bike and into oncoming traffic.
Finally, using the rear shock lockout can also help prevent the back end from squatting. By disabling the shock, you will help to keep the bike stable while travelling downhill.
When Your Trail Bike Becomes Boring
Some riders love to lock out their fork on their mountain bike in order to make the trail feel new and exciting.
However, this practice can quickly become tiresome. Choosing a stronger and heavier enduro fork over a trail fork will make a noticeable difference in how your bike rides.
The modern mountain bike suspension fork is a complicated kit and it’s important to understand its anatomy before making your choice. This way, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about which fork best suits your needs.
When You Have Become Lazy On Your Bike
If you have become lazy on your bike, you may need to lock out your fork. Locking out your fork on your mountain bike will increase the responsiveness of your bike.
Hardtail MTBs are not as comfortable to ride as full suspension MTBs when bumpy terrain is involved. Riding a hardtail MTB can be useful for roads only.
Full suspension MTBs are more versatile and can handle different terrains, but they can also be difficult to pedal uphill or on the pavement.
When Not To Lock Out Your Suspension On Your Mountain Bike?
On Extreme And Rough Trails
If you are riding on rough trails, it is important to have your suspension not locked out. Suspension should not be locked out to avoid damage, as this will help you ride more smoothly on these types of trails.
Mountain bikes with front suspension only do not offer the same level of protection as those with full suspension. Front suspension mountain bikes are better suited for riders who have back or joint issues and need a harder ride.
On Speeding Downhill
It’s important to know when it is a good idea to lock out your suspension on your mountain bike. One of the best times not to use lockout is while speeding downhill because you need to absorb the bumps in order to keep your momentum.
What are the latest lockout systems developed for an MTB?
There are different types of lockout systems developed for an MTB. The fork lockout lever is the most common and it is used to lock the suspension fork on a bike. There are three levels of fork lockout: 1st, middle, and fully locked out.
Nowadays, mountain bike lockout systems are becoming more and more popular. There are two main types of lockout systems: RockShox and Fox Systems. The Remote Lockout System does not need to get off of the Bicycle to engage the lockout system; it can be done with remote control.
More and more mountain bikers are installing lockout systems on their bikes. These lockout systems allow the suspension to remain active while the bike is stationary, which can be helpful on a challenging trail.
There are two main types of lockout systems: MTB/hybrid and rigid bicycles. MTB/hybrid lockout systems are made for rough and tough terrains, while rigid bicycle lockout systems are made for uphill climbs and smooth/flat surfaces.
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