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'Hydro fork' - why so important

omarmomarm Posts: 73
edited July 2014 in MTB buying advice
In the sticky for buying £300 - £500 budget, it mentions:

"Ideally you want to at least sit on the bike for size. If it doesn't fit then try something else, but always try and get that all important hydro fork."

Why is the hydro fork so important?

Thanks


Omar

Posts

  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    We'll if it is not an oil fork it is unlikely to have any quality damping.
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  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Imagine your car with springs but no shock absorbers. Basically a pogo stick.
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  • benpinnickbenpinnick Posts: 4,148
    cooldad wrote:
    Imagine your car with springs but no shock absorbers. Basically a pogo stick.

    This. Without damping (hydraulic) then all you do is move the impact from one place in the trail to another. Without damping (rebound specifically) you'd be better off on a rigid bike. At least then the obstacle you hit effects you where you hit it. An undamped spring gives you all the same feedback through the bars.... just somewhere else on the trail!
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  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,001
    Without damping when you hit a bump or hole the fork will rebound (bounce back) at the same speed it compressed, hitting a bump on the straight will probably just hurt your wrists and rattle your fillings out but hitting a bump in a corner and the forks boinging back will spread you all over the scenery.
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  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    There was a short reason higher in the text:
    All feature adjustable, hydraulically damped forks. This is absolutely ESSENTIAL if you plan to ride on rougher trails or you will be bouncing all over the place.
  • omarmomarm Posts: 73
    replying to an old thread: is hydro fork different to hydraulic disc brakes?
    thanks
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Very.
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  • bartimaeusbartimaeus Posts: 1,812
    omarm wrote:
    replying to an old thread: is hydro fork different to hydraulic disc brakes?
    thanks

    Yes, completely different.

    The 'hydraulics' in the fork are there to sort our the damping, so the fork compresses quickly when you hit something on the trail, and then rebounds more slowly so you don't get 'bounced'. When you jump your legs compress rapidly to suck up the impact, but usually you then extend them more slowly to stand up... if you jumped on a pogo stick you would just bounce.

    The 'hyraulics' in the brakes are used to transfer pressure from the brake levers to the brake calipers which then grip the brake disc rotors to slow you down. Cable operated disc brakes also work well if you keep them adjusted, you pull the lever and the cable pulls the caliper. Disc brakes are a big advantage on mountain bikes as they are reliable and powerful.
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  • omarmomarm Posts: 73
    thanks for the replies guys - really helpful and educational :)
    i went to decathlon today. they don't have the 520 in large size
    they have in XL. i rode around on that and it felt horrible. guess the frame size is no good
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