Green, green grass

This was not a normal evening ride in June. Black clouds hung around ready to catch the unsuspecting.

A summer shower can be cooling and refreshing, almost cleansing. A few damp splodges evaporate in moments leaving behind a speckled path and fogged glasses. Not this summer though. Rain and showers have fuelled some extraordinary growth that even my trusty secateurs struggle with the brambles on my local rides.

It seems green everywhere and this night the grass on an unused bridleway curled over the top tube with me trying to feel the harder surface of the trail through the tyres and avoid the inevitable holes at the edge.

And because it was so green came the hypothesis.

Different suspension systems have different strengths and weaknesses but it is perhaps the exection of the design that has the most effect therefore the better the design and the execution the better the bike. But there is a downside to this. A good suspension system helps on the rocks, the roots and on the bumps on any downhill run or twisty singletrack and it also helps with traction and conserving momentum on any uphill.

So whenever it is working it is helping the rider with the price being paid in the weight disadvantage. It is when the suspension is not working on a verdant smooth, grassy climb with the long strands dragging at your tyres that you really feel that additional weight.

So my hypothesis is that in order to judge the best choice of suspension bike for you, try a demo over the rocks and roots and power up a gravel climb but also try a smooth long grassy climb and feel the weight.

You might not change your mind on your new purchase but you may find that your old hardtail still has an occasional ride in it yet.


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