MTB Mono or Biammortized

MTB Full Suspension

Full suspension mountain bikes are bikes designed for off-road riding, equipped with both front and rear suspension to better absorb shocks and provide traction and control over rough terrain. Let's look in detail at the features of this type of MTB.

Relevant products:

MTB Full Suspension 27.5
MTB Full Suspension 29
MTB Full Suspension Outlet
MTB Full Supsension Cheap
MTB Full Suspension Carbon

Full suspension frame

The frame is the heart of a full suspension mountain bike. It features the classic triangle structure at both the front and rear.

The presence of two shock absorber attachment points, front and rear, gives the chassis mobility on both wheels for perfect grip on uneven terrain.

Full suspension frames are distinguished into:

  • Monocoque frames: the front triangle and main triangle are welded together. Stiff frame but high weight.
  • Double suspension frames: the two triangles are joined by pivot or bearings. Greater flexibility and less weight.

The most popular materials for full suspension frames are:

  • Aluminum: lightweight, rigid, economical. Ideal for XC and trail.
  • Carbon fiber: lightweight and resilient. For XC, marathon and heavy-duty use.
  • Steel: strong and comfortable frames, although heavier.
  • Titanal: rigid and lightweight mixture of aluminum and titanium. For heavy-duty use.
  • Composite materials: different combinations of carbon fiber, resins, and aluminum.

Full suspension frame geometry

The main geometric parameters that influence the rideability of a full suspension are:

  • Steering angle: between 68° and 72° for maneuverability and precise steering.
  • Horizontal tube length: 590 to 620 mm on average. It affects agility.
  • Tower height: on average 29 to 35 cm. It affects the lowering of the center of gravity.
  • Seat tube length: defines the pedal height and riding position.
  • Seat tube angle: between 70° and 74° for natural and ergonomic pedaling.
  • Fork Rake: curvature of the front wheel axle. 40 to 60 mm for responsiveness and precision.
  • Rear wheel advance: affects traction and driving feel in cornering.

MTB full suspension

Shock absorbers are the element that distinguishes full suspension from other MTBs. Here are the main types:


  • Suspension fork: sliding stems on bushings with coil springs or air springs. 100-160 mm travel.
  • Single swingarm: one arm with moving rod on ball bearings. Up to 150 mm of travel.


  • Single shock absorber: classic single center shock absorber. Simple and inexpensive.
  • Dual shock absorbers: present one on each side. Increased progressiveness and control.
  • Levers: lever systems to increase shock absorber travel.
  • Hydraulic shock absorbers: moving rod in compressed oil. Excellent performance but high price.

The main parameters of MTB suspension are:

  • Travel: vertical travel of the wheel. 100 to 200 mm for full suspension.
  • Stiffness: elastic resistance to compression. Adjustable via adjusters.
  • Threshold sensitivity: ease of initial activation.
  • Progressivity: increase in damping force with compression.
  • Return: speed of return to the initial state.

Types of full suspension

Based on the specialization of use, these types of full suspension are distinguished:

  • Cross country (XC): lightweight bikes with 100-120 mm of travel. For trails that are not too technical.
  • Trail bikes: balanced, with 130-150 mm of travel. For mixed trails and recreational use.
  • All mountain: strong and stable. Up to 170 mm of travel. For challenging descents.
  • Enduro: for riding uphill while pedaling and tackling gravity descents with ease. Up to 190 mm of travel.
  • Downhill (DH): ultra-performance suspension for extreme descents. Over 200 mm of travel.

Advantages of full suspension

Full suspension offers several advantages over hardtails:

  • Excellent traction: the rear wheel always stays firmly planted on the ground.
  • Superior stability: the pitch remains steady even on the steepest descents.
  • High comfort: optimal shock and vibration absorption on both wheels.
  • Total control: the bike remains composed and predictable even in the most demanding riding.
  • Active safety: inspires confidence and allows you to tackle difficult technical passages with confidence.
  • Versatility: allows you to tackle steep climbs and extreme descents on the same bike.
  • Speed: allows you to take curves and rough sections at high speed.

Disadvantages of full suspension

The disadvantages of full suspension MTBs are few:

  • High price: the double shock absorbers and technology required make them expensive.
  • Higher weight: the dual suspension system increases weight by 1-2 kg compared to hardtails.
  • More complex maintenance: the two shock absorbers require more attention.
  • Less efficient pedaling: tendency to sag under acceleration, especially on XC models.
  • Energy losses: part of the pedaling energy absorbed by the shock absorbers.

In contrast, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages, making full suspension unbeatable for heavy and rewarding off-road riding.

Differences with hardtails

Let's look at the main differences between full suspension and hardtail:

  • Rigid frame: hardtails have fixed rear, full suspension articulated.
  • Lightness: hardtails are 1-2 kg lighter being without the second shock absorber.
  • Price: full suspension is more expensive for the technology required.
  • Pedaling: on the hardtail it is more efficient by not having absorption at the rear.
  • Usage: hardtails for easy trails and fast pedaling, fulls for gravity.
  • Comfort: the double suspension of full suspension absorbs shock and vibration better.
  • Traction: greater at the rear for full suspension.
  • Agility: slightly superior on hardtails.
  • Maintenance: easier and faster for hardtails that have only one suspension.

Sag settings and setup

Getting the most out of a full suspension requires proper setup and sag setting:

  • Sag: static compression of the suspension with the rider's weight alone. Indicator of correct setup.
  • Spring preload: initial spring tension via ferrule or cap. Increases progressivity.
  • Extension: return speed of the active stage. Affects sensitivity to repeated shocks.
  • Compression: damping in the compression phase. Increases sustain in cornering and stability.
  • Travel: maximum suspension travel. To be calibrated according to wheels and frame geometry.
  • Chamber volume: air space affecting progressivity. Modifiable by spacers.
  • Pressure: In air forks, it affects the sensitivity and progression of the stroke.

Adjustments should be made based on: rider weight, most frequent riding conditions, and desired feel and comfort. Finding the optimal setup requires patience but pays off in performance and riding feel.

Use and maintenance

To fully exploit and maintain a full suspension:

  • Alternate ascents and descents without blocking: maintains elasticity and smoothness of suspension.
  • Clean the stems periodically: it keeps the suspension flowing and extends its life.
  • Check pressure and condition of seals at each outlet.
  • Complete overhaul once a year: interior check and oil change if necessary.
  • Tightening screws and bolts before each outing: prevents oil leakage and breakage.
  • Do not wash with pressure water: protects oil seals and seals from water shock.
  • Mount fenders for winter use or on muddy ground: limits contamination and abrasion of suspension.

In summary, full suspension bikes represent the most advanced type of mountain bike, capable of providing maximum control, comfort and performance even in the most extreme riding. The refinement of the dual suspension system requires expertise in setup and meticulous maintenance, rewarded by heavy-duty descents and trails tackled with confidence and enjoyment.

Frequently Asked Questions about Full Suspension MTBs

1. What is a Full Suspension MTB? A MTB Full Suspension is a mountain bicycle equipped with suspension in both the front and rear. This design allows it to better absorb shocks and vibrations when riding over rough terrain.

2. What are the advantages of a Full Suspension MTB over a Hardtail? Full Suspension MTBs offer greater comfort and control over difficult terrain thanks to suspension at both the front and rear. They absorb terrain bumps better, offering greater grip and speed on descents.

3. What are the main parts of a full suspension MTB? The main parts include the frame, front suspension (fork), rear suspension (shock absorber), strong tires, powerful brakes, transmission, handlebars and saddle.

4. How does the suspension of a full-suspension MTB work? The suspension absorbs ground impacts through springs and shock absorbers. This helps keep the wheels in contact with the ground, increasing control, traction and stability.

5. What is the difference between short stroke and long stroke in suspension? Travel refers to the maximum movement the suspension can make. Longer travel (e.g., 140mm) is better suited for technical terrain and aggressive descents, while shorter travel (e.g., 100mm) is more efficient on climbs and less rugged trails.

6. Are full suspension MTBs suitable for all types of trails? Yes, Full Suspension MTBs are versatile and suitable for a variety of trails, from extreme descents to challenging climbs. The choice depends on the type of terrain you primarily wish to ride on.

7. What does bike geometry mean? Bike geometry refers to the arrangement of frame tubes and other components. Well-designed geometry can affect the bike's handling, stability and comfort.

8. How do I choose the right size for my Full Suspension MTB? The right size depends on your height and leg length. Try several sizes and get professional advice at a bike store.

9. How should I maintain my Full Suspension MTB? Keep the suspension clean and lubricate the chain regularly. Check tire pressures and inspect the frame for damage. Have a periodic overhaul at a bike store.

10. What is the price range for a good full suspension MTB? Prices vary widely by brand, specification, and performance level. Quality full-suspension MTBs can cost anywhere from a few thousand to several thousand.

11. Can Full Suspension MTBs also be used on normal roads? Although they can be used on normal roads, full-suspension MTBs are designed primarily for rough terrain. You may find road or hybrid bikes more suitable for use on smooth surfaces.

12. What are "lockout" and "rebound" shocks? "Lockout" is a function that temporarily locks the suspension, making the bike stiffer and more efficient when climbing. "Rebound" adjusts the rate at which the suspension returns to its original position after being compressed.

Remember that these answers are informative and general. Before purchasing a Full Suspension MTB or tackling challenging trails, it is advisable to gain further knowledge and advice from professionals in the field.