Suntour Swing Shock brings suspension to commuter bikes
The SR Suntour Swing Shock is a suspension fork designed for use on lightweight commuter bikes
OK, so you've got the single-speed, skinny-tired messenger-style bike for bombing around town while also looking hip ... that's a good start, but what piece of functional bling can you add to further identify it as the urban assault vehicle that it is? Well, the folks at SR Suntour would probably tell you to swap your old school rigid fork for their Swing Shock suspension fork for commuter bikes. Depending on whether you're more of a gadget-lover or a purist, you'll either think it's clever, or an abomination.
Much like the oddball AMP suspension fork for mountain bikes, the Swing Shock uses a cantilevered design instead of the telescoping stanchion/lowers setup we're used to seeing. This allows it to stay relatively svelte-looking – a big consideration for its intended buyers – and also keeps it at the same height as a rigid fork, so it won't change the geometry of bikes that receive it as an aftermarket part.
Clearly designed for rough roads as opposed to roots and rocks, the coil-sprung fork provides 30 millimeters of travel, with adjustable preload. The lower sections of the legs are magnesium, joined to an alloy upper, crown, and steerer tube, with everything adding up to a not-unreasonable 1410 grams (3.11 lbs) – although a beefier version with a steel steerer tube weighs in at 1570 (3.46 lbs).
It's compatible with 700C wheels, and comes with lowers that can accommodate V-brakes or discs.
Although first unveiled at the 2009 Eurobike trade show, then becoming available last October, the fork recently gained additional attention when it was featured on the JIT concept bike. The JIT was the result of a collaboration between Suntour and three other companies, and is intended to represent the state of the art in fixed gear messenger bikes.
The SR Suntour Swing Shock is available through bicycle retailers, and sells for about US$180.
Source: Bicycle Design
About the Author
An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
All articles by Ben Coxworth
I don\'t know about you, but my front wheel is not my main point of discomfort when I hit a bump! In fact, an adjusting front suspension seems to be more ungainly than a benefit! It\'s happened many times when the front wheel hits a dip which causes the front of the bike to dive and rebound which invariably causes the bike to flip over the front wheel.
No, My main pain is the rear of the bike...this is the location of a lot of pain when riding on rough terrain! Find a quick and easy way to relieve the impact on the rear wheel and I\'ll look at it!
This looks like a compact version of the birdy-blue front suspension or the old BMW motorcycle front suspension. Wonder if it comes close in terms of comfort and control.
I\'m afraid to say you\'re a bit against the mainstream, Ed. Rear end pain shouldn\'t be that hard to deal with, the simple solutions of gel seat covers, bigger, plusher seats, suspension seat posts, etc, all are out there. Rear wheel suspension systems on the bike itself are not preferred in this genre of riding, they simply add too much weight and loss of energy from pedal bob.
However front suspension is desirable from the point of simply saving my hands and forearms from \"falling asleep\" from the repetetive vibrations and bumps. I suppose I could go with gel pads in the gloves... but I can\'t say I\'ve never flew over the handlebars from a dip, those must have been forks from a NEXT or Huffy you\'ve got there. I have double crown Judy XL\'s on my rigid hardtail, they\'re nothing special but do fine in the city, and allow me to drop off curbs without tacoing lightweight rims with high pressure slicks.
I like the design of this Suntour fork.
I ride all types of bikes and never have I seen or heard of a front suspension causing an endo! My 2000 Jamis Aragon came with a spring loaded handlebar stem that soaks up pot holes with ease. The Swing Shock does act as the old fork on my father-in-law\'s antique 1955 250cc BMW. This is an excellent design.
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