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What is the best up to now high end all-mountain full suspension design? By "best" I mean a design that balances pedaling efficiency, strength/durability, and (lateral) stiffness and weight as best as possible. What should I look for when trying to get such a bike?

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The most efficient, strongest, most durable, stiffest and lightest suspension is no suspension at all :) –  GordonM Oct 17 '12 at 13:33
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This Question is (still) too subjective for QA site such as this. Giveaway is the need to use "best". See if you can word you question without polling for subjective answers. –  mattnz Oct 18 '12 at 1:20
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The "balance" is only going to be achieved under a specific, narrow set of operating conditions. –  Daniel R Hicks Oct 18 '12 at 2:39
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Suspension linkage is often designed around a target shock (and front fork height, BB height, etc.), which has it's own characteristics as well. So choosing a bike by looking at the linkage arrangement in isolation is a bad idea. –  cmannett85 Oct 18 '12 at 16:53
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I think the reason your question is closed, and the reason you go not serious (even if subjective answers), is that there is far more to a bikes performance than simply looking at the geometry. Some geometries are cheap to make, meaning better components for the same dollars, e.g. It may be better to have a simple swing arm and an anti-bob shock than a full FSR 4 link system and a cheap shock. Some are heavy, but might get you lighter frame materials for the same $$$. Some more suited to carbon than Alloy etc... –  mattnz Oct 18 '12 at 19:17
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closed as not constructive by freiheit Oct 18 '12 at 15:04

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2 Answers

Not only is the answer subjective - the "Best" will be different for each rider based on things such as budget, rider weight and fitness and skills, riders tolerance for bumps, riding style (speed, need for control etc), riding terrain, location, brand whoring, day of week, and possibly religion.

However based on you questions criteria, If you must have an answer, I have to go with @GordonM

Edit : ........ Note: This question addresses the original post, which has subsequently been edited.

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While I agree in principle and personally loathe riding full suspension bikes, the question clearly lays out the criteria for what would be the "best" suspension. I believe that this answer does not answer the question on its own terms. And if you feel the question is unanswerable and that a balance such as is described is impossible, you could explain why you feel this is the case. –  Neil Fein Oct 18 '12 at 1:42
    
For instance, me at 65kg and having a 'controlled' riding style can use a less robust and lighter suspension than a 95kg unskilled rider who likes to play a little loose. This is just one of so many variations that it makes the question unanswerable with the information provided in the OP. "balance" - What does he mean by that - does the OP prefer stiffness to weight, travel over stiffness, strength over durably (usually, but not always the same) - we all understand that its a balance, but as the OP does not state any preferences, how can we guide him? –  mattnz Oct 18 '12 at 3:13
    
This answer isn't really an answer. If you think the question is unanswerable, then the place to say that is the comment section under the question. If you think GordonM's comment had the best answer, all you need to do is give his comment an upvote. –  jimirings Oct 18 '12 at 13:19
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Legs & Hands

These are by far the BEST suspension you can have in any ride.

  • Legs: Fix yourself on the bikes, make a firm grip or the pedals (or use SPD :P), slightly bend it
  • Hands: Good grip with elbows pointing out and good balance

Thats it!!! Best suspension is now with you, the one which you can fully customize and control.

I am not saying suspension is not needed.

Having ridden no-suspension, front-suspension and full-suspension bikes I can definitely say that suspension is definitely a very effective addition to your bike, but there cannot ever be a best suspension on any ride I think.

A good suspension with good technology will perform better, but if you know how to use it properly.

Imagine yourself dodging a pit sideways, if you use your suspension correctly it will give you good height, but slightly over and under use and your front wheel will skid on the lift or on the land.

My suggestion would be don't buy a full suspension at first (it will give far too much comfort with no skill). A good bike with lockable front suspension should be good enough to start. Learn to use you legs on bumps, and pits, then try locking your front suspension and learn to use your hands as suspension.

Remember: A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor

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I have been riding hardtrail bike with rigid fork for many years.And I know perfectly well how to get over obstacles and absorb hits using my legs and arms. Maybe my question isnt defined well and I apologise for that but I am thinking of full susp bike and I dont know what frame should i choose. I wanted just simple answer like : dw-link is stiff and efficient design but it is not as strong as single pivot (dont know if its true or not but just for example); four bar can be heavier than others but it is more efficient; single pivot can be stornger and more durable but less effective...vpp –  dudelgrincen Oct 18 '12 at 9:55
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I dont understand the downvote. Would you please care to explain? –  Starx Oct 18 '12 at 18:30
    
i cant downvote since i have less than 125rep but if I could i would. My qestion clearly wasnt good but although most of your statements are generally true, your answer is too uncostructive, too general and too far away. To sum up it doesnt have much in common with suspension geometry and desgns. P.S Sorry if my English is bad. –  dudelgrincen Oct 18 '12 at 20:45
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I downvoted you because your answer didn't address the question at all. If possible I would have downvoted you again for: "don't buy a full suspension (it will give far too much comfort with no skill)" - is that why some of the world's best XC riders and ALL of the best DH riders are on full floaters? –  cmannett85 Oct 19 '12 at 11:36
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