When I need to switch the suspension fork, should I stop before switch?


5 Answers 5


Yes, you should generally stop and set the suspension to an uncompressed/unloaded position before you switch, especially if it's a cheaper lockout.

Similarly, you would not try to change the position of a deadbolt on a door while the door is partially open.

See Do I need to take my weight off the bike to lock out the suspension?


Hydraulic lockouts can be activated on the fly.

Mechanical ones can't (in theory), because you the fork has to be completely extended. I can activate my mechanical lock on the fly by pulling up on the stem with one hand and turning the lock with the other hand, but it's a little dangerous:)

All forks can be unlocked on the fly.


You can just switch while riding along. Obviously, (assuming no bar mounted remote) you have to be going at a speed at which it's sensible to take one hands off the bars to open/close the fork. If you forget to unlock the fork and head down a descent you might want to stop/slow down a lot to switch it in that case.


Unless you have a bar-mounted lockout, there is of course a small risk involved in taking a hand from the bar, bending down and flicking the lockout, but other than that I can't see it being detrimental to the bike in any way.

All the lockouts I've tried require the weight to be off the fork though which usually necessitates a slight front-end lift to allow the lockout to be turned, so you probably have to account for that.

I certainly wouldn't do it in any kind of tricky terrain, or when travelling at speed, but I lock mine out or re-enable all the time on the move.


I'd assume it's something you could, but you probably shouldn't do. Kind of like shifting a car into gear without being stopped, you're just gunna wear your hardware that much faster.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.