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I am 64 and just taken up cycling again after a very long lay off. I ride purely for leisure and a mix of tarmac, canal tow paths and old railway tracks. Having looked at a number of e bikes i am getting confused as to the best ones to shortlist.

Considering the Boardman HYB 8.9e (no front suspension) or the Scott Axis 20(front suspension). Obviously getting hold of any bike at the moment is a challenge but I am seriously leaning towards the Boardman as it is lightweight and would put bigger tyres on to compensate for lack of suspension. Any help appreciated. BTW. I am about 175lb and 5ft 10'

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I would definitely not consider suspension on a hybrid bike for 2 reasons.

  1. A suspension fork typically has very little to offer on the type of terrain you would ride a hybrid on. A high quality high volume tyre (ideally tubeless) with a supple casing will do a great job smoothing the ride.
  2. At the price point of most hybrid style bikes suspension forks are typically heavy with poor small bump sensitivity and poor adjustment options.

Rather than a suspension fork (or not) i'd be far more concerned about other features like tyre clearance, tubeless compatible rims and in the case of an e bike battery capacity.

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  • This is particularly true for rear-hub-motor e-bikes. Front suspension adds a little comfort on road bumps, but then you hit the same bump with the back wheel, and motorised back wheels are heavy with spokes at steep angles, so aren't as robust as they might be. If you avoid small potholes to spare the back wheel, you don't need the suspension. – Chris H Jul 28 at 16:11
  • @ChrisH front suspension also improves steering&braking control though, which can help in avoiding potholes etc.. If I hit an unexpected pothole with an unsuspended front wheel, I'm rather busy enough with keeping the bike under control to worry about the rear wheel. Hit that same pothole with front suspension, no problem quickly pulling to the side or doing a mini-hop of the rear. – leftaroundabout Jul 28 at 22:45
  • @leftroundabout I'm mainly considering the case of a rider who doesn't bother avoiding them (or rides off kerb) because of the suspension. Otherwise you're right, though I'd like to see your average e-bike commuter hop a back wheel weighing as much as many bikes (e-MTBers are another matter) – Chris H Jul 29 at 6:57

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