I'm putting together a bike that will allow me to go to work. I work in a warehouse outside of the city I live in, and I want to avoid roads trucks take because I haven't ride a bike for about ten years. So my road will be bumpy, a bit off road.
I was planning to get a suspension fork with air shock absorber, one that can be locked from the handlebar. I'm on a budget and it was on ~30% sale, but the seller can't find it. Like, literally isn't sure if he has it in his warehouse. He has a similar one, slightly cheaper, but lock is on the fork itself.
I never had a fork that was anything more than stiff steel or aluminum, I'm ten years behind, or more, when it comes to riding technique and bicycle construction. You may well assume I know nothing. So, how much should I care about having suspension locking on my handlebar versus on the fork? Both in terms of money and time spent looking for something in my budget?
My usual route would be half by paved roads, and other half by unmaintained roads, dirt track, mud, stones and a shortcut thorough the woods. I could, in theory, ride asphalt, but I will not dare to use the same road big trucks are using. And I want to be able to take it sightseeing in Bieszczady, Polish low mountains with woodlands paths.
Please don't advise me a stiff fork here. That may be a sound advice but it would be outside of the scope under this question.
Thank you for your answers. I managed to get one with lockout on the handlebar for a price of the one with lockout on the fork - the piece seller couldn't find was put away due to imperfectly printed manufacturer name. Win-win, I got a "nice to have" feature for free, seller does not need to send it back for repainting.