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I'm planning to buy my first bike as an adult, mainly to go to work (about 6 km far from home). Today I went to the bike shop and tried a Giant Escape and and Giant ATX. From my unexperienced point of view the difference was that ATX have suspension, and it was noticiably more smooth to ride (I really like it). Although the Espace was very good, comparing to a mobike I'm used to ride.

The difference in price was not that much, 2000rmb (escape) to 2400rmb (atx). Although most of the home to work route is fine there are some parts where suspension might give extra welcome confort. But I also see its one more thing to add weight and maintenance to the bike.

Would you guys buy a montain bike to go to work? Or perhaps I should try another bike model?

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    We can't really make such a decision for you. Different people use different bikes. I commute on a gravel bike, someone else would want a mountain bike for that rout for better comfort. Someone minds the added maintenance, someone does not. I would not mind the weight difference. – Vladimir F Nov 8 '20 at 16:21
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    Buy the one you personally find most comfortable - that increases the chance it will get ridden. Which means making sure you have a test ride on both. – Criggie Nov 8 '20 at 18:48
  • No suspension is better than cheap suspension which eats up a lot of power. – Michael Nov 9 '20 at 14:25
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Depends on the actual spec, but both bikes, as you've identified are fairly similar apart from the suspension.

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/atx-3

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/escape-3

The drivetrain & brakes are almost the same, but the Escape is slightly more road oriented with 700x38mm tyres, whereas the other has 26 or 27.5" x about 53mm (note: 26" is mostly obsolete for quality tyres, etc., so I'd prefer a 27.5" but on a cheap bike like this it probably doesn't matter much).

The highest gear is 48 x 14 on the Escape and 42x14 on the Atx, while low is 28/34 vs. 24/34. If you are on fast road then you might well like the 48x14 over the 42x14, but up a long steep climb or off road you could also use the lower gear.

The suspension on the ATX is one of the cheapest suspension forks around https://www.srsuntour.com/fileadmin/user_upload/Downloads/Consumer/Bike/Exploded%20views/2014/Suspension%20Fork/SF14-M%20Series/SF14-M3030-A-P-27.5-63%2C75-%281%29.PDF

It's just a spring damped by a piece of foam.

I'd consider it a downgrade on no suspension. Generally you can get enough suspension for most things with wide tyres at low pressure - the pneumatic tyres provide compliance with the road. I can ride over potholed roads with 23c tyres, but it's not fun. 38c is fine for potholed tarmac but if I was cycling over steep tracks that were never surfaced, I'd prefer a wider tyre than that. You can change these tyres yourself, but it's possible the fork/frame/brakes wouldn't fit wider tyres, so you'd need to check that. Keep in mind that in countries with good roads, 38c is already far wider than many people use.

Cheap suspension is popular with new cyclists, but experienced cyclists tend to prefer for cheap bikes like those you mention, no suspension, and then much more expensive and sophisticated suspension for actual mountain biking. This is because suspension adds weight, requires servicing, and may absorb your pedalling forces especially with such unsophisticated suspension which is not properly damped.

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