Frame manufacturers can give us all the marketing bullshit that they want, but even if they have come up with the latest and greatest suspension design it won’t count for anything if it’s let down by the shocks suspending it. Once you’ve got geometry sorted it really is suspension that can make or break a bike, and it doesn’t have the easiest of lives, so performance and reliability are both paramount.
As we’ve been saying for years, sadly nobody has managed to come up with perfect suspension yet, there is compromise with everything. Maybe when the performance of a BOS fork gets combined with the reliability of a Marzocchi and the back–up of a RockShox then we’ll be able to forget about compromise, but until then you’ll just have to decide what’s most important to you.
On the following pages we’ve selected the products that we feel strike the best balance and offer the greatest overall package, but when choosing what you’re going to go for you need to be honest with yourself. If you’re just into pootling around trail centres or trudging through eight–hour epics then there’s no point in going for something like a BOS Deville, you may not even like the way it feels, and likewise if you’re not willing to spend a bit of time getting your suspension set up correctly then you might as well forget about going for a Cane Creek Double Barrel. With that said, get choosing…
Just click below to see our selection of the best suspension products for 2014, as featured in our latest Dirt 100. And, if you missed our pick of the best bikes on offer for 2014 then the links to those are below.