Suspension Lockouts, does anyone actually use them?

Do you use suspension lockouts on your E-MTB?

  • Only the Front forks

  • Only the Rear Shock

  • Both Front and Rear

  • Never


Results are only viewable after voting.

enCrypt

New Member
Sep 13, 2020
57
39
Douglas
After coming from a hardtail analogue bike I only ever used to lock out my fork on that when climbing on the road.
The common advice was that it reduced "bob" and made your pedalling / power more efficient. More so if you had a full sus analogue bike.

I now have a full sus EMTB (Trek Rail 5 2021) which of course has a lockout for the fork and the shock but does an EMTB really need this?
I might be missing something obvious here (always a option with me :rolleyes:) but does anyone actually use them?
If so, what for?
 

Mteam

E*POWAH Elite
Aug 3, 2020
1,816
1,753
gone
After coming from a hardtail analogue bike I only ever used to lock out my fork on that when climbing on the road.
The common advice was that it reduced "bob" and made your pedalling / power more efficient. More so if you had a full sus analogue bike.

I now have a full sus EMTB (Trek Rail 5 2021) which of course has a lockout for the fork and the shock but does an EMTB really need this?
I might be missing something obvious here (always a option with me :rolleyes:) but does anyone actually use them?
If so, what for?

I dont have a lock out or any form of switch that increases compression damping on the forks of any of my bikes, but all my bikes have one on the shock.

I use it on any climb of significant length when riding the normal bikes, but wont bother with it on the ebike unless I'm pedalling up a long hill without any motor assistance.

I think on an ebike they're of limited use because theyre primarily there to stop the bobbing from pedaling, but because an ebike has a motor and therefore you're putting much less pressure on the pedals there is a much lower amount of pedal bob.

Using the switch is noticable on all the bikes (inc ebike but only when not using the motor)
 

MrSimmo

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Apr 24, 2020
1,085
1,038
The Trail.
After coming from a hardtail analogue bike I only ever used to lock out my fork on that when climbing on the road.
The common advice was that it reduced "bob" and made your pedalling / power more efficient. More so if you had a full sus analogue bike.

I now have a full sus EMTB (Trek Rail 5 2021) which of course has a lockout for the fork and the shock but does an EMTB really need this?
I might be missing something obvious here (always a option with me :rolleyes:) but does anyone actually use them?
If so, what for?

Nope, I used to all the time on my old SB6c when climbing/descending but on the EMTB I leave them fully open all the time.
 

steve_sordy

Wedding Crasher
Nov 5, 2018
8,667
8,933
Lincolnshire, UK
I used to use the lockouts when climbing long smooth trails because I needed all the help I could get. But far too many times I then forgot to remove the lockout before descending the rough trail at the top of the hill. So I decided to concentrate more on a smooth pedalling style instead of a hero heave style. Lockout is not something I have used for years now.
 

Nickolp1974

Active member
Jul 30, 2019
236
174
Louth lincs
I used to use the lockouts when climbing long smooth trails because I needed all the help I could get. But far too many times I then forgot to remove the lockout before descending the rough trail at the top of the hill. So I decided to concentrate more on a smooth pedalling style instead of a hero heave style. Lockout is not something I have used for years now.
Yeah same, unless your racing i can't see the point.
 

Stihldog

Handheld Power Tool
Subscriber
Jun 10, 2020
3,164
4,388
Coquitlam, BC
I continue to use the lockout feature on the shock when I’m on asphalt or roads. The full-suspension is not necessary at this time. The bike feels a bit more efficient for peddling and dropping down to eco mode or no assist is possible.
Even though I switch to hard tail mode for about 5% of the time it’s still a nice feature when I need it.
It’s kinda easy to flip the lever back(I do forget sometimes) when the terrain says; “switch to full-suspension”
 

Stihldog

Handheld Power Tool
Subscriber
Jun 10, 2020
3,164
4,388
Coquitlam, BC
Yup. Switching back and forth comes with risks. Maybe I’ve developed a an extra layer of skin in the perfect position …but a hard tail can still hurt when you hit da-roots. But it teaches me something. ?
 

Mikerb

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
May 16, 2019
6,283
4,779
Weymouth
Lockout no but changing from open to medium on my Fox Float DPS is a useful switch. Medium for everything until I get to the gravity section, then open.
 

Shinn

Well-known member
Nov 8, 2020
375
276
Decorah, IA USA
I find my knee or calf hits the switch sometimes and I find it in the middle, maybe I just forgot I put there though.

on my haibike I didn’t see any reason to, but could see it being a good idea on the SL. The higher powered bike just didn’t seem to mind either way.
 

>moto<

Active member
Jan 4, 2021
116
100
Sunshine Coast
I used to use years ago on older bikes where the suspension didn't provide much of a 'platform', these days I would only consider it for a really long smooth climb (that I never do anyway).

On the Eeb, for the reasons mentioned in the posts above, I don't bother with it either.
 

The Hodge

Mystic Meg
Subscriber
Sep 9, 2020
3,796
7,866
North West Northumberland
Yes. Climbing steep hills on my 36 lbs. Levo SL, which I ride in Eco mode @ 35% assistance, or no assistance at all.
Whats the point of having an ebike ..?
You could have saved yourself a fortune going for much lighter mtb and gone around everywhere with a back-pack full of bricks if you wanted to suffer ..
#unimpressed
 

Singletrack Scene

Active member
Nov 14, 2020
136
81
Nottingham
After coming from a hardtail analogue bike I only ever used to lock out my fork on that when climbing on the road.
The common advice was that it reduced "bob" and made your pedalling / power more efficient. More so if you had a full sus analogue bike.

I now have a full sus EMTB (Trek Rail 5 2021) which of course has a lockout for the fork and the shock but does an EMTB really need this?
I might be missing something obvious here (always a option with me :rolleyes:) but does anyone actually use them?
If so, what for?

Yep
 

SquireRides

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Sep 4, 2018
540
556
UK
Whats the point of having an ebike ..?
You could have saved yourself a fortune going for much lighter mtb and gone around everywhere with a back-pack full of bricks if you wanted to suffer ..
#unimpressed

The point of having an SL is you can ride it how you like Turbo / Eco / even off at times.

A (light) eeb gives you more choice.

Personally, I spend a lot of time in Eco and I like an efficient bike because I am doing really long rides. So long, I couldnt do them on an acoustic bike, but I certainly dont need a lot of assistance to make them possible.
 

Gary

Old Tartan Bollocks
Author
Subscriber
Mar 29, 2018
10,496
10,697
the internet
I don't even use the lock out on a shock or fork on 170mm travel FS mtbs or Emtbs when on the road. Even on my 20mile daily commute. If I'm riding it on an mtb or EMTB I'll still be hopping and jumping stuff, pulling wheelies and manuals so I wouldn't want the bike to ride differently.
The only time I ever touch the compression adjuster is for more support when riding just jumps but I don't lock it out. Just flick the shock from "open" to "pedal" for firmer low speed compression damping and more support when pushing into lips.
 
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Cyclopath1000

Active member
Apr 26, 2019
310
125
Davis Ca
Open : careful climbi g rock gardens sitting because the more rear travel means more pedal strikes. My analogue and my commencal meta power feels better when the forks and shock have similar platform.
 

Pigin

Well-known member
Jul 7, 2020
300
400
Saddleworth
When I used to ride my acoustic Scott Genius I really did make the most of the lock outs for the road sections. So much so it was my 22 miles per day commuter.

When I went electric I did wonder why they had fallen out of general favour. Having ridden my electric for a while now I can see why they are not really needed. It is rare that I need to be out of the saddle to get the power down. Correct mode paired with correct gearing seems to get most things sorted.

If my bike did have lock outs I’m sure I would use them and I’m also sure that there would be marginal gains in battery saving. I would not go out of my way to find suspension that had it but if it was only a small price difference between a bike having it or not then I would choose it.
 

Cyclopath1000

Active member
Apr 26, 2019
310
125
Davis Ca
I'm confused : my commencal came with a rockshock supercoil and a lyric select... Are you folks buying e bikes for 5k and above with cheaper suspension ? Yuch !! Why? Are you riding steep singletrack?
 

Gyre

Well-known member
Jan 25, 2021
629
420
Pasadena, CA
On my acoustic bike I'm happy to use it for long fire road grinds and tarmac sections (absolutely no point to boing around on tarmac).

There is one other good use case: On my home trails there's one particularly short nasty climb (580-700 watts for me) where I'm right on the edge of keeping the front wheel down. For extra points, the trail makes an S-turn and has a small rut to avoid in the middle. If I don't lock out for that, my weight is even further biased to the rear wheel at exactly the worst time.
 

GrandPaBrogan

⚡ eGeezer ⚡
Oct 5, 2019
1,329
2,068
New Zealand
Lockouts OFF all the time for me too. I wish this thread was a poll - interested to see the general consensus.

Probably just me but I actually find climbing ‘long’ steep and technical trails (rocks, roots, rutts) while seated (body forward on a high saddle) with fully active suspension - less likely to break or loose traction, even when slippery. Body lean has a sweet spot... a smidge too forward and my rear tyre slips, a smidge too reclined and my front wheel pops up. But even when the rear does slip in the wet, I can recover and keep going most of the time. I pedal smooth circles and hardly get pedal strikes if I choose my line carefully.

I used to stand on my older analog FS bikes, but only so that I can apply more power. The motor does that for me now.
 

enCrypt

New Member
Sep 13, 2020
57
39
Douglas
Only one particular uphill rutty trail. Without it, constant pedal strikes. Other than that never gets used.
I've never thought about avoiding pedal strikes, thanks for that. I get a lot more of those now, probably mostly bad technique on my part but not being used to full sus and trail bike geometry probably doesnt help...
 

enCrypt

New Member
Sep 13, 2020
57
39
Douglas
Lockouts OFF all the time for me too. I wish this thread was a poll - interested to see the general consensus.

Probably just me but I actually find climbing ‘long’ steep and technical trails (rocks, roots, rutts) while seated (body forward on a high saddle) with fully active suspension - less likely to break or loose traction, even when slippery. Body lean has a sweet spot... a smidge too forward and my rear tyre slips, a smidge too reclined and my front wheel pops up. But even when the rear does slip in the wet, I can recover and keep going most of the time. I pedal smooth circles and hardly get pedal strikes if I choose my line carefully.

I used to stand on my older analog FS bikes, but only so that I can apply more power. The motor does that for me now.
Lowering your seat slightly helps when climbing something steep / slippery. Gets your weight down a bit more over the back wheel. I got that tip off the EMBN channel. Didn't think it would help much but I tried it myself and it does.

I can attempt to create a poll in this thread if I can figure out how... ;)
 

GrandPaBrogan

⚡ eGeezer ⚡
Oct 5, 2019
1,329
2,068
New Zealand
Lowering your seat slightly helps when climbing something steep / slippery. Gets your weight down a bit more over the back wheel. I got that tip off the EMBN channel. Didn't think it would help much but I tried it myself and it does.

I can attempt to create a poll in this thread if I can figure out how... ;)
Yep, when I mentioned "high saddle" by that I mean my dropper post is fully extended. My highest saddle setting however is not "road cyclist high" but at a level where I can get efficient pedalling but not so high that I can't move my butt behind my saddle momentarily during the odd huck without having to drop my seat post all the time.

I've never been a Hans Rey or Tony Beau (never will be ?) but there are situations where I do stand - usually short uphill bursts to get over a peculiar obstacles. But then I revert back to sitting once the continuing uphill terrain doesn't require it.

Can't remember for sure, but I think it was an EMBN video I saw where they did an eBike climbing shoot-out over a steep but smooth rock face terrain, and I was puzzled as to why the test riders were standing - appearing to be running out of puff and loosing their balance when lactic acid burn takes over. I assumed the shoot-out is to see which bike climbed the best, so it didn't make sense to me that the riders were exerting their own maximum effort, instead of primarily relying on the motor output and geometry efficiency they were supposedly testing. I guess their perceived unit of measurement for winning is the fastest time up the hill, hence why they possibly selected the highest possible power mode and highish gearing - combined with maximum rider effort. But with varying rates of human tiredness happening throughout the test session, it made even less sense to me. But we're all different and so we think and ride accordingly.

During long extended steep climbs, sometimes it's like 'the tortoise vs the hare.' The maximum amount of everything isn't always necessarily going to be the first guy to reach the top... with the most battery charge level remaining.
 
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