Fork travel recommendation

Many of the bikes in my price range have 130mm front shocks.
My old (26er) bike had 140mm, so naturally, I wanted the same travel and my feeling was more is always better. Now I’m questioning if I need 140+mm since the wheels on tires are going to be bigger on any new bike I buy and therefore eat more of the bumps.
What kind of forks/travel are most people riding around here?


120mm front 100mm back and 29er, I eat up everything with it. All depends what and where you’re riding focus is.

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I run 140mm currently on my hardtail (2020 Fuse) 160mm on my trail fully (2018 StumpJumper) that has 150mm rear. DH bike (Demo 8) is at 200 and 200.

130/130 on my 27.5" trail bike.

Not sure you’ll notice a huge difference between 130 and 140. Depends on the fork model, suspension setup, where you ride, how you ride…and a ton of other variables that will have more impact than just an extra 10mm.


Quality over quantity in my opinion, a high end short travel fork can eat up the bumps if set up correctly. My bike is 140/130 fox 36 and I like it for general use, I’m a fan of longer travel forks on shorter travel frames to keep some of the pedal platform. but it’s down to preference.

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All really good points. Thanks everyone, I’m thinking of buying a bike and possibly upgrading the fork right away and was wondering how big I should go. I like @ryan02’s point about quality over quantity and @rolls’s point - 10mm is not much difference at the end of the day.

On my current set-up I have the fork pressure high so it’s quite firm, that’s one of the reasons I think I might not need a ton of travel, and I’m not a speed rider. I love the janky trails, but I’m a slow and steady kind of rider. In my younger days I bombed down hills, but now i’m all about control.

I’d ride the fork before I upgraded it. Bike parts are better and better every year.
If its a modern air fork it might be better than you think.


It’s best to stick with the travel and offset your bike was designed for.

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That was my plan. Part of the decision on which bike to buy it based on what I could potentially upgrade the fork to. I understand adding a fork with more travel than the manufacturer recommends can void the frame warranty and I don’t want that.

Volume reducers can work wonders for shorter travel bikes, lets you make the most of the travel you have, the amount of travel you have shouldn’t be based if bottom out resistance as you can add volume reducers to short travel forks and shocks to make them very progressive and hard to bottom out. So base the amount of travel on what you want your bike to feel like, short travel and poppy, or long travel stick to ground and harder to lift off
ground on bonus lines. That’s my thoughts. But if your fork can take volume reducers give them a try before dropping cash on new fork. Also some forks you can buy different air sleeve for $50 to change the travel. I could make my 140mm fox 36 and change it to 160mm for $50 bucks or less. Something to consider. Also keep in mind raising the fork will shorten the reach and also raise the BB.