Best mtb forks

Our top choices

Our Choice

our choice
rockshox pike

RockShox Pike

A brilliant all-rounder fork for everyone. Made by the top fork brand in the market and easy to install.

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cheapest choice
marzocchi bomber z2 budget pick

Marzocchi Bomber Z2

At just over $500, a brilliant price for the quality. Perfect for dirt jumping

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Upgrade Pick

upgrade pick
fox float 36

Fox Float 36 MTB

Probably the most well-known forks for all mountain bike riders. Extremely high-quality but a painful price tag.

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Mountain biking is not just a sport but an adventure, blending the thrill of the great outdoors with the challenge of mastering diverse terrains. In this world of adrenaline and skill, the choice of equipment can make all the difference.

At the forefront of this decision-making is the selection of the right mountain bike fork, a component critical to your bike's performance and your overall riding experience. Whether you're cruising through forest trails, ascending rugged hills, or descending rocky paths, the type of fork you use directly impacts your control and comfort.

In our quest to identify the best forks for mountain biking, we meticulously analyzed various models based on performance, durability, and versatility. Among them, the RockShox Pike emerged as our top pick. This fork is renowned for its outstanding balance of stiffness, weight, and responsiveness, making it ideal for a wide range of mountain biking disciplines.

This guide aims to delve deeper into the world of mountain bike forks, highlighting their types, features, and what makes the RockShox Pike stand out. As we explore the nuances of air forks, coil forks, and rigid forks, we'll understand why the Pike has become a favorite in the mountain biking community. Join us as we uncover the intricacies that make the RockShox Pike a superior choice for mountain biking enthusiasts.

Overall Best MTB Fork

rockshox pike overall best mtb forks

RockShox Pike Suspension Fork

  • Lightweight yet robust design.
  • Highly tunable DebonAir suspension.
  • Wide range of adjustability.
  • Innovative Charger 3 damper.
  • Versatile for various terrains.
  • Less sensitive to small bumps.
  • Requires fine-tuning.
  • High initial cost.
  • Additional cost for upgrades.
  • May need volume spacers.
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  • Quality
  • Durability
  • Weight
  • Price
  • Overall

The RockShox Pike forks are a versatile choice for trail riders, offering a mix of stiffness, travel, and lightweight features. However, they're not without their flaws. While the updated DebonAir air spring and Charger RC damper promise a smooth ride, some users have reported that the fork can be less sensitive to small bumps and undulations, which could be a downside depending on your riding style.

The new Charger 3 damper system, although innovative, has received mixed reviews. Some riders found that the fork was not as sensitive to initial movements, which could lead to a harsher ride in rough terrains. This might require additional fine-tuning, which could be a hassle for some.

Another point to consider is the price. The base model, Pike Select, comes in at $699. While it offers a range of features, those looking for more advanced settings like a 3-position compression adjust will have to opt for the more expensive Pike Ultimate, which could set you back an additional $230.

On the performance side, the Pike generally delivers, especially once you've dialed in the settings. However, heavier riders may find that they need to add volume spacers to prevent bottoming out, which means additional tweaking and potentially more expenses.


  • Wheel Sizes: 26", 27.5", 27.5" B, 29", 29" B/27.5"+, 29"+
  • Travel: 110mm, 120mm, 130mm, 140mm, 150mm, 160mm
  • Steerer: Tapered
  • Axle: 15x100mm, 15x110mm BOOST™, BOOST™ 15x110mm
  • Damper Adjust: Crown
  • Spring: Dual Position Air, Solo Air
  • Fork Offset: 40mm (26"), 42mm (27.5"), 46mm (29"), 51mm (29")
  • Max Rotor Size: 203mm
  • Min Rotor Size: 160mm
  • Upper Tube Type: 35mm tapered aluminum
  • Volume Reducer: 2 Tokens
  • Color: Diffusion Black, Gloss Black, Gloss White
  • Weight: 1835g
rockshox pike forks for dirt jumping rockshox sram pike mountain biking forks

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The NEW RockShox Pike | GMBN's First Ride

Premium Pick

premium fox float 36 mtb forks

Fox 36 Factory Mountain Bike Fork

  • Exceptional suppleness and sensitivity.
  • Highly adjustable GRIP2 damper.
  • Durable, friction-reducing design.
  • Superior performance on rough terrain.
  • Long-term reliability.
  • Higher price point than competitors.
  • Performance gains marginal over more affordable forks.
  • Limited offset options in top-spec models.
  • Slightly heavier than some competitors.
  • Complex adjustments may overwhelm new users.
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  • Quality
  • Durability
  • Weight
  • Price
  • Overall

The Fox Float 36 Factory Forks, a testament to FOX's mastery in suspension technology, stands out in the mountain biking world. Renowned for its performance and adjustability, this fork is a favorite among enthusiasts seeking top-tier features.

Its revised EVOL air spring significantly enhances small bump sensitivity, a crucial factor in maintaining traction and control on rough terrains. This feature and the larger negative air volume ensure a smoother ride and better responsiveness.

A highlight of the Fox Float 36 is its GRIP2 damper, offering a nuanced range of adjustments. The four-way high and low-speed adjustment for both rebound and compression damping enables riders to finely tune their ride to varying conditions. This level of customization is a significant advantage, especially when tackling diverse and challenging trails.

The fork's design also emphasizes durability, with friction-reducing features that prolong its lifespan and maintain smooth performance over time. The chassis has been reworked for better clearance, strength, and weight reduction, enhancing its appeal.

Compared with its main competitor, the RockShox Lyrik, the Fox Float 36 maintains a slight edge in terms of air spring and damping control, delivering a more consistent and controlled ride.

However, these advantages come at a higher cost, which could be a factor for some buyers. Despite the premium price, the Fox Float 36 Factory Forks justifies the investment for serious mountain bikers who prioritize performance and reliability. The fork's ability to adeptly handle varied terrain and its durability make it a top choice for those who demand the best in their equipment.


  • Weight: 2,098g
  • Offset: 37mm, 44mm
  • Travel Options: 150, 160, 170, 180mm
  • Air Spring: Float
  • Damper Options: Fit Grip 2
  • Steerer: 1.5 Taper
float 36 fox mountain bike orange forks

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Fox Factory 36 GRIP2 Fork Review

Budget Pick

budget marzocchi bomber z2 forks

2020 Marzocchi Bomber Z2 MTB Fork

  • Smooth, plush ride
  • Low-maintenance Rail Damper
  • Versatile travel options
  • E-bike optimized model
  • Easy setup and adjustability
  • Heavier for short travel
  • Takes time to fine-tune
  • Not budget-friendly
  • Limited aggressive braking options
  • Max tire size 29 x 2.6"
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  • Quality
  • Durability
  • Weight
  • Price
  • Overall

The Marzocchi Bomber Z2 MTB forks are designed for trail riders who value both performance and simplicity. These forks offer a smooth, plush ride right out of the box, eliminating the need for complicated adjustments. Built on a stiff 34mm chassis, they provide precise steering and excellent traction, making them ideal for various terrains and riding styles.

The Rail Damper technology is a standout feature, allowing for low-maintenance and intuitive compression adjustments. This damper lets riders easily lock out the forks for climbs and open them up for descents. The forks are versatile, with travel options ranging from 100-150mm for 29-inch wheels and 140-150mm for 27.5-inch wheels. They also come in a limited edition and an e-bike-optimized model, adding to their adaptability.

User reviews consistently highlight the Bomber Z2's smooth performance and easy setup. The forks handle big hits and high-frequency chatter well, boosting rider confidence. However, they do have some drawbacks.

They are on the heavier side for short travel forks, and some users find it takes time to find the damping and rebound "sweet spot." Additionally, they are not the most budget-friendly option, especially when considering the extra cost of import taxes.

In terms of specifications, the weight varies from approximately 2010g to 2197g. The steerer tube is a standard uncut length of 285mm, a and the fork is post-mounted, compatible with a 160mm to 203mm brake adapter. Each box includes the forks, three-volume spacers, a thru-axle, a star nut, and a warranty card. The maximum tire size it can accommodate is 29 x 2.6".

Another great feature of these forks is the variety of options. Mountain biking is popular, with a lot of different disciplines. That's why we've looked for versatile forks that work well in a variety of mountain biking styles.

As well as providing several different travel options, Marzocchi has also released a limited edition version and an e-optimized version specifically for electric bikes.


  • Type: Air
  • Axle: 110mm (Boost), 15mm
  • Colour: Black
  • Offset: 44mm
  • Rake: 51mm
  • Stanchion: 34mm
  • Steerer Tube: Tapered
  • Travel: 100mm, 120mm, 130mm, 140mm, 150mm
  • Wheel Size: 27.5", 29"
bomber z2 fork legs air fork adjustment for marzocchi bomber z2

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Marzocchi Bomber Z1 vs Z2 | Which is best for you?

Upgrade Pick

rockshox sid ultimate 3p mtb forks

RockShox SID Ultimate 3P

  • Lightweight design
  • Sensitive Debonair+ air spring
  • 3-position damper for versatility
  • Reliable enhanced bushing overlap
  • Suitable for modern XC race demands
  • Limited low-speed compression adjustability
  • Slightly higher price point
  • Color options may be limited
  • May be over-specialized for non-racers
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  • Quality
  • Durability
  • Weight
  • Price
  • Overall

The RockShox SID Ultimate 3P is a high-performance suspension fork designed for cross-country (XC) racing. Its latest iteration, as reviewed on Pinkbike, highlights several key improvements and features that cater to the demands of modern XC riders and racers.

This fork comes with a choice of 110 or 120mm of travel, specifically catering to the 29" wheel size. The fork features 35mm stanchions and uses the Debonair+ air spring, known for offering a plush initial stroke and a supportive mid-stroke. This latest version weighs in at around 1,480 grams, shedding some weight from its predecessor while maintaining robustness.

Notably, the air spring has been redesigned to have more negative and positive air volume, improving small bump sensitivity and mid-stroke support.

A standout feature of the SID Ultimate is its 3-position damper, offering Open, Pedal, and Lock settings, allowing riders to quickly adjust the fork's behavior according to the trail conditions. This versatility is particularly beneficial in race scenarios where terrain can vary significantly. The fork can be controlled via SRAM's updated TwistLoc remote or a lever on the top cap for manual adjustments.

RockShox has addressed previous issues with bushing play by increasing the upper tube length, resulting in more bushing surface engagement. This improvement aims to enhance the fork's longevity and reliability, a critical factor for serious racers and enthusiasts alike.

During a practical test at the BC Bike Race, the SID Ultimate demonstrated impressive performance. The fork offered a soft initial stroke, aiding in comfort during long, rough sections, and sufficient ramp-up to handle bigger hits. While the review noted that the fork could benefit from more low-speed compression adjustability, the current settings were found to be quite effective for most XC scenarios.


  • Wheel Size: 29"
  • Travel: 110mm, 120mm
  • Steerer: 1.5" Tapered
  • Axle: 15x110mm BOOST™
  • Damper Adjust: 3 position remote
  • Spring: DebonAir+
  • Fork Offset: 44mm
  • Min Rotor Size: 180mm
  • Max Rotor Size: 220mm
  • Upper Tube Type: 35mm tapered wall aluminum
  • Max Tire Width: 66mm
  • Damper Type: Charger Race Day 2
  • Colors: Gloss Black, SID Blue Crush - Gloss
  • Weight: 1480g
front of the rockshox sid forks side angle of rockshox sid fork

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Also Great

fox float 34 mtb forks 2024

Fox Float 34 Mountain Bike Forks

  • Extensive tuning with GRIP 2 damper.
  • Balanced weight and stiffness.
  • Improved mid-stroke support.
  • Suitable for trail and downcountry.
  • High-quality construction.
  • Higher price point.
  • Not the lightest in its category.
  • May require frequent tuning.
  • Potentially less suited for aggressive riding.
  • Limited color options.
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  • Quality
  • Durability
  • Weight
  • Price
  • Overall

The Fox Float 34 forks are a versatile choice for trail and country riders, providing a balance between weight savings and performance. With its 34mm stanchions and options for either 130 or 140mm of travel, the fork fits a niche for riders seeking a lightweight yet capable suspension for their trail bikes.

A key feature of the Float 34 is its GRIP 2 damper, which offers extensive tuning options. This damper allows for externally adjustable low-speed and high-speed compression and rebound. This level of adjustability ensures that riders can fine-tune the fork's performance to match their riding style and trail conditions.

The Fox Float 34 has undergone several updates, including revised lowers and a new air spring, which enhance its performance. The increased negative volume of the air spring improves mid-stroke support and results in a more linear spring curve. These changes contribute to the fork's ability to absorb impacts smoothly, providing a comfortable and controlled ride.

Weighing approximately 1,820 grams, the Fox Float 34 is not the lightest in its category but strikes a good balance between weight and performance. Its stiffness is appropriate for its intended use, offering sufficient rigidity without the weight penalty of heavier forks like the Fox 36.

The Fox Float 34 is priced at around $969, placing it in a higher price bracket. However, its performance and quality justify the investment for riders who prioritize a blend of lightweight and robust suspension.


  • Travel: 100mm, 110mm or 120mm
  • Wheelsize: 29”
  • Stanchions: 7000 series alloy, 34mm diameter
  • Stanchion Coating: Black anodised
  • Spring: New EVOL air spring
  • Damper: GRIP, FIT4 & FIT4 Remote
  • Axle: Kabolt or QR15
  • Max rotor size: 180mm
  • Max tyre clearance: 2.4”
  • Offset: 44mm or 51mm
  • Claimed weight: 1,496g
dropouts on the fox float 34 small forks adjustments on the fox float 34 forks

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Introducing the all-new 34 | FOX

Best for Downhill

downhill mountain bike forks rockshox boxxer ultimate

RockShox BoXXer Ultimate DH Fork

  • Enhanced stiffness with 38 mm stanchions.
  • Improved damping with Charger 3 damper.
  • ButterCups technology reduces vibrations.
  • DebonAir+ air spring mimics coil spring feel.
  • Integrated mudguard and practical bleed ports.
  • Premium price point.
  • May be overbuilt for less aggressive riders.
  • Limited color options.
  • Base model lacks some advanced features.
  • Heavier than some competitors.
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  • Quality
  • Durability
  • Weight
  • Price
  • Overall

The RockShox BoXXer Ultimate is a notable innovation in the mountain biking world, especially for downhill enthusiasts. This fork has undergone a significant overhaul, offering riders a blend of performance, durability, and technological advancements that cater to the demanding nature of downhill and freeride mountain biking.

Key to the BoXXer Ultimate's design is the introduction of chunkier 38 mm stanchions, replacing the 35 mm ones found in its predecessors. This change not only enhances the fork's stiffness and durability but also significantly improves the bike's handling and response under extreme conditions.

The sturdiness is further complemented by the new Charger 3 damper and ButterCups technology, which work in tandem to provide a smooth, controlled ride. These features effectively absorb high-frequency vibrations and small impacts, making a more comfortable and less fatiguing ride.

Another noteworthy aspect is the DebonAir+ air spring, redesigned to mimic the linear feel of a coil spring. This addition enhances the fork's response to terrain changes, offering riders a more predictable and consistent suspension behavior.

The air spring can also be adjusted with volume spacers, allowing for fine-tuning based on rider preference and trail conditions.

Practical innovations like the integrated mudguard and the new bleed ports for pressure equalization add to the user-friendly nature of the BoXXer Ultimate. The mudguard is especially beneficial in keeping debris away from the fork and the rider, while the revised bleed ports are a thoughtful addition for maintaining optimal performance in varying atmospheric conditions.

The BoXXer comes in two versions: the high-end Ultimate model and the more affordable Base model. Both variants are available in 27.5" and 29" sizes, with the Ultimate model offering additional features like the ButterCups and a more advanced Charger 3 RC2 damper.


  • Wheel Sizes: 27.5", 29"
  • Travel: 180mm, 190mm, 200mm
  • Steerer: 1-1/8" Aluminum
  • Axle: 20x110mm BOOST™
  • Damper Adjust: Crown
  • Spring: DebonAir+ W/ButterCups
  • Fork Offset: 44mm (27.5"), 48mm (27.5"), 48mm (29"), 52mm (29")
  • Min Rotor Size: 200mm
  • Max Rotor Size: 220mm
  • Upper Tube Type: 38mm aluminum
  • Max Tire Width: 81mm
  • E-Bike Approved: E-bike Approved
  • Damper Type: Charger 3 RC2 W/ButterCups
  • Colors: BoXXer Electric Red - Gloss, Gloss Black
  • Weight: 2880g

Tearing Apart the New 2024 Rockshox Boxxer Ultimate Downhill Fork

Types of Mountain Bike forks

Air Forks

Air forks use air chambers as their spring mechanism. They are lightweight and offer easy adjustability for rider weight and riding style. The air pressure can be modified to change the fork's stiffness and responsiveness. Popular for cross-country, trail, and all-mountain biking, air forks are known for their efficiency and customizability.

Coil Forks

Coil forks utilize a metal coil as the spring. They are known for their smooth, linear suspension feel and durability. Heavier than air forks, coil forks excel in absorbing small bumps and providing consistent performance, especially in downhill and freeride scenarios. Their main drawback is the limited adjustability compared to air forks.

Rigid Forks

Rigid forks have no suspension system, meaning they are lighter and require less maintenance. Ideal for riders prioritizing simplicity and efficiency, they're commonly found on fat bikes and some cross-country mountain bikes. Rigid forks offer direct handling and are best suited for smoother trails where suspension isn't a necessity.

What to Look For in an MTB Fork?

Suspension Travel

This refers to how much the fork can compress. More travel means better shock absorption, suited for downhill and rough terrains. Less travel is typical for cross-country bikes where efficiency and weight are more critical.

Wheel Size Compatibility

Ensure the fork fits your bike's wheel size (common sizes are 26", 27.5", 29"). Incorrect size affects handling and safety.

Fork Offset

This is the distance between the steerer tube and the wheel axle. Different offsets change how the bike handles and turns.

Steerer Tube Diameter

The fork must match the diameter of your bike's headtube. Common sizes are 1 1/8" and tapered 1 1/8" to 1.5".

Axle Type

Axles can be quick-release or thru-axle. Thru-axles offer more stiffness and better handling but check for compatibility with your bike's hubs.

Spring Type

Forks use air or coil springs. Air springs are lighter and adjustable, while coil springs offer a more consistent feel.

Damping Systems

Damping controls the fork's compression and rebound. Quality damping improves ride comfort and control over rough terrain.

Adjustability Features

Look for features like adjustable rebound, compression settings, and air pressure to tailor the fork's performance to your riding style.

Weight and Materials

Lighter forks typically use more advanced materials but may be less durable. Balance the weight with the type of riding you do and the fork's durability.

Best MTB Fork Brands

Fox Racing

fox racing logo

Fox Racing was founded in 1974 by Geoff Fox, a physics Ph.D. who initially started Moto-X Fox as a small distribution business for European motocross parts.

Quickly evolving, the company began manufacturing high-performance suspension and engine components. Fox Racing gained prominence by sponsoring top riders and developing gear that offered maximum protection and performance.

Today, it's a leading brand in motocross apparel and has expanded into the mountain biking industry.

Fox doesn't just dominate the market of mountain bike suspension. They're a huge company that makes very advanced technology for many extreme sports, especially motocross.


rockshox bikes logo

RockShox, a prominent name in the mountain biking world, is renowned for its innovative and high-quality suspension forks. Founded in 1989, the brand has consistently been at the forefront of suspension technology, offering a wide range of forks catering to various disciplines from cross-country to downhill.

One of their standout features is the extensive adjustability in their products, allowing riders to fine-tune their ride to match specific terrain and personal preferences. RockShox forks are known for their durability and smooth performance, attributes that are highly valued in the mountain biking community.

Their product line, including popular models like the SID for cross-country and the Lyrik for enduro, demonstrates their commitment to versatility and performance. With a strong focus on research and development, RockShox continues to push the boundaries of what mountain bikers can expect from their suspension, making them a top choice for riders seeking reliability and top-notch performance on the trails.


marzocchi bikes logo

Marzocchi, a revered brand in the mountain bike industry, stands out for its robust and performance-driven suspension forks. Established in Italy in 1949, Marzocchi gained acclaim in the mountain biking scene in the 1990s. Their forks are celebrated for their durability and plushness, making them a favorite among riders who tackle challenging terrains.

Known for their distinctive, bomber-style design, Marzocchi forks provide excellent stability and shock absorption, essential for downhill and freeride disciplines. The brand's commitment to quality and performance is evident in models like the Bomber Z1, which offers a perfect blend of durability and smooth suspension action.

Marzocchi's approach to suspension design focuses on simplicity and reliability, ensuring that their forks require minimal maintenance while delivering consistent performance. This blend of ruggedness and functionality makes Marzocchi a go-to choice for riders who demand high-performance suspension capable of withstanding the rigors of aggressive mountain biking.


manitoi bikes logo

Manitou, renowned in the mountain bike suspension market, stands out for innovative, technically advanced forks. Since the 1980s, Manitou has pioneered unique designs, especially noted for the Reverse Arch design, enhancing stiffness while reducing weight.

Their forks, like the popular Mattoc and Mezzer models, are known for tunability and plushness, delivering a smooth ride in demanding conditions. Manitou balances high-end and mid-range offerings, ensuring quality performance at various price points. Their commitment to innovation and rider-focused technology makes them a preferred choice for mountain bikers seeking performance, durability, and cutting-edge suspension technology.

Other Forks we Considered

Frequently Asked Questions about MTB Forks

Do all MTB forks fit all mountain bikes?

No, all MTB forks don't fit all mountain bikes. Compatibility depends on factors like wheel size, brake type, axle standards, and steerer tube diameter.

What is the difference between XC and trail forks?

XC forks are lighter, have less travel, and are designed for climbing efficiency. Trail forks are heavier, have more travel, and are built for handling rougher terrain.

Is 100mm travel enough?

100mm travel is suitable for cross-country and light trail riding. For rougher terrain, more travel may be beneficial.

What is the maximum fork travel on an MTB?

Maximum fork travel varies, but it can be up to 200mm for downhill mountain bikes.

Is RockShox better than Fox?

Both RockShox and Fox are reputable brands. The choice depends on personal preference, riding style, and budget.

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