Saddle Slang is sponsored by Rehook. Check out our tools, bike care and apparel

AIR sus-pen-shun fawrk

Air Suspension Fork, Noun

A type of bicycle fork that uses air-filled chambers instead of metal springs to absorb shock

Example usage: This mountain bike has an air suspension fork for a smoother ride.

Most used in: Mountain biking and downhill biking.

Most used by: Experienced mountain bikers and downhill bikers.

Popularity: 8

Comedy Value: 4

Also see: Suspension Fork, Air-Sprung Fork, Air Fork, Air Shock Fork,

What is an Air Suspension Fork?

An air suspension fork is a type of bicycle suspension fork that utilizes air pressure to provide adjustable spring rate. It is a popular choice among mountain bikers, as it is lightweight and offers adjustable levels of damping. Air suspension forks are typically found on high-end mountain bikes, but are becoming increasingly popular on mid-range models.

The air suspension fork works by using a pressure chamber that is filled with air. This air pressure can be adjusted to provide different levels of stiffness, allowing the rider to customize their ride. The fork's damping can also be adjusted to provide more or less resistance to bumps and shocks, allowing the rider to tailor the ride to their preferences.

Air suspension forks offer many advantages over traditional coil or spring forks. They are much lighter, which can improve the bike's handling, and the adjustable air pressure allows for a more customized ride. Additionally, air suspension forks are much more durable and require less maintenance than their coil or spring counterparts.

According to a survey conducted by Bicycle Retailer and Industry News in 2017, air suspension forks are the most popular type of suspension fork among mountain bikers, with 55% of respondents indicating that they have an air suspension fork on their mountain bike. This indicates that air suspension forks are becoming increasingly popular among mountain bikers, and it is likely that their popularity will continue to grow in the future.


The Origin of the Term 'Air Suspension Fork' in Cycling

The term 'Air Suspension Fork' was first used in the 1990s when the first air-sprung bicycle forks were produced. The technology was developed by a German company called Marzocchi and was used to replace the traditional coil spring forks. This new style of fork offered greater control and more comfort when cycling, making them an instant hit with mountain bikers.

Air suspension forks work by using air pressure to control the suspension, as opposed to using a heavy coil spring. This means that the rider can adjust the stiffness of the suspension by simply adjusting the air pressure. This allows for a more personalised and comfortable ride, as the rider can tailor the air pressure to their specific weight and riding style.

The term 'Air Suspension Fork' has since become a common phrase in the cycling world, and is used to describe any type of fork that uses air pressure to control the suspension. This technology has revolutionised the way that cyclists ride, and is now an integral part of many mountain bikes.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Saddle Slang

Find definitions for all of the technical terms, slang, and acronyms used in cycling. From the different types of bikes and their components, to training techniques, racing terminology and put downs, this dictionary has it all.

Talk the Talk
1 of 3