There are lots of mountain bike suspension forks out there. Many of them are made up of the same elemental components and have great reviews as well. Because of this, most cyclists find choosing a fork an intimidating task. They fall under the impression that they should be some experts in other to make a quality choice. Fear not! We are the experts for you.
If you are considering upgrading your mountain bike suspension fork but you’re hesitant to do so considering how expensive they are, then we encourage you to read this post. Just because you’re on a budget, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find a decent suspension fork that gives you excellent control.
Here are our top picks for the best mountain bike suspension forks under $500. They are definitely worth checking out. A mountain bike suspension fork may make the difference between a quality ride and an uncomfortable one.
Rockshox Recon Silver RL Fork
Image Source: https://www.on-one.co.uk
The Rockshox Recon RL sets a new benchmark for value-based performance. It is a great product with a solid, dependable design that elevates the ride from good to great. It delivers successfully on its promise to make the ride feel less bumpy.
The recent re-design incorporates the crown and lower legs with Recon’s 32mm steel stanchions. The addition of its now-standard Motion Control was the icing on the cake. The fork is supple over rough, rocky terrain. It has a beautiful reaction time with superb lockout. It can handle anything you throw at it, from downhill to trials. Overall, it is a great option for mountain bikers looking for an affordable fork upgrade.
Rockshox Recon TK Solo Air 100 Suspension Bicycle Fork
Image Source: https://www.amazon.com
If you are an aggressive biker who wants to go out and push yourself hard, then you need a dependable fork that can take the punishment. In this case, the Reckon TK is a great option for you. This suspension fork is a beast in terms of resilience. It can endure the rough terrain and the high speeds. It can suffer through the worst of the treatments because it was built by having in mind that person that loves when adrenaline is coursing through their veins and they do not have any care of the surrounding world anymore.
With tapered steerer, 100mm travel, TurnKey damping, and remote-option for quick release, the Reckon TK is the ideal fork for no nonsense mountain bikers. This is the choice for those that do know what they want and how to treat their mountain bike.
The solo air springs fill both the positive and negative air spring chambers simultaneously, so they are always in perfect equilibrium. TurnKey technology absorbs the unexpected hit instantly if you happen to hit a big rock when you fork locked out.
Manitou Markhor Mountain Bike Fork 29”
Image Source: https://www.amazon.com
Do you have an old mountain bike with a blown out suspension fork? If so, then Manitou’s Markhor is here to rescue your old best friend.
Manitou Markhor is a lightweight trail/crosscountry fork that’s ready to roll. The fork can be adjusted up to 120mm of travel or down to 80 mm travel. It can smooth out any line the trail puts in front of you and handle terrain like a goat. Other features include 30mm black alloy stanchions, rebound damping, and compression damping. Revive that old mountain bike with Manitou’s Markhor.
SR Suntour XCM Mountain Bike Suspension Forks
Image Source: https://www.amazon.com
The Suntour XCM is made from quality alloy with a coil spring with preload adjuster that allows you to lower your post disc mount easily.
This is a great fork to to replace the one that came on a sub-$500 bike once it has worn out or become damaged. The Suntour XCM is known for durability and performance at a very affordable price.
On the down side, this is a heavy fork, with it’s coil spring design. The other forks on this list are all air sprung, which saves weight and adds adjustability.
Rockshox Reba RL Solo Air Suspension Fork
Image Source: https://www.chainreactioncycles.com
The Reba RL is the one-stop solution for everyone looking for unmistakable Rockshox performance in a proven package. It combines a potent blend of lightweight design, well-rounded performance, and unparalleled tunability on top of a 32mm chassis.
From cross country to trail riding, the Reba RL is a front-runner in any role. The 32 mm upper tubes absorb shock with sufficient reserves on challenging trails. Thanks to the Solo Air suspension setup, both the positive and negative air spring chambers are simultaneously filled with air, so they’re always in perfect equilibrium. This robust cross-country fork neither shreds the trails nor shrink from roots and rocks. It is reliable and resistant in face of adversities.
Marzocchi Bomber Z2
Right at $499, the Marzocchi Bomber has been a favorite of downhill riders for many years. Marzocchi is now owned by Fox and there are elements of this fork shared with the Fox 34. Where it varies mostly is in the very highly regarded damper system, allowing simple adjustment to get your feel dialed in.
DFS Air Fork RLC Suspension Fork
Image Source: https://www.dhgate.com
The DFS Air Fork is a hybrid fork that can be used in a myriad of different ways. Also, it comes in different colors. If you need a fork that works well when going uphill as well as for downhill use, then this would be an excellent option for you. It is light enough that you can climb hills with ease and has wide enough stations to handle tough trails. It offers a smooth ride while still maintaining its rigidity.
DFS Air Fork is lightweight and can accommodate 27.5-inch wheels. Starting pressures noted on the back of the fork help you set up your suspension quickly.
DFS forks are cheap, which is achieved by cutting some corners. This isn’t the fork to use for serious trail or downhill riding, but it can still be a significant upgrade on a heavy fork that came on an Walmart or Amazon bike.
Final Remarks on the Budget Mountain Bike Suspension Forks
A decent mountain bike suspension fork is crucial to getting the most out of your riding experience. Since mtb forks are quite difficult to get to know and understand, most bikers are having a hard time choosing the right device for them. It is not always so easy to choose and match the components of a bike. Especially if you want the result to be as professional as possible without having to spend a lot of money on it.
Use this blog post as a guide in making the right choice when buying a new fork. These reviews were made to filter some great options for you out of the plethora of variants that are out there. We tried to keep close to those mountain bike suspension forks that come at an affordable price while still delivering quality material.
Again, as a reminder, please keep in mind that the list includes budget mountain bike suspension forks. That means, if you need a decent fork that will give you a smoother ride and you’re not putting your bikes through hell, then the options mentioned above are good enough. They should last you long enough and should serve you just great. However, if you plan to ride your bike through hell and back (we are all for it), then keep in mind that you would need something more professional-ish. Because if you are looking for the best forks on the market, then you should be prepared to shell out more than $500.