Dual suspension bike – what it is, pros and cons

Despite the fact that the two-paddle bike is designed for professional athletes and extreme enthusiasts, models of famous manufacturers are already appearing on city streets. These two-paddle bikes do not meet the criteria for sport riding, but they attract customers with their looks and sophisticated design. The cyclist gets more comfort on broken sidewalks, does not feel jolts and bumps off-road.

Sesta bikes won the prestigious Eurobike awards at the International Dual Suspension Bicycle Show in Baden-Württemberg. They cost a lot, and many people want to try a ride on the “tiger”. Even if it is not a question of buying, it is curious to know: what is so special about bikes worth a real car.

What is a two-paddle bike

two-pedal bikes

Multi-lever “cool” mountain bikes were created to be used in extreme situations, beyond the usual environment. Additional shock absorbers, technical features exclude the loss of traction of both wheels in life-threatening circumstances and give a smooth ride. The question of why you need a two-paddle bike, the professionals answered. Downhill, cross country, freeride, drift – a small list of styles of riding, where quality two-paddle bikes are used.

For example, riding on complex trails with the use of natural and artificial obstacles requires a strong frame, front and rear suspension of great stroke. On two-suspended bikes overcome steep slopes, precipices, make jumps at high speed. It is on them stuntmen numerous movies perform dizzying stunts. For downhill skiing with sharp turns, protruding rocks and tree roots, two-piste bikes with hydraulic disc brakes are used.

Due to consumer demand, designs developed for athletes divided into two varieties of two-pod bikes: professional and recreational types. The first are used by racers and fans of extreme sports. The latter are designed for urban, cottage, tourist riding with uncomplicated tracks. A large part of the population buys a bicycle because of its external appeal. Therefore, manufacturers are trying to produce a budget two-saddle with a catchy design. In any case, the main feature of a two-paddle bike is the mountain riding style.

Interesting fact! The first bicycle two-saddle was invented for children, so that the child did not bounce on bumps and rode steadily on the road. Shock absorbers were installed under the seat to provide a soft landing.

Bike design

A device with two shock absorbers is called a two-paddle bike. This means that to the traditional front fork, a rear shock was added to smooth out the bumps in the road and increase rider comfort. The additional element to the frame complicates the construction and weight of the bike. To improve the design and simplify the mechanism, inventors came up with softtails. Unlike hardtails with a single shock absorber, the design provides better wheel-to-wheel contact with any road, softening shocks.

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The functional structure of two-paddle sports bikes:

  • two shock absorbers;
  • Mandatory presence of disc brakes;
  • The special geometry of the frame;
  • separately mounted rear triangle;
  • chain restraint;
  • no fenders, no trunk and no other accessories.

The difference between the city versions and the professional two-pods:

  • shortened stroke shock absorbers;
  • reduced-strength materials used in the frame construction;
  • entry-level bodykit;
  • striking design.

In order to make sense of the bikes, the conventional division presented in the table is adopted.

Category Design feature
(translates to soft-tail).
Built-in rear triangle shock absorber with short stroke
Some two-pods are assembled without shock absorbers
The design combines the quality features of two-pods with the efficiency of a hardtail
Full Suspension
(Full Suspension)
Maximum frame rigidity for Cross-country—what-it-is–nuances two-paddle bikes
Cushioning quality
Contact pedals with special shoes
(free ride)
Special rear suspension system with approximately 200 mm of travel
10-20 speed
2 front sprockets
Hydraulically actuated disc brakes
Wide tires
(ancestor of two-paddle bikes)
Similar to a cross bike with no engine
Long shock absorber travel
Wide tires with tractor tread
Powerful frame
giant front fork

Suspension types.

With two-paddle bikes, suspension types have come to mean a lot to riders.

The design element performs three functions:

  1. Maintains traction between the wheels and the road.
  2. Improves traction.
  3. Softens shocks when riding on difficult trails.

Two types of suspension are distinguished: spring suspension and air suspension. Elastomers are used on cheap forks. Manufacturers are trying to diversify the suspensions of two-paddle bikes. However, all boil down to four types:

  1. A single rear triangle.
  2. Floating suspension.
  3. Multilevers.
  4. Cantilever.

The front wheel shock absorber is a fork, similar to a hardtail. Manufacturers are working to improve the rear wheel designs to strike a balance between softness and suspension efficiency. An example of a sophisticated technical solution is Cross-country—what-it-is–nuances two-pods.

shock absorber

Expensive bikes provide:

  • excellent cushioning;
  • reliable traction;
  • minimal rocking losses;
  • Light weight to help reduce the strain on long climbs.
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The greater the stroke of the fork, the more reliable control of the bike on bumps and stronger cushioning on impact.

Single rear triangle

Among all types of two-suspension bikes, this suspension is represented by variations of varieties. The design is attached to the frame through a sequence of swingarms connected by pivots. The rear swingarm is not directly connected to the shock absorber.

Racer Bob Girvin patented the swingarm, which gave rise to the mass emergence of the two-paddle bicycle. The double-suspension device reduces pressure on the chain and sprockets, removes the negative effect of sway, characterized by low pedal recoil. The URT is an expensive suspension type that requires quality shock absorbers under heavy load. Because of the massive swingarms when riding standing up, the advantages are lost. The design is gradually disappearing from the market.

Floating suspension

The analogue of the triangle inherited the pros and cons of the previous “brother”. Features of the most expensive kind of suspension:

  1. Use on professional two-pods.
  2. Reduced rocking when pedaling.
  3. The bottom bracket is mounted between the main frame and the rear swingarm with a special pivot.
  4. No kickback on pedals.


multilever hangers

The popular type of design is subdivided into two types:

  1. The device with one lever (moto swingarms).
  2. Four-lever suspensions (e.g., Giant and Specialized two-suspension mountain bikes).

When the first two-pods were made, the swingarm was attached to the frame on one axis at a time. The device smoothed out the bumps, but created a lot of sway and short travel.

With multi-lever suspensions, the rear wheel is connected to the frame with a set of pivots and levers. The device creates a good shock absorption, reliable braking, long stroke. Features of the device: has two places to attach the wheel without a defined center of rotation. Thanks to this property of the suspension, the rider reacts even to minor bumps and achieves a soft ride.


The device of the two-suspended model is characterized by functional and constructive ingenuousness. Cantilever suspensions are made from a simple rear swingarm, which is attached to the frame and shock absorber with one axle without the use of connecting levers. Stroke is 200 mm. The peculiarity of the design is the location of a single pivot. The cantilever type appeared when the first two-paddle mountain bike was released. The design was not developed, and the manufacturers began to use other suspensions.

Advantages and disadvantages

Swiss company Scott

The leader among the manufacturers of two-suspension bikes, the Swiss company Scott, produces bikes that brought victories in the world cups. The double-paddle designs differ in design and technical characteristics. But there are also inexpensive bikes on the market. Before choosing the right model, you need to know the pros and cons of two-paddle bikes.

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Advantages Disadvantages
Stability in all conditions Cost
Saving of strength in overcoming obstacles Frequent repairs of nondurable construction
Good controllability on slopes and off-road Low efficiency
Reduced strain on the spine, joints, arms Sporty purpose
Appearance Increased demands on quality of parts
The grip of the rear wheel The weight of the two-pod
Good results for riders in all competitions Difficulty in choosing a model

Choosing the right two-passenger

When buying a two-paddle bike, preference is given to well-known manufacturers (Scott, Cannondale, Specialized). For riding in the city choose a budget option. For example, the models of the company Giant. The main recommendation from professionals is not to save money when choosing a sports bike.

Giant two-paddle bike

If there are no trained consultants in the store, study the following elements:

  • The design and reliability of the suspension;
  • the strength of the material of the frame and arms (preference is given to flexible, durable frames made of carbon or aluminum);
  • layout of the transmission;
  • weight of the model;
  • the size of the wheels (the diameter of the tires depends on the sensitivity to bumps, stones and potholes)
  • fork travel;
  • High-quality cushioning should work both in the front and rear of the two-pedal;
  • Not recommended to buy models with a folding frame.

For beginners who have decided to try a sporty riding style, it is recommended to buy a two-paddle model costing at least $300-500. Needed advice: those who want to permanently move to a sport two-saddle, should lay out at least $ 1000. Otherwise, there is a risk of buying a “moulage” two-paddle bike.

When examining the suspension, consider what riding style the cyclist has chosen. Cross-country bikes are characterized by the stroke of the rear wheel from 25 to 100 mm. Freelide – 100-200 mm. Downhill – 150-300 mm. Of great importance is the rider’s weight. The more kilograms, the more the suspension will sag.


Powerful two-saddle bike – the best choice for professional athletes and fans to feel the release of adrenaline in the blood. For the supporters of urban riding and tourists, the bike with a bright design will be a reliable vehicle, revealing all its merits.

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Comments: 1
  1. Taylor Rivas (автор)

    For so many years, many people already know how to use and ride it. The advantage is that it’s easier to ride than a heavy moped or motorcycle, which also has two wheels. The bike is notable for being lightweight.

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