I've tried every type of 'gravel bike suspension' going - here's what I really think of these systems, as a pro mechanic

Gravel bikes are becoming more and more capable, but, do they really need more squish? Mechanic Glen Whittington has tested most systems on the market, and says, 'it depends'

Gravel bike with suspension
(Image credit: Future)

Suspension on gravel bikes isn’t new. You could argue that the Paris-Roubaix bikes of the late 80s/early 90s were basically gravel bikes and brands like Rock Shox were already experimenting with short travel forks and air shocks in an effort to smooth out the ferocious cobbles - that’s essentially what we’re doing by fitting suspension to our modern day gravel bikes

Technology has progressed, and there are all kinds of solutions, from full telescopic forks, to bouncy stems, headset mounted systems and carbon components which are designed to flex and work like suspension - but which ones will make your bike better? 

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Glen Whittington

Glen’s an ex-racer who still finds time to ride bikes for SDWRacing. He started racing in 1998, initially specialising in XCO and Solo 24-Hour Mountain Bike. He became a mechanic in 2002, working in shops and also for professional race teams. During this time he spent more time racing cyclocross and road, and then also time trials. In 2013 he built his first bespoke frame and then spent several years at Roberts learning the art. Since then he’s designed, tested and now sells frames/bikes to the public as part of his ÆIGHT brand.