Electric-assist reduces Fork Bounce when climbing?


New member
Local time
10:32 AM
Sep 1, 2020
I added a small DIY mid drive assist motor to my old Reign a year ago. I have noticed that fork bounce during climbing has been pretty much eliminated.

Years ago, I installed a Marzocchi 160 RC3Ti fork on my Reign. I ride a lot of cow areas, which means millions of 4" deep footprints baked into the adobe. (stupid cows...) The Marzocchi is very plush and buttery, but nicely controlled, and really helps with the cow bumps. However, there is no lockout, so it would bob when climbing, even when seated. It was so bad that on long climbs I would strap it down a couple of inches with an old toe clip strap.

Since I added the motor, I typically do long climbs with around 80 to 160 watts of assist. Since the motor torque is constant, and my legs are probably doing half the work as before, I guess maybe my spin is smoother. In any case, I'm not seeing the fork bounce any more. (If I climb without assist, it's the same as before...)

Has anyone else noticed anything similar? It seems like a nice little E-Bike bonus. Not using a lockout means the fork is more compliant over bumps when climbing, and I never need to say "Oops, I forgot to turn off my lockout" when I get to the bottom of a nice descent...
It’s probably just the extra weight of the battery up front. Maybe you need a bit more low-speed compression damping, either front or rear or both.

Also, you might be going faster uphill, changing the suspension dynamics. You might go over to the suspension forum but just don’t mention the motor.
Interesting. It definitely smooths out the power curve as there are less spikes in power delivery. You just spin more. And the motor certainly doesn't grunt up and down on big, tired efforts.

The other way to look at it is there is less need for out of the saddle climbing or movement close to that.

I think it's the same for the rear.

FSR bobs quite a bit on hard efforts and drags a little bit on fire road climbs. That's kind of why they keep insisting on the Brain shock. (even though it is not good but every iteration is 'better'). But on an ebike, it seems to work pretty well. Aside from the obvious assist, there seems to be less up and down and uneven output from the rider.
The benefits of e assist for climbing goes well beyond the wattage boost. Lowering the center of gravity by adding weight to the bottom bracket area makes the bike track much better while reducing the baby deer steering effect you get with a steep climb. Having the motor fill in the dead spot of your pedalling also helps keep the bike steady. When your upper body doesn't have to constantly move around to accommodate a variation of power input, your suspension is much more consistent. Everyone can benefit from easier handling while climbing, but newbies and kids will gain the most confidence from e-assist and be far more likely to maintain their participation in the sport.