Q. I've had a full suspension bike for some time, but lose a lot of efficiency on the flat stuff. I'm very keen on the rear suspension Fox Brain of the Specialized Epic Comp, but the bike's too pricey. Can you suggest an alternative bike with a similar smart rear suspension?
Danny Kitchener, via email
A. The 'smart' suspension of the Epic is unfortunately unique in its auto on/off behaviour. You can increase low speed compression damping or 'platform' effect on some shocks to stop bob on the flat, but that makes them less sensitive over small bumps. The only real cheap alternative is getting a bike or shock with lockout on that you can easily reach when you need to stiffen the bike up.