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Long Travel Suspension vs Lift Kit: 6 Differences [Must Learn]

Long Travel Suspension vs Lift Kit

Last Updated on March 13, 2023

Long travel suspension and lift kits are both modifications used to increase the off-roading capability of your vehicle, but they offer very different benefits.

The suspension kit offers superior performance for more wheel travel with safety, while a lift kit can give more ground clearance and is typically much easier to install and maintain.

Both provide a comfortable ride, better performance, and improved safety than before. When you compare wheel travel, installation costs, maintenance considerations, and performance capabilities, you can understand which suits your vehicle.

We’ll help narrow down all options based on budget, driving style, and lifestyle needs.

Long Travel Suspension vs Lift Kit: Comparison Points Between Them

suspension lift kit

If you’re an off-road enthusiast, then you might be considering either a Long Travel Suspension or Lift Kit for your vehicle. Both provide distinct advantages and disadvantages, but in the end, it comes down to what provides the most value for your needs.

1. Wheel Travel:

Long travel suspension is popular among off-road enthusiasts because it provides more wheel travel than stock suspensions. This type of setup involves custom shocks, wider control arms, and other modifications that enable the wheels to travel further up and down.

This additional wheel travel helps improve articulation over rough terrain while providing better traction with the ground surface. Long-travel suspensions provide increased stability when driving over obstacles or large dips in the road since they don’t bottom out as easily as stock suspensions do.

A lift kit is another type of suspension modification that is designed to increase a vehicle’s ride height by adding lift spacers or longer shocks. The increasing ground clearance can allow vehicles to traverse rough terrain more easily without bottoming out on sharp rocks or logs.

Lift kits also allow for larger tires, increasing traction in certain conditions, such as mud or snow.

2. Performance:

Long travel suspensions offer superior performance when compared to lift kits due to their increased damping compression control and ability to adjust ride height, damping and spring rates according to personal preferences or terrain conditions encountered while off-roading.

Suspensions provide improved off-road performance with more suspension travel which allows drivers to speed up on rough terrain without sacrificing comfort or stability.

Lift kits, on the other hand, provide increased ground clearance but less control over terrain due to their limited suspension travel. They also reduce seating comfort due to raised center of gravity, which can be uncomfortable for some people during longer trips.

A lift kit is typically used for more casual off-roading or aesthetic purposes.

3. Safety:

Long Travel Suspension provides improved off-road safety due to its dampening control and adjustability for optimal traction on different terrains. The added suspension travel also helps reduce the potential for injury from sudden impacts or jolts from rough terrain.

A Lift Kit might improve ground clearance but also reduce suspension travel and stability control, meaning that it may not provide the same level of safety as a long-travel suspension set up.

4. Installation:

Installing a long-travel suspension system is much more complex than installing a lift kit. It usually involves disassembling part or all of your vehicle’s existing suspension in order to modify it for the extended travel range.

Afterward, you will need to fit the new components, such as shocks and springs, followed by realignment once everything is in place. This process may take anywhere from hours to days, depending on your skill level and the complexity of the setup you choose for your vehicle.

With a lift kit, installation time can be significantly shorter since there is no need for disassembly or modification of existing parts. All you have to do is bolt-on or weld new components into place and perform any necessary alignment adjustments afterward.

5. Maintenance:

Long Travel Suspension requires more frequent maintenance due to increased suspension movement resulting in additional wear and tear on components, such as shocks, ball joints, and springs.

Lift Kit generally requires less frequent maintenance as it adds height without significantly affecting the vehicle’s performance. It is important to check regularly that all mounting hardware is secure, as well as pay attention to any signs of rusting or corrosion on any parts that are exposed to the elements.

6. Cost:

The cost of a long travel suspension system is often higher than that of a lift kit due to the greater complexity and components required to achieve extended travel. 

Long travel suspensions require several components such as shock absorbers, coil springs, sway bars, and lower control arms. The added components can add up quickly, resulting in an expensive installation cost.

On the other hand, lift kits are relatively cheaper since they only require a few parts such as new suspension blocks, brackets, and spacers.

Long Travel Suspension vs. Lift Kit: Which One Should You Install?

suspension components

The question of whether to mount a long travel suspension or a lift kit on your vehicle is an important decision to make. Both options offer distinct advantages and disadvantages depending on your desired outcome.

A long travel suspension is an ideal choice for you for maximum wheel travel, superior performance, and improved safety due to the added stability it provides when navigating off-road terrain.

Conversely, a lift kit offers ease of installation and fast results, with the ability to maintain consistent reliability at a fraction of the cost.

Ultimately, both methods are equally viable for increasing ground clearance on your truck, but you should assess your situation carefully before making your final selection.

Is Long Travel Suspension Worth It?

Long travel suspension is worth it for many reasons. It can provide riders with a faster ride by keeping their tires planted and improving traction than mid travel suspension and lift kits.

In some conditions, such as rough terrain or high speeds, a long travel kit can be beneficial in reducing the impact of bumps and shocks on the rider. A long travel suspension kit can increase stability at higher speeds and provide a smoother ride overall.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Long Travel Suspension?

The cost of installing a long travel suspension will vary depending on the type of bike and components being used, but generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $5,000 or more.

Installation costs depend heavily on the quality of parts chosen as well as labor costs incurred by your local bike shop or mechanic. It’s also important to keep in mind that if you choose to upgrade parts down the line, such as upgrading your shock absorber or fork, you may need to pay additional fees for installation.

What is the Most Comfortable Suspension Type?

long travel kits

Air suspension is often considered to be the most comfortable type of bicycle suspension. It has the ability to easily adjust and respond to different terrain types without sacrificing comfort or performance.

The air-spring design provides riders with greater control over their ride quality by allowing them to adjust rebound damping according to personal preference. Air springs also offer an improved weight-to-stiffness ratio compared with coil springs which makes them perfect for both trail and cross-country riders looking for a comfortable ride experience.

Is 150mm Travel Suspension Too Much?

It depends on what type of riding you plan on doing and what size stanchion your bike has. Pushing the limits of what a 34mm stanchion can deal with will mean that 150mm of suspension travel could be too much for this frame size in terms of stability and durability in rough terrain.

For trail bikes with aggressive rides, a sweet spot for suspension travel would usually be 130-140mm since this provides enough cushioning while still maintaining good stability when going through more technical sections of trails.

Does 10mm of Travel Suspension Make a Difference?

10mm of travel suspension does make a difference. This extra “travel” is the distance the suspension can compress and expand, which provides different levels of cushioning for different terrain.

With 10mm of travel suspension, you will notice more control when riding on uneven terrains such as rock gardens, steep inclines, or sudden drops. It also allows for more margin for error when taking technical roll ins or drops and reduces bottom outs, giving you greater confidence to push your limits.

Does Long Arm Suspension Ride Better?

Does Long Arm Suspension Ride Better

Long arm suspension typically rides better than short arm suspension and body lift kit. It helps to smooth out the ride while providing additional clearance and travel potential. 

The longer arms reduce operating angles which place stress on the vehicle’s components and reduce its ability to flex and conform to the terrain. When placing longer control arms, they help to increase ground clearance and off-road agility while reducing vibrations on gravel roads.

What is the Most Durable Suspension?

The most durable suspension is Rigid Axle Suspension (also known as beam axle suspension). This type of suspension has an axle that runs perpendicular to the vehicle and is connected to the wheels via a wheel spindle combined with springs that bear a lot of loads.

It offers excellent space efficiency compared with other types of suspensions which makes it ideal for offroaders who need maximum durability over long distances. Rigid axles also provide better articulation due to their higher load bearing capacity, allowing vehicles with this type of suspension increased maneuverability in rough terrain.

Make the Most of Off-Roading with the Right Upgrades

Both Long Travel Suspension and Lift Kits can provide an improved driving experience. Choosing the right suspension system or lift kit for your off-road vehicle can be difficult without a deeper understanding of what each option offers.

Long travel suspension provides increased wheel travel and improved safety & performance, but they can also come with higher installation costs and maintenance requirements.

Lift kits are cheaper, easy to install, and provide increased ground clearance, but they lack the same performance as long travel systems.

As always, keep in mind your personal preferences as well as the condition of your vehicle when upgrading your vehicle with lift kits and long travel suspension.

Long Travel Suspension vs Lift Kit: 6 Differences [Must Learn]

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