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  1. #1
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    130mm suspension travel?

    The rear suspension on my 2013 Kona delivers the stated 130mm travel easily, coming back from a ride l can see that the shock has used all it's travel.

    However the front fork (Rock Shox Sektor Solo Air) never seems to deliver more than about 100mm, even after l dropped the air pressure to 75psi (l weigh 73kg)

    Is it because l don't weigh that much, or is the final 30mm of travel saved for riding off cliffs?

  2. #2
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    Sounds like you have a spring that is to firm. Yo're LBS should be able to order you a lighter spring.

    https://www.sram.com/rockshox/products/sektor-rl

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by grok22 View Post
    Sounds like you have a spring that is to firm. Yo're LBS should be able to order you a lighter spring.

    https://www.sram.com/rockshox/products/sektor-rl
    Except since he has a Solo Air, it's controlled by air pressure. He needs to lower his PSI. The book-values given for setting PSI rely on too many variables, how much weight is on your handlebar, where it's positioned, how slack the front end is, etc. You can use it to start, but then adjust the pressure as necessary to get at least 25% sag and even more is ok if you're still not getting near full travel. You never want to "feel" it bottom and abruptly stop, but you do want to use all the travel every few rides or so, or even every ride.
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  4. #4
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    I tend to use more shock travel than fork myself as well. 120 front and rear.
    I just figured it was because I tend to ride back on the bike when bombing the rough stuff.
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  5. #5
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    I will try lowering the air pressure a further 5-10 psi.

    I guess the recommended pressures have to account for extremes of riding, although I do not descend slowly I try to steer around the worst of the rocks etc.

  6. #6
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    When I had my Sektor, I had to run it way below the recommended pressures to get a decent level of performance. Once I had it dialed in for my weight (63kg/135lb) though, it was an awesome fork.
    The base settings for the air spring are usually based on an "average" weight rider, which I think I've heard somewhere is approx. 170lbs or thereabouts, so if you are like me and are quite a bit outside this weight, then the base settings are going to be way off.
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  7. #7
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    One thing you can try just to rule out one suspect is poke the air valve with something to let all the air out and make sure that you can indeed bottom out the fork. It is possible to have an issue with a damper that could restrict travel (if it needs a simple service or was over filled). former happened to my pike..just needed a rebuild

  8. #8
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    Same thing here with a Fox Float 32 CDT. With the recommended psi it is ridiculously stiff so in order to make it work I had to reduce the air by 30 psi and still I got in around 100 out of 130 travel in a rocky terrain but without any jumps.

    As mentioned the recommended psi are just an average recommendation. For example the slacker the head angle the lower the psi should be to make it work. I think it is better to dial it based on sag.

  9. #9
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    Assuming that oil hasn't migrated past the seals causing hydraulic lock-out, you're running proper sag, and there is bath oil in the legs, it sounds like you don't need 5" of travel for your trails and riding style. It seems like so many people are riding 5" and 6" travel bikes on normal cross-country trails and not using the travel they're lugging around. In order to get full travel, people are running 30 to 40% sag, which ruins the handling of the bike and causes excessive pedal bob and brake dive.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the replies.

    The bike is only two weeks old, so l would hope it has the correct oil level.

    I will let the air out to make sure the fork is actually able to move through the full 130mm travel, as suggested above.

    Then l guess it will be best to leave it at 75 psi as this results in about 30mm of sag.

    Unless the fork is not working properly (overfilled with oil etc) then l will investigate further.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by lotusdriver View Post
    Thanks for the replies.

    The bike is only two weeks old, so l would hope it has the correct oil level.

    I will let the air out to make sure the fork is actually able to move through the full 130mm travel, as suggested above.

    Then l guess it will be best to leave it at 75 psi as this results in about 30mm of sag.

    Unless the fork is not working properly (overfilled with oil etc) then l will investigate further.
    don't assume because the fork is new that it has the correct oil levels.

  12. #12
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    i have an 07 rs tora solo air with moco. same deal here.... it ramps up alot near the bottom. i did the let out the air test and the travel was fine. my psylo coil is opposite with a medium spring. very easy to bottom out. i wouldn't worry about it too much as long as it suits your needs. if you make too soft your handling and pedal characterstics will get sloppy and mushy at the top of the stroke. i never seem to get past 100mm either and get deeper into the rear suspension on the 3 fs bikes i have had. infact i have never bottome my current 140 bike and bottomed my 150 bike more often with both set up properly. every bike, shock set up, amount of compression per shock is differnent per bike and shock. i think rs ramps up more in deep stroke than fox from what i felt

  13. #13
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    My Fox has the CTD system which I find really helpful in order to properly set up my fork and shock. So I always set it up in the D mode as suggested and prefer a higher sag (30%+) in order to have a plush ride and then depending on the terrain I am riding I switch to Trial or even Climb mode if I want a firmer set up. Up to now it seems to work quite well.

  14. #14
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    Well, l just got back from a ride and the maximum l am getting from my 130mm fork is 90mm, even when really trying.
    I let out all the air and the fork then compresses easily to 130mm.

    Now l realise l am not going to see 130mm, but as an experiment l have dropped the air pressure from 75 to 60psi (the lowest recommended pressure for my weight range) to see what happens.

    The static sag is still only about 30mm.

  15. #15
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    Keep removing air until you get the travel you want for the terrain you ride. My air pressure is way below recommended.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paris Galanis View Post
    Keep removing air until you get the travel you want for the terrain you ride. My air pressure is way below recommended.
    Paris, I am having the same issue with my Fox CTD 130 mm. The last 30 mm are almost impossible to get. If I take enough air out to get that last 30 mm I will bob like crazy and I will have a steep HTA when not using the suspension. Is there any way for this to be fixed the right way?

  17. #17
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    Start with the fork at the recommended pressure for your weight, and remove 10psi each time you go out on the bike, until you are happy with the way the bike is perfoming.

    You will most likely end up with a compromise, where you are getting the most travel without the fork being too soft/bouncy.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by lotusdriver View Post
    Start with the fork at the recommended pressure for your weight, and remove 10psi each time you go out on the bike, until you are happy with the way the bike is perfoming.

    You will most likely end up with a compromise, where you are getting the most travel without the fork being too soft/bouncy.
    I have done tinkered with removing air pressure etc. Is it normal on forks to not use the full travel they offer? I don't remember this with my old bikes. They felt fairly stiff while pedaling but I could go through all the travel a lot easier too.

  19. #19
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    Lower it 10psi at a time, so you know the change you have made.

    It does seem to be the case that you might not get the full travel, unless you ride off a cliff!

    But you should be able to get to a point where you are using a good percentage of the travel in normal riding, say over 100mm on a 130mm fork.

  20. #20
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    Well that kinda sucks. I could have got a 100 mm XC bike then. I was able to go through 100 mm of travel on my old hardtail pretty easily.

  21. #21
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    I will report back when l have tried lower air pressure.
    On my 100mm Cube hardtail l only got about 7Omm travel out of the Rock Shox Recon Silver TK front fork in general riding.

    So l am already getting 20mm more from this bike before l lowered the air pressure.

  22. #22
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    I have a 2011 Kona with the same travel and Fork (TK solo), and I do have to run slightly lower than the recommended psi. I think it is because the Fork can also be used at 140 and 150mm when internal spacers are removed. I only use the last 30mm when I take the larger jumps at my local trails.

  23. #23
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    Well if you want, I will let you guys know when I have my LBS remove my spacer. I have some say the behavior of the fork will change with that spacer gone. Dunno if that's true or not but I suppose we will find out.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    Well if you want, I will let you guys know when I have my LBS remove my spacer. I have some say the behavior of the fork will change with that spacer gone. Dunno if that's true or not but I suppose we will find out.
    Yes please do, I've been contemplating doing that myself. I was fearful that mine would become too 'squishy' or have too much pedal bob. But if thats not the case ill probably go 150mm as well.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by dillwill View Post
    Yes please do, I've been contemplating doing that myself. I was fearful that mine would become too 'squishy' or have too much pedal bob. But if thats not the case ill probably go 150mm as well.
    Well the thing is, the 130 mm fork is exactly the same as the 140 mm fork they put in higher travel bikes. It is just easier for them to throw a spacer in there to spec it for a bike designed for 130 mm. In other words, it shouldn't bob any more than any factory built 140 mm bike. All it will do is slacken the head tube angle a tad and raise the bottom bracket a tad. That can hurt handling but a 10 mm raise in suspension will barely be noticeable when it comes to the handling of your bike. At any rate, I will post back when I can get my fork in to my LBS.

  26. #26
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    Take it down a steep rock roller with a poor transition and report back travel usage.

  27. #27
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    I have heard of seals being broken inside the fork that might cause this problem. I would take it into your LBS and ask them. I am gonna make my LBS make sure everything is in working order when I have them remove my 10 mm spacer.

  28. #28
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    Well, l just got back from a ride, having lowered the air pressure from 75 to 60psi.

    I am now getting 120mm travel, l made sure l went down a few ruts and drop offs on the ride.

    The action is now more plush as well, but there is a lot of dive on braking, and on rocky descents the shock is working at the lower half of its travel.

    So l guess it is going to be a case of compromise/fine tuning. I have for now raised the air pressure to 70 psi (5 less than before) and will try that out tomorrow.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by lotusdriver View Post
    Well, l just got back from a ride, having lowered the air pressure from 75 to 60psi.

    I am now getting 120mm travel, l made sure l went down a few ruts and drop offs on the ride.

    The action is now more plush as well, but there is a lot of dive on braking, and on rocky descents the shock is working at the lower half of its travel.

    So l guess it is going to be a case of compromise/fine tuning. I have for now raised the air pressure to 70 psi (5 less than before) and will try that out tomorrow.
    Seems like a major compromise. I hope I don't have to buy a premium shock to get the performance that it SHOULD be getting. I am going to Fruita this weekend and will experiment with mine too.

  30. #30
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    What should l be getting?

    I am guessing that reducing the air pressure in any air fork will cause it to be softer.

    The SEKTOR SOLO AIR is l guess a budget fork, and to get the best of both worlds l imagine you would have to get the credit card out and spend a fair bit more money.

    The Sektor Solo has no separate fill valve for the negative air chamber, it is automatically the same as the positive air chamber.
    I take it a more expensive fork will be able to use all its travel without being too soft/bouncy, and that is one of the reasons it is more expensive.

    The Rock Shox Pike RCT3 Solo Air for instance, looks similar but is three times the price.
    Last edited by lotusdriver; 09-20-2013 at 10:50 AM.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by lotusdriver View Post
    What should l be getting?

    I am guessing that reducing the air pressure in any air fork will cause it to be softer.

    The SEKTOR SOLO AIR is l guess a budget fork, and to get the best of both worlds l imagine you would have to get the credit card out and spend a fair bit more money.

    The Sektor Solo has no negative air chamber.
    I take it a more expensive fork will be able to use all its travel without being too soft/bouncy, and that is one of the reasons it is more expensive.
    Yeah my Fox should still be performing better than it is, but I will figure this out haha

  32. #32
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    nevermind

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    Paris, I am having the same issue with my Fox CTD 130 mm. The last 30 mm are almost impossible to get. If I take enough air out to get that last 30 mm I will bob like crazy and I will have a steep HTA when not using the suspension. Is there any way for this to be fixed the right way?
    I suppose it depends on the terrain you ride. If it is flat you will never get the whole travel no matter what you do. Personally I am OK when in a usual trail ride without any drops I get 90-100 of travel since the extra 30mm is reserved for small jumps and drops. If you are like me and you dont do any huge drops etc then find the biggest drop that you expect to have and adjust the air so you will almost bottom it after the drop.

    If it is bobbing too much then use the trial mode that stiffens the fork. Personally I usually ride it in trial mode and swich to C when ascending and to D when descending and it works fine. Just make sure to adjust also your rebound a little bit quicker so the fork even if it is too soft it will recover quite quickly in order to take one hit after the other.

    PS. I suppose that since the 130 fork is similar if not same size with the 140 that there should be a spacer installed inside it in order to reduce the travel. In the first service I plan to remove it in order to get the full possible travel.

  34. #34
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    I have a dual air rs revelation, there are endless threads about rs' printed air suggestions. I have proper sag in back and regularly use all the travel, but have reduced the +/- to match the sag and feel to match the back end. I think I wound up last ride running about 90+/95-, despite the "recommended" 110 to 120, but the seals were sticky and it's getting serviced now. I don't think you should read into it too much unless the air pressures wind up being way out of whack.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paris Galanis View Post
    I suppose it depends on the terrain you ride. If it is flat you will never get the whole travel no matter what you do. Personally I am OK when in a usual trail ride without any drops I get 90-100 of travel since the extra 30mm is reserved for small jumps and drops. If you are like me and you dont do any huge drops etc then find the biggest drop that you expect to have and adjust the air so you will almost bottom it after the drop.

    If it is bobbing too much then use the trial mode that stiffens the fork. Personally I usually ride it in trial mode and swich to C when ascending and to D when descending and it works fine. Just make sure to adjust also your rebound a little bit quicker so the fork even if it is too soft it will recover quite quickly in order to take one hit after the other.

    PS. I suppose that since the 130 fork is similar if not same size with the 140 that there should be a spacer installed inside it in order to reduce the travel. In the first service I plan to remove it in order to get the full possible travel.
    +1. Modern 5" bikes are extremely capable. I have friends that hit 8' drops on 140mm bikes (I'm not so brave: ~5 feet is where I max out). I don't expect to use 140mm of travel on every ride. If I did there would be no ramp up for when I hit drops.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley View Post
    +1. Modern 5" bikes are extremely capable. I have friends that hit 8' drops on 140mm bikes (I'm not so brave: ~5 feet is where I max out). I don't expect to use 140mm of travel on every ride. If I did there would be no ramp up for when I hit drops.
    Good you actually use your suspension. I would say 90% of riders I see with long-travel bikes don't ever use all the travel they have. I ride technical trails but not big drops. Pedaling efficiency is more important to me.

  37. #37
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    technically with a spacer you are moved closer into progressive ramping. but all in all this mountain biking......you set it up to where it works best for what your doing. not set it up so you can bottom it out. trust me.....you say its sucks your not getting to use all your travel. the day you plow into something without pulling up, and hit it harder and faster than you are comfortable with; you will end up using more than 90mm.

    we all ride within our ability for the most part. hit a rock garden at 30mph. I guarantee you blow through 130.

    hey OP......do you have moco on that fork. you could firm it up for climbing and open it up for dh. that would solve majority of your issue. if you dont you can put a blacbox moco for revelation or standard moco in that fork if you only have a tk.

  38. #38
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    No it is just the basic fork

    I went out again today with the air pressure about 65psi and this seems a good compromise, found that l had used about 110mm and the fork was not too soft.

    I think l will leave it like that for now, the Tanuki Deluxe is after all a budget offering from Kona and l should not expect too much from it.

    The bike is actually great fun, and a lot better since l started standing on the pedals while descending (unless the going is smooth)

  39. #39
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    THROW THIS BABY IN THERE. RockShox 2012 Revelation RLT Compression Damper Motion Control DNA Crown Adjust | eBay PROBLEM SOLVED. ON THE FLY ADJUSTMENT FROM COMPLETE LOCK OUT TO WHATEVER AMOUNT OF DAMPENING YOU WANT TO WIDE OPEN DEPENDING ON THE TRAIL DEMANDS. THE SEKTOR LOWER AND STANCHION ARE COMPATBLE WITH REVELATION. THE REV HAS A DUAL AIR CHAMBER ON THE SPRING SIDE. THE COMPRESSION REBOUND SIDE IS INTERCHANGABLE GET DIALED WITH THIS. SET IT UP WIDE OPEN TILL YOUR TOTALLY HAPPY WITH ITS DOWN HILL CAPABILITY. THEN TOY WITH THE SILVER KNOB TO WHERE YOU LIKE IT. THEN YOU HAVE THE BLUE NOB TO ON THE FLY STIFFEN WHERE YOU LIKE DEPENDING ON THE TRAIL OR IF YOUR CLIMBING.

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