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Thread: How much SAG?

  1. #1
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    How much SAG?

    How much SAG do you set your bike's suspension with and does this really add to your riding experience (how?)

    Yes I have read and heard about setting SAG but that just never featured in my thinking when setting up my bike's suspension, my main thought being "I am not bottoming out" as I previously broke a new 150mm fork, bottoming out 4 years ago on the second ride out. The rides we do are basically XC uphills with the occasional hike-n-bike and usually unmarked downhills, jumps and drops, rock gardens, some slow tech terrain some smooth and fast etc.

    I would greatly appreciate your feedback based on your experience with setting SAG, its purpose from experience and does it improve your overall riding experience.

  2. #2
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    20%ish is what I run. Any more than that and I bottom out on the bigger jumps and drops. But any less than 15% makes the small bumps kinda harsh. You have to find a good balance of soaking up the small stuff but being able to take the bigger stuff without bottoming out.

  3. #3
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    run about what your frame manufacturer suggests. a little more for plushness, a bit less for bigger hits. some designs are very sensitive to sag.

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    This is why I wish more air shocks had adjustable high and low speed compression.

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    I run 30%+ on all my AM bike and ~30% on my XC bike. Unless I'm going to do jump I would not drop below that. Most companies and design would recommend between 25-30% not really less than that. I have not seen any design that recommend 25< in person unless it's for jumping application.

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    i run around 25% on the back and 35% on the front. sounds like alot on the front, but i have yet to bottom out my forks (bos deville 160mm) despite some fairly heavily landed 5' and 6' drops to flat.

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    ImageShack® - Online Photo and Video Hosting
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    maybe that's valid for Fox shocks only
    Rear sag makes also different KOPS position at my experience.

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    Not to change the subject, but how many of you guys
    ever bottom out your Fox forks? I know I never have, and
    I've run some low pressure.

    Best, John

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    I came close a few times but it's less scary to bottom the rear than the front because a few mm after the fork bottom is a sef-ejecting botton

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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    I run 30%+ on all my AM bike and ~30% on my XC bike. Unless I'm going to do jump I would not drop below that. Most companies and design would recommend between 25-30% not really less than that. I have not seen any design that recommend 25< in person unless it's for jumping application.
    Specialized recommends 22 to 28% for the Brain shock on my Stumpy. I run it around 20%.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pleepleus View Post
    Specialized recommends 22 to 28% for the Brain shock on my Stumpy. I run it around 20%.
    You must have pretty aggressive style to be able to use up the travel on a Stumpy with 20% sag. How often do you bottom out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    You must have pretty aggressive style to be able to use up the travel on a Stumpy with 20% sag. How often do you bottom out?
    It's an 08 with 120mm of travel. I've bottomed it out on 2 to 3 foot drops when running to low psi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pleepleus View Post
    It's an 08 with 120mm of travel. I've bottomed it out on 2 to 3 foot drops when running to low psi.
    Wow, I ran a bit over 25% on my Epic S-work still not a plush ride by any mean. When I rode Pivot mach 4 100mm travel I ran 35% sag and the bike still climb like at champ.

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    Rocking! Thank you all for the information. Will check the manufacturer's recommendations and set it a little less just to keep my paranoia at ease while searching for that balance when out on the trails.

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    My Boxxer WC info says to run different sag amounts for different riding situations ie: 10% sag for XC
    20% Freeride 30% DH IRC, I may have them mixed up but I'm sure about the idea and the forks are marked to 30%.
    I'll try to find the reference material and edit the post, if its incorrect as to which percentage for what activity, after work.
    2011 Canfield ONE 200mm DH 35 pounds
    2010 Specialized Pitch 100% non stock 29 lbs
    Wife: 2009 Canfield ONE also 29 lbs

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by crossup View Post
    My Boxxer WC info says to run different sag amounts for different riding situations ie: 10% sag for XC
    20% Freeride 30% DH IRC, I may have them mixed up but I'm sure about the idea and the forks are marked to 30%.
    I'll try to find the reference material and edit the post, if its incorrect as to which percentage for what activity, after work.
    That's a good one. However I would not use it as an xc fork regardless of how light it is

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    It all depend on what you want...for me its the only fork to own as it the only fork that can truly do it all. As to light...well 5.98 lbs aint light but its far from the heaviest and one can have less travel and capability and yet be heavier.
    Since my bike weights 35 pounds its not an XC race bike but its a uphill pedalling monster(no bob or wasted motion) and of course bombs downhills. And thats what the bike really is to me: a super AM bike that excels at climbing and can go toe to toe DH with World Cuppers. In between it handles everything from bmx pump tracks, North Shore skinnies to long XC stints with equal aplomb.

    Oh and apparently RockShock considers the Boxxer appropriate to more than just downhill as they have suggested setups that cover most riding situation like "Trail: Slow maneuvering through highly technical terrain"...I'd say thats not a typical World Cup downhill situation and no I'm not claiming the Boxxer isnt a freeride/DH fork...just that its not limited to its main purpose and it does great job in any role.

    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    That's a good one. However I would not use it as an xc fork regardless of how light it is
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How much SAG?-100_1600a.jpg  

    Last edited by crossup; 08-25-2011 at 05:03 PM.
    2011 Canfield ONE 200mm DH 35 pounds
    2010 Specialized Pitch 100% non stock 29 lbs
    Wife: 2009 Canfield ONE also 29 lbs

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    That is an absolute gorgeous Canfield One!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. #19
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    Thanks, the best part though, is that it rides better than it looks
    And to pervert a local saying, "lifes to short to own a ugly bike"

    Quote Originally Posted by jmountain View Post
    That is an absolute gorgeous Canfield One!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    2011 Canfield ONE 200mm DH 35 pounds
    2010 Specialized Pitch 100% non stock 29 lbs
    Wife: 2009 Canfield ONE also 29 lbs

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndesJack View Post
    How much SAG do you set your bike's suspension with and does this really add to your riding experience (how?)

    Yes I have read and heard about setting SAG but that just never featured in my thinking when setting up my bike's suspension, my main thought being "I am not bottoming out" as I previously broke a new 150mm fork, bottoming out 4 years ago on the second ride out. The rides we do are basically XC uphills with the occasional hike-n-bike and usually unmarked downhills, jumps and drops, rock gardens, some slow tech terrain some smooth and fast etc.

    I would greatly appreciate your feedback based on your experience with setting SAG, its purpose from experience and does it improve your overall riding experience.
    I think that the basic purpose of suspension is to keep the tires in traction over the terrain. It's got to be able to absorb bumps, which it does by compression. However, it's also got to be able to follow dips in the trail. This is where sag comes in. The main purpose of sag is "negative travel," or allowing the fork/shock to decompress when the effective weight on the bike decreases. If you had no sag, then the tires would not stay in traction over dips in the trail . Also, a sagless suspension would mean that the spring would not compress until the rider hits something, which would result in teeth shattering topout every time it rebounds.

    Think about it with a car making a sharp corner: What if the car had no negative travel? The wheels on the inside of the corner would not stay in contact with the road when the suspension on the outside of the corner compresses.


  21. #21
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    @shamethellama, very goo explanation.
    I'm experiencing something similar with my Float RC2 - sitting on level ground I don't have sag or I have to decrease drastically pressure in order to have. In that way I don't have negative travel and riding trough rocks/roots wandering front wheel. The opposite is when I have 25-30% sag sitting - when standing fork starts blowing through travel and diving(low speed not help). My previous fork was 66 RC2X and that hing has almost equal sag sitting and standing.
    Somewhere here I read that Float must be set not by sag, but by "feel" - and that's when riding, not stationary.
    Also it depends how fast you go: Lee Likes Bikes

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by codename47 View Post
    @shamethellama, very goo explanation.
    I'm experiencing something similar with my Float RC2 - sitting on level ground I don't have sag or I have to decrease drastically pressure in order to have. In that way I don't have negative travel and riding trough rocks/roots wandering front wheel. The opposite is when I have 25-30% sag sitting - when standing fork starts blowing through travel and diving(low speed not help). My previous fork was 66 RC2X and that hing has almost equal sag sitting and standing.
    Somewhere here I read that Float must be set not by sag, but by "feel" - and that's when riding, not stationary.
    Also it depends how fast you go: Lee Likes Bikes
    I'm skeptical that the Float36 is that bad, so you have to run (almost?) no sag or bottom out all the time, but, I've heard you can decrease the air chamber volume (with spacers or whatever) to make it more progressive, no?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul View Post
    run about what your frame manufacturer suggests. a little more for plushness, a bit less for bigger hits. some designs are very sensitive to sag.
    This. I used to run all my bikes at 30-33% sag but had severe bottom out issues with my new Spitty at those levels. Found out they recommend 25% (any lower and you're BB is REALLY low on an already low bike) and WHAT a diff that made! I wouldn't have thought just a 5% decrease in sag could make that much of a diff. Moral of the story... LISTEN to what the frame maker is telling you!!!

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

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