1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Can I pump up my suspension to make it ride stiffer?

    I have air shocks and I was wondering if I can ride them with higher PSI to make them more stiff, or if that's a bad idea. I know there's a max on it I'd have to look at first.

  2. #2
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    Sure, you can, but you likely won't use all the travel the fork has if you increase the pressure too far above the recommended range for your weight. Setting air pressure in a fork/rear shock isn't an exact science. The bike or fork manufacturer will give you a recommendation, but from there you have to play around with it to find your ideal pressure. It depends on rider weight, riding style, personal preference, terrain, etc. I set mine to a pressure that allows me to use pretty much all of the travel under my normal riding conditions, no use stiffening it up more so that I only use 80 of my 120mm.

  3. #3
    DynoDon
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    I like my rear shock stiff, it eliminates bob, I still use most of my travel, we have very ruff trails here in Lower Michigan, lots of roots drops, the trails get alot of traffic, I weigh 220 with gear, my 4.2 Rock Shox max is 275 lbs I set it at 260 to 265lbs, in the 5 in travel possition.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmik
    I have air shocks and I was wondering if I can ride them with higher PSI to make them more stiff, or if that's a bad idea. I know there's a max on it I'd have to look at first.
    Sure you can. And unless your a clyde like manabiker and myself (200+ lbs), you likely won't have to go to the max pressure either. Just bump it up 5 or 10psi at a time until you get the feel you wan't. Just don't exceed the max pressure. You'll likely find what your looking for well before you hit maximum though. You'll likely be surprised at the difference 10 psi can make.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  5. #5
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    Don't the newer rear shocks have lockouts? I'm not sure if front shocks have lockout too.

    I was looking into a FS mtb, with both front and rear lockup by sliding/rotating a switch/dial base upon the condition I'm on.

  6. #6
    DynoDon
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyNeutron10101
    Don't the newer rear shocks have lockouts? I'm not sure if front shocks have lockout too.

    I was looking into a FS mtb, with both front and rear lockup by sliding/rotating a switch/dial base upon the condition I'm on.
    Mine are newer then what you're looking at, mine have gates, and I put mine to 260/265 lbs in the rear on the Rock Shock 2010, 4.2, the max setting reccomended on the shock is 275 lbs... SAG is just a starting point, set the shock to your comfort zone as long as you don' t pass the reccomended setting.

  7. #7
    usually cranky
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyNeutron10101
    Don't the newer rear shocks have lockouts? I'm not sure if front shocks have lockout too.

    I was looking into a FS mtb, with both front and rear lockup by sliding/rotating a switch/dial base upon the condition I'm on.
    yeah, but locking out suspension on anything other than the road or long fire road climbs is silly.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul
    yeah, but locking out suspension on anything other than the road or long fire road climbs is silly.

    X2 Why would you pay all the money for a full suspension bike if are not going to let the rear suspension move to track the ground.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119
    X2 Why would you pay all the money for a full suspension bike if are not going to let the rear suspension move to track the ground.
    I don't plan on riding off road 100% of the time. 75% of the time, I'll be on road and 25% of the time, on bike trails.

  10. #10
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    mmik, what kind of bike do you have, do you know what's the recommend sag. Some suspension design require you to be in a certain range in order to perform well, VPP is notorious for that.

    I agree with b-kul why turn on pp or lock out. Best to learn to pedal right to eliminate bob. If you have XC bike then it's already pretty firm, AM bike it up to rider preference of course but with in limit.

    Setting suspension too firm would risk getting ejected out of your saddle, and ruin bike handling, neither are cool. If your have an aggressive riding style/ or do lots of jump I can understand firmer suspension to compensate the movement.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119
    X2 Why would you pay all the money for a full suspension bike if are not going to let the rear suspension move to track the ground.
    Exactly. OP, why are you trying to make it more stiff? Unless it's bottoming out, the shock is there for traction and comfort. If it's bobbing/jacking too much, stiffening it up isn't really going to help. You'll get the worst of both worlds -- still bobbing but less travel. You're probably going to need a platform shock if this is the case.

  12. #12
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    Well it's my only bike currently so I wanted to play around with it a bit until I can get a real ht bike. It's a stock cannondale moto 5. not sure what the suspension is and I don't feel like going to the garage to check. I am talking about the rear suspension of course, though.

    I was wondering this because the first time I went to ray's I was using it and it really sucked compared to using the rentals, and I was wondering if I could get better lift simply by pumping the rear shock a bit.

  13. #13
    usually cranky
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    a moto 5 is a linkage driven sp i think. not sure what you mean by "better lift".

  14. #14
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    the shock eats my momentum and I can't get any air off jumps with it. My friends with more experience can, but they really need to work for it, where I can get some air on ht bikes.

  15. #15
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    What rental bike are you comparing to. The only thing I see on their site is Trek HT, Doubt that you can mimic the "lift" with your 160mm travel. I'd imagine that DJ type bike would be the most fun at Ray's HT or FS.

    BTW, if you pump air to your shock to feel like HT, then your moto is useless.

  16. #16
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    yea I rode the trek Ticket all day today. it's a blast, and I know I can't get the same kind of ride out of the moto, but I want to putz with it a bit rather than just put it away. ya know?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmik
    yea I rode the trek Ticket all day today. it's a blast, and I know I can't get the same kind of ride out of the moto, but I want to putz with it a bit rather than just put it away. ya know?
    You can either pay the $10 everytime you go and have a blast, or buy a DJ bike for Ray's.

  18. #18
    usually cranky
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmik
    the shock eats my momentum and I can't get any air off jumps with it. My friends with more experience can, but they really need to work for it, where I can get some air on ht bikes.
    kinda sounds to me as if you maybe you need a little more air in your shock and should set your rebound faster. that should get your bike a bit more playful.

  19. #19
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    I used to go to Ray's when I lived in Pittsburgh... man I miss that place.

    I know what you are saying, I rode a Prophet and Ray's was the only place I wished for a different bike. Adding air will help a bunch but its still not going to be a DJ bike.



    Quote Originally Posted by mmik
    yea I rode the trek Ticket all day today. it's a blast, and I know I can't get the same kind of ride out of the moto, but I want to putz with it a bit rather than just put it away. ya know?

  20. #20
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    Oh yea I'd dig getting my own DJ but It'd kill me knowing how little I'd use it, so I just want to get a light XC eventually. I'm sure there are good xc bikes for jumping and stuff.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmik
    Oh yea I'd dig getting my own DJ but It'd kill me knowing how little I'd use it, so I just want to get a light XC eventually. I'm sure there are good xc bikes for jumping and stuff.
    Are you kidding? I just got the Giant STP last week, I've been riding it every night. Short chainstay, low stand over match that with short stem you feel like a wheelie king. I looped out a few times trying to manual on that thing. Wish I got it sooner

    Great for practicing.

  22. #22
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    Hah that's cool but I'd really like to get a proper XC bike for now and wait a while on the DJ. Actually though I don't NEED a xc bike, the moto rides fine, but I can't see myself using the dj much. I have no place around here to use it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmik
    I have air shocks and I was wondering if I can ride them with higher PSI to make them more stiff, or if that's a bad idea. I know there's a max on it I'd have to look at first.
    Ahh...Grasshopper...in time you will learn that a stiff suspension is most undesirable, and ultimately defeats the purpose of having shocks and forks to begin with, but until then...pump it up to your heart's desire. When your inner soul finally grows weary, and your joints begin to ache, and your brain swells from the constant jarring, then remember just this one word....Sag. It matters not wether you are as light as the butterfly, or burdened with the weight of a horse, set your suspension to achieve some level of recommended sag, and you will from that day forward know inner peace. And you'll frickin' fly down the trails like never before.

    Here's a hint....set at the proper sag (or somewhere within the recommended range), your suspension will seem almost too soft....until you get used to it.

    Remember grasshopper...life may seem to be nothing more than a trail full of rocks and roots, but there are many potholes along the way that you must allow your suspension to overcome too if you are to achieve true tranquility.

  24. #24
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    Do do love the bike on local trails. The stuff I ride isn't tech and lacks any sort of jumps, so I do benefit from the suspension all-in-all. I just kind of wish for a lockout or something I dunno.

  25. #25
    usually cranky
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betarad
    Ahh...Grasshopper...in time you will learn that a stiff suspension is most undesirable, and ultimately defeats the purpose of having shocks and forks to begin with, but until then...pump it up to your heart's desire. When your inner soul finally grows weary, and your joints begin to ache, and your brain swells from the constant jarring, then remember just this one word....Sag. It matters not wether you are as light as the butterfly, or burdened with the weight of a horse, set your suspension to achieve some level of recommended sag, and you will from that day forward know inner peace. And you'll frickin' fly down the trails like never before.

    Here's a hint....set at the proper sag (or somewhere within the recommended range), your suspension will seem almost too soft....until you get used to it.

    Remember grasshopper...life may seem to be nothing more than a trail full of rocks and roots, but there are many potholes along the way that you must allow your suspension to overcome too if you are to achieve true tranquility.
    lol. great post.

    and mmik, it just sounds like you have the wrong bike for the job. do what you want to your moto but you will never make it feel like a dj bike. imo you are better off setting your bike to a good level of trail performance and just rent when you go to rays.

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