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
    They Call Me "B"
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    Newbie needing fork/shock help...

    New to MTB'n... Need help with Fork adjustments... Explanations? Can someone explain when I would "Lockout" my forks when riding? Have a ROCKSHOX XC 32 TK 29er Fork... I ride REAL rooted/stumpy trails in the hills of the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas. Read some stuff 'bout people blowing out there shocks on roots and wanted to know when it was appropriate to lockout the travel on the fork?


    Also... Can someone explain the external rebound adjustments? I'm 6'3 and 200lbs on a NORCO Charger 9.1 29er... Is there a preferred point or is it personal preference for riding rough terrain?


    Thanks...

  2. #2
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    typically the lockout is used on climbs and rebound is how fast or slow you want the fork to extend after a hit a good method is to count the clicks and set it in the middle and then adjust it to suit your riding ... slower is usually better than faster. There is a sub forum for suspension, you might look around in there for more info.

    Shocks and Suspension
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  3. #3
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    Much appreciated. Literally just lean down and quickly lock out the forks approaching a climb? That help the traction from scrubbing out or something? Trying to understand the mechanics of it.

  4. #4
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    Mountain Bike Suspension 101 from Cycle Monkey

    The ability to turn a shock off or make it inactive. Typically controlled by the compression damper. Oil is prevented from flowing by blocking the compression valves. This setting is usually accomplished by turning a dial or moving a lever. Useful for riding on the road, especially during climbing, when the motion of the shock wastes energy. Most modern lockout systems have a blow-off valve to prevent damage to the damper when a large impact is encountered while in lockout mode. The fork will temporarily break free to absorb the bump, then return to the rigid lockout state.


    Hope this helps
    I used to ride to Win ... Now I ride to Grin

    While my guitar gently weeps, my bike sits there mocking me

  5. #5
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    I don't usually mess with the lock-out on the trail. It might be helpful on long climbs and on the road, but if I don't feel it's zapping my energy, I usually leave it alone. As for rebound, it's usually recommended you adjust it on the faster side. You don't want your fork to feel bouncy, but you want the fork to rebound fast enough to soak up the next hit.

  6. #6
    They Call Me "B"
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    Seriously... Thank you for the enlightenment.
    Legs & Lungs... Legs & Lungs... Legs & Lungs...

  7. #7
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    Your bike is a hard tail so the lockout is on the fork. I never use it on my HT. Even on the road it doesn't affect much because not much weight is on the front . Even less weight is on the front when you are on a trail going uphill. I like the fork to work to go over rocks and roots on the hill.
    On a FS bike a lockout on the shock would counteract the bike bobbing up and down when you are pedaling uphill because the shock is moving especially when you are standing.

  8. #8
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    Don't bother with Lockout - especially on a fork with a coil spring. If you lock it out, forget and take a big hit, you'll break something.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  9. #9
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    Most lockouts have a blowoff. Im not sure if anyone has lockouts anymore that dont?

    Slower rebound has more control. If you find the front end drifting wide in a turn or get a "loose" kinda out of control feeling, you need more rebound. Too slow rebound will cause the fork to pack up and feel harsh, so you dont want to go that slow. However, ill take some packing up over loss of control. With rockshox lower end rebound dampers, you pretty much have to run them too slow.

  10. #10
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    ^Didn't realize the coil version of that fork has a reliable blow off system.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  11. #11
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    Almost done guys... According to manufacturer it does have a pretty reliable blow-off system... Probably don't see myself locking them out often in the rooted hills of the Ozarks. That said... I have noticed myself drifting out in turns... So I'm guessing I need to turtle 'me down for more control?

    Last thing... I now have a good understanding of the lock-out and rebound dampners, but what is the "Preload toggle for? There's an arrow with a + sign going clockwise.

    Are these shocks filled with air or oil pressure I need to/can adjust?
    Legs & Lungs... Legs & Lungs... Legs & Lungs...

  12. #12
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    Drifting in turns is probably more a technique issue than a gear issue. Try positioning your outside foot near 6 o'clock on the turns and leaning your bike a bit more (straighten inside arm and push a little on the handlebar; keep outside arm bent and loose). Here's a link that might be helpful: Lee Likes Bikes

    Use the preload to set the appropriate amount of sag (basically the amount of travel used up while your just sitting on the bike). You'll probably want to set sag at around 20%. Sag allows the fork to extend and maintain contact with the ground when you hit a dip or rut or depression in the trail.

    Your fork is a coil fork, so no air pressure. You should eventually service your fork and make sure the oil levels are where they need to be, but you don't have to do this all that often.

  13. #13
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    After referring to manufacturer specs it says air pressure for front shocks should be 100-120 PSI... How do I adjust it?
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  14. #14
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    Okay, you have the air version. You'll need a special shock pump to adjust.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  15. #15
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    There is a version of that fork that is solo air, most are coil spring--no air chamber or piston.
    If yours is air the shrader valve for filling is usually at the top of the fork leg on the right when facing it from the front.
    You need a high pressure fork pump to fill it.

  16. #16
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    On the right (when facing) is a knob labeled preload... Not a Shrader valve cap... Guessing its coil... As far as setting preload... How do you determine a percentage? Basically the piston should sag 20% into the piston chamber when i set down... So measure off 1/5th the length of extended tube and that should be where it rides when I'm on the bike?

    Why don't they give you guides for these things lol...
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  17. #17
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    A preload adjustment knob is usually a dead give away that it's a coil fork. To measure sag, you can wrap a ziptie or something around one of the fork stanchions and sit on the bike, push the ziptie to the bottom, then measure the distance between the ziptie and your fork seals when you are off the bike. On a 100mm fork, you'd be looking at around 20mm gap. There are guides online. You just have to search for them.

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