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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    Setting up Suspension?

    I picked up a used Giant Reign with a RockShock Lyrik RC2DH and Monarch Plus RC3 rear shock. This is my first FS(MTB really) and I have never set up anything on one before. How do I know how much air to put into the fork/shock?

  2. #2
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    If you search on line you should find charts that show the amount of pressure based on your weight.. You also have to set the sag which is measured while you are sitting on the bike. Some shocks/forks have the charts printed on them but not all.
    When you've seen someone rupture their scrotum on a bike you won't take the standards for top tube clearance lightly!

  3. #3
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    Won't the pressure dictate the sag? I guess I will keep looking as I haven't found what I'm looking for yet. I'm a total newb!!!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCOutdoors View Post
    Won't the pressure dictate the sag? I guess I will keep looking as I haven't found what I'm looking for yet. I'm a total newb!!!
    Yes, probably poor wording on my part.. You have to measure the sag.. I'm sure someone could explain the whole set up too you but I just look up my shock/fork online and get the recommended settings. Measure the sag and set pressure accordingly. I googled your shock and found the user manual right off. I was trying to copy it but kept getting broken links.
    When you've seen someone rupture their scrotum on a bike you won't take the standards for top tube clearance lightly!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossJamis View Post
    Yes, probably poor wording on my part.. You have to measure the sag.. I'm sure someone could explain the whole set up too you but I just look up my shock/fork online and get the recommended settings. Measure the sag and set pressure accordingly. I googled your shock and found the user manual right off. I was trying to copy it but kept getting broken links.
    Measure sag and set pressure? I thought we just set pressure according to our weight and then check sag to see if it's ~20-30% of the entire travel?

  6. #6
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    http://www.sram.com/sites/default/fi...4148_rev_a.pdf

    I found this and figured this would be a good starting point. Now I have to find setup for my rear shock.

  7. #7
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    Ultimately, what matters is that you use your travel and don't bottom out too much when you ride. Pressure from a chart or by measuring sag is a good way to rough in to a lot closer to the final pressure.

    If you can't find a chart for your shock, just do it with sag.

    When you go riding, if you find you bottom out a lot, try 10 psi more next time. If you don't use all your travel, try 10 psi less. Suspension forks and shocks often have O-rings on them to help you gauge this: push it to the fork lower or shock outer sleeve at rest and after a ride, it will show you how much you used. If you don't have O-rings, a zip tie can do the same thing. Be aware that there is usually a little unused stanchion/inner sleeve.

    The rebound and compression dampers are basically "guess and check" too. I think it makes sense to get, at least, close on the pressure before moving on to rebound, and close on rebound before moving on to compression damping. With the dampers, try a couple of widely separated settings to get a sense of the full range before you start in on the little adjustments. They can be subtle, and if you're way off, they may feel identically bad. Sessioning the same descent is a good way to be more precise about this, but you don't really have to.

    The good news is that once you figure out your suspension setup, you can ignore it. Take good notes. Suspension setup is easy to repeat if you record what you did.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobaX View Post
    Measure sag and set pressure? I thought we just set pressure according to our weight and then check sag to see if it's ~20-30% of the entire travel?
    I'm sure different manufacturers have different set up instructions. I am certainly no expert. On my fox float there is no chart for pressure related to weight. They give an optimum sag rate and you adjust the pressure according to that. I probably should have just said look up your shock online and follow the directions in the manual.
    When you've seen someone rupture their scrotum on a bike you won't take the standards for top tube clearance lightly!

  9. #9
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    Set the pressures to the recommended settings, then go for a ride.
    Put a zip tie around the shock and fork leg so you can see how much travel you are getting.
    Then, you can adjust the pressures as needed to fine tune it.
    Adjust in 5psi steps.
    I found that the "recommended" settings for my shock and fork were a bit high for me.
    The recommended settings were 100psi for the shock and 75psi for the shock.
    I ended up at 90psi/70psi. I reached these settings by trial and error, checking the travel l was getting and adjusting before each ride.

    As for the various rebound/compression dials, set them to the middle position, which is generally
    where they are on a new bike, after you get the sag right you can tweak these until you feel happy with it.

    Then forget about it and just ride the bike.
    I check the pressures from time to time, to make sure no air has been lost.

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