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  1. #1
    PCC
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    Plush Prophet suspension?

    I have an '05 Prophet 600 that I would like to tune the suspension on to be really plush. I weigh 150 lbs + gear and the bike is a small. It currently has the stock FFV front Lefty Max 140 with the red spring and I just bought a 200mm Fox Float R for the rear but I am waiting for the shock bushings to come in to install it. I still have the stock Manitou Radium R shock, too. When I first test rode the bike I recall that the front suspension was so smooth and free-flowing that it felt like I had a flat tire up front. Now, after tuning the suspension it does not feel that way (too much preload?). I have the rear suspension set to the XC setting as the FR setting is too slow for my tastes when it comes to steering.

    So, what can I do to make the suspension more plush? TPC upgrade? Keep the FFV? SPV (probably not)? Fox Vanilla RLC? RP23 rear shock? Keep the Float R? Send the Float R to Tune? Dump the Prophet and get something else?

    I'm barely a cross country rider so I can probably get away with tuning the suspension softer than someone who uses all 5.5" of travel all the time but I also don't want to tune it so soft that I risk bottoming it out the next time I hit the trails.

  2. #2
    Like catnip for people
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    Everyone says TPC is best for small bump compliance. I can't really comment because I haven't used anything else to compare it too... But it's certainly plus enough for me.

    Having an external reservoir on your rear shock = more plush suspension doesn't it? (Someone correct me if I'm wrong) I don't really like the Float R personally.

  3. #3
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    I'm 175 + gear and I'm using the same spring as you with 2 turns of preload. You might consider going one spring lighter (blue I think).

    Also check to see if your bearings need to be reset. This effects plushness quite a bit.

  4. #4
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
    Reputation: MendonCycleSmith's Avatar
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    If the fork felt good at one point, it only stands to reason, that it can again, without buying anything. As Bubba pointed out, have you done a bearing reset recently, or ever? Definitely do that. Ever had the fork serviced? As an '05, it definitely needs it if you haven't yet. Your FFD (not V ) damping is fine, but many here do feel the TPC is a nice upgrade, and at $115 it's not outrageously expensive. As to the back end, ride it for a few rides before feeling that it's not sufficient, all shocks require some break in before the feel really good. Is the Fox Propedal, or just a Float R? Getting away from the Radiums SPV damping, or Foxes Propedal, will make it plusher, but more prone to bobbing too.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
    If the fork felt good at one point, it only stands to reason, that it can again, without buying anything.

    Just a thought, do the Lefty springs stiffen up after time / much use? If they do, I don't know if it's significant...

  6. #6
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba74
    Just a thought, do the Lefty springs stiffen up after time / much use? If they do, I don't know if it's significant...
    Nope, if anything they fatigue and soften, but that's many, MANY years from now
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  7. #7
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    I'm never quite sure what people mean by 'plush' but I guess they mean little low speed compression damping.

    If that's the case then getting rid of the SPV rear shock will help (although most Float R shocks have Propedal (similar to SPV) if I recall correctly - check the stickers on the shock).
    I would say the red spring in your fork is too stiff for a 150lb rider (I weigh the same and use a blue spring), especially when combined with the possible compression spikes in the simple FFD damper. Get rid of the preload at least.

  8. #8
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    The newer shocks have adjustiblility that can be tuned to suit your needs. Or you can use Ghetto fixes to get similar results with some shocks.

    Before I got the Judge my Gemini was my DH bike. The Gemini from the factory was spec'ed as a Freeride bike. Great freeride bike but needed something more plusher for DH.

    Rear Shock - 5th Element 3-way coil - I put minimun air pressure to lessoned the affect of SPV and make the shock softer. The shock was definitely softer but bottomed out even on small hits too easily. I added oil in the air chamber to make the shock more progressive as it reached full travel. Result, the shock was still soft but ramped up faster enough at full travel to minimize bottoming out.

    Front Fork Shock - Manitou Sherman with SPV - I disabled the SPV function of the fork. I put on a weaker spring and changed the oil from 5wt to 2.5wt. The shock is way softer but again bottomed too easily. Even though the SPV was disabled the air chamber still function so I kept adding air till the bottom out was minimal again. Result, this combination really made for a plush fork with good bottom out control.

    The above changes made the bike better for DH and the noticably plusher. Since I got the Judge I reconfigured the Gemini in the opposite form since I didn't need another plush bike.

  9. #9
    PCC
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    My bad, it's a blue spring in my Lefty Max FFD (thanks, Craig!). I had just performed a bearing reset a few weeks ago and it didn't need it.

    When I got home from work I opened up the Lefty and the preload adjuster was showing about 2.25" of threads above the locknut. I reduced that to 1.25" and rode it around in front of the house but it felt too squishy and it wasn't really plush or anything, just soft. I cranked it back up to around 1.75" and it's better. I'll mess with it until I get a better feel to it. The rear shock was set to 115 PSI and the rebound adjuster was set right in the middle.

    The Fox Float R I bought has level 2 of ProPedal (middle setting). I can send this to Push to get them to adjust it to 1 or none but it's a brand new shock so I will wait until I have some miles on this one before doing that.

    Thanks for the replies, folks!

  10. #10
    PCC
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    Just an update

    I readjusted the spring preload on the Lefty to about 1.785" of exposed thread above the lock ring. This seems to give the best compromise between suspension travel and suspension quality. Any less and it feels mushy and it feels like I've used up half of my suspension travel due to sag alone. Any more and it starts to get stiff and jarring. Sag is at about 25%, now. Sag was more like 1" before.

    I do believe that I need to grease the bearing races on my Lefty.

    I installed the Fox Float R on my bike. Maybe it is because it is new, maybe it is because the compression and ProPedal are stiffer, but, the rear suspension is really stiff, now. I used to notice, with the Radium R, that the rear suspension would bob from pedaling forces but the front suspension was pretty much rock solid or it would bob about the same amount as the rear. Now, the front bobs like crazy while the rear feels like a hard tail. Little hits are transmitted straight to the saddle while bigger hits are absorbed. Lowering the air pressure does not change the ride quality but it soaks up half of my suspension travel. Cranking the pressure to reduce the sag to 25% gives me the front-end bobbing I mentioned above.

  11. #11
    Are you talking to me?
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    PUSH time.

    IT sounds like the propedal is a bit on the harsh side for you. I am sure that if you have Darren at PUSH tune the shock, you will love it.

    BTW, while waiting, get a TPC damper upgrade for the Laffty.

    www.pushindustries.com
    gfy

  12. #12
    PCC
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    That thought has crossed my mind (sending this new shock to Push). I'll live with it for a while and see if the shock just needs to be broken in.

    I forgot to mention earlier that the compression and ProPedal on this new shock are both medium (middle bar is white on both 'gauges'.

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