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  1. #1
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    Shock Setup - Dakota Ridge

    I took my new (to me) Yeti ASR Full suspension out the other day on Dakota Ridge. I am new to this FS stuff as I have been riding a hardtail for years. My bike has the RP-23, and I have the rebound set at 3 clicks from fast.

    I took 3 diggers! I haven't wiped out like that in years, and I know I am not riding the suspension correctly. I am looking for suggestions on how you all use your shox. I am using the ProPedal (2) on the uphills with the fork almost rigid, but when I was doing the slow-going tech stuff downhill on Dakota ridge, I had both shocks fully open. Is this wrong? My diggers were mostly over the bars, but I can't see setting the rebound much differently. My bike shop is also adjusting the bars to be more aggressive/down-turned, as they are currently angled upwards, kinda like a Downhill setup.

    I'm not a newbie (to riding anyways), but I am a newbie to a FS. Is there anyone who feels like narrating a typical MW/Dakota ridge loop for me and how they adjust their shocks along the way?

    i know..i know...dakota ridge was probably not the smartest ride to go on with this being my first time on this new bike, but it was the closest thing dry and I am usually pretty good at tech stuff.

    Advice? Please?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    I heart the drops
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    sounds like you werent going fast enough for the terrain and the rebound sent you over the bars maybe?
    "its not how slack your head angle is, its how you ride the bike"

  3. #3
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    I've never adjusted my suspension during the course of a ride and am really lazy when it comes to setup, but you might try slowing the rebound on your rear until it is clearly "too slow" (the point at which the shock is not able to fully recover between successive hits) - then ride and stop to speed your rebound up a little at a time until you reach a point that feels good. Most people don't want their rebound set very fast on a trail like DR, as you need to be moving at a good clip to realize the benefit of running your rebound open.

    I imagine part of what you're experiencing is just getting used to FS.

    My .02 - I'm sure the opinions of other will differ.
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  4. #4
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    Your shock setup should not effect you going over the bars. Possibly if your forks are set too soft it will steepen the head tube angle and cause you to put more weight over the front of the bike. Get the proper sag front and rear, decide what type of ride you like- super efficient or super plush- and ride it everywhere. You may end up making small changes depending on the riding- like stiffening it up for a non-tech. ride/race or softening slightly for a tech. ride, but that is about it. As far as the original question I would say that it is a geometry change/new bike thing causing you to crash- not suspension. Are you new to the brakes on the bike? Sometimes a different feel at front brake will cause inadvertant endos due to too much brake. Remember to keep your but back and get off the brakes if needed to keep rear end down. All your problems might go away once you get used to the bike.

  5. #5
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    I have the rebound at 3 clicks from fast. From what I have read, any more may be too soft? Once again, I don't know what I am talking about, and I can't really notice a difference when I change the rebound settings...because I am new to this stuff.

  6. #6
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    What fork do you have? Mine is a coil and when I first got the bike I took a couple of diggers over the bars because the coil was too soft and I'd just bottom out. I agree with everyone else, rear rebound could be it too. I've always kept my rebound at a slower setting, I hate getting bucked around.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cabdog
    I have the rebound at 3 clicks from fast. From what I have read, any more may be too soft?
    It's not really a matter of too soft, but a matter of whether your shock is able to return to "full travel" (minus your sag of course) between bumps. If you set your rebound too slow, your shock will pack down between hits (it will go further into it's travel with each hit until it is near bottomed). If your rebound is too fast, the bike will feel bucky like a pogo stick.
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  8. #8
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    liqwid, I have a the fox F100rlc fork.

    Sounds like a rebound issue, but does everyone more or less ride the rear shock 'open' on the tech stuff? Or only use open when screaming downhill? How about the front shock?

    Thanks a ton for the advice dudes! This a great way to learn about this technology!

  9. #9
    WWJR
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    Quote Originally Posted by cabdog
    liqwid, I have a the fox F100rlc fork.

    Sounds like a rebound issue, but does everyone more or less ride the rear shock 'open' on the tech stuff? Or only use open when screaming downhill? How about the front shock?

    Thanks a ton for the advice dudes! This a great way to learn about this technology!
    IMHO, I wouldnt mess with the front shock very much, unless you wanna lock it out, and climb like hell! As far as the RP23 is concerned, its pretty much a "set-it-and-forget-it" shock. Once you have the rebound, sag, etc set, you really shouldnt have to fool with it much, other than runnin' propedal that is. I usually run "open" when im bombin down some shiznit, and "propedal" the rest of the time.
    You might wanna go here:
    http://www.foxracingshox.com/fox_tec...elpEnglish.pdf
    or
    http://www.foxracingshox.com/fox_tech_center/index.htm

    Since Im kinda stupid, I wrote down the different settings etc, and carried it around with me until I got the shock set correctly. Just my 2c

  10. #10
    skillz to pay billz
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    I came from a 3" full squish XC bike(kokopelli, the precursor to the asr) to the new 575 and haven't gone OTB since. I believe its all about the HT angle(more slack on the new 575) and a shorter stem(70mm). I also rarely use the front brake when there a chance the front wheel to go into a bucket or rolling over steeper sections. Also keep your momentum up and weight back. Most of my OTBs have been slow motion nose wheelies when I didn't keep my speed

    I rode DR last night and forgot to turn off the rear shock until half way thru, there was no difference in the ride other that a more squishy feel after I switched it.
    Last edited by nOOby; 03-27-2008 at 01:10 PM.

  11. #11
    what nice teeth you have
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    Full open on the way down
    closed and in the stiffest setting for monster climbs.
    If I am on rolling terrain I will run it closed with either the middle or softest setting.
    I don't think its too tought to just reach down and flip the switch during a ride, so most of my riding is with the first option. Fooling with the red adjuster is only something I will do during breaks if the terrain demands it. I doesn't take long to get used to the different shock settings.

  12. #12
    DWF
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    Are you running brass nipples or aluminum? Gotta' consider your unsprung weight....
    A man must have enemies and places he is not welcome. In the end we are not only defined by our friends but those against us.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DWF
    Are you running brass nipples or aluminum? Gotta' consider your unsprung weight....
    I would've bet money that your post was going to be something about my rebound.
    Last edited by Godzilla; 03-27-2008 at 12:37 PM.
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  14. #14
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    Something else to consider is compression damping on the front. If you are going fairly slow through the downhill rocky sections your front wheel can get hung up on a rock and pitch you forward putting a lot of weight on the fork such that it compresses so much that your body's momentum forward continues and throws you OTB. This is quite likely to happen if your new fork has a lot more travel than your previous fork and is set up a little soft. A fork with external rebound compression allows you to minimize the fork dive making it easier to keep your weight back. Too much compression damping can firm up the fork too much though...

  15. #15
    how heavy are you ??
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    just another silly thought

    When you take a bike out for a maiden voyage ...maybe going to one of the more tech trails in the metro area might not be the best place to get used to the new rig?

  16. #16
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    Are you having these crashes at high speed or on really slow stuff? Uphill or DH?

    I'm guess that it's just you aren't used to the bike's different geometry.

    And on the question of adjustments during the ride. I never adjust my shock on that ride.

  17. #17
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    I went OTB a couple weeks ago, slow motion into a square faced rock. I was new to the fs too, felt like the front shock, which had much more travel than my hardtail, compressed, threw me more forward and then the rear shock rebounded and then it was too late to recover. I've learned since that I need to get my weight back more on the downhills and I feel much more stable.

  18. #18
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    Scottay5150 - Thanks for pointing out what I already stated in my post! I don't know any other trails that are dry and I have always been really good on that stuff....like i said in my original post.

    lidarman - I went OTB on really tech stuff, going downhill at slow speeds.

    brokefork - I am thinking that your experience is what I was going through as the shop said I had really low air pressure on my front fork.

    rmac - Great points man! My old fork was pretty stiff, and I am probably having some growing pains.

    It still is settling in with me that the majority of the posters state that they don't even mess with their shocks on that ride. Intersting. I would think that you would hit propedal on the way up, and open on the fast stuff, but I'm thinking of leaving it on propedal on the really tech stuff.

    I'm gonna give it another go this weekend! I'm a glutten for a beating.

    Thanks everyone for the AWEOME advice!

  19. #19
    Motion activated
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    Don't forget about tire pressure.

    Dakota Ridge is a odd trail because the DH is relatively flat and slow compared with most of the trails here. I run a lot of rebound and low tire pressure (20psi in the front on a DH tire) as this helps maintain momentum. If I had an air sprung fork, I'd probably soften it up a bit for DR as well.

    No one talks about it, but I think heavier riders have more momentum and so they get bounced about a lot less in rock gardens, but tall skinny guys like me need to soften their suspension/tires to flow that stuff.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  20. #20
    formerly shabadu
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    I generally run pro pedal when climbing up the access road and until I get to the raptor watch spot, then I try to remember to turn it off for the fun stuff.

    I'd reco. turning up the low speed compression damping in your fork, thats the round blue dial under the lockout lever. Clockwise turns on that are going to stiffen up the fork just a bit so it doesn't blow through travel in those slow fork compressions that happen from pedalling, braking and rolling into rocks at a slower pace. This is an adjustment that should be more of a "set it and forget it", rather than something you are always tweaking with everyride.

    Turn of the rear shock propedal when going down DR. If it is on, then the rear shock will not want to compress as easily, which means that your weight stays forward on the bike, which means it's easier to send you OTB. You want that shock working for you.

    And if the shop guys tell you your fork is low on air and too soft, then put some air in it, then you won't blow through travel and get pitched forward.

    Also, new bike/hard trail obviously. Its gonna take you a few rides to get the timing right and get used to the suspension working for you.

  21. #21
    Got single track/speed?
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    Setting the sag properly is the first thing to do before experimenting with rebound/compression. The Propedal is only useful to dial in the amount of "platform" (read auto-lockout) while pedaling. It's not going to help coasting downhill

    If you're going over the bars, your center of gravity is definitely getting too close to the front! Could be a number of things including body position and braking style. Even if you had your suspension dialed in perfectly, you could still be going over the bars if you had bad technique. Your technique can overcome crappy equipment and/or badly tuned suspension.

    On slow technical downhill, I'd concentrate on keeping my butt behind the seat until you get used to what your suspension is going to do. If the fork is diving too much on the back side of obstacles, get off the front brake, relax your arms, and get your butt back before dropping your front wheel over. Try trailing rear brake only until you get over the obstacle. Add a little more air to the fork or more preload. If you have adjustable travel, extend it before doing downhill tech. A little more compression damping on the fork may help, but not on the really slow stuff.

    If you're getting bucked out of the saddle, you'll need more rebound damping on the rear shock. Maximum rebound damping in the rear shock will not keep you from going over the bars if your fork compresses a lot and your center of gravity is too far forward.

    If you can't set your sag properly, you can at least see how much travel you're using up. Your shock probably has a o-ring on the shaft. Put a zip tie on your fork stantion tube. If you're hitting 100% travel going over moderate technical stuff, time to add more air. Optimally, you want to be able to use 100% of your travel, but not when riding easy stuff. We all get our front wheel caught in a pocket from time to time and may even go over the bars. Being confident and not going too slow usually cures that.

    -Chuck

  22. #22
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    Maybe it's not the shock setup. You did mention that it was your first time on a FS bike so I'm guessing it's more of a geometry issue. FS bikes, especially longer travel FS bikes have a much taller BB bracket than the HT you're used to riding so you're be riding taller on the bike with a higher center of gravity. Especially on a trail like DR I notice when I switch between my HT and my FS that I really have to lean back more on the FS to get my weight lower and back more on the bike to avoid endos on those drops. I could be wrong but that's just my experience.

  23. #23
    3nf
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosayno
    Maybe it's not the shock setup. You did mention that it was your first time on a FS bike so I'm guessing it's more of a geometry issue. FS bikes, especially longer travel FS bikes have a much taller BB bracket than the HT you're used to riding so you're be riding taller on the bike with a higher center of gravity. Especially on a trail like DR I notice when I switch between my HT and my FS that I really have to lean back more on the FS to get my weight lower and back more on the bike to avoid endos on those drops. I could be wrong but that's just my experience.
    I'd agree with that. I have had an ASR for a couple of years, and I notice a couple of things:

    -During the winter/mud season, I tend to grab my trusty old hardtail and ride it more. When things get dry like the last couple of weeks, I clean up and start riding the suspension bike. After riding a mid-90s hardtail, even an XC-racing oriented (these days) bike tends to feel like a monster truck with that 4" of suspension travel under me.

    -The ASR seems to be very fast-handling for a suspension bike (vs., say, a 575)- this also tends to make it a little less forgiving. When I was getting used to it, it liked to spit me off and jump on top of me. It is also the only bike I have experienced a death wobble on (granted, I was doing something stupid and had almost all of my weight on the front- I think I wasn't paying attention and a hand slipped off the bars).

    Having said that, I really like the way the bike handles, and now that I am used to it, I haven't had any problems. Riding at DR, specifically, makes me bail out a lot anyway.

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