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  1. #1
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    New Bluto 120 RCT3 - Need setup/break-in advice

    Hi all,

    I picked up my first fat bike this December so I'm still new to the world of New England fat biking and to say that I caught the "bug" is an understatement. I'm having tons of fun and as the title indicates, I've got a few weeks on a new RS suspension fork. I'm impressed, but I am trying to figure out how to really dial it in.

    First off, I installed it on a 2015 Salsa Blackborow, replacing a really nice carbon rigid fork which worked great in the snow. The Bborow is going to be my full time bike this year so it's an exciting upgrade that has already got me developing a major permagrin as things are drying out. It's rolling on 100mm Clownshoes with (Spilt-Tube) Tubeless Lou 4.8's. Running rigid, my air pressures range from 4.5 - 6.5 depending on conditions. I'm sure that will change with the warm weather coming and I ride pretty aggressively so I would also like to run different wheels for the nicer conditions, but for the moment, this wide setup is all I've got.

    For the Bluto, I went with the 120 for a few reasons... I was hoping to slacken the front end a bit for the steep bits as well as soften the landing on everything I try to huck off of and to help control things on the highspeed trail sections I always aim for.

    I already love how it smooths everything out, but I don't really dig how linear the travel is. I'm 185lbs, geared up and I've got the sag at 30%. The small bumps are eaten up all day, but I bottom out quite a bit on the bigger stuff. Would adding bottomless tokens solve that? I haven't pulled it apart yet to see how many tokens it already has, if any. I am also not familiar with setting up the proper dampening speeds on a modern suspension fork so any advice you guys might have with that, I'd appreciate.

    Thanks in advance,
    Keith

  2. #2
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    Hey. Glad you are liking the new fattie. I too am pretty much a full time fat convert. First I will say that there is a lot of hate towards the bluto but I think it is mostly unfounded, granted it could be stiffer. For your question. The 120 comes stock with no tokens. Adding some will definitely make it resist bottom out more. I had that problem but didnt like the feel of the added tokens so I run less sag at around 20% and havent bottomed since. One of the best things you can do for the bluto is take it apart and remove all of the stock grease and lube it up with slickoleum/slick honey. Also make sure that the damper oil level is proper. And I service mine 3 times a year to keep it supple. Hope this helps. Cheers

  3. #3
    JT1
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    Thanks for posting this!

    I'm new to fatties, too. I purchased a Framed Minnesota 3.0 XWT (extra wide tires) so that I could ride outside more during our New England winters. A dedicated road cyclist, I immediately became less dedicated to road cycling and more dedicated to the single track, off-road world.

    I recently added a Bluto to my Framed. I'm very happy with its performance but 1) I know nothing about bicycle suspension, 2) I weigh, at most, 150 lbs all suited up and ready to ride - though an old guy of 62 years, the road cycling mantra of strength-to-weight ratio still rules my diet, and 3) well, again, I know nothing about bicycle suspension.

    I'm looking forward to this e-conversation. I've settled on about 20% sag and a pretty quick rebound - 3 or 4 clicks in from fastest - but am very happy to learn more.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kjcdesignz View Post
    I already love how it smooths everything out, but I don't really dig how linear the travel is.
    Tokens will sort that out - 2 or 3 (I think I have 3 in a 120mm Bluto - it came without any).

  5. #5
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    I have 3 rides on my 120mm RCT3 Bluto. It is plush over the small stuff and feels linear for the first 75-80mm but ramps up very fast after that. I've not got more than about 95mm of travel out of it. What would make it ramp up so quickly after the first 75-80mm of very linear travel?

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the responses guys!

    Zac, I noticed the flex when I first installed it, but I think all things considered, it's designed to do a job and I think with the right tune, it will perform ride after ride and eat up everything it needs to. With how forgiving these big tires are, I don't think that flex negatively effects much. Not yet anyway. When I look into another set of wheel and I start railing into turns, I might notice it. ....For my setup question, I will try the higher sag. I only did some driveway spins when I first set it up at 30% because the recommended weight settings felt too stiff. I'm sure the break-in process also plays into it. I'll get some more seat time and play with settings a little bit before I get into changing fluids. I've heard somewhere else that Slick Honey was a must-do. Is it dramatically different? This is my first higher end fork and so admittedly, I've never taken one apart so the last thing I want to do is screw anything up! lol

    JT1, I agree! Love how the Fatty is going to keep me rolling. Interesting that you also settled in on 20%. Hopefully we can both learn a thing or two more about this stuff from asking the right questions. Cheers!

    Mesterg, Do you know which tokens from SRAM works with the Bluto RCT3? I thought it might have different internals then the regular Bluto RL...

    noosa2, Sounds like my issue might simply be the sag, but I am definitely sending that O-ring all the way up the stanchion the more rides I do.

    Questions to you all about the RCT3 and the 3 different things I can adjust... Forgive me if I'm describing things incorrectly, but I completely get the Wide Open / Climb / Full Lock settings, but I also have a small adjustment knob at the top which is for Low Speed Compression, correct? The red knob at the bottom is then the Rebound control? I'm trying to wrap my head around also adjusting these and at first, couldn't seem to feel the a huge difference between the two. They both seemed to make it harder to compress. I basically set Rebound to FAST and the Low, just a few clicks up from bottom. I was basically thinking I wanted to fork to recover quickly at higher speeds, but the concept of low speed is kinda throwing me off. i don't quite get it's involvement yet.

    Again, this is all new and I know I'm just now scratching the surface in trying to learn it all at once. lol

    Thanks again for the insight!
    Last edited by Kjcdesignz; 04-05-2017 at 09:22 AM. Reason: misspelling

  7. #7
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    Mike
    Toronto, Canada
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  8. #8
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    Do you know which tokens from SRAM works with the Bluto RCT3? I thought it might have different internals then the regular Bluto RL...
    Air side is the same - you need the black 32mm tokens (for SID/Reba/Revelation/RS1/Bluto).

  9. #9
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    So I rode yesterday and started tuning things a bit more... Turns out I was already running 20% sag. Oops. I actually pulled out the pump multiple times during the ride to increase things in small increments till I wasn't bottoming out. The terrain was altogether very technical. Lots of rocks and downed trees to hop and a few good fast runs that have chundery spots and exposed root ledges. Riding at 180lbs, I landed on 105psi where the O-ring consistently found it self 3/8" -1/2" shy of the top. The bike came alive when I got up to speed, but reminded me of my rigid fork over the small stuff when I was just cruising along. I also set the rebound right in the middle and then tried the low speed compression all the way open and all the way closed. I am still struggling to feel where that makes the biggest difference. I can't wait to find the perfect balance.

    Thanks Misterg & Swerny... I'm slowly reading through that thread for more info.

  10. #10
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    I just got a 120mm Bluto RCT3 on my new Skookum and I'm pretty stoked so far. I have a Reba with an RCt3 damper (upgrade) so I started out with the same basic tune and have been happy enough to not tweak much in the last 2 weeks.

    I am using one token, and about 5 clicks from full slow on the compression. I started with only about 20% sag (less than I usually run) but i seem to be using an appropriate amount of travel. I will try an additional token and see if that will let me go down to 25%+ sag without bottoming harshly. I haven't noticed a lack of small bumb sensitivity though with 20%, although I'm not used to running 4.8" tires yet either. I forget where I landed on air pressure, but it is WAY less than what the sticker on the sliders suggested.

    I prefer my forks to be on the plush side when descending and frequently use the medium and firm settings for trail climbs and road climbs respectively.

    I would suggest letting your air out every so often to check the air pressure build up on the lowers. If your fork feels like it still has air in it after dumping pressure, stick a zip tie between the seals and the sliders to burp it. Then air it up again and you will notice better action. Not sure why this happens, but it seems pretty common.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kjcdesignz View Post
    The bike came alive when I got up to speed, but reminded me of my rigid fork over the small stuff when I was just cruising along. I can't wait to find the perfect balance.
    You might struggle to get past that. The Reba/Bluto fork is like that. They are much better than no suspension, but you have found their weakness. Not impossible to get dialed in, but it is a compromise.

  12. #12
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    Hi guys, I hv a Bluto coming next month & glad to find this thread.
    Besides the settings, I hv read somewhere that the 10lb psi works best for the Bluto. I wonder what psi of the front tie you guys are using.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toldto View Post
    Hi guys, I hv a Bluto coming next month & glad to find this thread.
    Besides the settings, I hv read somewhere that the 10lb psi works best for the Bluto. I wonder what psi of the front tie you guys are using.
    I'm using 6psi for trail riding on a 4.8" Jumbo Jim. That seemed to work well although this is my first fat bike so I haven't played around with the pressure that much yet. I'm interested to see what other responses come in.

  14. #14
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    Yesterday I met a rider who has a bluto. He said he is using 6- 7 psi as well. He advised me playing around 7 -8 psi in summer.

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