Tuning Giant Anthem 29 X 1 2013
Ok as a new boy to full suspension bikes, well just new really, I could use some advice on getting the best out of my nice new bike. I have all stock parts on the bike including tyres.
I am guessing for on road use I want a higher rather than lower pressure?
For off road use, I assume lower is better?
Are there any rules of thumb I should know about?
Now I know how to set the bike up for my weight but I keep reading about how folks tune their suspension to suit their riding style. What does this mean, is it one of those black arts or again are the some rules of thumb beyond the basic settings given by Giant?
I will be mainly riding XC with some trail and when really wet on cycle paths in the south of the UK.
Any advice would be very welcome.
To start with, a book could likely be written just on the different opinions on what you're asking about, never mind actual techniques and procedures for those opinions. On the tire pressure thing, you're basically correct. Of course, running off road tires at higher pressures on paved surfaces will ultimately result in a greatly reduced tire life, but the alternative is changing tires all the time if you go back and forth much. Exact tire pressures will depend on your weight and riding ability. For example, I weigh about 210 lbs and run 28psi in the front tire and 32 psi in the rear. I have a friend of similar weight who can't or won't move his weight around front to back on the bike to get it over stuff on the trail, and he pinch flats with less than 35 psi in his tires.
Shocks. Everything is black magic here, if you believe the hype. The bottom line is if you have it set up "for your weight" that's a good starting point. You may find it bottoms out too easily, or it nose dives in turns, and you need to increase damping or add more air. You might feel like it's too bouncy, so you increase rebound damping. There's probably much more on shock tuning in the suspension forums on mtbr, and be sure not to focus on just information for your shock/fork, but for overall feel. Ultimately, once you find a setting you like, you'll want to make certain it's always there for consistency.
As a newb to FS you'll want to keep the suspension firm for a start, up to 20% sag. As you get more experienced and used to the idea that suspension movement isn't evil and slowing you down, quite the opposite, then closer to 30% is best for trail riding. For racing firm it up to suit. I find with a hard tail I use a fimer fork setting than I do with Fs. The rear suspension balances out the front in corners where as the rigid hard tail pushes more weight on to the front in to corners. For that reason always keep the front and rear feeling balanced, not necessarily the same sag. I find I tune it over time with 5 psi increments and your idea of how you want it to ride also changes. It usually takes me a couple of months to get all changes right on a new bike, supension , bars, stem etc.As your experience increases so does your ideas on your bike setup.
Tire pressure is subjective but rough terrain try approx your weight / 7 or as low as you can related to your tolerance on tire squirm. If your using narrow tires then you'll have to up the pressure to stop pinch flats. Same for smooth terrain/ roads.I allways use at least a couple of psi less in the front as that's the weight balance on your bike and it improves cornering grip.