'05 Apogee Sport-Rear Shock Tuning Question
I'm a newbie to FS bikes and am looking for some feedback from anyone familiar with the Vector Focus Air shock on the '05 Apogee Sport. I just recently got two of them (one for me and one for my wife) and am just now getting to set them up. My wife's is dialed in pretty well straight out of the box, but I'm having a bit of a time with one of the adjustments on the shock.
After a short conversation earlier today with someone from Ibex, I was all set to follow their instructions on setting the negative and positive pressures on the Vector Focus Air rear shock. Setting the negative air adjustment (furthest from the lockout switch) is quite easy since the valve is easily accessible without any problems. The positive air adjustment (closest to the lockout switch) is quite a different story!!!
The valve for the positive air adjustment is partially tucked behind one of the right side pieces in the 4-link system making it impossible to attach the shock pump to the valve. It helps a bit when I sit on the bike, creating a bit more space, but it's still not enough room to fit the pump head over the shock's positive air valve stem.
I'm sure I must be doing something wrong but I can't figure out any way of getting into it without dissembling part of the 4-link system (which doesn't seem right!!!).
Can anyone help? Any info you might have would be greatly appreciated since I'm itching to take it out on a ride now that the Minnesota weather has returned to (slightly) above-freezing temperatures! I also plan on talking to Jack once he returns on Monday, just thought others might be able to get me some info before then.
Thanks in advance,
Adventures from NewbieLand!
Okay everybody, I'm replying to my own post...hope this doesn't rub anyone the wrong way...
After several more hours of searching the web, other MTBR forum threads, and many other Ibex forum threads (under titles that had little connection to suspension issues!!!), I came across passing mention of having to dissemble a bolt to tune a shock on a few other non-Ibex bikes.
Eureka!!! Hit the jackpot at last! Once I had the assurance of knowing that this is what is required on some (very few) other shocks, it was pretty much a piece of cake to do, even though I'm quite new to suspension on bikes. Although I'm still going to fidget a bit with it to dial in the exact positive and negative air pressure to achieve maximum "plushness", its already feeling like a dream compared to my old ride! (As a first-time Ibex owner, I'll soon be posting my initial impressions of the Apogee Sport here in the forum)
So, what are my thoughts about this whole experience with the shock and my initial thoughts about Ibex bikes? First, let me start this by saying that, despite this frustrating experience, so far I am still very glad that I took the Ibex plunge.
Second, I'm not sure if anyone else on this forum has had a similarly frustrating experience with this or a similar shock. But I suspect this is mostly b/c I'm a newbie to FS bikes and didn't know what I could and couldn't do with an air shock. Probably not even an issue with anyone that has had any familiarity with air shocks, but I didn't want to do something that could potentially damage the shock. I can certainly say now that my confidence level has bumped up a notch when it comes to maintaining my bike, something that I became complacent with on my old standard Trek/Shimano, etc. set up that I knew like the back of my hand after nearly 8 years!
Fourth, aside from a couple of annoyances I have with the (lack of) documentation on some of the components, the bikes already seem to be every bit as good as what I was hoping for and I suspect I will continue to be pleasantly surprised with just how good they are as we get used to them and get them broken in.
Fifth (and I really hope this is not taken as negative criticism, but rather constructive criticism), I think Ibex could do a much better job giving owners of bikes with the Vector Focus Air shocks a heads up about it's tuning and adjustment and general specs...especially for newby FSers like me that I assume is one of the target audiences for the Apogee Sport.
I realize it's a decent shock specially made for Ibex to keep the cost on the bike at a reasonable pricepoint (I did my homework on the shock before I purchased). But what surprised me was that despite two or three telephone calls with Jack before I purchased the bikes and a phone call with someone else at Ibex yesterday, nobody told me anything about needing to remove a bolt to properly set up and adjust the shock. There's not a single mention of the Vector Focus Air shock in any of the documentation either. In all cases, I made it pretty clear that I was a first time FS owner. Given what I know personally about Jack and Ibex's first rate customer service and the hundreds of other confirmations on this and other forums to that end, I was a bit surprised that they didn't mention anything about this to me...even when I called specifically to find out about setting up the shock.
So, I'm a big believer in not just crying about spilt milk and whining on and on about something without doing something constructive. My suggestion to Jack and Ibex, if it's even relevent anymore since I'm not sure if they're using this shock on any current or future models, is to simply put together a half-page insert describing the process of setting up this particular shock (including the need to dissemble a bolt to get to the positive air valve) and stick it in with the rest of the documentation. Situation solved, no need for hand wringing or any other extreme measures. Since Ibex has decided to not push for the manufacturer of the shock to put some documentation together, it would be very helpful to those of us that are purchasing FS bikes for the first time to have such an insert.
Lastly, lest anyone come away with the wrong picture...I am (and anticipate being for a long time to come) a believer in the Ibex product! Based on my first couple of rides on a combination of local roads and fire trail type conditions (only about 12 miles so far...trying my hardest to resist the trails nearby since their still real wet and too soft to ride without really ripping up) I am one happy hombre! I'm just a bit chapped about the somewhat stripped positive pressure valve stem I now have on my shock...but I suspect I'll get over it as the thrill of the summer rides sinks in and I bond with my new Apogee Sport!
Best to everyone, hope this post helps.
PS Sorry for the length, just had to get it off my chest...much cheaper than professional therapy!
That's great! What a great attitude! I love my Ibex as well. My only disappointment now is that I abused my knee on my last ski day of the season. Oh, well. When I'm able, my Apogee LX will be waiting!
Enjoy your riding!