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  1. #1
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well Frustrated with my SL

    So I've spent the past couple of weeks trying to get my new (to me) Mojo SL sorted and it's been a major fail on the suspension front - it feels stiff and not at all plush through the rough and then pogos when I stand up and mash (even with lockout and Propedal 3 engaged). It's a 2010 SL with what I believe to be a 2011 RP23 (LLBV225) @ 190-215psi and a 2011 TALAS 32 FIT RLC @ 95-115psi, with me being 210-215lbs fully kitted.

    I've been trawling the forum and old reviews looking for setup advice which seem to range from just set it up with the factory Ibis settings to PUSH all of the Fox bits to rip them out and replace with Rock Shox. This is my first full squish after riding only hardtails for the past 10+ years and I'm also willing to accept that maybe they're not for me after all. I just find it hard to believe that garner so much hype would ride so poorly compared to the rather pedestrian bikes in my quiver ('10 aluminum HT 29er with RS dual air Reba SL and '96 steel HT 26er with Zokes Z2).

    Any advice on what to try with this one?
    Am I fighting the suspension design when I don't sit through the chunky sections?
    Will the rear end always feel soft compared to a hardtail (not just a little soft, but really soft)?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    What's your sag set at? When you say pogo, it may be your rebound is set too fast.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcoilmojo View Post
    What's your sag set at? When you say pogo, it may be your rebound is set too fast.
    Sag was set to factory Fox specs initially, then I moved to the Ibis specs based on what I read here. There was maybe a small improvement doing that but nothing dramatic. Pogo was definitely decreased if I tried to keep weight off of the fork (moved my weight over the rear wheel) - but that's an awkward way to climb on a steep. Besides pressure, everything was set to Fox specs - I have 8 clicks CCW for the fork and 4 clicks CCW for the shock, according to my notes.

  4. #4
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    Have you ridden a suspension bike in the past?

  5. #5
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    The RP23 does not have a great range of compression adjustment. In addition maxing out the propedal/compression, try maxing out the rebound on the climbs; it can really make the rear end feel more efficient.

    I don't recall if the 2011 TALAS is the 2 step or 3 step, but since you have it, be sure to use the travel adjust when it gets steep. Makes a huge difference by unweighting the rear suspension. Don't forget that the fork also the lockout force adjust to determine how stiff the fork is when locked out. Many folks set it to the max, which is only good for pavement and smooth fire roads. Somewhere in between will give you some give for larger bumps, with better pedaling efficiency.

    Stem length and rider position can also have a large effect on the climbs. A longer stem may help with the efficiency piece, at the expense of descending ability and rider confidence. Where you fall on that continuum is up to you. The mojo is highly flexible, so don't give up on it yet. If all else fails, you may want to consider a shock with a true lockout, if that's what works best for you.

    -D

  6. #6
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    Riding a suspension bike will almost never feel like riding a hard tail especially when climbing out of the saddle. The way the dw-link linkage works is the suspension stiffens when there is tension on the chain. When you stand, there is tension on the chain on the down stroke, but when you get to the 12/6 o'clock pedal position (aka the 'dead spot') in the pedal stroke, your weight is coming down and there is not much tension on the chain, so you will get a certain amount of 'bob'.

    I know some guys that ride hard tails that don't like that sensation, and they feel like the bike isn't as efficient because of it. IMO - it just takes some getting used to. I have seen guys on DS bikes absolutely crush it in races with lots of climbing, so I have no doubt about their efficiency.

    I was a hard tail guy, grew up riding and racing them. I owned a few DS XC bikes but never found one I really liked so I kept going back to hard tails until I got an Ibis Ripley. Even that bike doesn't feel like a hard tail climbing out of the saddle, but it's very efficient and I don't feel like I'm giving anything up on climbs riding it and I gain something everywhere else.

    You may benefit from a rear shock with a handlebar remote lockout, to make it feel like a HT climbing, or standing climbing.

  7. #7
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    After struggling to set up my mojo HD, here the advice that worked well for me.

    Set the shock rebound really slow. Like 3 clicks from full slow.

    Leave the pro pedal off.. In my experience, that will make the bike's suspension feel more spikey.

    Don't be afraid to run more sag. A lot of mojo riders will run 30% sag, instead of 20-25%.

  8. #8
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    I've always found plush to be an extremely subjective term. As it's your first full suspension in over a decade, are you sure you know what to expect? I myself ride a Mojo HD and i've thrown it over some pretty gnarly conditions in the Rockies. I wouldn't say it's plush compared to a downhill bike, but it's considerably more plush than my old Rocky Element xc bike. But the rear tire hardly ever left the ground, giving me complete grip and control when i needed it; considerably more so after replacing the rp23 with a CCDBair.

    As for the pogoing, it's not a hard tail so you can't really get away from that, regardless of the suspension design. My HD climbs very well for what kind of bike it is, but it definitely doesn't feel like a hard tail. I find it climbed better, as the rear wheel didn't skip over rocks or roots, but stayed planted and didn't lose my rhythm.

    Maybe full suspension isn't for you. A friend i ride with complains about the same issues you experience after riding my bike a bit. Different strokes for different folks. He likes his hard tail.

  9. #9
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    In my experience, it's not the suspension design. It's the rear shock. The Fox RP23 or CTD or whatever they're calling it has never felt like it's doing it's job. I've had that shock on various types of bikes with various suspension designs and that thing just never works right.

    I'm on a Monarch Plus on my HD and rode it on Ventanas (single pivot bike, very active suspension) and it works the way a rear suspension should.

    Would you consider changing the rear shock?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes View Post
    In my experience, it's not the suspension design. It's the rear shock. The Fox RP23 or CTD or whatever they're calling it has never felt like it's doing it's job. I've had that shock on various types of bikes with various suspension designs and that thing just never works right.

    I'm on a Monarch Plus on my HD and rode it on Ventanas (single pivot bike, very active suspension) and it works the way a rear suspension should.

    Would you consider changing the rear shock?
    X2 on Stripes post. On my SL I tested the DT Swiss, RS Monarch and the Fox. The Fox was a distant 3rd place for me, just doesn"t work great. I liked the DT the best and it also has a full lock-out. The Monarch also worked very well.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes View Post
    In my experience, it's not the suspension design. It's the rear shock. The Fox RP23 or CTD or whatever they're calling it has never felt like it's doing it's job. I've had that shock on various types of bikes with various suspension designs and that thing just never works right.

    I'm on a Monarch Plus on my HD and rode it on Ventanas (single pivot bike, very active suspension) and it works the way a rear suspension should.

    Would you consider changing the rear shock?
    FWIW - I'm not saying it's the suspension design at fault, I was merely trying to explain to the OP why suspension bikes 'bob' (even ones that have anti-squat built into the design) when you stand up and pedal on them. The only ways to fully get rid of that sensation are to have a perfectly round pedal stroke even when standing (good luck!) or to run a shock with a lockout or some pretty serious low speed compression damping.

  12. #12
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    First, I would say run 30% sag, and make sure the shock has been recently serviced. Push tune is great, but shouldn't be absolutely required. Make sure you are close to bottoming out shock on your rougher trails, or let more air out.

    For the bobbing issue, if you aren't used to FS, I am pretty sure a big part of it is just getting used to riding differently. I've ridden both FS and HT concurrently for years, and as others have said, hammering out of the saddle is going to feel very bobby compared to a HT. This is true of any 5"+ bike out there, unless you have something like the Spesh Brain, or have full rear lockout capability. You can compensate for this by getting used to more seated pedaling, focusing on spinning smooth circles while pedaling (including while standing). Use a slightly harder gear than usual, and stay away from the granny ring whenever possible, as that definitely invites bobbing. At first it feels wrong not to stand and hammer the same HT way, but once you get used to it, it is more efficient, with better traction.

    Also with a HT you are likely used to weighting your front end more on rougher trails, since that's where your cushion is. Focus on having weight more balanced front and back so the rear suspension engages more, both climbing and descending.

    Give it some time before you throw in the towel.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlechnow View Post
    FWIW - I'm not saying it's the suspension design at fault, I was merely trying to explain to the OP why suspension bikes 'bob' (even ones that have anti-squat built into the design) when you stand up and pedal on them. The only ways to fully get rid of that sensation are to have a perfectly round pedal stroke even when standing (good luck!) or to run a shock with a lockout or some pretty serious low speed compression damping.
    Tlechnow: I wasn't faulting anything you were saying. Sorry if I gave you that impression.

    My commentary was particularly aimed at the Fox rear suspension, not at any particular suspension design. I love their coil forks, but everything else leaves something to be desired.
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  14. #14
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    The two things that I can think of are rebound is set too fast and/or you need to smooth out your pedaling. Rebound is pretty easy to change, but pedal stroke will take more effort. A hard tail allows you to jump on the pedals without consequence where the FS bike will punish you for poor form. Something else to think about.

  15. #15
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    Has the shock ever been serviced? When I had the rp23 on my Mojo HD 140, I would need to take it to the local tuner for a nitrogen recharge about every 3-4 months of hard riding. The symptoms were very soft mid stroke (requiring more pressure for support), as well as a completely ineffective pro pedal. BTW, pro pedal, even in position 3, is not a lockout.

  16. #16
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    Pogo - Rebound.
    Dumbass move I did is kept hitting the rebound knob with my fat gloved fingers when I was flipping the propedal lever on road climbs. Ended up I was on what I like to think of as "full pogostick" when yeah, a few clicks from slow rebound seems to work well on the mojo with propedal off.
    Pic of shock that no one probably needs:
    http://www.ridefox.com/fox_tech_cent.../2011_RP23.gif

    OP hasn't updated in a day, he might have figured it out.

    FS and "stand & mash" don't mix well, unfortunately.
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  17. #17
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    Thanks for all of the advice, it is greatly appreciated. My plan is to double check sag and rebound settings according to the advice here, try to curtail my worst mashing habits, and give it a few more rides. If I'm still not feeling it, I may rent a Santa Cruz Blur TR or 5010 as a means of comparison (my only previous FS experience was on an S-Works Epic with a Brain), hopefully with non-Fox suspension.

    A lot of you guys focused on the poor out-of-saddle climbing performance, and rightfully so, but what I'm truly having a hard time getting past is how stiff this thing rides once the trail points downhill. On my scale of plushness, where my Marzocchi Z2 is a 10 and my Reba SL is an 8.5 (possibly bolstered by the wagonwheels), my TALAS is probably a 4 right now (with the RP23 not feeling much better). I'm willing to change my climbing technique and deal with more maintenance if I'm rewarded with a plush couch ride through the chunk but I'm just not finding that to be the case right now. In fact, I felt pretty battered after my last ride.

  18. #18
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    After Hard tails, the FS ride experience is very different and will take a while to get used to
    The biggest mistake newcomers to FS make is to try and set the bike up similar to what they are used to. Once dialled you will gain traction, balance and speed. FS bikes often climb tech sections better than hard tails for this reason.
    I find the Fox shock shipped with the Mojos to be be pretty poor overall. Not what you want to hear I know.
    Get some help to set the bike up, don't mistake sag for softness. Sag is v important and static and dynamic ride height and geometry are quite different.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiddyHitch View Post

    A lot of you guys focused on the poor out-of-saddle climbing performance, and rightfully so, but what I'm truly having a hard time getting past is how stiff this thing rides once the trail points downhill. On my scale of plushness, where my Marzocchi Z2 is a 10 and my Reba SL is an 8.5 (possibly bolstered by the wagonwheels), my TALAS is probably a 4 right now (with the RP23 not feeling much better). I'm willing to change my climbing technique and deal with more maintenance if I'm rewarded with a plush couch ride through the chunk but I'm just not finding that to be the case right now. In fact, I felt pretty battered after my last ride.
    The suspension will only feel as good as the fork and shock let it.
    I don't think TALAS forks have ever been known for how good they feel. The resale value is good, so sell it and replace it with an xfusion or rock shox. The bike is non-tapered so keep that in mind when looking for a replacement.

    The advice for adjusting rebound is a good one. Too fast can feel harsh and pogo like, too slow will feel harsh and sluggish.

    The bike is rad, you just have some setup issues to work through. If you took the fork and shock and stuck them on a blur it would feel like **** too. Parts are parts...with the ibis you are getting parts on the best looking frame made by the company with the best customer service.
    Those who know, ride a Mojo AND a Mojo HD.
    Quadzilla
    Quote Originally Posted by benja55
    Ok, whatever, cold water on my bike boner right there.

  20. #20
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    So, you guys were onto something - my sag settings were way off once I measured them more carefully. But get this - my pressure settings are very different than the recommendations from either Ibis or Fox - I ended up at 55psi in the fork (Ibis rec =105) and 250psi in the shock (Ibis rec = 189). I'm guessing that this is due to having my seat slammed into the max offset position and therefore putting more of my weight towards the rear of the bike. I am concerned that any decently big hit is going to easily bottom the fork but I'll deal with that in time.

    After adjusting the pressures, the difference was immediately noticeable just riding the dirt path to the trailhead and even more so once I got up to speed on the trails. All of the stiff, sketchy behavior that made it feel like I was fighting the bike at every turn had suddenly disappeared and I could begin to enjoy the ride for once. Climbing steeps were even more enjoyable and I heeded the advice here and refrained from getting out of the saddle. Instead, I ground it out seated and the Mojo rewarded my restraint - rearing back on its haunches and digging in all the way up. Needless to say, out of the saddle climbing without the compression lock engaged was a complete pogofest up front with the fork running at such low pressure.

    I suspect that there is further refinement to be found in the rebound settings and I may play with stem length/angle to get more weight over the front end, but I am a pretty happy camper now and the replacement bike search will be called off.

    Thanks again, everyone!

  21. #21
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    Nice! You have now learned a valuable lesson, the suspension manufacturers recommendations are not worth anything. Everyone, including their employees runs much lower pressures than the recommendations.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    Nice! You have now learned a valuable lesson, the suspension manufacturers recommendations are not worth anything. Everyone, including their employees runs much lower pressures than the recommendations.
    Ditto!
    I was going to reply with this, almost word for word!
    Those who know, ride a Mojo AND a Mojo HD.
    Quadzilla
    Quote Originally Posted by benja55
    Ok, whatever, cold water on my bike boner right there.

  23. #23
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    Also, don't ever pay any attention to sag on a fork. That is one that's best to go by feel. To get 25% sag, you need to run it way low, unless you are testing sag off the seat and in the attack position. Getting 25% sag while seated usually means the fork is way under sprung.
    Bring a shock pump and adjust the fork by feel, then remember the PSI. Or write it on the fork with a sharpie.
    Those who know, ride a Mojo AND a Mojo HD.
    Quadzilla
    Quote Originally Posted by benja55
    Ok, whatever, cold water on my bike boner right there.

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