tips on fork and shock tuning for suspension newbie
So the mojo has arrived. The LBS adjusted it for me and I have ridden about 200 km on bike paths going to and from work. (The real trails are still a mess of mud/snow/ice so what else can i do). This is my first full suspension bike. It feels fine but what do I know! How does one go about efficiently tuning the suspension on this thing? I mean with all of the adjustable parameters, the number of possible combinations are mind boggling. I figure that one of you folks will have some good advice to get going. I figure that one should focus on only one or two of the adjustable do hickeys and then fine tune with the others. Rebound first? Compression damping? Any advice is much appreciated. Otherwise, it seems very well balanced. Very responsive going up bike path hills. The propedal really works and I can really notice the difference in the three settings. Track stands are a breeze. I got the SX build kit with Shimanoo DX platform pedals. The whole thing weighs about 28.8 pounds. I guess that I could have spent a couple of thousand more dollars on it and shaved off 3 or 4 pounds but, quite frankly, I don't see the point. I keep it in my office at work ( office manager be damned!!!) and people who are non-bikers have commented at how beautful it looks and how purposeful it looks...no mistaking what that thing is for...
Now if only the trails would firm up...
It's the axle
My experience is that the forks are harder than the rear to set up. I've paid almost no attention to rebound. It appear that there is little in the way of setting it up. Either way too slow, or good enough. I started at full rebound and just turned it until it slowed up the slightest. Other bikes seem to be more sensitive to the rear shock rebound. But this suspension seems to be forgiving.
The rear propedal I set at 1. I probably will never even use 2 or 3. But I'm 135 pounds. I would guess it's pretty much based on weight.
As for forks, I have the Fox rlc 140mm. Start with sag. I've been increasing the sag over several bike rides until I get full fork travel for the rides I do. And for rebound on the forks, I just turned the valving in until I sensed there was a slight slowing of the rebound. The propedal adjustment took a few trials. What I try to achieve with it is minimal fork bobbing while hammering out of the saddle. I do not know if the low compression damping valving interacts with it. I don't think so. As it stands I have low speed compression damping set fully to highest. I'm still trying to determine if it actually aids against bobbing with propedal on. The propedal preset is probably more personal than anything. I set mine at the lowest possible setting that allows for almost no bobbing while out of the saddle. It does get complicated by the fact that one has a choice of either leaving it on all of the time or flipping it on and off depending on the terrain. The only difference being the slight amount of preset that is needed in order to overcome before the shock reacts to bumps. I am beginning to just leave it engaged, like the Mojo people prescribe.
There seems to be a certain amount of interactivity. Preset, low speed compression damping, sag. But it's all part of the fun of getting to know the bike.
Right now I'm dropping the air pressure, and getting ready to increase the propedal preset, to see if I can get a more sensitive fork that still doesn't bob.
Not much to really say that you probably don't already know. I loved riding a hard tail. Then the Manitou 1 came out. I had to have it. I should have just kept the rigid fork on the bike. That wasn't even suspension. But it was something. When it wasn't stuck. Then the SID. Just barely suspension. The Fox is a magnitude beyond that. I'd say this is real suspension. It's pretty satisfying to fly down some of the great singletrack we have in my neighborhood. And you might find that you want a setup different depending upon terrain. I've set mine up for swooping forest trails. No rock gardens.
I guess you can tell I'm not riding at the moment. Darn! It's trying to decide whether to rain or not. Maybe tomorrow!
General spring and damping set up for any trail bike is in this order:
Start with sag. Adjust your spring pressure front and rear for 15 – 25% sag while you are sitting still on the bike in the riding position. Deeper sag is more bump compliant, less sag pedals firmer.
The open your compression and platform adjustments to the softest setting, if adjustable.
And set your rebound adjustment at 50% of the range for a starting point.
Ride the bike on a familiar trail and adjust the rebound of the front and rear to provide a smooth ride with no bouncy action most of the time, it should feel pretty stable and smooth handling.
Then set rear compression damping and platform firmer to suit your interest in firm low bob pedaling, this will reduce smaller bump compliance but improve acceleration.
Finally set your fork compression and platform firmer to reduce brake dive and standing pedal bob to suit your interest. This will reduce small and larger bump compliance, but improve hard braking stability and standing pedaling acceleration.
If you prefer rather firm compression damping for better acceleration and climbing, you can soften the rebound setting a small amount and improve bump compliance somewhat.
set up instructions
and there's this:
It's the axle
Our omnipresent, omnipotent, benificent overlord has spoken!
And in a gentler way has said RTFM.
You know, I am finding that Ibis is more like a friend than a company. Oh geez. I guess I should stick to riding and not being prophetic. But I've never encountered a company that encompasses more completely my ideals. I believe that time is more important than money. So I quit my job and bought a Mojo. Those are my kind of values. And they hang out in the forum. How many manufacturers do that! So I've hijacked this thread to say-
What me worry?
(Sorry, I was too lazy to photoshop a Mojo under him.)
the Ibis feeling
I feel the same way. They display an old fashioned standard of care for their customers. I think it shows in the product they produced and they way they participate in forums such as this. I knew nothing about Ibis before my LBS showed me one just as was about to sign on the dotted line for a blur LT. At every step of the process of buying the Ibis I have been impressed. The press is uniformely positive. The forums are uniformely positive. The bike is stunning. The engineering is evidently spot on. And the owners and Dave the DW guy are giving their heart and soul. A winning combo. Scot even emailed me personnally to offer his advice on what color to get, sending along some other photos of the blue one for me to make my decision. Now that is attention to detail!
Thanks for all of your suspension tuning tips. We are getting a spring snowstorm here so it will be awhile before I get to tuuune 'er up.